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Bounds on negative energy densities in flat spacetime

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Publication details

JournalPhysical Review D
DatePublished - 15 Oct 1998
Issue number8
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)-
Original languageEnglish


We generalize results of Ford and Roman which place lower bounds-known as quantum inequalities-on the renormalized energy density of a quantum held averaged against a choice of sampling function. Ford and Roman derived their results for a specific non-compactly supported sampling function; here we use a different argument to obtain quantum inequalities for a class of smooth, even and non-negative sampling functions which are either compactly supported or decay rapidly at infinity. Our results hold in d-dimensional Minkowski space (d greater than or equal to 2) for the free real scalar field of mass m greater than or equal to 0. We discuss various features of our bounds in 2 and 4 dimensions. In particular, for massless field theory in two-dimensional Minkowski space, we show that our quantum inequality is weaker than Flanagan's optimal bound by a factor of [S0556-2821(98)03318-9].

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