Publications (109)459.04 Total impact
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ABSTRACT: Motivated by recent experimental efforts, we study a black hole analog induced by the propagation of a strong laser pulse in a nonlinear dielectric medium. Based on the Hopfield model (one pair of Sellmeier coefficients), we perform a fully relativistic microscopic derivation of the analog of Hawking radiation in this setup. The Hawking temperature is determined by the analog of the surface gravity (as expected), but we also find a frequencydependent graybody factor (i.e., a nonthermal spectrum at infinity) due to the breaking of conformal invariance in this setup.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We present a mirror model moving in the quantum vacuum of a massive scalar field and study its motion under infinitely fluctuating quantum vacuum stress. The model is similar to the one in \cite{PhysRevD.89.085009}, but this time there is no divergent effective mass to weaken the effect of divergent vacuum energy density. We show that this kind of weakening is not necessary. The vacuum friction and strong anticorrelation property of the quantum vacuum are enough to confine the mirror's position fluctuations.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The partner mode with respect to a vacuum state for a given mode (like that corresponding to one of the thermal particles emitted by a black hole) is defined and calculated. The partner modes are explicitly calculated for a number of cases, in particular for the modes corresponding to a particle detector being excited by turnon/turnoff transients, or with the thermal particles emitted by the accelerated mirror model for black hole evaporation. One of the key results is that the partner mode in general is just a vacuum fluctuation, and one can have the partner mode be located in a region where the state cannot be distinguished from the vacuum state by any series of local measurements, including the energy density. I.e., "information" (the correlations with the thermal emissions) need not be associated with any energy transport. The idea that black holes emit huge amounts of energy in their last stages because of all the information which must be emitted under the assumption of blackhole unitarity is found not necessarily to be the case.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We present a general relativistic model of a spherical shell of matter with a perfect fluid on its surface coupled to an internal oscillator, which generalizes a model recently introduced by the authors to construct a selfgravitating interferometer [1]. The internal oscillator evolution is defined with respect to the local proper time of the shell, allowing the oscillator to serve as a local clock that ticks differently depending on the shell's position and momentum. A Hamiltonian reduction is performed on the system, and an approximate quantum description is given to the reduced phase space. If we focus only on the external dynamics, we must trace out the clock degree of freedom, and this results in a form of intrinsic decoherence that shares some features with a proposed "universal" decoherence mechanism attributed to gravitational time dilation [2]. We show that the proposed decoherence remains present in the (gravityfree) limit of flat spacetime, indicating that the effect can be attributed entirely to proper time differences, and thus is not necessarily related to gravity. Finally, we point out a way to bootstrap the gravitational contribution to the time dilation decoherence by including selfinteraction, and comment on how this can be considered a fundamentally gravitational intrinsic decoherence effect.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To investigate the possibility that intrinsic gravitational decoherence can be theoretically demonstrated within canonical quantum gravity, we develop a model of a selfgravitating interferometer. We search for evidence in the resulting interference pattern that would indicate coherence is fundamentally limited due to general relativistic effects. To eliminate the occurence of gravitational waves, we work in spherical symmetry, and construct the "beam" of the interferometer out of WKB states for an infinitesimally thin shell of matter. For internal consistency, we encode information about the beam optics within the dynamics of the shell itself, by arranging an ideal fluid on the surface of the shell with an equation of state that enforces beamsplitting and reflections. We then determine sufficient conditions for (interferometric) coherence to be fully present even after general relativistic corrections are introduced, test whether or not they can be satisfied, and remark on the implications of the results. 
Article: Has Hawking Radiation Been Measured?
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ABSTRACT: It is argued that Hawking radiation has indeed been measured and shown to posses a thermal spectrum, as predicted. This contention is based on three separate legs. The first is that the essential physics of the Hawking process for black holes can be modelled in other physical systems. The second is the white hole horizons are the time inverse of black hole horizons, and thus the physics of both is the same. The third is that the quantum emission, which is the Hawking process, is completely determined by measurements of the classical parameters of a linear physical system. The experiment conducted in 2010 fulfills all of these requirements, and is thus a true measurement of Hawking radiation.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A variety of historical coordinates in which the Schwarzschild metric is regular over the whole of the extended spacetime are compared and the hypersurfaces of constant coordinate are graphically presented. While the Kruscal form (one of the later forms) is probably the simplest, each of the others has some interesting features.