Dynamical locality of the free Maxwell field

Christopher J. Fewster, Benjamin Lang
March 27, 2014
We consider the non-interacting source-free Maxwell field, described both in terms of the vector potential and the field strength. Starting from the classical field theory on contractible globally hyperbolic spacetimes, we extend the classical field theory to general globally hyperbolic spacetimes in two ways to obtain a "universal" theory and a "reduced" theory. The quantum field theory in terms of the unital $*$-algebra of the smeared quantum field is then obtained by an application of a suitable quantisation functor. We show that the universal theories fail local covariance and dynamical locality owing to the possibility of having non-trivial radicals in the classical and non-trivial centres in the quantum case. The reduced theories are both locally covariant and dynamically local. These models provide new examples relevant to the discussion of how theories should be formulated so as to describe the same physics in all spacetimes.

dynamical locality, Maxwell field, locally covariant quantum field theory, algebraic quantum field theory, quantum fields in curved spacetimes