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From the Fermi Scale to Cosmology

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Front. Astron. Space Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fspas.2018.00040

Cosmological Aspects of Higgs Vacuum Metastability

  • 1Imperial College London, United Kingdom
  • 2University College London, United Kingdom

The current central experimental values of the parameters of the Standard Model give rise to a striking conclusion: metastability of the electroweak vacuum is favoured over absolute stability. A metastable vacuum for the Higgs boson implies that it is possible, and in fact inevitable, that a vacuum decay takes place with catastrophic consequences for the Universe. The metastability of the Higgs vacuum is especially significant for cosmology, because there are many mechanisms that could have triggered the decay of the electroweak vacuum in the early Universe. We present a comprehensive review of the implications from Higgs vacuum metastability for cosmology along with a pedagogical discussion of the related theoretical topics, including renormalization group improvement, quantum field theory in curved spacetime and vacuum decay in field theory.

Keywords: Higgs boson, Vacuum stability, quantum tunneling, quantum field theory, Cosmological inflation

Received: 18 Sep 2018; Accepted: 21 Nov 2018.

Edited by:

Alberto Salvio, European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Switzerland

Reviewed by:

Vyacheslav I. Dokuchaev, Institute for Nuclear Research (RAS), Russia
Kazuharu Bamba, Division of Human Support System, Faculty of Symbiotic Systems Science, Fukushima University, Japan
Yohei Ema, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron, Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren (HZ), Germany  

Copyright: © 2018 Rajantie, Markkanen and Stopyra. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Arttu Rajantie, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom, a.rajantie@imperial.ac.uk