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- Fachbereich Physik (3) (remove)

Abstract: Standard methods of nonlinear dynamics are used to investigate the stability of particles, branes and D-branes of abelian Born-Infeld theory. In particular the equation of small fluctuations about the D-brane is derived and converted into a modified Mathieu equation and - complementing earlier low-energy investigations in the case of the dilaton-axion system - studied in the high-energy domain. Explicit expressions are derived for the S-matrix and absorption and reflection amplitudes of the scalar fluctuation in the presence of the D-brane. The results confirm physical expectations and numerical studies of others. With the derivation and use of the (hitherto practically unknown) high energy expansion of the Floquet exponent our considerations also close a gap in earlier treatments of the Mathieu equation.

Abstract: The periodic bounce configurations responsible for quantum tunneling are obtained explicitly and are extended to the finite energy case for minisuperspace models of the Universe. As a common feature of the tunneling models at finite energy considered here we observe that the period of the bounce increases with energy monotonically. The periodic bounces do not have bifurcations and make no contribution to the nucleation rate except the one with zero energy. The sharp first order phase transition from quantum tunneling to thermal activation is verified with the general criterions.