Instability of the Kaluza-Klein vacuum

Edward Witten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

409 Scopus citations

Abstract

It is argued that the ground state of the Kaluza-Klein unified theory is unstable against a process of semiclassical barrier penetration. This is related to the fact that the positive energy conjecture does not hold for the Kaluza-Klein theory; an explicit counter-example is given. The reasoning presented here assumes that in general relativity one should include manifolds of non-vacuum topology. It is argued that the existence of elementary fermions (not present in the original Kaluza-Klein theory) would stabilize the Kaluza-Klein vacuum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-492
Number of pages12
JournalNuclear Physics, Section B
Volume195
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 22 1982

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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