What is False vacuum: Definition and 21 Discussions

In quantum field theory, a false vacuum is a hypothetical vacuum that is stable, but not in the most stable state possible (it is metastable). It may last for a very long time in that state, but could eventually decay to the more stable state, an event known as false vacuum decay. The most common suggestion of how such a decay might happen in our universe is called bubble nucleation – if a small region of the universe by chance reached a more stable vacuum, this "bubble" (also called "bounce") would spread.
A false vacuum exists at a local minimum of energy and is therefore not stable, in contrast to a true vacuum, which exists at a global minimum and is stable.

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  1. O

    I Vacuum decay likelihood and consequences

    what is the likelihood of a vacuum decay happening, like is it something that is really considered and taken seriously by scientists or is it just wild speculation that is not really taken seriously but makes for good headlines? Also if vacuum decay does happen what exactly would be the...
  2. S

    I Is Vacuum Decay from a False to True State Impossible or Just Unlikely?

    I found this paper (https://arxiv.org/pdf/hep-th/0211160.pdf) which argues against the possibility of a decay from a metastable vacuum to a true vacuum state. However, this is the first time I've read this. Is it then impossible that a vacuum decay from a false vacuum may occur (even in...
  3. K

    I What is a False Vacuum? Understanding its Properties and Energy Differences

    Is it a chamber with almost all gases removed? Why is the energy level higher than a true vacuum?
  4. S

    A Vacuum Transitions and Lorentz Symmetry Breaking

    There are several "bumblebee" models [1], [2] where Lorentz invariance is violated usually resulting from a local vector or tensor field acquiring a nonzero vacuum expectation value We do not know whether we are in the true vacuum state or in a "false"/metastable vacuum state that could decay...
  5. S

    I From a false vacuum to a true vacuum?

    In theory (please correct me if I am wrong in any point), if our vacuum were metastable (i.e. in a "false vacuum" state), it could go through a phase transition into a stable state (a "true vacuum" state). Depending on the properties of the new vacuum, fundamental forces and particles could...
  6. T

    I Is the false vacuum theory not well accepted?

    Research into the Higgs boson suggest that the universe is in a false vacuum but I heard many physicists do not take it seriously as they think that if it were true we cannot even exist as it would have wiped us out billions of years ago. For example Katie Mack said that its like a piece of...
  7. Ranku

    I False vacuum and matter density

    The false vacuum of the inflationary universe is described as a 'peculiar state of matter'. We know that matter density in the big bang universe dilutes as ρM ∝ a-3. Is it possible to assign a dilution rate to the 'peculiar state of matter' of the false vacuum as well?
  8. A

    I Why is the inflationary potential self-interacting?

    Actually while studying the inflation phenomenon the transition of the slowly rolling scaler field from from the false vacuum to true vacuum state to a more classically stable state I actually didn't understand this transition from false vacuum to true vacuum and what actually they mean? Another...
  9. S

    A Could vacuum decay fundamentally change our universe?

    If the universe suffered a false vacuum decay, would this change physical laws? Could it change the universe so much that it would allow our universe to be a multiverse of level 1, 2, 3 and 4? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiverse
  10. M

    A Quantum fluctuations of the metastable false vacuum

    I have been trying so hard to get some answers to a few questions I have in regard to this paper: https://arxiv.org/abs/1404.1207 I think those questions can best be summarized this way: 1) A metastable false vacuum is a field and fields are just the changing value of a parameter in...
  11. S

    A Decay of false vacuum in new inflation

    In new inflation, the time scale for the decay of the false vacuum is controlled by ##- m^{2} = \frac{\partial^{2}V}{\partial\phi^{2}}\bigg|_{\phi=0}.## This is the negative mass-squared of the scalar field when it is at the top of the hill in the potential diagram. This is an adjustable...
  12. O

    B False Vacuum: Understanding its Impact on the Stability of the Universe

    According to wiki reference. If our vacuum was a false vacuum, things can be destroyed when the true vacuum appears. But is there no way or exception for true vacuum to exist that would still have stable things? For example. if the true vacuum were negative (what else is there?).. why would it...
  13. Ranku

    I Virtual Particles: Inflation vs Present Universe

    Are virtual particles of the false vacuum during inflation indistinguishable from virtual particles of the true vacuum of the present universe?
  14. Dr. Manoj

    B True/False Vacuum, Metastability & Stephen Hawking's Higgs Boson

    Hi friends. What is difference between true vacuum and false vacuum. And what is metastability? I read these words said by Stephen Hawking saying about Higgs Boson may destroy our universe. So please explain this terms, anyone!
  15. F

    I Inflation and the false vacuum

    I'm trying to understand more about how our present universe is supposed to be the result of a false vacuum falling to the present vacuum energy. I've been told (correct this if it's wrong), the universe initially underwent a kind of hyperinflation, expanding exponentially due to a much higher...
  16. J

    Higgs Boson = Universe is False Vacuum?

    http://cosmiclog.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/18/17006552-will-our-universe-end-in-a-big-slurp-higgs-like-particle-suggests-it-might?lite There are several news sites saying the discovery of the higgs boson indicates that the universe is a 'false vacuum' but they're very light on the details...
  17. E

    Chaotic Eternal Inflation vs. False Vacuum Eternal Inflation

    I hope someone can help me understand some inflation principles. In Alan Guth's popular book: The Inflationary Universe, he presents a schematic of a false vacuum universe decaying into pocket universes. The false vacuum expands exponentially as the pocket universes are continuously...
  18. B

    Can someone explain to me how a false vacuum works?

    Can someone explain to me how a false vacuum works? Thanks
  19. H

    Exploring the Possibility of a False Vacuum Bubble

    It's been hypothesized that, at a high enough energy density (say, in a collision of particles), a bubble of true vacuum could be formed, which would then grow at the speed of light and envelop our universe, which is currently in a false vacuum, thus making all matter disintegrate. Is this possible?
  20. N

    Dark Matter & Energy/Mass of False Vacuum

    I'm not trying to advance a pet theory here .. it's really just a question. Why don't physicists serious consider the possibility of energy/mass contained in the false vacuum as the source of Dark Matter? At least I've never heard of a serious one in these terms. Real particles and their...
  21. P

    Understanding the Concept of False Vacuum: Explained and Debunked

    I have heard of the expression False Vacuum, but don't understand what it is. Could anyone explain it for me? Also, is it true that if enough energy was produced (ie. in an accelerater or solar radiation hitting the atmosphere) that it could be colapsed. Thanks.