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: If quantum gravity does not lead to a breakdown of predictability, then Almheiri, Marolf, Polchinski and Sully (AMPS) have argued that an observer falling into a black hole can perform an experiment which verifies a violation of entanglement monogamy  that late time Hawking radiation is maximally entangled with early time Hawking radiation and also with infalling radiation  something impossible in quantum field theory. However, as pointed out by Hayden and Harlow, this experiment is infeasible, as the time required to perform the experiment is almost certainly longer than the lifetime of the black hole. Here we propose an alternative firewall experiment which could actually be performed within the black hole's lifetime. The alternative experiment involves forming an entangled black hole in which the unscrambling of information is precomputed on a quantum memory prior to the creation of the black hole and without acting on the matter which forms the black hole or emerges from it. This would allow an observer near a black hole to signal faster than light. As another application of our precomputing strategy, we show how one can produce entangled black holes which acts like ``flat mirrors'', in the sense that information comes out almost instantly (as in the HaydenPreskill scenario), but also emerge unscrambled, so that it can actually be observed instantly as well. Finally, we prove that a black hole in thermal equilibrium with its own radiation, is uncorrelated with this radiation.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The actual value of the quantum vacuum energy density is generally regarded as irrelevant in nongravitational physics. However, this paper gives a nongravitational system where this value does have physical significance. The system is a mirror with an internal degree of freedom which interacts with a scalar field. We find that the force exerted on the mirror by the field vacuum undergoes wild fluctuations with a magnitude proportional to the value of the vacuum energy density, which is mathematically infinite. This infinite fluctuating force gives infinite instantaneous acceleration of the mirror. We show that this infinite fluctuating force and infinite instantaneous acceleration make sense because they will not result in infinite fluctuation of the mirror's position. On the contrary, the mirror's fluctuating motion will be confined in a small region due to two special properties of the quantum vacuum: (1) the vacuum friction which resists the mirror's motion and (2) the strong anticorrelation of vacuum fluctuations which constantly changes the direction of the mirror's infinite instantaneous acceleration and thus cancels the effect of infinities to make the fluctuation of the mirror's position finite.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Inspired by the condensed matter analogues of black holes (a.k.a. dumb holes), we study Hawking radiation in the presence of a modified dispersion relation which becomes superluminal at large wavenumbers. In the usual stationary coordinates $(t,x)$, one can describe the asymptotic evolution of the wavepackets in WKB, but this WKB approximation breaks down in the vicinity of the horizon, thereby allowing for a mixing between initial and final creation and annihilation operators. Thus, one might be tempted to identify this point where WKB breaks down with the moment of particle creation. However, using different coordinates $(\tau,U)$, we find that one can evolve the waves so that WKB in these coordinates is valid throughout this transition region  which contradicts the above identification of the breakdown of WKB as the cause of the radiation. Instead, our analysis suggests that the tearing apart of the waves into two different asymptotic regions (inside and outside the horizon) is the major ingredient of Hawking radiation.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: There is an analogy between the propagation of fields on a curved spacetime and shallow water waves in an open channel flow. By placing a streamlined obstacle into an open channel flow we create a region of high velocity over the obstacle that can include wave horizons. Long (shallow water) waves propagating upstream towards this region are blocked and converted into short (deep water) waves. This is the analogue of the stimulated Hawking emission by a white hole (the time inverse of a black hole). The measurements of amplitudes of the converted waves demonstrate that they appear in pairs and are classically correlated; the spectra of the conversion process is described by a Boltzmanndistribution; and the Boltzmanndistribution is determined by the determined by the change in flow across the white hole horizon. 
Article: Decoherence without Dissipation
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ABSTRACT: That decoherence can take place in the presence of energy conservation seems to be a poorly known fact. That lack of knowledge has for example bedevilled the discussion of the "black hole information" problem. I present a simple model which illustrates such energy free decoherence.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The temperature of an oscillator coupled to the vacuum state of a heat bath via Ohmic coupling is nonzero, as measured by the reduced density matrix of the oscillator. This study shows that the actual temperature, as measured by a thermometer, is still zero (or, in the thermal state of the bath, the temperature of the bath). The decoherence temperature is due to 'falsedecoherence', with a correlation between the oscillator and the heat bath causing the decoherence, but the heat baths state dragged along with the state of the oscillator.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The equations for waves on the surface of an irrotational incompressible fluid are derived in the coordinates of the velocity potential/stream function. The low frequency shallow water approximation for these waves is derived for a varying bottom topography. Most importantly, the conserved norm for the surface waves is derived, important for quantisation of these waves and their use in analog models for black holes.