Excitation of an Atom by a Uniformly Accelerated Mirror through Virtual Transitions. Academic Article uri icon


  • We find that uniformly accelerated motion of a mirror yields excitation of a static two-level atom with simultaneous emission of a real photon. This occurs because of virtual transitions with probability governed by the Planck factor involving the photon frequency and the Unruh temperature. The result is different from the Unruh radiation of an accelerated atom, which is governed by the frequency of the atom, , rather than frequency of the emitted photon. We also find that the excitation probability oscillates as a function of the atomic position because of interference between contributions from the waves incident on and reflected from the mirror.

published proceedings

  • Phys Rev Lett

author list (cited authors)

  • Svidzinsky, A. A., Ben-Benjamin, J. S., Fulling, S. A., & Page, D. N.

citation count

  • 31

complete list of authors

  • Svidzinsky, Anatoly A||Ben-Benjamin, Jonathan S||Fulling, Stephen A||Page, Don N

publication date

  • August 2018