Does zero temperature decide on the nature of the electroweak phase transition?

Harman, Christopher P D and Huber, Stephan J (2016) Does zero temperature decide on the nature of the electroweak phase transition? Journal of High Energy Physics, 2016 (5). ISSN 1029-8479

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Taking on a new perspective of the electroweak phase transition, we investigate in detail the role played by the depth of the electroweak minimum (“vacuum energy difference”). We find a strong correlation between the vacuum energy difference and the strength of the phase transition. This correlation only breaks down if a negative eigen-value develops upon thermal corrections in the squared scalar mass matrix in the broken vacuum before the critical temperature. As a result the scalar fields slide across field space toward the symmetric vacuum, often causing a significantly weakened phase transition. Phenomenological constraints are found to strongly disfavour such sliding scalar scenarios. For several popular models, we suggest numerical bounds that guarantee a strong first order electroweak phase transition. The zero temperature phenomenology can then be studied in these parameter regions without the need for any finite temperature calculations. For almost all non-supersymmetric models with phenomenologically viable parameter points, we find a strong phase transition is guaranteed if the vacuum energy difference is greater than −8.8 × 107 GeV4. For the GNMSSM, we guarantee a strong phase transition for phenomenologically viable parameter points if the vacuum energy difference is greater than −6.9×107 GeV4. Alternatively, we capture more of the parameter space exhibiting a strong phase transition if we impose a simultaneous bound on the vacuum energy difference and the singlet mass.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Research Centres and Groups: Theoretical Particle Physics Research Group
Depositing User: Richard Chambers
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2017 12:21
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 20:01

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Particle Physics Theory at Royal Holloway and SussexG0742STFC-SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FACILITIES COUNCILST/J000477/1