Classical dynamics of quantum fluctuations Academic Article uri icon


  • It is shown that the vacuum state of weakly interacting quantum field theories can be described, in the Heisenberg picture, as a linear combination of randomly distributed incoherent paths that obey classical equations of motion with constrained initial conditions. We call such paths “pseudoclassical” paths and use them to define the dynamics of quantum fluctuations. Every physical observable is assigned a time-dependent value on each path in a way that respects the uncertainty principle, but in consequence, some of the standard algebraic relations between quantum observables are not necessarily satisfied by their time-dependent values on paths. We define “collective observables” which depend on a large number of independent degrees of freedom and show that the dynamics of their quantum fluctuations can be described in terms of unconstrained classical stochastic processes without reference to an...

publication date

  • January 1, 2003