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Title: Artificial dynamical effects in quantum field theory

Journal Article · · Nature Reviews Physics

In Newtonian mechanics, studying a system in a non-Galilean reference frame can lead to inertial pseudoforces appearing, such as the centrifugal force that seems to arise in dynamics analysed in a rotating frame. Likewise, artificial effects may arise in relativistic quantum field theory (QFT) if a system is studied in a framework that violates Poincaré invariance. In this Perspective, we highlight how such issues complicate the traditional canonical quantization of QFTs and can lead to a subjective description of natural phenomena. By contrast, the treatment of the same problem using light-front quantization is free from spurious pseudoeffects because Poincaré invariance is effectively preserved for all practical intents and purposes. We illustrate these statements using several examples: the Gerasimov–Drell–Hearn (GDH) relation, a fundamental feature of QFT; the absence of any measurable impact of Lorentz contraction in high-energy collisions; and the fictitious character of vacuum fluctuation contributions to the cosmological constant.

Research Organization:
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (TJNAF), Newport News, VA (United States)
Sponsoring Organization:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Nuclear Physics (NP)
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-06OR23177; AC02-76SF00515
Report Number(s):
JLAB-PHY-21-3526; DOE/OR/23177-5358
Journal Information:
Nature Reviews Physics, Journal Name: Nature Reviews Physics; ISSN 2522-5820
Country of Publication:
United States

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