25,948 research outputs found

### Quantum Inequalities on the Energy Density in Static Robertson-Walker Spacetimes

Quantum inequality restrictions on the stress-energy tensor for negative
energy are developed for three and four-dimensional static spacetimes. We
derive a general inequality in terms of a sum of mode functions which
constrains the magnitude and duration of negative energy seen by an observer at
rest in a static spacetime. This inequality is evaluated explicitly for a
minimally coupled scalar field in three and four-dimensional static
Robertson-Walker universes. In the limit of vanishing curvature, the flat
spacetime inequalities are recovered. More generally, these inequalities
contain the effects of spacetime curvature. In the limit of short sampling
times, they take the flat space form plus subdominant curvature-dependent
corrections.Comment: 18 pages, plain LATEX, with 3 figures, uses eps

### Gravitons and Lightcone Fluctuations II: Correlation Functions

A model of a fluctuating lightcone due to a bath of gravitons is further
investigated. The flight times of photons between a source and a detector may
be either longer or shorter than the light propagation time in the background
classical spacetime, and will form a Gaussian distribution centered around the
classical flight time. However, a pair of photons emitted in rapid succession
will tend to have correlated flight times. We derive and discuss a correlation
function which describes this effect. This enables us to understand more fully
the operational significance of a fluctuating lightcone. Our results may be
combined with observational data on pulsar timing to place some constraints on
the quantum state of cosmological gravitons.Comment: 16 pages and two figures, uses eps

### Semiclassical Gravity Theory and Quantum Fluctuations

We discuss the limits of validity of the semiclassical theory of gravity in
which a classical metric is coupled to the expectation value of the stress
tensor. It is argued that this theory is a good approximation only when the
fluctuations in the stress tensor are small. We calculate a dimensionless
measure of these fluctuations for a scalar field on a flat background in
particular cases, including squeezed states and the Casimir vacuum state. It is
found that the fluctuations are small for states which are close to a coherent
state, which describes classical behavior, but tend to be large otherwise. We
find in all cases studied that the energy density fluctuations are large
whenever the local energy density is negative. This is taken to mean that the
gravitational field of a system with negative energy density, such as the
Casimir vacuum, is not described by a fixed classical metric but is undergoing
large metric fluctuations. We propose an operational scheme by which one can
describe a fluctuating gravitational field in terms of the statistical behavior
of test particles. For this purpose we obtain an equation of the form of the
Langevin equation used to describe Brownian motion.Comment: In REVTEX. 20pp + 4 figures(not included, available upon request)
TUTP-93-

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