Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-20-2005

Publication Title

Physical Review Letters

Abstract

We investigate the role played by fast quenching on the decay of metastable (or false vacuum) states. Instead of the exponentially slow decay rate per unit volume, ΓHN∼exp[−Eb/kBT] (Eb is the free energy of the critical bubble), predicted by homogeneous nucleation theory, we show that under fast enough quenching the decay rate is a power law ΓRN∼[Eb/kBT]−B, where B is weakly sensitive to the temperature. For a range of parameters, large-amplitude oscillations about the metastable state trigger the resonant emergence of coherent subcritical configurations. Decay mechanisms for different Eb are proposed and illustrated in a (2+1)-dimensional scalar field model.

DOI

10.1103/PhysRevLett.94.151601

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