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Title: Spacetime dynamics of a Higgs vacuum instability during inflation

A remarkable prediction of the Standard Model is that, in the absence of corrections lifting the energy density, the Higgs potential becomes negative at large field values. If the Higgs field samples this part of the potential during inflation, the negative energy density may locally destabilize the spacetime. Here, we use numerical simulations of the Einstein equations to study the evolution of inflation-induced Higgs fluctuations as they grow towards the true (negative-energy) minimum. Our simulations show that forming a single patch of true vacuum in our past light cone during inflation is incompatible with the existence of our Universe; the boundary of the true vacuum region grows outward in a causally disconnected manner from the crunching interior, which forms a black hole. We also find that these black hole horizons may be arbitrarily elongated—even forming black strings—in violation of the hoop conjecture. Furthermore, by extending the numerical solution of the Fokker-Planck equation to the exponentially suppressed tails of the field distribution at large field values, we derive a rigorous correlation between a future measurement of the tensor-to-scalar ratio and the scale at which the Higgs potential must receive stabilizing corrections in order for the Universe to have survived inflation untilmore » today.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [4]
  1. Stanford Univ., CA (United States). Kavli Inst. for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology; SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States); Perimeter Inst. for Theoretical Physics, Waterloo, ON (Canada)
  2. Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States). Theoretical Physics Dept.
  3. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States). Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics
  4. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Bekeley Center for Theoretical Physics
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
FERMILAB-PUB-16-250-T; MCTP-16-15; arXiv:1607.00381
Journal ID: ISSN 2470-0010; PRVDAQ; 1473616
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-07CH11359; SC0007859; SC0011719; AC02-05CH11231; PHY-1066293; AC02-07CH1135
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review D
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 95; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 2470-0010
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States); Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; 72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS
OSTI Identifier:
1362066
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1341933