Evolution of the Vacuum State in Supercritical Potentials
Three types of experiments probing a supercritical external field can be imagined, in principle. First, experiments where a subcritical but strong field is made supercritical for a certain finite period of time; then those in which a subcritical external field is rendered supercritical and made to remain so forever; and, finally, experiments that are carried out completely in a supercritical field. The prototype of the first kind of experiments — and the only one presently feasible — is the sub-Coulomb barrier collision of very heavy ions, such as uranium on uranium, Chapts. 12, 13. The second type of experiment corresponds, for instance, to the creation of a stable supercritical nucleus, initially stripped of electrons, by a nuclear fusion process. A typical experiment of the third kind is the ionization of a (hypothetical) supercritical atom and the observation of the resulting spontaneous pair creation (γ absorption accompanied by positron line emission).
KeywordsUranium Refraction Dura Blin
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