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 ∼ γV 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) 1/2N, where Ω k is the curvature contribution to the total density at the time of observation. The distribution is almost exactly isotropic.
- Cosmological phase transitions
- Initial conditions and eternal universe
- String theory and cosmology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics