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Department of Mathematics, Ohio State University,
Columbus, OH 43210, USA

November 11, 1997


In the absence of gravitation the distinguishing feature of any linearly and uniformly accelerated frame is that it is one member of a pair moving into opposite directions. This pairing partitions Minkowski spacetime into four mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive domains whose boundary consists of the future and past event horizons relative to each of the two frames. This acceleration-induced partitioning of spacetime leads to a nature-given interferometer. It accomodates quantum mechanical and wave mechanical processes in spacetime which in (Euclidean) optics correspond to wave processes in a ``Mach-Zehnder'' interferometer: amplitude splitting, reflection, and interference. The spacetime description of these processes is given in terms of amplitudes which are defined globally as well as locally in each of the four Rindler spacetime domains. It is found that these amplitudes behave smoothly across the event horizons. In this context there arises quite naturally a complete set of orthonormal wave packet histories, one of whose key properties is their explosivity index. It measures the rate at which the wave packets collapse and reexplode. In the limit of low index values the wave packets trace out fuzzy world lines. For large mass this fuzziness turns into the razor-sharpness of classically determinate world lines of the familiar Klein-Gordon scalar particles. By contrast, in the asymptotic limit of high index values, there are no world lines, not even fuzzy ones. Instead, the wave packet histories are those of entities with non-trivial internal collapse and explosion dynamics. Their details are described by the wave processes in the above-mentioned Mach-Zehnder interferometer. Each one of them is a double slit interference process. These wave processes are applied to illucidate the amplification of waves in an accelerated inhomogeneous dielectric. Also discussed are the properties and relationships among the transition amplitudes of an accelerated finite-time detector.

PACS numbers: 04.62.+v, 03.65.Pm, 42.25.Hz, 42.25.Fx

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Ulrich Gerlach