Probing the Quantum Vacuum

Pertubative Effective Action Approach in Quantum Electrodynamics and its Application

  • Walter Dittrich
  • Holger Gies

Part of the Springer Tracts in Modern Physics book series (STMP, volume 166)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XI
  2. Pages 1-2
  3. Back Matter
    Pages 191-241

About this book


This review is devoted to an investigation of the physical properties of the vacuum of quantum electrodynamics, making use of the perturbative-effective action approach. The effect of probing the vacuum with external perturbations is considered, and its response is analyzed after averaging over the high-energy degrees of freedom. The book is written for scientists active in the field as well as for students who want to become familiar with the more advanced computational strategies of external-field problems, some of which are described in detail. Schwinger's proper-time method is the backbone of the book. Many recent results are presented, while others which are widespread in the literature are rederived in a unifying and compact way. The book ranges from the full quantum theory to quantum-induced nonlinear electrodynamics, with a variety of applications to light propagation, photon splitting, and light-by-light scattering. Special emphasis is put on systems at finite temperature.


Non-linear Electrodynamics Vacuum Polarization electrodynamics quantum electrodynamics quantum theory quantum vacuum scattering

Authors and affiliations

  • Walter Dittrich
    • 1
  • Holger Gies
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Theoretical PhysicsUniversity of TuebingenTuebingenGermany

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-540-67428-3
  • Online ISBN 978-3-540-45585-1
  • Series Print ISSN 0081-3869
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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