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Physics  2004 

Self-consistent solution for the polarized vacuum in a no-photon QED model

DOI: 10.1088/0305-4470/38/20/014

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We study the Bogoliubov-Dirac-Fock model introduced by Chaix and Iracane ({\it J. Phys. B.}, 22, 3791--3814, 1989) which is a mean-field theory deduced from no-photon QED. The associated functional is bounded from below. In the presence of an external field, a minimizer, if it exists, is interpreted as the polarized vacuum and it solves a self-consistent equation. In a recent paper math-ph/0403005, we proved the convergence of the iterative fixed-point scheme naturally associated with this equation to a global minimizer of the BDF functional, under some restrictive conditions on the external potential, the ultraviolet cut-off $\Lambda$ and the bare fine structure constant $\alpha$. In the present work, we improve this result by showing the existence of the minimizer by a variational method, for any cut-off $\Lambda$ and without any constraint on the external field. We also study the behaviour of the minimizer as $\Lambda$ goes to infinity and show that the theory is "nullified" in that limit, as predicted first by Landau: the vacuum totally kills the external potential. Therefore the limit case of an infinite cut-off makes no sense both from a physical and mathematical point of view. Finally, we perform a charge and density renormalization scheme applying simultaneously to all orders of the fine structure constant $\alpha$, on a simplified model where the exchange term is neglected.


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