7,090 research outputs found

    An obstacle to populating the string theory landscape

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    We construct domain walls and instantons in a class of models with coupled scalar fields, determining, in agreement with previous studies, that many such solutions contain naked timelike singularities. Vacuum bubble solutions of this type do not contain a region of true vacuum, obstructing the ability of eternal inflation to populate other vacua. We determine a criterion that potentials must satisfy to avoid the existence of such singularities, and show that many domain wall solutions in Type IIB string theory are singular. This has profound implications for applying the program of eternal inflation to making predictions in the string theory landscape.Comment: 5 PRD style pages with 2 embedded figures. Replaced to match published versio

    Testing eternal inflation with the kinetic Sunyaev Zel'dovich effect

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    Perhaps the most controversial idea in modern cosmology is that our observable universe is contained within one bubble among many, all inhabiting the eternally inflating multiverse. One of the few way to test this idea is to look for evidence of the relic inhomogeneities left by the collisions between other bubbles and our own. Such relic inhomogeneities induces a coherent bulk flow over gigaparsec scales. Therefore, bubble collisions leave unique imprints in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) through the kinetic Sunyaev Zel'dovich (kSZ) effect, temperature anisotropies induced by the scattering of photons from coherently moving free electrons in the diffuse intergalactic medium. The kSZ signature produced by bubble collisions has a unique directional dependence and is tightly correlated with the galaxy distribution; it can therefore be distinguished from other contributions to the CMB anisotropies. An important advantage of the kSZ signature is that it peaks on arcminute angular scales, where the limiting factors in making a detection are instrumental noise and foreground subtraction. This is in contrast to the collision signature in the primary CMB, which peaks on angular scales much larger than one degree, and whose detection is therefore limited by cosmic variance. In this paper, we examine the prospects for probing the inhomogeneities left by bubble collisions using the kSZ effect. We provide a forecast for detection using cross-correlations between CMB and galaxy surveys, finding that the detectability using the kSZ effect can be competitive with constraints from CMB temperature and polarization data.Comment: 33 pages, 17 figures. Minor clarifications added in version 2, conclusions are unchange

    Escaping the crunch: gravitational effects in classical transitions

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    During eternal inflation, a landscape of vacua can be populated by the nucleation of bubbles. These bubbles inevitably collide, and collisions sometimes displace the field into a new minimum in a process known as a classical transition. In this paper, we examine some new features of classical transitions that arise when gravitational effects are included. Using the junction condition formalism, we study the conditions for energy conservation in detail, and solve explicitly for the types of allowed classical transition geometries. We show that the repulsive nature of domain walls, and the de Sitter expansion associated with a positive energy minimum, can allow for classical transitions to vacua of higher energy than that of the colliding bubbles. Transitions can be made out of negative or zero energy (terminal) vacua to a de Sitter phase, re-starting eternal inflation, and populating new vacua. However, the classical transition cannot produce vacua with energy higher than the original parent vacuum, which agrees with previous results on the construction of pockets of false vacuum. We briefly comment on the possible implications of these results for various measure proposals in eternal inflation.Comment: 21 pages, 10 figure

    Cycles in the Multiverse

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    Eternal inflation is a seemingly generic consequence of theories that give rise to accelerated expansion of the universe and possess multiple vacuum states. Making predictions in an eternally inflating universe is notoriously difficult because one must compare infinite quantities, and a wide variety of regulating procedures yield radically different results. This is the measure problem of eternal inflation. In this paper, we analyze models of eternal inflation which allow for the possibility of cyclic bubble universes: in each bubble, standard cosmological evolution is re-played over and over again. Eternal inflation can generically arise in cyclic models that include a dark energy dominated phase. In such models, several problematic consequences of standard regulating procedures, such as the youngness and Boltzmann Brain problems, are substantially alleviated. We discuss the implications for making predictions in cyclic models, as well as some general implications for understanding the measure problem in eternal inflation.Comment: 22 pages and 8 figure

    Towards observable signatures of other bubble universes

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    We evaluate the possibility of observable effects arising from collisions between vacuum bubbles in a universe undergoing false-vacuum eternal inflation. Contrary to conventional wisdom, we find that under certain assumptions most positions inside a bubble should have access to a large number of collision events. We calculate the expected number and angular size distribution of such collisions on an observer's "sky," finding that for typical observers the distribution is anisotropic and includes many bubbles, each of which will affect the majority of the observer's sky. After a qualitative discussion of the physics involved in collisions between arbitrary bubbles, we evaluate the implications of our results, and outline possible detectable effects. In an optimistic sense, then, the present paper constitutes a first step in an assessment of the possible effects of other bubble universes on the cosmic microwave background and other observables.Comment: 17 PRD-style pages including 13 embedded figures. Minor corrections to figures 4 and 7 and added discussion in Sec. III.E.2 and
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