Conformal-symmetry breaking and cosmological particle creation in 4 theory

N. D. Birrell, P. C.W. Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


We show that creation of field quanta can occur even in conformally trivial situations, contrary to popular belief. This conformal-symmetry breaking owes its existence to the so-called conformal anomaly in the field stress tensor which, in the case of interacting fields in curved spacetime, contains state-dependent, nongeometrical, and other terms which are associated with particle generation. The effect is explicitly demonstrated for massless 4 theory in a Robertson-Walker spacetime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-329
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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