Summary: Nuclear Physics B325(1989)687-704
WORMHOLES AND GLOBAL SYMMETRIES*
Physics Department, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02254, USA
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
Received 17 March 1989
We examine the effects that topological fluctuations in the structure of space-time have on
the global U(1) symmetry of a scalar field theory. When the symmetry is not spontaneously
broken we find wormhole solutions whichbreak the U(1) symmetrydespite the fact that they have
infinite euclidean action. In the case where the symmetry is spontaneously broken we find
wormhole solutions of finite action.
It is possible (although far from clear) that fluctuations which change the
topology of space-time have a significant impact on physics near the Planck scale.
Can they also affect physics at experimentally accessible energies? Recent investiga-
tions into wormhole configurations [1-5] suggest that the answer to this question
may be yes. Wormholes seem to violate spontaneously broken (i.e. nonlinearly
realized) global symmetries [1-4], they may be important for understanding the