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It is believed that in presence of some strong electromagnetic fields, called overcritical, the (Dirac) vacuum becomes unstable and decays leading to a spontaneous production of an electron-positron pair. Yet, the arguments are based mainly on the analysis of static fields and are insufficient to explain this phenomenon completely. Therefore, we consider time-dependent overcritical fields and show, within the external field formulation, how spontaneous particle creation can be defined anddoi:10.1088/1751-8113/41/16/164059 fatcat:sfaa3lj6r5asrlbwf22mtqe2oi