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Particle detectors and the zero mode of a quantum field

Mart�n-Mart�nez, Eduardo; Louko, Jorma

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Eduardo Mart�n-Mart�nez

Professor of Mathematical Physics


We study the impact of the zero mode of a quantum field on the evolution of a particle detector. For a massless scalar field in a periodic cavity, we show that the impact of the zero mode on the Unruh-DeWitt detector and its derivative-coupling generalization is necessarily nonvanishing but can be made negligible in some limits, including those commonly occurring in nonrelativistic quantum optics. For the derivative-coupling detector this can be accomplished by just tuning the zero mode's initial state, but the standard Unruh-DeWitt detector requires a more subtle and careful tuning. Applications include an inertial detector with arbitrary velocity, where we demonstrate the regularity of the ultrarelativistic limit, and a detector with uniform acceleration. © 2014 American Physical Society.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 22, 2014
Online Publication Date Jul 3, 2014
Publication Date Jul 3, 2014
Deposit Date Oct 18, 2018
Publicly Available Date Oct 18, 2018
Journal Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Print ISSN 1550-7998
Electronic ISSN 1550-2368
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 90
Issue 2
Article Number 024015
Public URL
Publisher URL


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