Abstract:
We investigate the Wigner rotation for photons, which governs the change in the polarization of the photon as it propagates through an arbitrary gravitational field. We give explicit examples in Schwarzschild spacetime, and compare with the corresponding flat spacetime results, which by the equivalence principle, holds locally at each spacetime point. We discuss the implications of the Wigner rotation for entangled photon states in curved spacetime, and lastly develop a sufficient condition for special (Fermi-Walker) frames in which the observer would detect no Wigner rotation.

Abstract:
The present paper is the companion of [1] in which we proposed a scheme that tries to derive the Quantum Field Theory (QFT) on Curved Spacetimes (CST) limit from background independent Quantum General Relativity (QGR). The constructions of [1] make heavy use of the notion of semiclassical states for QGR. In the present paper, we employ the complexifier coherent states for QGR recently proposed by Thiemann and Winkler as semiclassical states, and thus fill the general formulas obtained in [1] with life. We demonstrate how one can, under some simplifying assumptions, explicitely compute expectation values of the operators relevant for the gravity-matter Hamiltonians of [1] in the complexifier coherent states. These expectation values give rise to effective matter Hamiltonians on the background on which the gravitational coherent state is peaked and thus induce approximate notions of n-particle states and matter propagation on fluctuating spacetimes. We display the details for the scalar and the electromagnetic field. The effective theories exhibit two types of corrections as compared to the the ordinary QFT on CST. The first is due to the quantum fluctuations of the gravitational field, the second arises from the fact that background independence forces both geometry and matter to propagate on a spacetime that is the product of the real line and a (random) graph. Finally we obtain explicit numerical predictions for non-standard dispersion relations for the scalar and the electromagnetic field. They should, however, not be taken too seriously, due to the many ambiguities in our scheme, the analysis of the physical significance of which has only begun. We show however, that one can classify these ambiguities at least in broad terms.

Abstract:
In this article and a companion paper we address the question of how one might obtain the semiclassical limit of ordinary matter quantum fields (QFT) propagating on curved spacetimes (CST) from full fledged Quantum General Relativity (QGR), starting from first principles. We stress that we do not claim to have a satisfactory answer to this question, rather our intention is to ignite a discussion by displaying the problems that have to be solved when carrying out such a program. In the present paper we propose a scheme that one might follow in order to arrive at such a limit. We discuss the technical and conceptual problems that arise in doing so and how they can be solved in principle. As to be expected, completely new issues arise due to the fact that QGR is a background independent theory. For instance, fundamentally the notion of a photon involves not only the Maxwell quantum field but also the metric operator - in a sense, there is no photon vacuum state but a "photon vacuum operator"! While in this first paper we focus on conceptual and abstract aspects, for instance the definition of (fundamental) n-particle states (e.g. photons), in the second paper we perform detailed calculations including, among other things, coherent state expectation values and propagation on random lattices. These calculations serve as an illustration of how far one can get with present mathematical techniques. Although they result in detailed predictions for the size of first quantum corrections such as the gamma-ray burst effect, these predictions should not be taken too seriously because a) the calculations are carried out at the kinematical level only and b) while we can classify the amount of freedom in our constructions, the analysis of the physical significance of possible choices has just begun.

Abstract:
A physically meaningful local concept of temperature is introduced in quantum field theory on curved spacetime and applied to the example of a massless field on de Sitter space. It turns out in this model that the equilibrium (Gibbs) states which can be prepared by a geodesic observer have in general a varying temperature distribution in the neighborhood of the geodesic and may not even allow for a consistent thermal interpretation close to the horizon. This result, which can be traced back to the Unruh effect, illustrates the failure of a global notion of temperature in curved spacetime and reveals the need for a local concept, as presented here.

Abstract:
We present an integral formulation of observer-dependent Maxwell's equations in curved spacetime and give a classical interpretation of them.

Abstract:
This paper presents the extension from flat spacetime into curved spacetime of the area of theoretical investigation that has been known as topological gauge field theory. The extension here presented is based upon a new derivation of the expression for topological charge for bosons and fermions in flat spacetime, a derivation which has been presented elsewhere [1]. This new approach was developed because the established instanton solution could not be extended to curved spacetime. The new approach can be extended to curved spacetime by coupling the major equations of relativistic quantum mechanics to the scalar curvature. The coupling here presented, and results obtained about the quantization of topological charge, had not been possible with the earlier established instanton solution.

Abstract:
In Minkowski space, an accelerated reference frame may be defined as one that is related to an inertial frame by a sequence of instantaneous Lorentz transformations. Such an accelerated observer sees a causal horizon, and the quantum vacuum of the inertial observer appears thermal to the accelerated observer, also known as the Unruh effect. We argue that an accelerating frame may be similarly defined (i.e. as a sequence of instantaneous Lorentz transformations) in noncommutative Moyal spacetime, and discuss the twisted quantum field theory appropriate for such an accelerated observer. Our analysis shows that there are several new features in the case of noncommutative spacetime: chiral massless fields in $(1+1)$ dimensions have a qualitatively different behavior compared to massive fields. In addition, the vacuum of the inertial observer is no longer an equilibrium thermal state of the accelerating observer, and the Bose-Einstein distribution acquires $\theta$-dependent corrections.

Abstract:
The modification of the Vlasov equation, in its standard form describing a charged particle distribution in the six-dimensional phase space, is derived explicitly within a formal Hamiltonian approach for arbitrarily curved spacetime. The equation accounts simultaneously for the Lorentz force and the effects of general relativity, with the latter appearing as the gravity force and an additional force due to the extrinsic curvature of spatial hypersurfaces. For an arbitrary spatial metric, the equations of collisionless hydrodynamics are also obtained in the usual three-vector form.

Abstract:
The usual formulations of quantum field theory in Minkowski spacetime make crucial use of features--such as Poincare invariance and the existence of a preferred vacuum state--that are very special to Minkowski spacetime. In order to generalize the formulation of quantum field theory to arbitrary globally hyperbolic curved spacetimes, it is essential that the theory be formulated in an entirely local and covariant manner, without assuming the presence of a preferred state. We propose a new framework for quantum field theory, in which the existence of an Operator Product Expansion (OPE) is elevated to a fundamental status, and, in essence, all of the properties of the quantum field theory are determined by its OPE. We provide general axioms for the OPE coefficients of a quantum field theory. These include a local and covariance assumption (implying that the quantum field theory is locally and covariantly constructed from the spacetime metric), a microlocal spectrum condition, an "associativity" condition, and the requirement that the coefficient of the identity in the OPE of the product of a field with its adjoint have positive scaling degree. We prove curved spacetime versions of the spin-statistics theorem and the PCT theorem. Some potentially significant further implications of our new viewpoint on quantum field theory are discussed.

Abstract:
In the context of quantum field theories in curved spacetime, we compute the effective action of the transition amplitude from vacuum to vacuum in the presence of an external gravitational field. The imaginary part of resulted effective action determines the probability of vacuum decay via quantum tunneling process, giving the rate and spectrum of particle creations. We show that gravitational field polarizes vacuum and discretizes its spectrum for such a polarization gains gravitational energy. On the basis of gravitational vacuum polarization, we discuss the quantum origin of vacuum decay in curved spacetime as pair-creations of particles and anti-particles. The thermal spectrum of particle creations is attributed to (i) the CPT invariance of pair-creations(annihilations) from(into) vacuum and (ii) vacuum acts as a reserve with the temperature determined by gravitational energy-gain.