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Durham University

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Academic Staff

Publication details for Ruth Gregory

Dai, De-Chang, Gregory, Ruth & Stojkovic, Dejan (2020). Connecting the Higgs potential and primordial black holes. Physical Review D 101(12): 125012.

Author(s) from Durham


It was recently demonstrated that small black holes can act as seeds for nucleating decay of the
metastable Higgs vacuum, dramatically increasing the tunneling probability. Any primordial black hole
lighter than 4.5 × 1014 g at formation would have evaporated by now, and in the absence of new physics
beyond the standard model, would therefore have entered the mass range in which seeded decay occurs,
however, such true vacuum bubbles must percolate in order to completely destroy the false vacuum; this
depends on the bubble number density and the rate of expansion of the universe. Here, we compute the
fraction of the universe that has decayed to the true vacuum as a function of the formation temperature
(or equivalently, mass) of the primordial black holes, and the spectral index of the fluctuations responsible
for their formation. This allows us to constrain the mass spectrum of primordial black holes given a
particular Higgs potential and conversely, should we discover primordial black holes of definite mass, we
can constrain the Higgs potential parameters.