Using the static Taub universe as an example, we study the effect of curvature anisotropy on symmetry breaking of self-interacting scalar field. The one-loop effective potential of a λφ4 field with arbitrary coupling (ξ) is computed by ζ-function regularization. It is expressed as a perturbative series in a small anisotropy parameter α measuring the deformation from the spherical Einstein universe with radius of curvature α. This result is used for analyzing the symmetry behavior of such a system as a function of the geometric (α,α) and field (ξ,λ) parameters. The result is also used to address the question of whether and how curvature anisotropy can affect the inflationary scenario, old or new. We find that for a massless scalar field conformally coupled to the background with a prolate configuration (negative scalar curvature) the phase transition is of second order, in which case inflation to the extent necessary for cosmological purposes becomes highly unlikely. for the massless minimally coupled scalar field, first-order phase transitions can occur for a certain range of the radius and deformation parameter. If the curvature radius in the axisymmetric direction is held fixed, increasing deformation can restore the symmetry, whereas if the shape is held constant but the size is allowed to vary, decreasing the radius of the universe can induce symmetry breaking. For the minimally coupled field in a closed universe with high curvature a term linear in the background field in the effective potential appears. The barrier thus generated in the effective potential replaces the broad plateau of the flat-space Coleman-Weinberg potential. The meaning and implication of these results are discussed.
- Taub universe,