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Classical and quantum implications of the causality structure of two-dimensional space-times with degenerate metrics

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date1996
JournalJournal of Mathematical Physics
Number of pages14
Pages 6018-6032
Original languageEnglish


The causality structure of two-dimensional manifolds with degenerate metrics is analyzed in terms of global solutions of the massless wave equation. Certain novel features emerge. Despite the absence of a traditional Lorentzian Cauchy surface on manifolds with a Euclidean domain, it is possible to uniquely determine a global solution (if it exists), satisfying well-defined matching conditions at the degeneracy curve, from Cauchy data on certain spacelike curves in the Lorentzian region, In general, however, no global solution satisfying such matching conditions will be consistent with this data. Attention is drawn to a number of obstructions that arise prohibiting the construction of a bounded operator connecting asymptotic single particle states. The implications of these results for the existence of a unitary quantum field theory are discussed.