Thermal decay of the cosmological constant into black holes

Andrés Gomberoff, Marc Henneaux, Claudio Teitelboim, Frank Wilczek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We show that the cosmological constant may be reduced by thermal production of membranes by the cosmological horizon, analogous to a particle “going over the top of the potential barrier”, rather than tunneling through it. The membranes are endowed with charge associated with the gauge invariance of an antisymmetric gauge potential. In this new process, the membrane collapses into a black hole; thus, the net effect is to produce black holes out of the vacuum energy associated with the cosmological constant. We study here the corresponding Euclidean configurations (“thermalons”) and calculate the probability for the process in the leading semiclassical approximation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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