Detectors for probing relativistic quantum physics beyond perturbation theory

Brown, E, Martin-Martinez, E, Menicucci, N and Mann, R 2013, 'Detectors for probing relativistic quantum physics beyond perturbation theory', Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology, vol. 87, no. 8, 084062, pp. 1-19.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

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Title Detectors for probing relativistic quantum physics beyond perturbation theory
Author(s) Brown, E
Martin-Martinez, E
Menicucci, N
Mann, R
Year 2013
Journal name Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Volume number 87
Issue number 8
Article Number 084062
Start page 1
End page 19
Publisher American Physical Society
Abstract We develop a general formalism for a nonperturbative treatment of harmonic-oscillator particle detectors in relativistic quantum field theory using continuous-variable techniques. By means of this we forgo perturbation theory altogether and reduce the complete dynamics to a readily solvable set of first-order, linear differential equations. The formalism applies unchanged to a wide variety of physical setups, including arbitrary detector trajectories, any number of detectors, arbitrary time-dependent quadratic couplings, arbitrary Gaussian initial states, and a variety of background spacetimes. As a first set of concrete results, we prove nonperturbatively - and without invoking Bogoliubov transformations - that an accelerated detector in a cavity evolves to a state that is very nearly thermal with a temperature proportional to its acceleration, allowing us to discuss the universality of the Unruh effect. Additionally we quantitatively analyze the problems of considering single-mode approximations in cavity field theory and show the emergence of causal behavior when we include a sufficiently large number of field modes in the analysis. Finally, we analyze how the harmonic particle detector can harvest entanglement from the vacuum. We also study the effect of noise in time-dependent problems introduced by suddenly switching on the interaction versus ramping it up slowly (adiabatic activation).
Subject Quantum Information, Computation and Communication
Field Theory and String Theory
DOI - identifier 10.1103/PhysRevD.87.084062
Copyright notice © 2013 American Physical Society.
ISSN 1550-7998
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