A new gauge singlet scalar field can undergo a strongly first-order phase transition (PT) leading to gravitational waves (GW) potentially observable at aLIGO and stabilizes the electroweak vacuum at the same time by ensuring that the Higgs quartic coupling remains positive up to at least the grand unification (GUT) scale. aLIGO (O5) is potentially sensitive to cosmological PTs at 107–108 GeV, which coincides with the requirement that the singlet scale is less than the standard model (SM) vacuum instability scale, which is between 108 GeV and 1014 GeV. After sampling its parameter space, we identify three benchmark points with a PT at about T≈107 GeV in a gauge singlet extension of the SM. We calculate the nucleation temperature, order parameter, characteristic time scale, and peak amplitude and frequency of GW from bubble collisions during the PT for the benchmarks and find that, in an optimistic scenario, GW from such a PT may be in reach of aLIGO (O5). We confirm that the singlet stabilizes the electroweak vacuum while remaining consistent with zero-temperature phenomenology as well. Thus, this scenario presents an intriguing possibility that aLIGO may detect traces of fundamental physics motivated by vacuum stability at an energy scale that is well above the reach of any other experiment.
- COSMOLOGICAL PHASE-TRANSITIONS
- ELECTROWEAK VACUUM
- HIGGS INFLATION