A Quantum Weak Energy Inequality for Dirac fields in curved spacetime

Christopher J. Fewster, Rainer Verch
May 21, 2001
Quantum fields are well known to violate the weak energy condition of general relativity: the renormalised energy density at any given point is unbounded from below as a function of the quantum state. By contrast, for the scalar and electromagnetic fields it has been shown that weighted averages of the energy density along timelike curves satisfy `quantum weak energy inequalities' (QWEIs) which constitute lower bounds on these quantities. Previously, Dirac QWEIs have been obtained only for massless fields in two-dimensional spacetimes. In this paper we establish QWEIs for the Dirac and Majorana fields of mass $m\ge 0$ on general four-dimensional globally hyperbolic spacetimes, averaging along arbitrary smooth timelike curves with respect to any of a large class of smooth compactly supported positive weights. Our proof makes essential use of the microlocal characterisation of the class of Hadamard states, for which the energy density may be defined by point-splitting.