Theses Doctoral

Negative Modes in Vacuum Decay

Lee, Hak Joon

A vacuum, a classically stable state, can decay to another vacuum by virtue of quantum tunneling. Although vacuum decay is an interesting topic itself in field theory, when it combines with gravity, it has wider applications and plays an essential role to understand the very early universe. The semi-classical solution of vacuum decay is well-described by the WKB approximation both in flat space and in curved space.

Meanwhile, if we consider the configuration space of fields, we encounter many kinds of problems related with gravitational fields since the mode spectrum in curved space turns out to have an infinite number of negative modes in a de Sitter background. Despite of infinitely many negative modes, the regime in the weak gravity limit can be smoothly connected to flat space. To understand this, I discuss the nature of vacuum decay and various topics about negative modes in this thesis.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Weinberg, Erick J.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 7, 2014