Fate of the classical false vacuum
WoS ID: 000089977200079
Scopus ID: 16644398639
Thermalization of configurations with an initial white noise power spectrum is studied in numerical simulations of a classical one-component Phi^4 theory in 2 + 1 dimensions, coupled to a small amplitude homogenous external field. The study is performed for energy densities corresponding to the broken symmetry phase of the system in equilibrium. The effective equation of the order parameter motion is reconstructed from its trajectory which starts from an initial value near the metastable point and ends in the stable ground state. This phenomenological theory quantitatively accounts for the decay of the false vacuum. The large amplitude transition of the order parameter between the two minima displays characteristics reflecting dynamical aspects of the Maxwell construction.