nLab vacuum state




Algbraic Quantum Field Theory

algebraic quantum field theory (perturbative, on curved spacetimes, homotopical)



field theory:

Lagrangian field theory


quantum mechanical system, quantum probability

free field quantization

gauge theories

interacting field quantization



States and observables

Operator algebra

Local QFT

Perturbative QFT



In quantum field theory a vacuum state is supposed to be a quantum state that expresses the absence of any particle excitations of the fields.

On Minkowski spacetime the vacuum state for a free field theory is the standard Hadamard state. On general globally hyperbolic spacetimes there are always Hadamard states, and they do play the role of the vacuum state in the construction of AQFT on curved spacetimes, see at locally covariant perturbative AQFT. Notably the choice of such a Hadamard state fixes the Feynman propagator, hence the time-ordered product of quantum observables and thus the perturbative S-matrix away from coinciding interaction points (the extension of these distributions to coinciding interaction points is the process of renormalization).

However, since on a general globally hyperbolic spacetime there is no globally well-defined concept of particles, there is in general no concept of vacuum state. But under good conditions (such as existence of suitable timelike Killing vectors) one may identify Hadamard states which deserve to be thought of as vacuum states (Brum-Fredenhagen 13).

quantum probability theoryobservables and states


Last revised on February 8, 2020 at 10:43:05. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.