International workshop: Strong Field Problems in Quantum Theory

20 January 2016

The Conference Organizers are National Research Tomsk State University and P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.

Even though the complete quantum theory admits a semiclassical description of intense fields when treated as external, or background, fields, the presence of such fields turns out to produce nontrivial quantum effects, such as the Klein paradox, the Hawking black-hole radiation, and the creation from vacuum of electron-positron pairs by external electric and supercritical Coulomb fields. These effects require a nonperturbative consideration for their description within relativistic quantum mechanics, and sometimes also within quantum field theory involving background fields.

The foundation for these theories was laid in the works of the outstanding physicists P.A.M. Dirac, R. Feynman, J. Schwinger, and many others. In recent years, significant attention has been given to the application of these theories and their corresponding quantum effects in high-energy physics, astrophysics, and condensed matter physics, especially the physics of graphene and other nanostructures.

Although all these effects and their applications are discussed at various meetings on a regular basis, many important problems of the theory remain untouched, and we believe it is timely to discuss the existing unsolved problems of the nonperturbative approach to theories with background fields, for instance, the problems associated with spontaneous creation of electron-positron pairs by supercritical Coulomb fields, the problems involving the range of applicability of nonperturbative QFT methods to neutrino and nanostructure physics, and others. Any other contributions devoted to these problems and special effects associated with strong fields are certainly welcome.

It is worth noting that the organizing bodies of the Workshop, Lebedev Institute and Tomsk State University (together with Tomsk State Pedagogical University), were among the pioneers of the work on quantum effects in strong fields in the former USSR and Russia. In this connection, one can mention the works of A.I. Nikishov, V.I. Ritus, E.S. Fradkin, A.E. Shabad , I.A. Batalin, D.M. Gitman, V.G. Bagrov, Sh.M. Shwartsman, J.L. Buchbinder, S.P. Gavrilov, as well as their numerous students.

The site of the workshop