The mechanisms which give rise to Hawking radiation are revealed by analyzing in detail pair production in the presence of horizons. In preparation for the black hole problem, three preparatory problems are dwelt with at length: pair production in an external electric field, thermalization of a uniformly accelerated detector and accelerated mirrors. In the light of these examples, the black hole evaporation problem is then presented. The leitmotif is the singular behavior of modes on the horizon which gives rise to a steady rate of production. Special emphasis is put on how each produced particle contributes to the mean albeit arising from a particular vacuum fluctuation. It is the mean which drives the semiclassical back reaction. This aspect is analyzed in more detail than heretofore and in particular its drawbacks are emphasized. It is the semiclassical theory which gives rise to Hawking's famous equation for the loss of mass of the black hole due to evaporation d

Authors: Brout R., Massar S., Parentani R.  Pages: 118 Year: 1995 
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