Spontaneously broken symmetry restoration of quantum fields in the vicinity of neutral and electrically charged black holes

Gonçalo M. Quinta, Antonino Flachi, José P.S. Lemos

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1 Citation (Scopus)


We consider the restoration of a spontaneously broken symmetry of an interacting quantum scalar field around neutral, i.e., Schwarzschild, and electrically charged, i.e., Reissner-Nordström, black holes in four dimensions. This is done through a semi-classical self-consistent procedure, by solving the system of non-linear coupled equations describing the dynamics of the background field and the vacuum polarization. The black hole at its own horizon generates an indefinitely high temperature which decreases to the Hawking temperature at infinity. Due to the high temperature in its vicinity, there forms a bubble around the black hole in which the scalar field can only assume a value equal to zero, a minimum of energy. Thus, in this region the symmetry of the energy and the field is preserved. At the bubble radius, there is a phase transition in the value of the scalar field due to a spontaneous symmetry breaking mechanism. Indeed, outside the bubble radius the temperature is low enough such that the scalar field settles with a nonzero value in a new energy minimum, indicating a breaking of the symmetry in this outer region. Conversely, there is symmetry restoration from the outer region to the inner bubble close to the horizon. Specific properties that emerge from different black hole electric charges are also noteworthy. It is found that colder black holes, i.e., more charged ones, have a smaller bubble length of restored symmetry. In the extremal case the bubble has zero length, i.e., there is no bubble. Additionally, for colder black holes, it becomes harder to excite the quantum field modes, so the vacuum polarization has smaller values. In the extremal case, the black hole temperature is zero and the vacuum polarization is never excited.

Original languageEnglish
Article number139
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr 1


  • Black Holes
  • Effective Field Theories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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