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    Shaking photons from the vacuum: acceleration radiation from vibrating atoms

    Dolan, Brian P. and Hunter-McCabe, Aonghus and Twamley, Jason (2020) Shaking photons from the vacuum: acceleration radiation from vibrating atoms. New Journal of Physics (NJP), 22 (033026). ISSN 1367-2630

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    Acceleration radiation—or Unruh radiation—the thermal radiation observed by an ever accelerating observer or detector, although having similarities to Hawking radiation, so far has proved extremely challenging to observe experimentally. One recent suggestion is that, in the presence of a mirror, constant acceleration of an atom in its ground state can excite the atom while at the same time cause it to emit a photon in an Unruh-type process. In this work we show that merely by shaking the atom, in simple harmonic motion for example, can have the same effect. We calculate the transition rate for this in first order perturbation theory and consider harmonic motion of the atom in the presence of a stationary mirror, or within a cavity or just in empty vacuum. For the latter we propose a circuit-QED potential implementation that yields transition rates of ∼10−4 Hz, which may be detectable experimentally.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Cite as: Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Cite as: Brian P Dolan et al 2020 New J. Phys. 22 033026
    Keywords: Shaking photons; vacuum; acceleration radiation; vibrating atoms;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Theoretical Physics
    Item ID: 14826
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Dr. Brian Dolan
    Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2021 15:15
    Journal or Publication Title: New Journal of Physics (NJP)
    Publisher: Institute of Physics (IoP) and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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