Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics & Astronomy
College Station, Texas 77843
In 1975-76, I argued that the vacuum state behaved like a thermal bath to an accelerated observer. The temperature is proportional to the acceleration, with 10^22 cm/s^2 corresponding to 1K. This is closely related to the Hawking effect for black holes. While both effects are extremely difficult to observe in nature, th ey can be measured in analog systems. However, while the Hawking effect has been seen in a Bose Einstein condensate, seeing the acceleration temperature is much more difficult even in an analog system. I will review the problem, the success for the Hawking effect, and a proposal for detecting the acceleration temperature in a BEC vacuum state. This will use a new type of particle detector for phonons in a BEC, which acts very much like a microphone, converting quantum sound waves into quantum electromagnetic fields. It also uses ideas from LIGO for the detection.