3-10 August 2016
Chicago IL USA
US/Central timezone
There is a live webcast for this event.

The fate of the Higgs Vacuum (15' + 5')

6 Aug 2016, 09:00
Superior A ()

Superior A

Sheraton Grand Chicago 301 East Water Street Chicago IL 60611 USA
Oral Presentation Formal Theory Developments Formal Theory Developments


Ruth Gregory (Durham University)


Now that the Higgs boson has finally been detected, its mass suggests that we are in a region of "metastability", with various claims being made about the lifetime of the vacuum. However, the new minimum lies in a Planckian regime, and we would expect gravity to be relevant in any decay process. The decay of a false vacuum is always described by a tunneling process, the Coleman-de Luccia instanton, however, this assumes our universe is featureless. Just as impurities can act as nucleation sites of a phase transition, gravitational impurities, in the guise of black holes, can act as bubble nucleation sites for false vacuum decay. I will describe how a black hole can significantly enhance the probability of vacuum decay, and discuss implications for the Higgs vacuum.

Primary author

Ruth Gregory (Durham University)

Presentation Materials