Wednesday, July 31, 2013

1307.8106 (Itzhak Bars et al.)

Cyclic Cosmology, Conformal Symmetry and the Metastability of the Higgs    [PDF]

Itzhak Bars, Paul J. Steinhardt, Neil Turok
Recent measurements at the LHC suggest that the current Higgs vacuum could be metastable with a modest barrier (height 10^{10-12}{GeV})^{4}) separating it from a ground state with negative vacuum density of order the Planck scale. We note that metastability is problematic for big bang to end one cycle, bounce, and begin the next. In this paper, motivated by the approximate scaling symmetry of the standard model of particle physics and the primordial large-scale structure of the universe, we use our recent formulation of the Weyl-invariant version of the standard model coupled to gravity to track the evolution of the Higgs in a regularly bouncing cosmology. We find a band of solutions in which the Higgs field escapes from the metastable phase during each big crunch, passes through the bang into an expanding phase, and returns to the metastable vacuum, cycle after cycle after cycle. We show that, due to the effect of the Higgs, the infinitely cycling universe is geodesically complete, in contrast to inflation.
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