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Vacuum Destabilisation by Dense Astrophysical Objects

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We describe how dense matter environments source a contribution to moduli potentials and analyse the conditions required to initiate either decompactification or a local shift in moduli vevs. This introduces the possibility that dense objects may destabilise the vacuum. We consider astrophysical objects such as neutron stars and cosmic strings as well as cosmological and black hole singularities. We find that neutron stars cannot destabilise realistic Planck coupled moduli, which would require objects many orders of magnitude denser. However gravitational collapse, either in matter-dominated universes or in black hole formation, inevitably leads to a destabilisation of the compact volume causing a super-inflationary expansion of the extra dimensions.

This talk is part of the Cosmology Lunch series.

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