Scalar QED Model for Polarizable Particles in Thermal Equilibrium or in Hyperbolic Motion in Vacuum


We consider a scalar QED model for the frictional force and the momentum fluctuations of a polarizable particle in thermal equilibrium with radiation or in hyperbolic motion in a vacuum. In the former case the loss of particle kinetic energy due to the frictional force is compensated by the increase in kinetic energy associated with the momentum diffusion, resulting in the Planck distribution when it is assumed that the average kinetic energy satisfies the equipartition theorem. For hyperbolic motion in vacuum the frictional force and the momentum diffusion are similarly consistent with a thermal equilibrium at the Davies-Unruh temperature. The quantum fluctuations of the momentum imply that it is only the average acceleration that is constant when the particle is subject to a constant applied force.

Physics 2024, 6(1), 356-367