Vacua on the brink of decay

Guilherme L. Pimentel, Alexander M. Polyakov, Grigory M. Tarnopolsky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


We consider free massive matter fields in static scalar, electric and gravitational backgrounds. Tuning these backgrounds to the brink of vacuum decay, we identify a term in their effective action that is singular. This singular term is universal, being independent of the features of the background configuration. In the case of gravitational backgrounds, it can be interpreted as a quantum mechanical analog of Choptuik scaling. If the background is tuned slightly above the instability threshold, this singular term gives the leading contribution to the vacuum decay rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLudwig Faddeev Memorial Volume
Subtitle of host publicationA Life in Mathematical Physics
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9789813233867
ISBN (Print)9789813233768
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Mathematics


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