Schwinger pair creation of Kaluza-Klein particles: Pair creation without tunneling

Tamar Friedmann, Herman Verlinde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We study Schwinger pair creation of charged Kaluza-Klein (KK) particles from a static KK electric field. We find that the gravitational backreaction of the electric field on the geometry - which is incorporated via the electric KK-Melvin solution - prevents the electrostatic potential from overcoming the rest mass of the KK particles, thus impeding the tunneling mechanism which is often thought of as responsible for the pair creation. However, we find that pair creation still occurs with a finite rate formally similar to the classic Schwinger result, but via an apparently different mechanism, involving a combination of the Unruh effect and vacuum polarization due to the E-field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number064018
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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