Green's functions for off-shell electromagnetism and spacelike correlations

M. C. Land, L. P. Horwitz

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The requirement of gauge invariance for the Schwinger-DeWitt equations, interpreted as a manifestly covariant quantum theory for the evolution of a system in spacetime, implies the existence of a five-dimensional pre-Maxwell field on the manifold of spacetime and "proper time" τ. The Maxwell theory is contained in this theory; integration of the field equations over τ restores the Maxwell equations with the usual interpretation of the sources. Following Schwinger's techniques, we study the Green's functions for the five-dimensional hyperbolic field equations for both signatures ± [corresponding to O (4, 1) or O (3, 2) symmetry of the field equations] of the proper time derivative. The classification of the Green's functions follows that of the four-dimensional theory for "massive" fields, for which the "mass" squared may be positive or negative, respectively. The Green's functions for the five-dimensional field are then given by the Fourier transform over the "mass" parameter. We derive the Green's functions corresponding to the principal part ΔP and the homogeneous function Δ1; all of the Green's functions can be expressed in terms of these, as for the usual field equations with definite mass. In the O (3, 2) case, the principal part function has support for x2≥τ2, corresponding to spacelike propagation, as well as along the light cone x2=0 (for τ=0). There can be no transmission of information in spacelike directions, with this propagator, since the Maxwell field, obtained by integration over τ, does not contain this component of the support. Measurements are characterized by such an integration. The spacelike field therefore can dynamically establish spacelike correlations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-310
Number of pages12
JournalFoundations of Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1991
Externally publishedYes


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