Defect production in slow first-order phase transitions

Julian Borrill, T. W.B. Kibble, Tanmay Vachaspati, Alexander Vilenkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We study the formation of vortices in a U(1) gauge theory following a first-order transition proceeding by bubble nucleation, in particular, the effect of a low velocity of expansion of the bubble walls. To do this, we use a two-dimensional model in which bubbles are nucleated at random points in a plane and at random times and then expand at some velocity vb<c. Within each bubble, the phase angle is assigned one of three discrete values. When bubbles collide, magnetic "fluxons" appear: if the phases are different, a fluxon-antifluxon pair is formed. These fluxons are eventually trapped in three-bubble collisions when they may annihilate or form quantized vortices. We study in particular the effect of changing the bubble expansion speed on the vortex density and the extent of the vortex-antivortex correlation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1934-1943
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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