Worldline sphaleron for thermal Schwinger pair production

@article{Gould2018WorldlineSF,
  title={Worldline sphaleron for thermal Schwinger pair production},
  author={O. Gould and A. Rajantie and Cheng Xie},
  journal={Physical Review D},
  year={2018},
  volume={98},
  pages={056022}
}
With increasing temperatures, Schwinger pair production changes from a quantum tunneling to a classical, thermal process, determined by a worldline sphaleron. We show this and calculate the corresponding rate of pair production for both spinor and scalar quantum electrodynamics, including the semiclassical prefactor. For electron-positron pair production from a thermal bath of photons and in the presence of an electric field, the rate we derive is faster than both perturbative photon fusion and… Expand

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