Volume 101, Number 6, March 2013
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||The Physics of Elementary Particles and Fields|
|Published online||21 March 2013|
Tunnelling of the 3rd kind: A test of the effective non-locality of quantum field theory
1 Department of Physics, Durham University - Durham DH1 3LE, UK, EU
2 Theoretisch-Physikalisches Institut, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena - Max-Wien-Platz 1, D-07743 Jena, Germany, EU
3 Helmholtz-Institut Jena - Fröbelstieg 3, D-07743 Jena, Germany, EU
4 Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Heidelberg - Heidelberg, Germany, EU
Received: 11 February 2013
Accepted: 5 March 2013
Integrating out virtual quantum fluctuations in an originally local quantum field theory results in an effective theory which is non-local. In this letter we argue that tunnelling of the 3rd kind —where particles traverse a barrier by splitting into a pair of virtual particles which recombine only after a finite distance— provides a direct test of this non-locality. We sketch a quantum-optical setup to test this effect, and investigate observable effects in a simple toy model.
PACS: 11.10.Lm – Nonlinear or nonlocal theories and models / 37.10.Vz – Mechanical effects of light on atoms, molecules, and ions / 42.50.Pq – Cavity quantum electrodynamics; micromasers
© EPLA, 2013
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