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M. Gleiser and J. Thorarinson- Phase transition in U(1) configuration space: Oscillons as remnants of vortex-antivortex annihilation

M. Gleiser and J. Thorarinson- Phase transition in U(1) configuration space: Oscillons as remnants of vortex-antivortex annihilation

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 M. Gleiser and J. Thorarinson (2007),
Phase transition in U(1) configuration space:Oscillons as remnants of vortex-antivortex annihilation
. Physical Review D, 76 (4).Art. No. 041701.Copyright ©2007 The American Physical Society.Link to article on publisher's website:http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.76.041701 
 
Phase transition in U(1) configuration space: Oscillons as remnants of vortex-antivortexannihilation
M. Gleiser*and J. Thorarinson
 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755, USA
(Received 31 January 2007; published 15 August 2007)We show that the annihilation of vortex-antivortex pairs can lead to very long-lived oscillon states in 2dAbelian Higgs models. The emergence of oscillons is controlled by the ratio of scalar and vector fieldmasses,
m
s
=m
v
2
and can be described as a phase transition in field configuration space with criticalvalue
c
0
:
13
6
2
: only models with
 < 
c
lead to oscillonlike remnants. The critical behavior of the system obeys a power law
O
j
ÿ
c
j
o
, where
O
is an order parameter indicating the presenceof oscillons and
o
0
:
2
2
2
is the critical exponent.
DOI:10.1103/PhysRevD.76.041701PACS numbers: 11.27.+d, 11.15.Ex, 98.80.Cq
I. INTRODUCTION
In relativistic and nonrelativistic field theories, modelsthat exhibit spontaneous symmetry breaking support aplethora of topologically stable field configurations ordefects [1], static solutions of the nonlinear equations of motion with properties determined by the topology of thevacuum manifold. One of the simplest examples is the kink in 1d

4
models, the result of a discrete symmetry break-ing: the vacuum has two disconnected points and the kink interpolates between them. Once formed, kinks cannot bedestroyed. Unless, of course, they meet an antikink. Low-momentum kink-antikink scattering leads to the formationof breathers, long-lived time-dependent bound states char-acterized by large-amplitude oscillations of the scalar field[2]. At larger velocities, breathers havebeen shownto formonly at certain windows or resonances [3]. Although

4
breathers have not been seen to decay in numerical studies[3], they may decay via nonperturbative effects [4], radiat- ing their energy to spatial infinity.In 2d, the simplest stable topological defect with local-ized energy is the Nielsen-Olesen vortex found in AbelianHiggs models (AHMs) [1]. These vortices are of greatinterest in many areas of physics, e.g., as prototypes forstudying nonperturbative effects in the standard model andits extensions, or, in the nonrelativistic limit, as Abrikosovvortices in the Landau-Ginzburg theory of superconduc-tivity [5]. Vortex-like solutions may also have a variety of cosmological roles, being formed during a phase transitionat the grand unified theory (GUT) scale or thereafter [1,6] or during reheating after inflation [7].Inspired by the existence of long-lived breathers in 1d

4
models, in this work we investigate the annihilation of boundconfigurationsofvortices andantivortices inAHMs.Vortices and antivortices carry equal and opposite topo-logical charge. This allows for their annihilation. The onlyadjustable parameter in the model is
=
2
g
2
, the ratioof squared masses of the scalar and vector fields. We willshow that for
smaller than a critical value
c
, vortex-antivortex (henceforth vav) annihilation does give rise tohigher-dimensional breatherlike configurations known asoscillons [8], also characterized by long-lived oscillationsofthe Higgsfield magnitude. Theywere foundin 2d[9],3d[10], and higher-dimensional real scalar field models [11]. Their properties have been studied in great detail [12].Long-lived oscillatory solutions have also been found inthe decay of sphalerons in the 1d AHM [13]. Recently,oscillons were found in 3d gauged SU(2) models [14] andgauged
SU
2
U
1
models [15] when the Higgs mass istwice the
boson mass.In the above references, the procedure was to solve therelevant equations of motion assuming or not sphericalsymmetry and using an initial profile that approximatesthe oscillon solution. So long as certain conditions aresatisfied [11], the system relaxes into oscillons as it evolvesin time. Here, we show that oscillons may also emergedynamically, as remnants of vav annihilation. (Previousattempts to find oscillons in vortex-vortex scattering wereunsuccessful [16].) Our finding complements recent resultswhere oscillons were shown to form after a rapid quench inreal scalar field models with symmetric [17] and asymmet-ric [18] potentials. The fact that oscillons may emergedynamically raises their stakes considerably: they canplay a crucial role during spontaneous symmetry breakingin a variety of physical systems and situations, from theearly universe to high energy collisions, and possibly insuperfluids and superconductors.
II. THE MODEL
The Abelian Higgs Lagrangian density is
 
L
D
y
D
ÿ
14


ÿ
4
y
ÿ
2
2
 ;
(1)where
D
@
ÿ
igA
. The scalar and vector massesare, respectively,
m
s

and
m
v

2
g
. Their ratiodefines the parameter
m
s
=m
v
2
=
2
g
2
. In the non-relativistic limit,
1
defines the boundary between
*gleiser@dartmouth.edu
thorvaldur@dartmouth.eduPHYSICAL REVIEW D
76,
041701(R) (2007)
RAPID COMMUNICATIONS
1550-7998
=
2007
=
76(4)
=
041701(5) 041701-1
©
2007 The American Physical Society
 
