Rest frame of bubble nucleation

Jaume Garriga, Sugumi Kanno, Takahiro Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Vacuum bubbles nucleate at rest with a certain critical size and subsequently expand. But what selects the rest frame of nucleation? This question has been recently addressed in [1] in the context of Schwinger pair production in 1+1 dimensions, by using a model detector in order to probe the nucleated pairs. The analysis in [1] showed that, for a constant external electric field, the adiabatic "in" vacuum of charged particles is Lorentz invariant, and in this case pairs tend to nucleate preferentially at rest with respect to the detector. Here, we sharpen this picture by showing that the typical relative velocity between the frame of nucleation and that of the detector is at most of order Δν ∼ SE-1/3 1. Here, SE 1 is the action of the instanton describing pair creation. The bound Δν coincides with the minimum uncertainty in the velocity of a non-relativistic charged particle embedded in a constant electric field. A velocity of order Δν is reached after a time interval of order Δt ∼ SE-1/3r0 r0 past the turning point in the semiclassical trajectory, where r0 is the size of the instanton. If the interaction takes place in the vicinity of the turning point, the semiclassical description of collision does not apply. Nonetheless, we find that even in this case there is still a strong asymmetry in the momentum transferred from the nucleated particles to the detector, in the direction of expansion after the turning point. We conclude that the correlation between the rest frame of nucleation and that of the detector is exceedingly sharp.

Original languageEnglish
Article number034
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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