Regulating eternal inflation II: The great divide

Anthony Aguirre, Tom Banks, Matthew Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


In a previous paper, two of the authors presented a "regulated" picture of eternal inflation. This picture both suggested and drew support from a conjectured discontinuity in the amplitude for tunneling from positive to negative vacuum energy, as the positive vacuum energy was sent to zero; analytic and numerical arguments supporting this conjecture were given. Here we show that this conjecture is false, but in an interesting way. There are no cases where tunneling amplitudes are discontinuous at vanishing cosmological constant; rather, the space of potentials separates into two regions. In one region decay is strongly suppressed, and the proposed picture of eternal inflation remains viable; sending the (false) vacuum energy to zero in this region results in an absolutely stable asymptotically flat space. In the other region, we argue that the space-time at vanishing cosmological constant is unstable, but not asymptotically Minkowski. The consequences of our results for theories of supersymmetry breaking are unchanged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number065
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


  • Solitons Monopoles and Instantons
  • dS vacua in string theory

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