03-60 S. A. Fulling
Systematics of the Relationship between Vacuum Energy Calculations and Heat Kernel Coefficients (63K, LaTeX (RevTeX 4)) Feb 14, 03
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Abstract. Casimir energy is a nonlocal effect; its magnitude cannot be deduced from heat kernel expansions, even those including the integrated boundary terms. On the other hand, it is known that the divergent terms in the regularized (but not yet renormalized) total vacuum energy are associated with the heat kernel coefficients. Here a recent study of the relations among the eigenvalue density, the heat kernel, and the integral kernel of the operator $e^{-t\sqrt{H}}$ is exploited to characterize this association completely. Various previously isolated observations about the structure of the regularized energy emerge naturally. For over 20 years controversies have persisted stemming from the fact that certain (presumably physically meaningful) terms in the renormalized vacuum energy density in the interior of a cavity become singular at the boundary and correlate to certain divergent terms in the regularized total energy. The point of view of the present paper promises to help resolve these issues.

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