Local discrete symmetry and quantum-mechanical hair

John Preskill, Lawrence Krauss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

192 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A charge operator is constructed for a quantum field theory with an abelian discrete gauge symmetry, and a non-local order parameter is formulated that specifies how the gauge symmetry is realized. If the discrete gauge symmetry is manifest, then the charge inside a large region can be detected at the boundary of the region, even in a theory with no massless gauge fields. This long-range effect has no classical analog; it implies that a black hole can in principle carry "quantum-mechanical hair". If the gauge group is nonabelian, then a charged particle can transfer charge to a loop of cosmic string via the nonabelian Aharonov-Bohmeffect. The string loop can carry charge even though there is no localized source of charge anywhere on the string or in its vicinity. The "total charge" in a closed universe must vanish, but, if the gauge group is nonabelian and the universe is not simply connected, then the "total charge" is not necessarily the same as the sum of all point charges contained in the universe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-100
Number of pages51
JournalNuclear Physics, Section B
Volume341
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 3 1990
Externally publishedYes

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hair
symmetry
strings
universe
charged particles
charge transfer
analogs
operators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

Cite this

Local discrete symmetry and quantum-mechanical hair. / Preskill, John; Krauss, Lawrence.

In: Nuclear Physics, Section B, Vol. 341, No. 1, 03.09.1990, p. 50-100.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Preskill, John ; Krauss, Lawrence. / Local discrete symmetry and quantum-mechanical hair. In: Nuclear Physics, Section B. 1990 ; Vol. 341, No. 1. pp. 50-100.
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