Quantum vacuum emission from a refractive-index front
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A moving boundary separating two otherwise homogeneous regions of a dielectric is known to emit radiation from the quantum vacuum. An analytical framework based on the Hopfield model, describing a moving refractive-index step in 1+1 dimensions for realistic dispersive media has been developed by S. Finazzi and I. Carusotto [Phys. Rev. A 87, 023803 (2013)]. We expand the use of this model to calculate explicitly spectra of all modes of positive and negative norms. Furthermore, for lower step heights we obtain a unique set of mode configurations encompassing black-hole and white-hole setups. This leads to a realistic emission spectrum featuring black-hole and white-hole emission for different frequencies. We also present spectra as measured in the laboratory frame that include all modes, in particular a dominant negative-norm mode, which is the partner mode in any Hawking-type emission. We find that the emission spectrum is highly structured into intervals of emission with black-hole, white-hole, and no horizons. Finally, we estimate the number of photons emitted as a function of the step height and find a power law of 2.5 for low step heights.
Jacquet , M J R & Koenig , F E W 2015 , ' Quantum vacuum emission from a refractive-index front ' Physical Review. A, Atomic, molecular, and optical physics , vol 92 , 023851 . DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.92.023851
Physical Review. A, Atomic, molecular, and optical physics
© 2015 American Physical Society. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the final published version of the work, which was originally published at http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevA.92.023851
The authors would like to acknowledge useful discussions with S. Finazzi and R. Parentani, as well as support from EPSRC via Grant No. EP/L505079/1.
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