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Colloquium: Dr. Marlan Scully, Texas A&M, Princeton,& Baylor

Wednesday, October 10, 2018
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Physics : 401
TITLE:  From Special to General Relativity with Unruh and Hawking:

Light from atoms falling into a black hole


General relativity as originally developed by Einstein is based on the union of geometry and gravity. Half a century later the union of general relativity and thermodynamics was found to yield surprising results such as Bekenstein-Hawking black hole entropy and Hawking radiation.

In their seminal works, Hawking, Unruh and others showed how quantum effects in curved space yield a blend of thermodynamics, quantum field theory and gravity which continues to intrigue and stimulate.  It has been shown [1] that virtual processes in which atoms jump to an excited state while emitting a photon is an alternative way to view Unruh acceleration radiation. The present work [2] is an extension of that logic by considering what happens when atoms fall into a black hole. This problem also shows a new way to arrive at Einstein’s equivalence principle. Connection with the “temperature as an imaginary time” paradigm of many-body theory is also illustrated by this problem. In general, the quantum optics – black hole physics interface is a rich field.