Abstract. Pair production is ubiquitous in quantum field theory coupled to a background. One way to account for pair production is by computing the overlap, between the states with no particles in the past and in the future. This vacuum decay rate appears first in the work of Schwinger, on pair production in an electric field. It was later generalized to curved spacetimes, notably de Sitter space and black hole geometries. Most of the results available in the literature rely on the symmetry of the background to which the quanta are coupled. I will show that, for two dimensional conformal field theories coupled to an arbitrary background profile, there is a formal exact result for the vacuum decay rate. This vacuum decay rate is a generalization of a result in dissipative quantum mechanics, due to Caldeira and Leggett.
Based on: http://arxiv.org/abs/1512.06721 with A. Polyakov and G. Tarnopolsky
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