Type I (
<
1
) and Type II (
 >
1
) superconductors. Withthe scaling
A
!
ÿ
1
 A
,
!
ÿ
1
and
x
!
gx
, theenergy is
E
2
R
d
2
 x
, where the Hamiltonian den-sity in the temporal gauge
A
0
0
is
 
12
E
2
B
2
@
t
y
@
t
D
i
y
D
i
2
y
ÿ
1
2
:
(2)From Eq. (1), one derives the equations of motion
 
D
D
ÿ
2
j
j
2
ÿ
2
;
@

 j
2
g
Im
f
y
D
g
:
(3)Nielsen-Olesen vortices are solutions satisfying
r
e
in
 f 
r
and
A
r
ÿ
n=gr
r
, with boundary condi-tions at spatial innity [
r
 x
2
y
2
1
=
2
!1
]
 f 
r
 ;
r
!
1
.
n
is the winding number. At the vortexcenter,
0
0
0
. Vortices have a quantized mag-netic flux
B
2
n=g
. For a vav pair, the net flux is zero.Quantities are measured in units of 
1
.
III. LATTICE IMPLEMENTATION
We work on the temporal gauge
A
0
0
and follow theHamiltonian implementation for lattice gauge theories de-scribed in Refs. [16,19]. The discrete Hamiltonian is
 
X
 x
 
 x
 ;
 x
x
2
 ;
(4)where the density is
 
 
y
 x
 
 x
D
y
 x
D
 x
12
 ~ E
 x
E
 x
12
x
2
X
i
Þ
 j
 A
i x
 j
ÿ
 A
i x
ÿ
 A
 j x
i
 A
 j x
2
y
 x
 x
 ;
(5)and the lattice covariant derivative is
D
e
ÿ
igxA
 x
 x
ÿ
 x
x
ÿ
1
. The Hamiltonian density isinvariant under that lattice gauge transformations
 
 x
!
e
i
 x
 x
;
 
 x
!
e
i
 x
 
 x
;
 A
 x
!
 A
 x
 x
ÿ
 x
=
gx
;
E
 x
!
E
 x
:
(6)The equations of motion are then
 
@
t
 
 x
ÿ
@
 x
X
 x
 
 x
 ;
 x
;
@
t
 x
@
 
 x
X
 x
 
 x
 ;
 x
(7)for each of the fields
 
f
;E
i
g
and
f
;A
i
g
. Thetemporal evolution follows a second-order leapfrogscheme with
t <x=

2
. Provided that the initial condi-tions satisfy the lattice Gauss’s law constraint,
 
1
x
X
i
E
i x
ÿ
i
ÿ
E
i x
i
 
 x
y
 x
ÿ
 
y
 x
 x
 ;
(8)it will remain satisfied during the evolution. This can beimplemented by, e.g., setting all temporal derivatives tozero as the simulation starts. Energy is conserved to
O
t
2
. We used
t
0
:
02
and
x
0
:
2
and checkedthat the results are consistent for
x
f
0
:
1
$
0
:
3
g
.Larger values compromise the accuracy of the results.Since we use periodic boundary conditions, to preventenergy from the initial condition to come back to theconfiguration we use a lattice much larger then the regionoccupied by the vav pair. However, as oscillons are verylong-lived, we also use an adiabatic absorbing wall [9]implemented by adding gauge invariant
 x;y
 
termsto the evolution equations, where
 x;y
has support onlyon a band near the lattice boundary and slowly increasesfrom
0
!
0
:
1
.
IV. VORTEX-ANTIVORTEX ANNIHILATION:RESULTS
We set the initial conditions by using an
ansatz
thatapproximates a vav pair separated by an initial distance
0
. This is then allowed to evolve in time under theequations of motion, Eq. (3), at high viscosity [we set
 x;y
1
] until it settles into the vav configuration. Atlarge
0
and for
1
(the case of interest to us) wecomputed numerically the total energy of a vortex, findinga good fit for
 
E
v
2

1
=
5
 ;
(9)which agrees near the region
1
with the result of [20].Also, the contribution in gauge fields to the vortex energy,
E
g
E
2
B
2
=
2
, can be fitted as
 
E
g
 

6
1
=
4
:
(10)After the initial
ansatz
settles into a vav pair, we let themapproach until their centers reach the distance
i
4
m
ÿ
1
s
,large enough to avoid any tail overlap [20]. At this point,we set the viscosity to zero and let the pair attract andscatter. We then repeat the experiment for different valuesof 
.In Fig.1we show a sequence of snapshots of an anni-hilation process for
0
:
08
, where an oscillon is formed.We plot both the amplitude
j
j
2
and the magnetic field
B
z
.One can see the outgoing wave front of radiation (center)as the vortices coalesce into the oscillon and its oscillatingdipole magnetic field (right).In Fig.2we plot the associated energy (
) and Chern-Simons (
n
CS
) densities, where
n
CS
4
 
ÿ
1
"

 A

.Note that oscillons have a distinctive signature (localizedoscillations of 
n
cs
, top right) and thus could have aninteresting role in theories with current anomalies of theform
@
B
/
~
leading to baryogenesis, including dur-
M. GLEISER AND J. THORARINSON PHYSICAL REVIEW D
76,
041701(R) (2007)
RAPID COMMUNICATIONS
041701-2

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