Potentially Missing Physics of the Early Universe: Nonlinear Vacuum Polarization in Intense Blackbody Radiation

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Description

The standard Big Bang universe model is mainly based on linear interactions, except during exotic periods such as inflation. The purpose of the present proposal is to explore the effects, if any, of vacuum polarization in the very high energy density environment of the early universe. These conditions can be found today in astrophysical settings and may also be emulated in the laboratory using high intensity advanced lasers. Shortly after the Big Bang, there once existed a time when the energy density of the universe corresponded to a temperature in the range 10{sup 8} - 10{sup 9} K, sufficient to ... continued below

Physical Description

PDF-file: 11 pages; size: 0.4 Mbytes

Creation Information

Wu, S Q & Hartemann, F V April 13, 2010.

Context

This report is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 16 times . More information about this report can be viewed below.

Who

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this report or its content.

Publisher

Provided By

UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Serving as both a federal and a state depository library, the UNT Libraries Government Documents Department maintains millions of items in a variety of formats. The department is a member of the FDLP Content Partnerships Program and an Affiliated Archive of the National Archives.

Contact Us

What

Descriptive information to help identify this report. Follow the links below to find similar items on the Digital Library.

Description

The standard Big Bang universe model is mainly based on linear interactions, except during exotic periods such as inflation. The purpose of the present proposal is to explore the effects, if any, of vacuum polarization in the very high energy density environment of the early universe. These conditions can be found today in astrophysical settings and may also be emulated in the laboratory using high intensity advanced lasers. Shortly after the Big Bang, there once existed a time when the energy density of the universe corresponded to a temperature in the range 10{sup 8} - 10{sup 9} K, sufficient to cause vacuum polarization effects. During this period, the nonlinear vacuum polarization may have had significant modifications on the propagation of radiation. Thus the thermal spectrum of the early universe may have been starkly non-Planckian. Measurements of the cosmic microwave background today show a spectrum relatively close to an ideal blackbody. Could the early universe have shown spectral deviations due to nonlinear vacuum effects? If so, is it possible to detect traces of those relic photons in the universe today? Found in galactic environments, compact objects such as blazars and magnetars can possess astronomically large energy densities that far exceed anything that can be created in the laboratory. Their field strengths are known to reach energy levels comparable to or surpassing the energy corresponding to the Schwinger critical field E {approx} 10{sup 18} V/m. Nonlinear vacuum effects become prominent under these conditions and have garnered much interest from the astronomical and theoretical physics communities. The effects of a nonlinear vacuum may be of crucial importance for our understanding of these objects. At energies of the order of the electron rest mass, the most important interactions are described by quantum electrodynamics (QED). It is predicted that nonlinear photon-photon interactions will occur at energies approaching the Schwinger critical field. The basic process is the appearance of vacuum polarization, or the creation of the virtual electron-positron pair by vacuum fluctuations, as shown in Fig.1. These quantum processes can be described by an effective field theory for the electromagnetic field where the effects of virtual processes appear as small corrections. First derived by Heisenberg and Euler, this theory describes the corrections to classical electromagnetic theory due to photon-photon scattering [1]. An overview of nonlinear vacuum effects as formulated through the Heisenberg-Euler Lagrangian can be found in [2].

Physical Description

PDF-file: 11 pages; size: 0.4 Mbytes

Language

Item Type

Identifier

Unique identifying numbers for this report in the Digital Library or other systems.

  • Report No.: LLNL-TR-427949
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • DOI: 10.2172/1012718 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1012718
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc836960

Collections

This report is part of the following collection of related materials.

Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

What responsibilities do I have when using this report?

When

Dates and time periods associated with this report.

Creation Date

  • April 13, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Dec. 7, 2016, 7:01 p.m.

Usage Statistics

When was this report last used?

Yesterday: 0
Past 30 days: 3
Total Uses: 16

Interact With This Report

Here are some suggestions for what to do next.

Start Reading

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Wu, S Q & Hartemann, F V. Potentially Missing Physics of the Early Universe: Nonlinear Vacuum Polarization in Intense Blackbody Radiation, report, April 13, 2010; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc836960/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.