What Is The Schwinger Effect?

In a constant electric field of sufficiently high magnitude, electron pairs are created out of a vacuum (as per the theory of quantum electrodynamics). The creation of electron pairs out of the vacuum occurs at a specific rate. This effect is commonly referred to as the Schwinger effect. A consequence of this effect is that any electric field of sufficiently high strength can destroy itself due to quantum effects. The Schwinger effect is an example of a non-linearity which is non-perturbative in nature. It is interesting to note that several scientists worked on this effect, but it was Schwinger who was the first to successfully calculate the rate at which the electron pairs were being created out of the vacuum.

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