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Foundations of Physics

, Volume 33, Issue 8, pp 1157–1175 | Cite as

Higher-Order Kinetic Term for Controlling Photon Mass in Off-Shell Electrodynamics

  • Martin Land
Article

Abstract

In relativistic classical and quantum mechanics with Poincaré-invariant parameter, particle worldlines are traced out by the evolution of spacetime events. The formulation of a covariant canonical framework for the evolving events leads to a dynamical theory in which mass conservation is demoted from a priori constraint to the status of conserved Noether current for a certain class of interactions. In pre-Maxwell electrodynamics—the local gauge theory associated with this framework —events induce five local off-shell fields, which mediate interactions between instantaneous events, not between the worldlines which represent entire particle histories. The fifth field, required to compensate for dependence of gauge transformations on the evolution parameter, enables the exchange of mass between particles and fields. In the equilibrium limit, these pre-Maxwell fields are pushed onto the zero-mass shell, but during interactions there is no mechanism regulating the mass that photons may acquire, even when event trajectories evolve far into the spacelike region. This feature of the off-shell formalism requires the application of some ad hoc mechanism for controlling the photon mass in two opposite physical domains: the low energy motion of a charged event in classical Coulomb scattering, and the renormalization of off-shell quantum electrodynamics. In this paper, we discuss a nonlocal, higher derivative correction to the photon kinetic term, which provides regulation of the photon mass in a manner which preserves the gauge invariance and Poincaré covariance of the original theory. We demonstrate that the inclusion of this term is equivalent to an earlier solution to the classical Coulomb problem, and that the resulting quantum field theory is renormalized.

photon mass off-shell electrodynamics 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Land
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceHadassah CollegeJerusalemIsrael

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