Schwinger pair production at nonzero temperatures or in compact directions

  title={Schwinger pair production at nonzero temperatures or in compact directions},
  author={Adam R. Brown},
  journal={Physical Review D},
Electric fields may decay by quantum tunneling: as calculated by Schwinger, an electron-positron pair may be summoned from the vacuum. In this paper, I calculate the pair-production rate at nonzero temperatures. I find that, at high temperatures, the decay rate is dominated by a new instanton that involves both thermal fluctuation and quantum tunneling; this decay is exponentially faster than the rate in the literature. I also calculate the decay rate when the electric field wraps a compact… 

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