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Quantum perspectives in basic astrophysics?

  1. Feb 27, 2014 #1
    Hi everybody!
    I have been asked by the astronomy group at my campus to do one of a series of talks on basic astrophysics, on the quantum perspective in astrophysics. Basically I am to fill in gaps, cover the pre-requisites for others. We plan to have one session each on basic observational astronomy, relativity(special and general), stellar evolution, dark matter and dark energy, cosmology and theoretical models from particle physics, besides mine. The people here want me to cover topics like stellar spectroscopy, blackbody radiation and even wave-particle duality.

    I am not very sure how to place quantum mechanics in all this, besides the emphasis on the unity of physical phenomena. Of course particle physics and all that stuff can be connected, but I may be out of my domain there, as well encroaching on the other talks. I want to be able to fit the objective of the particular hour in question with the overall plan, and I am not sure what to talk about in an hour that will be relevant. Can anybody help me with it? I would be grateful.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 27, 2014 #2
    There are numerous examples of quantum processes in Cosmology. Quantum effects such as Parker's radiation (particle production due to inflation), Hawking's radiation/Unruh radiation, (thermodynamic blackbody particle production at horizons).

    Classically the original inflation theory is also a particle production process that being false vacuum by Allen Guth. This is later replaced with the inflaton in our current slow roll inflation.

    this free textbook covers some other quantum processes, its extremely lengthy and technical however. Any quantum field theory textbook will involve relativistic quantum processes.



    another line of research is go through the threads posted particularly by Marcus, as he often posts numerous articles in Loop Quantum Cosmology, LQC

    hope this helps
  4. Feb 27, 2014 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

  5. Feb 27, 2014 #4
    On `Nothing nvolves Coleman and Lawrence R Krauss universe from nothing


    Stability in and of de Sitter space (covers a bit on false vacuum and CDL)


    A while ago I gathered a decent collection on inflationary particle production papers may be of interest

    Leanard Parker radiation

    an older one

    here is one on false vacuum its more recent than his original work, however he goes into a bit of inflationary model history in the article

    http://www.astro.caltech.edu/~ccs/Ay..._inflation.pdf [Broken]

    this one is his original paper
    http://www.astro.rug.nl/~weygaert/ti...srevd-1981.pdf [Broken]

    Here is one on Hawking radiation in an FRW universe


    One on Unruh

    http://www.hep.princeton.edu/~mcdona...l/unruhrad.pdf [Broken]

    Schwinger is another famous QED scientist worth looking into

    he also modelled particle production due to electodynamics at neutron stars referred to as the Schwinger mechanism

    also electron particle production of a magnetar

    if you look at each articles references it will lead you to further articles and guides, should get you started to hone in which quantum effects in Cosmology you wish to discuss, as you can see any classical process in Cosmology probably has a quantum process alternate.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  6. Apr 4, 2014 #5

    Ken G

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    Gold Member

    Quantum physics plays a huge role in astrophysics, in the three areas you mention: spectroscopy (why do atoms emit light at only special wavelengths?), blackbody radiation (why are some stars red, others kind of blue?), and wave-particle duality (which relates to the answers to those first questions). If you are still reading these posts, or if your talk has not already occurred, chime in and I will say more.
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