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Quantum Coherence Effects and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

L. H. Ford
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Vol. 364, No. 1717 (Dec. 12, 1978), pp. 227-236
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/79760
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Quantum Coherence Effects and the Second Law of Thermodynamics
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Abstract

Negative energy densities and fluxes due to quantum coherence effects in quantum field theories are discussed. Such negative energy fluxes seemingly lead to a breakdown of the second law of thermodynamics. It is argued that such a breakdown will not in fact occur if a negative energy flux F is constrained by an inequality of the form $|F|\lesssim $ τ -2 where τ is a characteristic time over which the negative energy flux occurs. Particular models in which negative energy fluxes occur are examined, and it is found that such an inequality is indeed satisfied. Quantum violations of the dominant energy condition, which requires that the local energy density be greater than or equal to the magnitude of the pressure are also discussed briefly.

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