We examine the creation and annihilation dynamics for electron-positron pairs in a time-dependent but subcritical electric force using a simplified model system. Numerical and semianalytical solutions to computational quantum field theory show that despite the continuity of the quantum field operator in time, the actual number of created particles can change in a discontinuous way if the field changes abruptly. The number of permanently created particles after the pulse, however, increases continuously with the duration of the electric field pulse, suggesting a transition from an exclusive annihilation to a creation regime.
Gerry, Christopher C.; Su, Q; and Grobe, Rainer, "Timing of pair production in time-dependent force fields" (2006). Faculty publications – Physics. Paper 37.