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Locally covariant quantum field theory with external sources

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Publication details

JournalAnnales Henri Poincare
DateE-pub ahead of print - 16 Oct 2014
DatePublished (current) - 16 Oct 2015
Issue number10
Number of pages63
Pages (from-to)2303-2365
Early online date16/10/14
Original languageEnglish


We provide a detailed analysis of the classical and quantized theory of a multiplet of inhomogeneous Klein-Gordon fields, which couple to the spacetime metric and also to an external source term; thus the solutions form an affine space. Following the formulation of affine field theories in terms of presymplectic vector spaces as proposed in [Annales Henri Poincare 15, 171 (2014)], we determine the relative Cauchy evolution induced by metric as well as source term perturbations and compute the automorphism group of natural isomorphisms of the presymplectic vector space functor. Two pathological features of this formulation are revealed: the automorphism group contains elements that cannot be interpreted as global gauge transformations of the theory; moreover, the presymplectic formulation does not respect a natural requirement on composition of subsystems. We therefore propose a systematic strategy to improve the original description of affine field theories at the classical and quantized level, first passing to a Poisson algebra description in the classical case. The idea is to consider state spaces on the classical and quantum algebras suggested by the physics of the theory (in the classical case, we use the affine solution space). The state spaces are not separating for the algebras, indicating a redundancy in the description. Removing this redundancy by a quotient, a functorial theory is obtained that is free of the above mentioned pathologies. These techniques are applicable to general affine field theories and Abelian gauge theories. The resulting quantized theory is shown to be dynamically local.

Bibliographical note

63 pages

    Research areas

  • math-ph, hep-th, math.MP, 81T20, 81T05

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