Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/203491
Title:
Structure and Decay in the QED Vacuum
Author:
Labun, Lance
Issue Date:
2011
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This thesis is a guide to a selection of the author's published work that connect and contribute to understanding the vacuum of quantum electrodynamics in strong, prescribed electromagnetic fields. This theme is elaborated over the course of two chapters: The first chapter sets the context, defining the relevant objects and conditions of the study and reviewing established knowledge upon which this study builds. The second chapter organizes and explains important results appearing in the published work. The papers 1. (Labun and Rafelski, 2009) "Vacuum Decay Time in Strong External Fields" 2. (Labun and Rafelski, 2010a) "Dark Energy Simulacrum in Nonlinear Electrodynamics" 3. (Labun and Rafelski, 2010b) "QED Energy-Momentum Trace as a Force in Astrophysics" 4. (Labun and Rafelski, 2010c) "Strong Field Physics: Probing Critical Acceleration and Inertia with Laser Pulses and Quark-Gluon Plasma" 5. (Labun and Rafelski, 2010d) "Vacuum Structure and Dark Energy" 6. (Labun and Rafelski, 2011) "Spectra of Particles from Laser-Induced Vacuum Decay" are presented in their published format as appendices. Related literature is cited throughout the body where it directly supports the content of this overview; more extensive references are found within the attached papers. This study begins with the first non-perturbative result in quantum electrodynamics, a result obtained by Heisenberg and Euler (1936) for the energy of a zero-particle state in a prescribed, long-wavelength electromagnetic field. The resulting Euler-Heisenberg effective potential generates a nonlinear theory of electromagnetism and exhibits the ability of the electrical fields to decay into electronpositron pairs. Context for phenomena arising from the Euler-Heisenberg effective potential is established by considering the energy-momentum tensor of a general nonlinear electromagnetic theory. The mass of a field configuration is defined, and I discuss two of its consequences pertinent to efforts to observe vacuum decay. I develop a method for non-perturbative evaluation of a trace component of the energymomentum tensor and discuss its significance and consequences. I study the effect of the energy-momentum trace as part of a Euler-Heisenberg-generated modification to the Lorentz force. Modifications of the energy-momentum tensor from the Maxwell theory are evaluated numerically and compared to those arising from Born-Infeld electromagnetism and the Euler-Heisenberg effective potential for a scalar electron. Finally, I explore how this study guides investigation into how vacuum structure can generate the cosmological dark energy.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Physics
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Physics
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Rafelski, Johann

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleStructure and Decay in the QED Vacuumen_US
dc.creatorLabun, Lanceen_US
dc.contributor.authorLabun, Lanceen_US
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis thesis is a guide to a selection of the author's published work that connect and contribute to understanding the vacuum of quantum electrodynamics in strong, prescribed electromagnetic fields. This theme is elaborated over the course of two chapters: The first chapter sets the context, defining the relevant objects and conditions of the study and reviewing established knowledge upon which this study builds. The second chapter organizes and explains important results appearing in the published work. The papers 1. (Labun and Rafelski, 2009) "Vacuum Decay Time in Strong External Fields" 2. (Labun and Rafelski, 2010a) "Dark Energy Simulacrum in Nonlinear Electrodynamics" 3. (Labun and Rafelski, 2010b) "QED Energy-Momentum Trace as a Force in Astrophysics" 4. (Labun and Rafelski, 2010c) "Strong Field Physics: Probing Critical Acceleration and Inertia with Laser Pulses and Quark-Gluon Plasma" 5. (Labun and Rafelski, 2010d) "Vacuum Structure and Dark Energy" 6. (Labun and Rafelski, 2011) "Spectra of Particles from Laser-Induced Vacuum Decay" are presented in their published format as appendices. Related literature is cited throughout the body where it directly supports the content of this overview; more extensive references are found within the attached papers. This study begins with the first non-perturbative result in quantum electrodynamics, a result obtained by Heisenberg and Euler (1936) for the energy of a zero-particle state in a prescribed, long-wavelength electromagnetic field. The resulting Euler-Heisenberg effective potential generates a nonlinear theory of electromagnetism and exhibits the ability of the electrical fields to decay into electronpositron pairs. Context for phenomena arising from the Euler-Heisenberg effective potential is established by considering the energy-momentum tensor of a general nonlinear electromagnetic theory. The mass of a field configuration is defined, and I discuss two of its consequences pertinent to efforts to observe vacuum decay. I develop a method for non-perturbative evaluation of a trace component of the energymomentum tensor and discuss its significance and consequences. I study the effect of the energy-momentum trace as part of a Euler-Heisenberg-generated modification to the Lorentz force. Modifications of the energy-momentum tensor from the Maxwell theory are evaluated numerically and compared to those arising from Born-Infeld electromagnetism and the Euler-Heisenberg effective potential for a scalar electron. Finally, I explore how this study guides investigation into how vacuum structure can generate the cosmological dark energy.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectPhysicsen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplinePhysicsen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorRafelski, Johannen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMazumdar, Sumitendraen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberShupe, Michaelen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberSu, Shufangen_US
dc.contributor.committeemembervan Kolck, Ubirajaraen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRafelski, Johannen_US
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