To $B$ or not to $B$: Primordial magnetic fields from Weyl anomaly

Abstract : The quantum effective action for the electromagnetic field in an expanding universe has an anomalous dependence on the scale factor of the metric arising from virtual charged particles in the loops. It has been argued that this Weyl anomaly of quantum electrodynamics sources cosmological magnetic fields in the early universe. We examine this long-standing claim by using the effective action beyond the weak gravitational field limit which has recently been determined. We introduce a general criteria for assessing the quantumness of field fluctuations, and show that the Weyl anomaly is not able to convert vacuum fluctuations of the gauge field into classical fluctuations. We conclude that there is no production of coherent magnetic fields in the universe from the Weyl anomaly of quantum electrodynamics, irrespective of the number of massless charged particles in the theory.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - 10:59:51 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 10:46:56 PM

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André Benevides, Atish Dabholkar, Takeshi Kobayashi. To $B$ or not to $B$: Primordial magnetic fields from Weyl anomaly. JHEP, 2018, 11, pp.039. ⟨10.1007/JHEP11(2018)039⟩. ⟨hal-01871706⟩

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