How to Run Through Walls: Dynamics of Bubble and Soliton Collisions

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It has recently been shown in high resolution numerical simulations that relativistic collisions of bubbles in the context of a multivacua potential may lead to the creation of bubbles in a new vacuum. In this paper, we show that scalar fields with only potential interactions behave like free fields during high-speed collisions; the kick received by them in a collision can be deduced simply by a linear superposition of the bubble wall profiles. This process is equivalent to the scattering of solitons in 1+1 dimensions. We deduce an expression for the field excursion (shortly after a collision), which is related simply to the field difference between the parent and bubble vacua, i.e. contrary to expectations, the excursion cannot be made arbitrarily large by raising the collision energy. There is however a minimum energy threshold for this excursion to be realized. We verify these predictions using a number of 3+1 and 1+1 numerical simulations. A rich phenomenology follows from these collision-induced excursions—they provide a new mechanism for scanning the landscape, they might end/begin inflation, and they might constitute our very own big bang, leaving behind a potentially observable anisotropy.


Physical Review D