Consistency between causality and complementarity guaranteed by the Robertson inequality in quantum field theory

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Abstract

It has long been debated whether gravity should be quantized or not. Recently, the authors in [Sci. Rep. 6, 22777 (2016)SRCEC32045-232210.1038/srep22777; Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 106, 3035 (2009)PNASA60027-842410.1073/pnas.0813239106] discussed the inconsistency between causality and complementarity in a Gedankenexperiment involving the quantum superposition of massive/charged bodies, and Belenchia et al. [Phys. Rev. D 98, 126009 (2018)PRVDAQ2470-001010.1103/PhysRevD.98.126009; Int. J. Mod. Phys. D 28, 1943001 (2019)IMPDEO0218-271810.1142/S0218271819430016] resolved the inconsistency by requiring the quantum radiation and vacuum fluctuations of gravitational/electromagnetic field. Stimulated by their works, we reanalyze the consistency between the two physical properties, causality and complementarity, according to the quantum field theory. In this analysis, we consider a Gedankenexperiment inspired by [Sci. Rep. 6, 22777 (2016)SRCEC32045-232210.1038/srep22777; Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 106, 3035 (2009)PNASA60027-842410.1073/pnas.0813239106; Phys. Rev. D 98, 126009 (2018)PRVDAQ2470-001010.1103/PhysRevD.98.126009; Int. J. Mod. Phys. D 28, 1943001 (2019)IMPDEO0218-271810.1142/S0218271819430016], in which two charged particles coupled with a photon field are in a superposition of two trajectories. First, we observe that causality is satisfied by the retarded propagation of the photon field. Next, by introducing an inequality between visibility and which-path information, we show that the quantum radiation and vacuum fluctuations of the photon field ensure complementarity. We further find that the Robertson inequality associated with the photon field leads to the consistency between causality and complementarity in our Gedankenexperiment. Finally, we mention that a similar feature appears in the quantum field of gravity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125002
JournalPhysical Review D
Volume106
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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