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Limits on New Physics from Black Holes

Cheung, Clifford and Leichenauer, Stefan (2014) Limits on New Physics from Black Holes. Physical Review D, 89 (10). Art. No. 104035. ISSN 1550-7998. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.89.104035.

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Black holes emit high energy particles which induce a finite density potential for any scalar field ϕ coupling to the emitted quanta. Due to energetic considerations, ϕ evolves locally to minimize the effective masses of the outgoing states. In theories where ϕ resides at a metastable minimum, this effect can drive ϕ over its potential barrier and classically catalyze the decay of the vacuum. Because this is not a tunneling process, the decay rate is not exponentially suppressed and a single black hole in our past light cone may be sufficient to activate the decay. Moreover, decaying black holes radiate at ever higher temperatures, so they eventually probe the full spectrum of particles coupling to ϕ. We present a detailed analysis of vacuum decay catalyzed by a single particle, as well as by a black hole. The former is possible provided large couplings or a weak potential barrier. In contrast, the latter occurs much more easily and places new stringent limits on theories with hierarchical spectra. Finally, we comment on how these constraints apply to the standard model and its extensions, e.g. metastable supersymmetry breaking.

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Additional Information:© 2014 American Physical Society. Received 30 September 2013; published 21 May 2014. We would like to thank Sean Carroll, I-Sheng Yang, and Mark Wise for helpful comments, and we are especially grateful to Paul Steinhardt for collaboration in the early stages of this work. This research is supported by the DOE under Contract No. DE-FG02- 92ER40701 and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through Grant No. 776 to the Caltech Moore Center for Theoretical Cosmology and Physics. C. C. is supported by a DOE Early Career Award No. DE-SC0010255 and S. L. is supported by a John A. McCone Postdoctoral Fellowship. C. C. would also like to thank the Aspen Center for Physics and the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, where part of this work was completed.
Group:Caltech Theory, Moore Center for Theoretical Cosmology and Physics
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FG02-92ER40701
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation776
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0010255
John A. McCone Postdoctoral FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Caltech Moore Center for Theoretical Cosmology and PhysicsUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:10
Classification Code:PACS: 04.70.Dy, 03.50.-z
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130917-134949603
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:41369
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Sep 2013 20:56
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 04:29

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