Nonperturbative analysis of the gravitational waves from a first-order electroweak phase transition

Gould, Oliver; Kozaczuk, Jonathan; Niemi, Lauri; Ramsey-Musolf, Michael J.; Tenkanen, Tuomas V. I.; Weir, David J. (2019). Nonperturbative analysis of the gravitational waves from a first-order electroweak phase transition. Physical review. D - particles, fields, gravitation, and cosmology, 100(11) American Physical Society 10.1103/PhysRevD.100.115024

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We present the first end-to-end nonperturbative analysis of the gravitational wave power spectrum from a thermal first-order electroweak phase transition (EWPT), using the framework of dimensionally reduced effective field theory and preexisting nonperturbative simulation results. We are able to show that a first-order EWPT in any beyond the Standard Model (BSM) scenario that can be described by a Standard Model-like effective theory at long distances will produce gravitational wave signatures too weak to be observed at existing and planned detectors. This implies that colliders are likely to provide the best chance of exploring the phase structure of such theories, while transitions strong enough to be detected at gravitational wave experiments require either previously neglected higher-dimension operators or light BSM fields to be included in the dimensionally reduced effective theory and therefore necessitate dedicated nonperturbative studies. As a concrete application, we analyze the real singlet-extended Standard Model and identify regions of parameter space with single-step first-order transitions, comparing our findings to those obtained using a fully perturbative method. We discuss the prospects for exploring the electroweak phase diagram in this model at collider and gravitational wave experiments in light of our nonperturbative results.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Albert Einstein Center for Fundamental Physics (AEC)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Theoretical Physics

UniBE Contributor:

Tenkanen, Tuomas Ville Ilmari


500 Science > 530 Physics




American Physical Society




Esther Fiechter

Date Deposited:

29 Jan 2020 16:17

Last Modified:

29 Jan 2020 16:17

Publisher DOI:


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