Protecting the stability of the electroweak vacuum from Planck-scale gravitational effects

Vincenzo Branchina, Filippo Contino, Apostolos Pilaftsis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We investigate the stability of the standard model electroweak (EW) vacuum in the presence of Planck-scale suppressed operators of the type φ2n/MP2n-4 that involve the Higgs field φ and could, in principle, be induced by quantum gravity effects. We show how minimal embeddings of the standard model (SM) in supergravity (SUGRA) can stabilize the EW vacuum against such operators up to very high values of the induced supersymmetry breaking scale MS, which may well be above the onset of the so-called SM metastability scale of 1011 GeV. In particular, we explicitly demonstrate how discrete R symmetries could be invoked to suppress the occurrence of harmful Planck-scale operators of the form φ2n/MP2n-4 to arbitrary higher powers of n. We analyze different scenarios of Planck-scale gravitational physics and derive lower limits on the power n that is required in order to protect our EW vacuum from dangerous rapid decay. The significance of our results for theories of low-scale quantum gravity is illustrated.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number075001
    JournalPhysical Review D
    Issue number7
    Early online date2 Oct 2018
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


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