Capacitor discharge and vacuum resistance in massless QED2

Yi Zen Chu, Tanmay Vachaspati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


A charged parallel plate capacitor will create particle-antiparticle pairs by the Schwinger process and discharge over time. We consider the full quantum discharge process in 1+1 dimensions including backreaction, when the electric field interacts with massless charged fermions. We recover oscillatory features in the electric field observed in a semiclassical analysis and find that the amplitude of the oscillations falls off as t-1/2 and that stronger coupling implies slower decay. Remarkably, Ohm's law applies to the vacuum and we evaluate the quantum electrical conductivity of the vacuum to be 2e/√π, where e is the fermionic charge. Similarities and differences with black hole evaporation are mentioned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number085020
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 16 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Capacitor discharge and vacuum resistance in massless QED2'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this