5
votes
1answer
41 views

Vacuums and free space

Do physicists use the terms "vacuum," "quantum vacuum," and "free space" synonymously? For example, I have read that based on conservation arguments, the spontaneous splitting of a photon into an ...
4
votes
1answer
92 views

The relation between classical and quantum vacua

First let me clarify what I mean by vacuum. Suppose we are concerned with a theory of fields $\phi ^i$ defined on a stationary globally hyperbolic spacetime $M$ (I want the spacetime to be stationary ...
4
votes
0answers
87 views

Could energy be stored into (not extracted from) the quantum zero point field (like a battery)?

In order to explain the question clearly, I will make a short introduction. In 1962, Josephson predicted that for a sufficiently thin insulating layer, it should be possible for Cooper pairs to ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

After using annihilation operator on vacuum state, why it is $0$ instead of vacuum?

For bosonic systems, why $a|0\rangle=0$ and not $a|0\rangle=|0\rangle$?
4
votes
1answer
110 views

Definition of vacuum in field theory; Connection between the classical definition and the connection to QFT

I am a bit confused by what is defined to be a vacuum in field theory. Classically a vaccum state is defined to be the state where the field sits at some minima of the potential $\frac{\partial ...
1
vote
1answer
129 views

Expectation values in QFT?

What is the meaning of different expectation values in QFT? For instance: $$\langle 0|{\cal O}(0)|q,s\rangle$$ or $$\langle 0|{\cal O}(0)|0\rangle$$ with ${\cal O}$ being some operator and ...
0
votes
1answer
122 views

Particle Spacing in a Vacuum

Four questions: (To start off, I know very little about physics it isn't even funny (I probably use a ton of wrong terms here and leave out vital information, if so I will try to edit it in as you ...
9
votes
1answer
455 views

The vacuum in quantum field theories: what is it?

In Section 10.1 of his textbook Quantum Field Theory for Mathematicians, Ticciati writes Assuming that the background field or classical source $j(x)$ is zero at space-time infinity, the presence ...
7
votes
1answer
205 views

Understanding multiple instanton contributions to vacuum tunneling in a double potential well

I'm trying to understand the method of calculating the transition probability of one vacuum state to another in a double well potential, using instantons. The reference I am following is Sidney ...
4
votes
2answers
577 views

Creation of particle anti-particle pairs

I was reading some QFT notes and there is one point that I don't understand, they are justifying why we need QFT saying that the number of particles is not preserved once we consider special ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

Is there any correlation between the energy density fluctuations of two separate systems in a vacuum state?

I think the title says it all. What I am curious to find out is if there are any observable changes in the fluctuations of zero-point energy in a vacuum state system that are the consequence of ...
0
votes
1answer
103 views

Difference between $|0\rangle$ and $0$ in the context of isospin

I know this has been asked before, but I am confused having read it in the context of isospin, where the creation operators act on the "vacuum" state (representing no particles) $$a^\dagger_m|0\rangle ...
9
votes
3answers
398 views

What is the difference between $|0\rangle $ and $0$?

What is the difference between $|0\rangle $ and $0$ in the context of $$a_- |0\rangle =0~?$$
4
votes
1answer
286 views

What are the current (popular(ish)) approaches to modelling the quantum nature of spacetime at the Planck scale?

My guess at a list of them would be: spin foams, casual sets, non-commutative geometry, Machian theories, twistor theory or strings and membranes existing in some higher-dimensional geometry... ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Are we living in a false vacuum? Is there any way to tell?

I was thinking of the noted 1980 paper by Sidney Coleman and Frank de Luccia--"Gravitational effects of and on vacuum decay"-- about metastable vacuum states that could tunnel to a lower energy "true ...