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Quantum interest, negative energies

and black holes

Motivation for studying matter that violates classical


energy conditions, in particular negative energy:
Such matter is required for many bizarre e ects in GR,
including worm holes, warp drives and time machines.
Negative energies could be used to violate the 2nd law
of thermodynamics.
Negative energy uxes seem to play a crucial role in
black hole evaporation.
Classically, one needs to violate energy conditions to
avoid singularities, so negative energy may play an
important role in any singularity-free theory of
quantum gravity.
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Quantum Interest
The quantum inequalities of Ford and Roman, and in
particular the \quantum interest" conjecture, place severe
restrictions on the magnitude and duration of negative
energy uxes that may arise in free quantum elds in at
space.
L.H. Ford, Phys. Rev. D 43, 3972 (1991).
L. H. Ford and T. A. Roman, Phys. Rev. D51, 4277
(1995).
L.H. Ford and T.A. Roman,
The Quantum Interest Conjecture, gr-qc/9901074
F. Pretorius, Quantum interest for scalar elds
in Minkowski spacetime, gr-qc/9903055

The Quantum Interest Conjecture: Any negative energy


pulse observed (the \loan") must be accompanied
(\repaid") by a positive pulse within a certain maximum
time interval, and the longer the separation between the
pulses the greater the excess of positive energy relative to
the negative is needed to satisfy the quantum inequalities
(i.e., \ repaid with interest").
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An accelerating mirror can produce a negative ux, and


provides an intructive example of the quantum interest
conjecture:
Fc

= 121

da
d

(in 2D; ~ = c = 1)
t

observer

mirror

The quantum interest conjecture can be proven as a direct


consequence of the quantum inequalities, which are
restrictions on the sampled energy density h i that may be
seen by an inertial observer:

hi h
h i=
Z

1
1

min i; where

1
1

( ) (t)dt;

g t

( ) = 1 and

g t dt

( ) 0 8t:

g t

For the massless scalar eld in 2D Minkowski spacetime


Z

h mini = 241

1 g0 (t)2
dt;
g
(
t
)
1

(Flanagan's optimal bound {


E. E. Flanagan, Phys. Rev. D 56, 4922 (1997))

and in 4D

Z 1
2
1
1
=
2
00
h min i = 16 2
g
(t) dt; (4D):
1

(C.J. Fewster and S.P. Eveson, Phys. Rev. D 58, 084010


(1998))

To prove quantum interest, sample a distribution (t) twice,


the 2nd time with a scaled version g(t) of the original
function g(t):
1
g (t) = g (t=x); x
1:
x

Then

h i:
min i = min
xd

In terms of this scaling relation, we can formulate the


quantum interest conjecture as follows:
1. For any given distribution of negative energy sampled
between t0 =2; t0=2], there is a maximum scale factor
xmax corresponding to a sampling window
xmax t0 =2; xmax t0 =2] outside of which positive energy
must be seen.
r(t)

g(t)
positive flux
g(t)
- xmax t0
2

-x t0
2

-t0
2

t0
2

negative flux

x t0
2

xmax t0
2

In particular, de ne y as h i = yh min i. Then


R t 0 =2

(t)g(t)dt
1
t
0 =2
d
1
xmax = R
:
y t0 =2 (t)g (t=x
max )dt
t0 =2
2. De ne the quantum interest as
Ep

jEmj = (1 + ):
Then one can always nd a scale factor x beyond which
0:
1
xmax d 1
(1 + ) g(b=x) g(a=x) g(amax =xmax ) x
:
r(t)
range of a max
range of a

g(t/x)
-x t0
2

-xmax t0
2

g(t/xmax)

g(t)

-t0
2

t0
2

t1

xmaxt0
2

range of b

x t0
2

For large x:

jg00 (0)j b2
2g(0)

g amax =xmax

(0)

xmax

d 1

+O(1=x3):

To better illustrate quantum interest, choose the following


sampling function g(t):
( ) / t2

g t

20 2
;

<t<

0;0

elsewhere:

(in 2D, h min i = 3 5t20 ; in 4D ,h mini = 2 152 t40 ).


