Catalyzed decay of a false vacuum in four dimensions

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The probability of destruction of a metastable vacuum state by the field of a highly virtual particle with energy E is calculated for a (3+1)-dimensional theory in the leading WKB approximation in the thin-wall limit. It is found that the induced nucleation rate of bubbles, capable of expansion, is exponentially small at any energy. The negative exponential power in the rate reaches its maximum at the energy, corresponding to the top of the barrier in the bubble energy, where it is a finite fraction of the same power in the probability of the spontaneous decay of the false vacuum, i.e., at E=0.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2014-2018
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994

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