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Friday 14 December
Testing relativistic vacuum decay with cold atoms
Florent Michel
Vacuum decay is a prominent example of strongly nonlinear
effects in quantum field theory with potentially important
implications for cosmology, relating to phase transitions in the early
universe or the supposed metastability of the current Higgs vacuum.
Although a general theoretical description was laid out in the 80s by
Sidney Coleman and his collaborators, fundamental questions pertaining
to the backreaction of true vacuum bubbles on spacetime curvature
and their correlations remain so far unanswered, calling for different
approaches to the problem. In this talk, after a brief review of
Coleman’s theory emphasizing its genericness and limitations, I will
present a recentlyproposed coldatoms model in which some of these
ideas could be tested in laboratory experiments. I will discuss the
mathematical correspondence between the two problems and focus on how
a localized defect changes the decay rate, taking the example of a
vortex in a BoseEinstein condensate and comparing with the effect of
a black hole in a relativistic theory.
Seminars to come

Wednesday 9 January 2019, 14h00 – 15h30
Physics of active matter: A personal overview
Hugues Chaté (SPEC, CEA Saclay) 


