“From Special to General Relativity with Unruh and Hawking: Light from atoms falling into a black hole”
General relativity as originally developed by Einstein is based on the union of geometry and gravity. Half a century later the union of general relativity and thermodynamics was found to yield surprising results such as Bekenstein- Hawking black hole entropy and Hawking radiation. In their seminal works, Hawking, Unruh and others showed how quantum effects in curved space yield a blend of thermodynamics, quantum field theory and gravity which continues to intrigue and stimulate. It has been shown that virtual processes in which atoms jump to an excited state while emitting a photon is an alternative way to view Unruh acceleration radiation. The present work is an extension of that logic by considering what happens when atoms fall into a black hole.