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The current status of quantum fields in curved spacetime (Transparencies of a talk given at DPG meeting, Ulm, 17 March 2004)
This contribution consists of the transparencies of a plenary lecture delivered by the author at the annual meeting of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft at Ulm, Germany, on 17 March 2004.
In this talk, I will report on the developments in quantum field theory in curved spacetime which, during the past 10 years, have led to impressive progress. These developments are centered around concepts like the microlocal spectrum condition, quantum energy inequalities and local general covariance. With the help of these concepts, it has been possible to formulate and complete the renormalization program of perturbative quantum field theory on generic spacetime backgrounds, and to arrive at stron structural theorems like PCT and the connection between spin and statistics. Furthermoire, some insight into the qualitative behavior of semiclassical gravity has been gained, showing that the occurrence of exotic spacetime scenarios, e.g. closed timelike curves, is suppressed by the dynamical stability of quantum fields.