A comparison between semiclassical gravity and semiclassical electrodynamics

Kiefer, C. ; Padmanabhan, T. ; Singh, T. P. (1991) A comparison between semiclassical gravity and semiclassical electrodynamics Classical and Quantum Gravity, 8 (8). L185-L185. ISSN 0264-9381

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Official URL: http://iopscience.iop.org/0264-9381/8/8/007

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0264-9381/8/8/007


It is known how the equation of motion for a quantum field in a classical curved spacetime can be derived as an approximation to the Wheeler-DeWitt equation. In order to obtain a better understanding of this derivation, the authors develop an analogous approximation for quantum electrodynamics. The authors show that quantum field theory in an external, classical electromagnetic field can be obtained as a limiting case of quantum electrodynamics, by expanding the full wavefunctional in a power series in the coupling constant e2. The important difference in the two derivations is that unlike the metric, the electromagnetic potential has to be scaled with respect to the coupling constant before the semiclassical limit can be obtained.

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