Birefringence of the Vacuum

Phys. Rev. 135, B1279 – Published 7 September 1964
James J. Klein and B. P. Nigam


It is known that Maxwell's equations become nonlinear if the effect of virtual electron-positron pair creation is included. The vacuum, thus behaving like a polarizable continuum, is shown to exhibit the phenomenon of birefringence.


  • Received 27 April 1964
  • Published in the issue dated September 1964

© 1964 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

James J. Klein and B. P. Nigam

  • Department of Physics and Astronomy, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York

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