Quantum Transitions Between Minkowski and de Sitter Spacetimes

Senarath P. de Alwis, Francesco Muia, Veronica Pasquarella, Fernando Quevedo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Quantum transitions among de Sitter and Minkowski spacetimes through bubble nucleation are revisited using the Hamiltonian formalism. We interpret tunnelling probabilities as relative probabilities: the ratio of the squared wave functionals (Formula presented.), with (Formula presented.) solutions of the Wheeler-DeWitt equation corresponding to the spacetimes (Formula presented.) and (Formula presented.), gives the probability of nucleating the state (Formula presented.) relative to the probability of having the state (Formula presented.). We find that the transition amplitude from de Sitter to de Sitter for both up- and down-tunnelling agrees with the original result based on Euclidean instanton methods. Expanding on the work of Fischler, Morgan and Polchinski we find that the Minkowski to de Sitter transition is possible as in the original Euclidean approach of Farhi, Guth and Guven. We further generalise existing calculations by computing the wave function away from the turning points for the classical motion of the wall in de Sitter to de Sitter transitions. We address several challenges for the viability of the Minkowski to de Sitter transition, including consistency with detailed balance and AdS/CFT. This sets this transition on firmer grounds but opens further questions. Our arguments also validate the Coleman-De Luccia formulae in the presence of gravity since it has no issues involving negative eigenmodes and other ambiguities of the Euclidean approach. We briefly discuss the implications of our results for early universe cosmology and the string landscape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2000069
JournalFortschritte der Physik
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • de sitter spacetimes
  • quantum transitions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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