Vorticity, kinetic energy, and suppressed gravitational-wave production in strong first-order phase transitions

Cutting, Daniel, Hindmarsh, Mark and Weir, David J (2020) Vorticity, kinetic energy, and suppressed gravitational-wave production in strong first-order phase transitions. Physical Review Letters, 125 (2). a021302 1-6. ISSN 0031-9007

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Abstract

We have performed the first three-dimensional simulations of strong first-order thermal phase transitions in the early universe. For deflagrations, we find that the rotational component of the fluid velocity increases as the transition strength is increased. For detonations, however, the rotational velocity component remains constant and small. We also find that the efficiency with which kinetic energy is transferred to the fluid falls below theoretical expectations as we increase the transition strength. The probable origin of the kinetic energy deficit is the formation of reheated droplets of the metastable phase during the collision, slowing the bubble walls. The rate of increase in the gravitational wave energy density for deflagrations in strong transitions is suppressed compared to that predicted in earlier work. This is largely accounted for by the reduction in kinetic energy. Current modeling therefore substantially overestimates the gravitational wave signal for strong transitions with deflagrations, in the most extreme case by a factor of 103. Detonations are less affected.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2020 08:16
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2021 09:01
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/92933

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