Critical acceleration and quantum vacuum

Johann Rafelski, Lance Labun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Little is known about the physics frontier of strong acceleration; both classical and quantum physics need further development in order to be able to address this newly accessible area of physics. In this lecture we discuss what strong acceleration means, possible experiments using electron-laser collisions, and data available from ultra-relativistic heavy ion collisions. We review the foundations of the current understanding of charged particle dynamics in presence of critical forces and discuss the radiation reaction inconsistency in electromagnetic theory and the apparent relation with quantum physics and strong field particle production phenomena. The role of the quantum vacuum as an inertial reference frame is emphasized, as well as the absence of such a 'Machian' reference frame in the conventional classical limit of quantum field theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1340014
JournalModern Physics Letters A
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 30 2013


  • Acceleration
  • Electron-laser collisions
  • Mach's principle
  • Quantum vacuum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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