Thumbnail
Access Restriction
Open

Author Barnaby, Neil
Source arXiv.org
Content type Text
File Format PDF
Date of Submission 2004-06-14
Language English
Subject Domain (in DDC) Computer science, information & general works ♦ Natural sciences & mathematics ♦ Physics
Subject Keyword High Energy Physics - Theory ♦ physics:hep-th
Abstract Certain configurations of D-branes, for example wrong dimensional branes or the brane-antibrane system, are unstable to decay. This instability is described by the appearance of a tachyonic mode in the spectrum of open strings ending on the brane(s). The decay of these unstable systems is described by the rolling of the tachyon field from the unstable maximum to the minimum of its potential. We analytically study the dynamics of the inhomogeneous tachyon field as it rolls towards the true vacuum of the theory in the context of several different tachyon effective actions. We find that the vacuum dynamics of these theories is remarkably similar and in particular we show that in all cases the tachyon field forms caustics where second and higher derivatives of the field blow up. The formation of caustics signals a pathology in the evolution since each of the effective actions considered is not reliable in the vicinity of a caustic. We speculate that the formation of caustics is an artifact of truncating the tachyon action, which should contain all orders of derivatives acting on the field, to a finite number of derivatives. Finally, we consider inhomogeneous solutions in p-adic string theory, a toy model of the bosonic tachyon which contains derivatives of all orders acting on the field. For a large class of initial conditions we conclusively show that the evolution is well behaved in this case. It is unclear if these caustics are a genuine prediction of string theory or not.
Description Comment: 23 pages, 5 figures; accepted for publication in JHEP. Revised derivation of eikonal equation for the DBI action. Added comments concerning the relationship between p-adic string theory and tachyon matter. Added second example of inhomogeneous evolution in p-adic string theory. Misleading statements concerning caustic-free evolution removed, references added
Reference: JHEP 0407:025,2004
Educational Use Research
Learning Resource Type Article
Page Count 23


Open content in new tab

   Open content in new tab