Jun 13 – 19, 2015
University of Alberta
America/Edmonton timezone
Welcome to the 2015 CAP Congress! / Bienvenue au congrès de l'ACP 2015!

Tunneling decay of false kinks

Jun 17, 2015, 7:10 PM
CCIS Ground Floor PCL lounge (University of Alberta)

CCIS Ground Floor PCL lounge

University of Alberta

Poster (Student, In Competition) / Affiche (Étudiant(e), inscrit à la compétition) Theoretical Physics / Physique théorique (DTP-DPT) DTP Poster Session with beer / Session d'affiches, avec bière DPT


Yvan Ung (University of Montreal)


We consider the decay of “false kinks,'' that is, kinks formed in a scalar field theory with a pair of degenerate symmetry-breaking false vacua in 1+1 dimensions. The true vacuum is symmetric. A second scalar field and a peculiar potential are added in order for the kink to be classically stable. As with any tunneling event, the rate is proportional to $\exp{-S_E}$ where $S_E$ is the Euclidean action of the bounce describing the tunneling event. This factor varies wildly depending on the parameters of the model. Of interest is the fact that, when the parameters take values arbitrarily close to the “zones of dissociation”, that is, regions in parameter space where $S_E$ can get arbitrarily small, implying that the kink is only barely stable. Thus, while the translation-invariant false vacuum may be very long-lived, the presence of kinks can give rise to accelerated vacuum decay.

Primary author

Yvan Ung (University of Montreal)


Luc Marleau (Université Laval) Manu Paranjape (Université de Montréal) Richard MacKenzie (U. Montréal) Yan Gobeil (McGill University) Éric Dupuis (University of Montreal)

Presentation materials