Solitons are stable, non-singular solutions to the classical equations of motion of non-linear field theory. Their energy is localized and finite and their shape remains unaltered during propagation. For this reason they represent particle-like states in field theory. Their mass and their size can be very large compared to those of the elementary particles in the theory. Therefore, a soliton can be viewed as a single particle-like object containing a large number of individual particles. The chiral Abelian Higgs model contains an interesting class of non-topological solitons, that carry a non-zero fermion number NF or Chern-Simons number NCS, which is the same because of the chiral anomaly. They consist of a bosonic configuration of gauge and Higgs fields characterized by NCS and are stable for sufficiently large NCS. In the first part of this thesis we study the properties of these anomalous solitons. We find that their energy-versus-fermion-number ratio is given by E ∼ NCS3/4 or E ∼ NCS2/3 depending on the structure of the scalar potential. For the former case we prove, using some inequalities from functional analysis, that there is a lower bound on the soliton energy, which reads E ≥ c NCS3/4 , where c is some parameter expressed through the masses and coupling constants of the theory. We construct the anomalous solitons numerically for two different choices for the potential accounting both for Higgs and gauge dynamics. Solutions are obtained as a function of NCS and the Higgs mass mH and we find that they are not spherically symmetric. In addition, we outline a relation between the structure of anomalous Abelian solitons and the intermediate state observed in type-I superconductors in external magnetic fields. In the limit of large NCS anomalous solitons can be described in the thin wall approximation, which allows us to remove the Higgs field from consideration. For absolute stability of anomalous solitons, it is essential that the gauge group is Abelian. If the gauge group is non-Abelian, fermions can always be converted to a gauge vacuum configuration with an arbitrary integer NCS. Therefore, if anomalous non-Abelian solitons exist, they could only be metastable. Interestingly, anomalous solitons can potentially exist in the electroweak theory, because this theory contains all necessary ingredients, namely chiral fermions and an Abelian gauge symmetry. In the second part of this thesis we investigate this possibility. Using the numerical solutions for anomalous Abelian solitons as a starting point, we construct the corresponding numerical solutions in electroweak theory. These solutions have a similar structure as the Abelian solitons with the Abelian gauge field replaced by the Z boson field. The charged boson fields W± vanish identically. However, for weak mixing angle θω > 0, the solutions have an associated magnetic field as well, that can be characterized by a magnetic dipole moment mem. Furthermore, the shape of the solutions and the structure of the gauge fields depend on θω. In the last part of this work we analyze the classical stability of the numerical solutions in the electroweak case. It is clear that the solutions are stable in the semilocal limit sin θω → 1, where the Abelian case is reproduced exactly. For arbitrary θω, we consider perturbations in the Higgs field and in the gauge fields Z and A and show that the solutions are stable with respect to these perturbations. For small θω however, the solutions are unstable with respect to the formation of a condensate of charged boson fields W± in the centre of the solution. This W-condensation instability is essentially the same, which also destabilizes the Z-string solution of electroweak theory.

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Record created 2007-12-13, last modified 2018-03-17