## van Vleck determinants: Traversable wormhole spacetimes

Prompted by various questions regarding the putative existence, stability, and chronological properties of traversable wormholes, a number of authors have presented calculations of the renormalized stress-energy tensor in wormhole spacetimes. In particular, the use of point-splitting techniques leads to expressions that contain the van Vleck determinant as a common prefactor. Recent technical advances permit one to undertake extensive computations of the van Vleck determinant in traversable wormhole spacetimes, at least in the short-throat flat-space approximation. This paper presents several such computations for various model spacetimes. Implications with regard to Hawking's chronology protection conjecture are discussed. In particular, any attempt tomore »