Instability of bubble expansion at zero temperature

Wen Yuan Ai, Juan S. Cruz, Björn Garbrecht, Carlos Tamarit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In the context of false vacuum decay at zero temperature, it is well known that bubbles expand with uniform proper acceleration. We show that this uniformly accelerating expansion suffers from an instability related to the bubble size. This can be observed in Minkowski spacetime as a tachyonic mode in the spectrum of fluctuations for the energy functional in the reference frame in which the uniformly accelerating bubble wall appears static. In such a frame, arbitrary small perturbations cause an amplifying departure from the static wall solution. This implies that the nucleated bubble is not a critical point of the energy functional in the rest frame of nucleation but becomes one in the accelerating frame. The aforementioned instability for vacuum bubbles can be related to the well-known instability for the nucleated critical static bubbles during finite-temperature phase transitions in the rest frame of the plasma. It is therefore proposed that zero-temperature vacuum decays as seen from accelerating frames have a dual description in terms of finite-temperature phase transitions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number036014
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2023


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