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Journal | Physical Review D |
---|---|

Date | Accepted/In press - 19 Dec 2019 |

Date | Published (current) - 14 Jan 2020 |

Volume | 101 |

Number of pages | 22 |

Original language | English |

We extend previous work on quantum stress tensor operators which have been averaged over finite time intervals to include averaging

over finite regions of space as well. The space and time averaging can be viewed as describing a measurement process for a stress

tensor component, such as the energy density of a quantized field in its vacuum state. Although spatial averaging reduces the probability

of large vacuum fluctuations compared to time averaging alone, we find that the probability distribution decreases more slowly than exponentially

as the magnitude of the measured energy density increases. This implies that vacuum fluctuations can sometimes dominate over thermal

fluctuations and potentially have observable effects.

over finite regions of space as well. The space and time averaging can be viewed as describing a measurement process for a stress

tensor component, such as the energy density of a quantized field in its vacuum state. Although spatial averaging reduces the probability

of large vacuum fluctuations compared to time averaging alone, we find that the probability distribution decreases more slowly than exponentially

as the magnitude of the measured energy density increases. This implies that vacuum fluctuations can sometimes dominate over thermal

fluctuations and potentially have observable effects.

© 2020, The Author(s).

## LMS Scheme 4: Professor L. H. Ford (Tufts, USA)

Project: Other project (funded) › Restricted grant

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