Gravitational correction to vacuum polarization

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We consider the gravitational correction to (electronic) vacuum polarization in the presence of a gravitational background field. The Dirac propagators for the virtual fermions are modified to include the leading gravitational correction (potential term) which corresponds to a coordinate-dependent fermion mass. The mass term is assumed to be uniform over a length scale commensurate with the virtual electron-positron pair. The on-mass shell renormalization condition ensures that the gravitational correction vanishes on the mass shell of the photon, i.e., the speed of light is unaffected by the quantum field theoretical loop correction, in full agreement with the equivalence principle. Nontrivial corrections are obtained for off-shell, virtual photons. We compare our findings to other works on generalized Lorentz transformations and combined quantum-electrodynamic gravitational corrections to the speed of light which have recently appeared in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number022112
JournalPhysical Review A
Volume91
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 13 2015

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vacuum
polarization
fermions
Lorentz transformations
electron-positron pairs
photons
quantum electrodynamics
equivalence
propagation
electronics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

Cite this

Gravitational correction to vacuum polarization. / Jentschura, U.

In: Physical Review A, Vol. 91, No. 2, 022112, 13.02.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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