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Saturday, November 05, 2011

Very, Very High Energy Physics

Oh great mother of academia! Let us drink the milk of your beneficence! Give us the mere reflection of your golden fount of knowledge! Today let our awestruck musings betoken our everlasting obeisance to your gracious  munificence as we visit the most profound quest our feeble imaginings have yet to encounter: precisely and unapologetically NOTHING. Viz:

On 'Nothing'
Adam R. Brown, Alex Dahlen
(Submitted on 1 Nov 2011)
Nothing-the absence of spacetime-can be either an endpoint of tunneling, as in the bubble of nothing, or a starting point for tunneling, as in the quantum creation of a universe. We argue that these two tunnelings can be treated within a unified framework, and that, in both cases, nothing should be thought of as the limit of anti-de Sitter space in which the curvature length approaches zero. To study nothing, we study decays in models with perturbatively stabilized extra dimensions, which admit not just bubbles of nothing-topology-changing transitions in which the extra dimensions pinch off and a hole forms in spacetime-but also a whole family of topology-preserving transitions that nonetheless smoothly hollow out and approach the bubble of nothing in one limit. The bubble solutions that are close to this limit, bubbles of next-to- nothing, give us a controlled setting in which to understand nothing. Armed with this understanding, we are able to embed proposed mechanisms for the reverse process, tunneling from nothing to something, within the relatively secure foundation of the Coleman-De Luccia formalism and show that the Hawking-Turok instanton does not mediate the quantum creation of a universe.
High Energy Physicist? 

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