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Volume 156B,number 5,6 PHYSICSLETTERS 27 June 1985 GRAVITATIONAL STABILIZATION OF SCALAR POTENTIALS *
 

Summary: Volume 156B,number 5,6 PHYSICSLETTERS 27 June 1985
GRAVITATIONAL STABILIZATION OF SCALAR POTENTIALS *
L.F. ABBOTT and Q.-H. PARK
Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02254, USA
Received 3 April 1985
Using the formalism of Boucherwe derive the conditions under which gravity can stabilize otherwise metastable or unstable
scalar fieldconfigurations. For the case of a double-welledpotential we rederive the stability criteria first obtained by Coleman
and DeLuccia. Our derivation does not require the assumption of 0(4) symmetry or the thin-walled approximation used in
their work. We also givethe conditions for which gravity can stabilize the symmetric points of general quartic potentials and of
a Coleman-Weinberg potential.
Under certain circumstances gravitational effects
can stabilize a scalar field configuration which would
be metastable or unstable in the absence of gravity
[14]. Consider for example, a potential with two
local minima, one at ~ = ~+ and one at ~ = ~_, with
an energy splitting V(+) - V(~_) = e. Normally, the
state ~ = ~+ would be metastable. However, Coleman
and DeLuccia [1] have shown that for sufficiently
small e if V(q~+)~<0, the tunnelling rate between the
states ~b= q~+ and ~b= ~b_ vanishes when gravity is in-

  

Source: Abbott, Laurence - Center for Neurobiology and Behavior & Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, Columbia University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine