nLab
false vacuum

Contents

Context

Vacua

Algebraic Quantum Field Theory

algebraic quantum field theory (perturbative, on curved spacetimes, homotopical)

Introduction

Concepts

field theory:

Lagrangian field theory

quantization

quantum mechanical system, quantum probability

free field quantization

gauge theories

interacting field quantization

renormalization

Theorems

States and observables

Operator algebra

Local QFT

Perturbative QFT

Contents

Idea

A classical field theory with action functional having the standard kinetic action and non-derivative interactions has stable, time-independent solutions to its equations of motion where all fields are constant on a value that is a local minimum of the interaction term potential energy (if any).

In the corresponding quantum field theory, however, a state that is initially concentrated this way on a local minimum which is not also a global minimum is not time-independent, but will exhibit quantum tunneling behaviour by which the fields “tunnel” through the local potential barrier into the global minimum. Therefore one speaks of a false vacuum in this case.

Examples

quantum probability theoryobservables and states

References

The classical articles are

More recent development (in view of Higgs metastability):

  • Anders Andreassen, David Farhi, William Frost, Matthew D. Schwartz, Precision decay rate calculations in quantum field theory, Phys. Rev. D 95, 085011 (2017) (arXiv:1604.06090)

Last revised on April 19, 2020 at 20:26:24. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.