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: One of the most striking examples for the production of particles out of the quantum vacuum due to external conditions is cosmological particle creation, which is caused by the expansion or contraction of the Universe. Already in 1939, Schr\"odinger understood that the cosmic evolution could lead to a mixing of positive and negative frequencies and that this "would mean production or annihilation of matter, merely by the expansion". Later this phenomenon was derived via more modern techniques of quantum field theory in curved spacetimes by Parker (who apparently was not aware of Schr\"odinger's work) and subsequently has been studied in numerous publications. Even though cosmological particle creation typically occurs on extremely large length scales, it is one of the very few examples for such fundamental effects where we actually may have observational evidence: According to the inflationary model of cosmology, the seeds for the anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and basically all large scale structures stem from this effect. In this Chapter, we shall provide a brief discussion of this phenomenon and sketch a possibility for an experimental realization via an analogue in the laboratory.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Belgiorno et al have reported on experiments aiming at the detection of (the analogue of) Hawking radiation using laser filaments [F. Belgiorno et al, Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 203901 (2010)]. They sent intense focused Bessel pulses into a nonlinear dielectric medium in order to change its refractive index via the Kerr effect and saw creation of photons orthogonal to the direction of travel of the pluses. Since the refractive index change in the pulse generated a "phase horizon" (where the phase velocity of these photons equals the pulse speed), they concluded that they observed the analogue of Hawking radiation. We study this scenario in a model with a phase horizon and a phase velocity very similar to that of their experiment and find that the effective metric does not quite correspond to a black hole. The photons created in this model are not due to the analogue of black hole evaporation but have more similarities to cosmological particle creation. Nevertheless, even this effect cannot explain the observations  unless the pulse has significant small scale structure in both the longitudinal and transverse dimensions. 
Article: The falling slinky
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ABSTRACT: The slinky, released from rest hanging under its own weight, falls in a peculiar manner. The bottom stays at rest until a wave hits it from above. Two cases  one unphysical one where the slinky is able to pass through itself, and the other where the coils of the slinky collide creating a shock wave travelling down the slinky are analysed. In the former case, the bottom begins to move much later than in the latter. 
Article: False Loss of Coherence
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ABSTRACT: The loss of coherence of a quantum system coupled to a heat bath as expressed by the reduced density matrix is shown to lead to the misscharacterization of some systems as being incoherent when they are not. The spin boson problem and the harmonic oscillator with massive scalar field heat baths are given as examples of reduced incoherent density matrices which nevertheless still represent perfectly coherent systems.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In a recent paper Belgiorno {\em et al} claimed to have observed the analog of the Hawking effect because of the detection of radiation in a frequency range in which what they called "phase horizons" existed. They created rapidly moving pulses of light in a silica glass whose Kerr effect altered the refractive index to create those horizons. Unfortunately, while the observations are very interesting, the cause of the radiation is not understood, and we feel it is not justified to call this a detection of the Hawking effect in an analog system.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The quantum noise in a linear amplifier is shown to be thermal noise. The theory of linear amplifiers is applied first to the simplest, single or double oscillator model of an amplifier, and then to linear model of an amplifier with continuous fields and input and outputs. Finally it is shown that the thermal noise emitted by black holes first demonstrated by Hawking, and of dumb holes (sonic and other analogs to black holes), arises from the same analysis as for linear amplifiers. The amplifier noise of black holes acting as amplifiers on the quantum fields living in the spacetime surrounding the black hole is the radiation discovered by Hawking. For any amplifier, that quantum noise is completely characterized by the attributes of the system regarded as a classical amplifier, and arises out of those classical amplification factors and the commutation relations of quantum mechanics.
Publication Stats
8k  Citations  
459.04  Total Impact Points  
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Institutions

19812015

University of British Columbia  Vancouver
 Department of Physics and Astronomy
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


2011

Utrecht University
Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands


2008

Princeton University
 Department of Physics
Princeton, NJ, United States


2000

Tel Aviv University
 Department of Physics and Astronomy
Tell Afif, Tel Aviv, Israel


19901991

Canadian Institute For Advanced Research
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


1989

University of California, Santa Barbara
 Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics
Santa Barbara, California, United States


1979

Government of British Columbia, Canada
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


1977

University of London
Londinium, England, United Kingdom


19741977

McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
