Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Vacuum Decay in a Flux Landscape
by Dahlen, Alex, Ph.D., Princeton University, 2011, 119; 3463335
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis will examine vacuum decay in a flux landscape. We identify a number of effects that greatly enhance the decay to wildly distant minima—so much so that such decays can dominate over transitions to nearest neighbors. The charged branes that mediate decay form bound states that lower their effective tension, so that nucleating a stack of branes is made easier. We even construct an explicit example where the most likely decay path is to the bubble of nothing, where all the flux is removed, the construction becomes unstable, the extra dimensions shrink to zero size, and spacetime pinches off. Along the way, we will solve the case of the disappearing instanton, prove the connectedness of the landscape, and argue that it is exceedingly unlikely to see evidence of bubble collisions in the CMB.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Steinhardt, Paul
Commitee:
School: Princeton University
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-B 72/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Geophysics, Landscape architecture
Keywords: Extra dimensions, Flux landscapes, Tunneling, Vacuum decay
Publication Number: 3463335
ISBN: 9781124735252
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