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Local measurement schemes for quantum field theory in curved spacetimes

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Francesca Chadha-Day.

Consider an experiment in which a probe is coupled to a quantum field in a bounded spacetime region, and the probe is subsequently measured. An obvious question is how the measurement of the probe can be interpreted as an observation of the quantum field, but, surprisingly, rather little work has been done to address it. In quantum mechanics there is a well-developed field of quantum measurement theory, but this is rarely discussed in the context of quantum fields and still less in curved spacetimes. This talk will describe how the probe measurement can be interpreted as an observable with a defined localisation, and will discuss a number of related issues, including how a post-selected state can be defined following a selective measurement of the probe. The general formalism is illustrated with a specific model. (Joint work with Rainer Verch [Leipzig] – arXiv:1810.06512).

This talk is part of the Theoretical Physics Colloquium series.

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