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Giant Unruh effect in hyperbolic metamaterial waveguides (Conference Presentation)
Author(s): Igor I. Smolyaninov

Paper Abstract

The Unruh effect is the prediction that an accelerating object perceives its surroundings as a bath of thermal radiation even if it accelerates in vacuum. The Unruh effect is believed to be very difficult to observe in the experiment, since an observer accelerating at g=9.8 m/s2 should see vacuum temperature of only 4x10^-20 K. Here we demonstrate that photons in metamaterial waveguides may behave as massive quasi-particles accelerating at up to 10^24 g, which is about twelve orders of magnitude larger than the surface acceleration near a stellar black hole. These record high accelerations, which may be created in terrestrial laboratories, will enable experimental studies of the Unruh effect.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 September 2019
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Proc. SPIE 11080, Metamaterials, Metadevices, and Metasystems 2019, 110801N (9 September 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2530101
Show Author Affiliations
Igor I. Smolyaninov, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11080:
Metamaterials, Metadevices, and Metasystems 2019
Nader Engheta; Mikhail A. Noginov; Nikolay I. Zheludev, Editor(s)

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