Collision induced decay of metastable baby skyrmions
Author(s)Dwyer, Daniel A. (Daniel Andrew), 1976-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Physics.
MetadataShow full item record
Many extensions of the standard model predict heavy metastable particles which may be modeled as solitons (skyrmions of the Higgs field), relating their particle number to a winding number. Previous work has shown that the electroweak interactions admit processes in which these solitons decay, violating standard model baryon number. We motivate the hypothesis that baryon-number-violating decay is a generic outcome of collisions between these heavy particles. We do so by exploring a 2+ 1 dimensional theory which also possesses metastable skyrmions. We use relaxation techniques to determine the size, shape and energy of static solitons in their ground state. These solitons could decay by quantum mechanical tunneling. Classically, they are metastable: only a finite excitation energy is required to induce their decay. We attempt to induce soliton decay in a classical simulation by colliding pairs of solitons. We analyze the collision of solitons with varying inherent stabilities and varying incident velocities and orientations. Our results suggest that winding-number violating decay is a generic outcome of collisions. All that is required is sufficient (not necessarily very large) incident velocity; no fine-tuning of initial conditions is required.
Thesis (S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Physics, 2000.Includes bibliographical references (p. 89-90).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Physics.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology