Boundary effects and the massless limit of the photon

P. C.W. Davies, D. J. Toms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We study the effect of a finite photon mass on the vacuum expectation value of the stress tensor for the electromagnetic field near a plane boundary between free space and a perfectly conducting medium. Nonzero vacuum energy contributions arise which diverge at the boundary surface. We compare and contrast the result with that for a real scalar field. We point out the possible existence of new nonminimal-coupling terms in the vector-field Lagrangian which break gauge invariance in the massless limit. In the case that such terms are included, the boundary effects may be measurable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1363-1369
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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