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Interferometric Unruh Detectors for Bose-Einstein Condensates

Gooding, Cisco; Biermann, Steffen; Erne, Sebastian; Louko, Jorma; Unruh, William G.; Schmiedmayer, Joerg; Weinfurtner, Silke

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Steffen Biermann

Sebastian Erne

Professor of Mathematical Physics

William G. Unruh

Joerg Schmiedmayer


The Unruh effect predicts a thermal response for an accelerated detector moving through the vacuum. Here we propose an interferometric scheme to observe an analogue of the circular Unruh effect using a localized laser coupled to a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC). Quantum fluctuations in the condensate are governed by an effective relativistic field theory, and as demonstrated, the coupled laser field acts as an effective Unruh-DeWitt detector thereof. The effective speed of light is lowered by 12 orders of magnitude to the sound velocity in the BEC. For detectors traveling close to the sound speed, observation of the Unruh effect in the analogue system becomes experimentally feasible.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 7, 2020
Online Publication Date Nov 20, 2020
Publication Date Nov 20, 2020
Deposit Date Dec 3, 2020
Publicly Available Date Dec 3, 2020
Journal Physical Review Letters
Print ISSN 0031-9007
Electronic ISSN 1079-7114
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 125
Issue 21
Article Number 213603
Keywords General Physics and Astronomy
Public URL
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