Wednesday, November 21, 2012

1211.4815 (Julien Sabin)

Charge renormalization and static electron/positron pair production for
a nonlinear Dirac model with weak interactions

Julien Sabin
The Hartree-Fock approximation of Quantum Electrodynamics provides a rigorous framework for the description of relativistic electrons in external fields. This nonlinear model takes into account the infinitely many virtual electrons of Dirac's vacuum as well as the Coulomb interactions between all the particles. The state of the system is an infinite-rank projection satisfying a nonlinear equation. In this paper, we construct solutions to this equation, in the regime of weak interactions (that is, small coupling constant $\alpha$), and strong external fields (that is, large atomic charge $Z$ such that $\alpha Z:=\kappa$ stays fixed). In this regime, we are able to remove the ultraviolet cut-off $\Lambda$ as soon as $\alpha\log\Lambda$ stays fixed. As an application of this result, we compare the critical strength $\kappa_c(\alpha)$ of the external potential needed to produce an additional particle in the vacuum, when $\alpha=0$ or $\alpha>0$. We prove that $\lim_{\alpha\to0}\kappa_c(\alpha)/\kappa_c(0)> 1$, and we identify the limit exactly. Because of the dielectric behavior of Dirac's vacuum, static electron/positron pair production occurs in the interacting case for a stronger field that in the non-interacting case, which is a mere consequence of charge renormalization.
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