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      Spacetime foam as a quantum thermal bath

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          Abstract

          An effective model for the spacetime foam is constructed in terms of nonlocal interactions in a classical background. In the weak-coupling approximation, the evolution of the low-energy density matrix is determined by a master equation that predicts loss of quantum coherence. Moreover, spacetime foam can be described by a quantum thermal field that, apart from inducing loss of coherence, gives rise to effects such as gravitational Lamb and Stark shifts as well as quantum damping in the evolution of the low-energy observables.

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          Wormholes in spacetime

           S. Hawking (1988)
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            On Evolution Laws Taking Pure States to Mixed States in Quantum Field Theory

            It has been argued that any evolution law taking pure states to mixed states in quantum field theory necessarily gives rise to violations of either causality or energy-momentum conservation, in such a way as to have unacceptable consequences for ordinary laboratory physics. We show here that this is not the case by giving a simple class of examples of Markovian evolution laws where rapid evolution from pure states to mixed states occurs for a wide class of states with appropriate properties at the ``Planck scale", suitable locality and causality properties hold for all states, and the deviations from ordinary dynamics (and, in particular, violations of energy-momentum conservation) are unobservably small for all states which one could expect to produce in a laboratory. In addition, we argue (via consideration of other, non-Markovian models) that conservation of energy and momentum for all states is not fundamentally incompatible with causality in dynamical models in which pure states evolve to mixed states.
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              Author and article information

              Journal
              09 January 1998
              1998-04-13
              Article
              10.1103/PhysRevLett.80.2508
              gr-qc/9801024
              Custom metadata
              IMAFF-RCA-97-09
              Phys.Rev.Lett. 80 (1998) 2508-2511
              RevTeX 3.01, 4 pages
              gr-qc hep-th quant-ph

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