06-113 S. De Bievre, M. Merkli
The Unruh effect revisited (740K, postscript) Apr 11, 06
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Abstract. We give a complete and rigorous proof of the Unruh effect, in the following form. We show that the state of a two-level system, uniformly accelerated with proper acceleration $a$, and coupled to a scalar bose field initially in the Minkowski vacuum state will converge, asymptotically in the detector's proper time, to the Gibbs state at inverse temperature $\beta=\frac{2\pi}{a}$. The result also holds if the field and detector are initially in an excited state. We treat the problem as one of return to equilibrium, exploiting in particular that the Minkowski vacuum is a KMS state with respect to Lorentz boosts. We then use the recently developed spectral techniques to prove the stated result.

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