Classical analog of the Unruh effect

Ulf Leonhardt, Itay Griniasty, Sander Wildeman, Emmanuel Fort, Mathias Fink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the Unruh effect an observer with constant acceleration perceives the quantum vacuum as thermal radiation. The Unruh effect has been believed to be a pure quantum phenomenon, but here we show theoretically how the effect arises from the correlation of noise, regardless of whether this noise is quantum or classical. We demonstrate this idea with a simple experiment on water waves where we see the first indications of a Planck spectrum in the correlation energy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number022118
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number2
StatePublished - 13 Aug 2018


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