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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Why Cerenkov Radiation May Not Occur, Even When It Is Allowed by Lorentz-Violating Kinematics

Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA
Symmetry 2017, 9(11), 250;
Received: 28 September 2017 / Revised: 21 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Violation of Lorentz Symmetry)
In a Lorentz-violating quantum field theory, the energy-momentum relations for the field quanta are typically modified. This affects the kinematics, and processes that are normally forbidden may become allowed. One reaction that clearly becomes kinematically possible when photons’ phase speeds are less than 1 is vacuum Cerenkov radiation. However, in spite of expectations, and in defiance of phase space estimates, a electromagnetic Chern–Simons theory with a timelike Lorentz violation coefficient does not feature any energy losses through Cerenkov emission. There is an unexpected cancelation, made possible by the existence of unstable long-wavelength modes of the field. The fact that the theory possesses a more limited form of gauge symmetry than conventional electrodynamics also plays a role. View Full-Text
Keywords: Lorentz symmetry; Cerenkov radiation; gauge invariance Lorentz symmetry; Cerenkov radiation; gauge invariance
MDPI and ACS Style

Altschul, B. Why Cerenkov Radiation May Not Occur, Even When It Is Allowed by Lorentz-Violating Kinematics. Symmetry 2017, 9, 250.

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