Surviving in a Metastable de Sitter Space-Time

In a metastable de Sitter space any object has a finite life expectancy beyond which it undergoes vacuum decay. However, by spreading into different parts of the universe which will fall out of causal contact of each other in future, a civilization can increase its collective life expectancy, defined as the average time after which the last settlement disappears due to vacuum decay. We study in detail the collective life expectancy of two comoving objects in de Sitter space as a function of the initial separation, the horizon radius and the vacuum decay rate. We find that even with a modest initial separation, the collective life expectancy can reach a value close to the maximum possible value of 1.5 times that of the individual object if the decay rate is less than 1% of the expansion rate. Our analysis can be generalized to any number of objects, general trajectories not necessarily at rest in the comoving coordinates and general FRW space-time. As part of our analysis we find that in the current state of the universe dominated by matter and cosmological constant, the vacuum decay rate is increasing as a function of time due to accelerated expansion of the volume of the past light cone. Present decay rate is about 3.7 times larger than the average decay rate in the past and the final decay rate in the cosmological constant dominated epoch will be about 56 times larger than the average decay rate in the past. This considerably weakens the lower bound on the half-life of our universe based on its current age.

Comments: LaTex file, 36 pages, 14 figures; v2: appendix added giving computation of decay rate for general equation of state

Similar Publications

We embed a flipped ${\rm SU}(5) \times {\rm U}(1)$ GUT model in a no-scale supergravity framework, and discuss its predictions for cosmic microwave background observables, which are similar to those of the Starobinsky model of inflation. Measurements of the tilt in the spectrum of scalar perturbations in the cosmic microwave background, $n_s$, constrain significantly the model parameters. We also discuss the model's predictions for neutrino masses, and pay particular attention to the behaviours of scalar fields during and after inflation, reheating and the GUT phase transition. Read More


We study the Polyakov loop correlator in the weak coupling expansion and show how the perturbative series re-exponentiates into singlet and adjoint contributions. We calculate the order $g^7$ correction to the Polyakov loop correlator in the short distance limit. We show how the singlet and adjoint free energies arising from the re-exponentiation formula of the Polyakov loop correlator are related to the gauge invariant singlet and octet free energies that can be defined in pNRQCD, namely we find that the two definitions agree at leading order in the multipole expansion, but differ at first order in the quark-antiquark distance. Read More


The objective of this thesis is to present a viable extension of general relativity free from cosmological singularities. A viable cosmology, in this sense, is one that is free from ghosts, tachyons or exotic matter, while staying true to the theoretical foundations of General Relativity such as general covariance, as well as observed phenomenon such as the accelerated expansion of the universe and inflationary behaviour at later times. To this end, an infinite derivative extension of relativity is introduced, with the gravitational action derived and the non-linear field equations calculated, before being linearised around both Minkowski space and de Sitter space. Read More


We show that the spectrum of the SYK model can be interpreted as that of a 3D scalar coupled to gravity. The scalar has a mass which is at the Breitenholer-Freedman bound of AdS$_2$, and subject to a delta function potential at the center of the interval along the third direction. This, through Kaluza-Klein procedure on AdS$_2 \times (S^1)/Z_2$, generates the spectrum reproducing the bi-local propagator at strong coupling. Read More


We study the Dynamical Casimir Effect resulting from the oscillatory motion of either one or two flat semitransparent mirrors, coupled to a quantum real and massless scalar field. Our approach is based on a perturbative evaluation, in the coupling between mirrors and field, of the corresponding effective action, which is used to compute the particle creation rate. The amplitude of the oscillation is not necessarily small. Read More


We consider radiative corrections to false vacuum decay within the framework of quantum mechanics for the general potential of the form 1/2 M q^2 (q-A)(q-B), where M , A and B are arbitrary parameters. For this type of potential we provide analytical results for Green function in the background of corresponding bounce solution together with one loop expression for false vacuum decay rate. Next, we discuss the computation of higher order corrections for false vacuum decay rate and provide numerical expressions for two and three loop contributions. Read More


We study the Hausdorff dimension of the path of a quantum particle in non-commutative space-time. We show that the Hausdorff dimension depends on the deformation parameter $a$ and the resolution $\Delta x$ for both non-relativistic and relativistic quantum particle. For the non-relativistic case, it is seen that Hausdorff dimension is always less than two in the non-commutative space-time. Read More


We review how vertex constraints inherited from the thermal ground state strongly reduce the integration support of loop four-momenta associated with massive quasi-particles in bubble diagrams constituting corrections to the free thermal quasi-particle pressure. In spite of the observed increasingly suppressing effect when increasing 2-particle-irreducible (2PI) loop order, a quantitative analysis enables us to disprove the conjecture voiced in hep-th/0609033 that the loop expansion would terminate at a finite order. This reveals the necessity to investigate exact expressions of (at least some) higher-loop order diagrams. Read More


The effect of the $\ord{\partial^4}$ terms of the gradient expansion on anomalous dimension $\eta$ and the correlation length's critical exponent $\nu$ of the Wilson-Fisher fixed point has been determined for the Euclidean $O(N)$ model for $N=1$ and the number of dimensions $2< d<4$ as well as for $N\ge 2$ and $d=3$. Wetterich's effective average action renormalization group method is used with field-independent derivative couplings and Litim's optimized regulator. It is shown that the critical theory for $N\ge 2$ is well approximated by the effective average action preserving $O(N)$ symmetry with the accuracy of $\ord{\eta}$. Read More


We investigate the Hawking radiation cascade from the five-dimensional charged black hole with a scalar field coupled to higher-order Euler densities in a conformally invariant manner. We give the semi-analytic calculation of greybody factors for the Hawking radiation. Our analysis shows that the Hawking radiation cascade from this five-dimensional black hole is extremely sparse. Read More