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Symmetry Breaking and False Vacuum Decay after Hybrid Inflation

AuthorsGarcía-Bellido, Juan ; García Pérez, Margarita ; González-Arroyo, Antonio
KeywordsHybrid inflation
Symmetry breaking
Lattice simulations
Classical random field
High Energy Physics - Phenomenology
High Energy Physics - Lattice
High Energy Physics - Theory
Issue Date25-Mar-2003
PublisherAmerican Physical Society
Phys.Rev. D 67 (2003) 103501
AbstractWe discuss the onset of symmetry breaking from the false vacuum in generic scenarios in which the mass squared of the symmetry breaking (Higgs) field depends linearly with time, as it occurs, via the evolution of the inflaton, in models of hybrid inflation. We show that the Higgs fluctuations evolve from quantum to classical during the initial stages. This justifies the subsequent use of real-time lattice simulations to describe the fully non-perturbative and non-linear process of symmetry breaking. The early distribution of the Higgs field is that of a smooth classical gaussian random field, and consists of lumps whose shape and distribution is well understood analytically. The lumps grow with time and develop into "bubbles" which eventually collide among themselves, thus populating the high momentum modes, in their way towards thermalization at the true vacuum. With the help of some approximations we are able to provide a quasi-analytic understanding of this process.
DescriptionSubmitted on 25 Aug 2002 (v1), last revised 25 Mar 2003 (this version, v3).-- 33 pages, 16 figures, LaTeX, uses revtex.-- Version to be published in Phys. Rev. with minor changes.
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