Bubble of nothing decays of unstable theories

Patrick Draper, Isabel Garcia Garcia, Benjamin Lillard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Theories with compact extra dimensions are sometimes unstable to decay into a bubble of nothing - an instability resulting in the destruction of spacetime. We investigate the existence of these bubbles in theories where the moduli fields that set the size of the extra dimensions are stabilized at a positive vacuum energy - a necessary ingredient of any theory that aspires to describe the real world. Using bottom-up methods, and focusing on a five-dimensional toy model, we show that four-dimensional de Sitter vacua admit bubbles of nothing for a wide class of stabilizing potentials. We show that, unlike ordinary Coleman-De Luccia tunneling, the corresponding decay rate remains non-zero in the limit of vanishing vacuum energy. Potential implications include a lower bound on the size of compactified dimensions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL121701
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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