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Title: Standard Model vacuum decay with gravity
Author: Stopyra, Stephen
ISNI:       0000 0004 7658 6386
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2018
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I present a study of the vacuum instability problem in the Standard Model, with particular emphasis on the effect of gravitational corrections on this process. This covers four main effects: (1) gravitational back-reaction of nucleating bubbles and their associated bounce solutions, which alters the decay rate; (2) the nucleation of true vacuum bubbles in an inflationary background; (3) the effect of non-flat backgrounds on the running of the Standard Model couplings; and (4) the effect of non-minimal Higgs-curvature coupling on decay rates in the Standard Model. The key result presented is the discovery of previously unseen bounce solutions contributing to Standard Model vacuum decay during inflation.
Supervisor: Rajantie, Arttu Sponsor: Imperial College London
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral