Pair production from residues of complex worldline instantons
Journal article, 2015
We study nonperturbative pair production in electric fields with lightlike inhomogeneities, using complex worldline instantons. We show that the instanton contribution to the pair production probability is a complex contour integral over the instanton itself, and that pair production in the considered fields can be recast in terms of Cauchy's residue theorem. The instantons contribute residues from the poles they circulate (i.e. give local contributions), and the invariance of complex integrals under contour deformation manifests in the instanton contributions as invariance under a set of generalized, complex, reparametrizations.