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Vacuum energy and the spacetime index of refraction: A new synthesis

By M. Nouri-Zonoz

Abstract

In 1+3 (threading) formulation of general relativity spacetime behaves analogous to a medium with a specific index of refraction with respect to the light propagation. Accepting the reality of zero point energy, through the equivalence principle, we elevate this analogy to the case of virtual photon propagation in a quantum vacuum in a curved background spacetime. Employing this new idea one could examine the response of vacuum energy to the presence of a stationary gravitational field in its different quantum field theoretic manifestations such as Casimir effect and Lamb shift. The results are given explicitly for a Casimir apparatus in the weak field limit of a Kerr hole.Comment: 10 pages, RevTex, more typos corrected (combined with arXiv:1003.0614 published in PRD

Topics: General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology, High Energy Physics - Theory
Publisher: 'American Physical Society (APS)'
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1103/PhysRevD.82.044047
OAI identifier: oai:arXiv.org:0904.2904

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