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A test of the circular Unruh effect using atomic electrons

We propose a test for the circular Unruh effect using certain atoms – fluorine and oxygen. For these atoms the centripetal acceleration of the outer shell electrons implies an effective Unruh temperature in the range 1000–2000 K. This range of Unruh temperatures is large enough to shift the expected occupancy of the lowest energy level and nearby energy levels. In effect the Unruh temperature changes the expected pure ground state, with all the electrons in the lowest energy level, to a mixed state with some larger than expected occupancy of states near to the lowest energy level. Examining these atoms at low background temperatures and finding a larger than expected number of electrons in low lying excited levels, beyond what is expected due to the background thermal excitation, would provide experimental evidence for the Unruh effect.

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