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Tunnelling and dynamical violation of the Null Energy Condition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Jean Alexandre, Janos Polonyi

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhys. Rev. D
Issue number10
Accepted/In press30 Apr 2021
Published20 May 2021

Bibliographical note

7 pages, 1 figure


  • 2101.08640v2

    2101.08640v2.pdf, 293 KB, application/pdf

    Uploaded date:05 May 2021

King's Authors


The Null Energy Condition is considered the most fundamental of the energy conditions, on which several key results, such as the singularity theorems, are based. The Casimir effect is one of the rare equilibrium mechanisms by which it is breached without invoking modified gravity or non-minimal couplings to exotic matter. In this work we propose an independent dynamical mechanism by which it is violated, with the only ingredients being standard (but non-perturbative) QFT and a minimally coupled scalar field in a double-well potential. As for the Casimir effect, we explain why the Averaged Null Energy Condition should not be violated by this mechanism. Nevertheless, the transient behaviour could have profound impacts in Early Universe Cosmology.

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