Eternal inflation, bubble collisions, and the disintegration of the persistence of memory
Abstract
We compute the probability distribution for bubble collisions in an inflating false vacuum which decays by bubble nucleation. Our analysis generalizes previous work of Guth, Garriga, and Vilenkin to the case of general cosmological evolution inside the bubble, and takes into account the dynamics of the domain walls that form between the colliding bubbles. We find that incorporating these effects changes the results dramatically: the total expected number of bubble collisions in the past lightcone of a typical observer is N ~ γ V_{f}/V_{i} , where γ is the fastest decay rate of the false vacuum, V_{f} is its vacuum energy, and V_{i} is the vacuum energy during inflation inside the bubble. This number can be large in realistic models without tuning. In addition, we calculate the angular position and size distribution of the collisions on the cosmic microwave background sky, and demonstrate that the number of bubbles of observable angular size is N_{LS} ~ (Ω_{k})^{1/2}N, where Ω_{k} is the curvature contribution to the total density at the time of observation. The distribution is almost exactly isotropic.
 Publication:

Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
 Pub Date:
 August 2009
 DOI:
 10.1088/14757516/2009/08/036
 arXiv:
 arXiv:0901.0007
 Bibcode:
 2009JCAP...08..036F
 Keywords:

 High Energy Physics  Theory;
 Astrophysics  Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics;
 General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology
 EPrint:
 18+15 pages, 5 figures, 4 appendices v2: appendix added, minor changes