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  Is there Pair production in between charged plates

+ 6 like - 0 dislike

In classical electromagnetic theory, If parallel plates are charged oppositely and placed close to each other, there will be no charge will not flow from one plate to another.

How does this situation change if one considers Quantum electrodynamics? Can the electric field in between the plates cause pair production? What is the probability, if it happens? How does one apply the formalism of quantum field theory to such a question ? I am rather new to the subject.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2015-03-23 11:09 (UTC), posted by SE-user Prathyush
asked Dec 12, 2012 in Theoretical Physics by Prathyush (705 points) [ no revision ]

1 Answer

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Yes, the effect you're looking for is called Schwinger pair production. It requires immensely strong electric fields (of the order of $10^{18}$ V/m) for a constant field.

One of the methods for computing the rate is the worldline method, described briefly here. To follow it, some knowledge of effective action methods are required.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2015-03-23 11:09 (UTC), posted by SE-user twistor59
answered Dec 12, 2012 by twistor59 (2,500 points) [ no revision ]
On the experimental side there exists a talk on verification, qgf.uni-jena.de/gk_quantenmedia/Texte/… , and a publication on the subject arxiv.org/abs/0901.2631 .

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2015-03-23 11:09 (UTC), posted by SE-user anna v

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