Also, limit the duration of the positive pulse to last a time
t0 . Then a lower bound estimate for can be obtained by
setting a = t0 =2, amax = 0 and b = t1 .

t t 1 t 0 =2
t0 = t0 ; so 0
x
xmax + 2.

xmax 1 and
2

2.00

1.00

0.00

-1.00
0.00

2.50

5.00

7.50

10.00

Lower bound estimates for the quantum interest as a


function of pulse separation z = t=t0 in 2D (above) and
4D (below) Minkowski spacetime. Ten curves are plotted
for values of zmax from 1 to 10; the range of each curve is
zmax
1; zmax ]. The larger zmax the less negative energy
was sampled, allowing greater separation of the uxes.
7.50
5.00

2.50
0.00

0.00

2.50

5.00

7.50

10.00

negative energy flux

mirrors A and B accelerate


back and forth in sync
with mirror C which flips
periodically so that negative
energy is always radiated
upwards
positive energy flux

A pair of mirrors (A and B) accelerate back and forth in


tandem, radiating negative energy in the direction of
increasing accelerating and positive energy in the opposite
direction. Between these two mirrors is a third mirror (C)
that periodically ips so that the negative energy parts of
the ux generated by mirrors A and B are always re ected
in the same direction. Such a device could in principle
produce a steady ow of negative energy, if it were possible
to re ect just the negative part of the mirror ux.
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In light of quantum interest:


What about the negative energy in the Casimir e ect?
Seems to be a di erent \kind" of negative energy {
renormalization induced rather than an interference
e ect between positive energy quanta; and apparently
there are no problems in using it to violate the 2nd law
of thermodynamics.
What about black hole evaporation? Does spacetime
curvature remove some of the restrictions faced by
negative energy uxes in Minkowski spacetime? Or is a
black hole more like an \evaporating Casimir box" with
the event horizon forming the (one way) boundary?
To address these questions, look at a massless scalar eld in
2D curved spacetime:
(A. Ottewill and S. Takagi, Prog. Theor. Phys. 79 (1988) 429;
W.R. Walker, Class. Quantum Grav. 2 L37 (1985);
and W. Israel, private communication)
ds

2=

2 (u;v) dudv:

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Using the trace anomaly, T = 241 R, and the conservation


equations we can nd the complete stress energy tensor
= 121

(2 + 21 (r )2
+F (u)u;a u;b + G(v)v;av;b :

; + ; ;

e.g. for 2D Schwarzschild e2 = f (r) = 1 2rm , du = dt drf


and dv = dt + drf ; then F=G=0 gives the Boulware state.
Can a mirror that is slowly lowered in a black hole
spacetime produce a persistent out- ux of negative energy,
violating quantum interest in the asymptotically at region
of the spacetime?
Flux from a moving mirror:
Fc

= 121

da
d

(as seen by a comoving observer)

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Decompose the proper acceleration a into a \kinematic"


part ak and a \gravitational" part, ag :
a

= ag + ak ;

where
ak

ag

= ;

n ;

= dd

~
n

is the \boost angle";

is the vector normal to the mirror's world line

Then
( ) = 121 e2 c+

F u

12

d
d

e ak :

Thus a = constant mirror trajectory (constant proper


velocity) produces no ux { the negative energy observed by
the comoving observer is a result of motion through the
Boulware state.
In fact, using the results of Fewster and Teo
(C.J. Fewster and E. Teo, Bounds on negative energy
densities in static space-times, gr-qc/9812032)

it is easy to show that massless scalar elds on the


background metric ds2 = e2 (u;v)dudv satisfy the quantum
inequalities, and thus quantum interest, modulo the
conformal \blueshift" factor:

min i2D = e 2

min i2D;Minkowski :

(but note that is measured relative to the Boulware


ground state).

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