The charged vacuum in over-critical fields

J. Rafelski, B. Müller, W. Greiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


The concept of over-critical fields, i.e. fields in which spontaneous, energy-less electron-position pair creation may occur, is discussed. It is shown that only a charged vacuum can be a stable ground state of the overcritical field. The time-dependent treatment confirms previous results for the cross sections for the auto-ionizing positrons. The questions in connection with the classical Dirac wave functions in over-critical fields are extensively discussed in the frame of the self-consistent formulation of QED including the effects of vacuum polarization and self-energy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-604
Number of pages20
JournalNuclear Physics, Section B
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 21 1974

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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