Skip to comments.Measuring light and vacuum fluctuations from a time flow perspective
Posted on 07/10/2019 10:12:29 PM PDT by ETL
Some of the greatest unanswered questions about the nature of the universe are related to light, the vacuum (i.e. space where neither matter nor radiation exists), and their relationship with time. In the past, physicists and philosophers have addressed a variety of complex questions, for instance, what is the nature of the vacuum, and how is the propagation of light connected to the passing of time?
Researchers at the University of Konstanz have recently carried out a study exploring the quantum states of light and vacuum fluctuations, as well as their interplay with time. Their paper, published in Nature Physics, introduces a new theoretical framework to describe the quantum states of both light and vacuum on ultra-short timescales.
The researchers' study focuses on "squeezed light," which is essentially composed of light impulses with redistributed or 'squeezed" electromagnetic fluctuations. Kizmann and his colleagues were able to unveil the existence of a direct dependency between the electromagnetic fields of light or vacuum and time.
"Around 2015, our colleagues Professor Alfred Leitenstorfer and his group, also from the University of Konstanz, were the first to demonstrate experimentally that the vacuum fluctuations of light can be measured directly," Matthias Kizmann one of the researchers who carried out the study, told Phys.org. "Since then, we have been interested in developing a new theory to describe vacuum fluctuations taking place over very short durations. This led us to the question of whether vacuum fluctuations could also be manipulated on very short durations to generate so-called squeezed light."
In their paper, the researchers describe the interaction between a strong field called a "pump" field, and the electromagnetic vacuum inside a nonlinear crystal. As a result of this interaction, the field redistributes the vacuum fluctuations in time, resulting in time intervals in which these fluctuations are either enhanced or repressed. This process is known as squeezing.
"Usually, one has to calculate the entire electric field in order to describe the resulting effects, but now we found how to describe the squeezing as a change in the flow of time," Kizmann explained. "Squeezed states belong into a broader class of so-called nonclassical states of light. These kinds of states exhibit various fascinating and new characteristics as opposed to more classical laser light. As such, nonclassical states of light play an important role in the development of future technologies in the area of quantum information or quantum spectroscopy."
Kizmann and his colleagues have gathered interesting observations describing how light and vacuum are related to time. They developed a physical model that can be used to describe quantum states of the electromagnetic field for both light and vacuum on ultrashort timescales. Their paper also outlines how the electromagnetic field in a vacuum, known as vacuum fluctuations, can be manipulated.
Essentially, light consists of waves, or oscillating electric and magnetic fields. In the 19th century, people believed that in the dark, these fields are equal to zero. Quantum theory, however, states that a dark empty space is in fact not entirely empty, as it contains small fluctuations that prompt slight movements in the fields, known as vacuum fluctuations. These fluctuations are known to be redistributed from one variable to another (e.g. from electric to magnetic fields), which is the squeezing of the vacuum.
"We have studied how the vacuum fluctuations can be manipulated in time and found that we can also redistribute fluctuations from one moment in time to another," Guido Burkard, lead researcher for the study, told Phys.org. "It turns out that the flow of time as seen from the light pulse can be modified in a nonlinear optical material, and this change in the flow of time is directly related to the change in fluctuations."
The observations gathered by Kizmann, Burkard and their colleagues bear some similarities to the relativity of time in relativity theory. In their paper, they draw an analogy between quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity, two areas in physics that past studies have often struggled to reconcile. Their observations and the analogy they presented could ultimately enhance our current understanding of the relationship between quantum physics and relativity. The researchers also believe that ultrashort pulses of squeezed quantum light could soon be demonstrated and observed in the lab.
"We think that states of quantum light of minute duration down to one femtosecond (10-15 seconds) will soon be realized and characterized experimentally," Andrey Moskalenko, another researcher involved in the study, told Phys.org. "Then they can be used as a new quantum tool in ultrafast spectroscopy, probing processes in matter on such short durations. This would give access to a presently hidden but very important plethora of ultrafast phenomena, which determine key properties of novel quantum devices."
The study offers fascinating new insights about the quantum states of light and vacuum, and their relationship with time. The theory they developed could ultimately facilitate the use of time-dependent quantum states of light in quantum optics and quantum information applications. In their future work, the researchers plan to explore this topic further, investigating the relationship between the slight movements that occur in a vacuum and a phenomenon called quantum entanglement.
"We are curious how these redistributions of quantum fluctuations are related to quantum entanglement, the phenomenon that fuels quantum computers and represents a resource for secure quantum communication.," Burkard said. "We'd also like to know how measuring (i.e. 'looking at') the vacuum fields influences these fluctuations, and how squeezed states can be used for ultrafast spectroscopy."
Schematic sketch of the process that produces the squeezed states. An ultrashort pump field is sent into a nonlinear crystal,
squeezing the vacuum. Different areas of the field are redistributed (accelerated or decelerated) within the crystal (see grey
lines in the horizontal plane). Furthermore, the strength of field E0 (amplitude of vacuum fluctuations) is increased or decreased
(z axis). Credit: Kizmann et al.
Subcycle squeezing of light from a time flow perspective | Nature: Physics
Illegal aliens sucking off the teat of zero point energy is why the universe is is expanding. In this case, its causing universal cooling. Will a phase shift soon follow?
That makes more sense to me than those two graphics I posted. :)
Re: “Some of the greatest unanswered questions about the nature of the universe are related to light, the vacuum... and their relationship with time.”
One very interesting connection I’m somewhat familiar with is the intricate link between space, time, matter and energy via Einstein’s equations. That is, time dilation, length contraction, mass increase, and E=mc^2.
Not only does a moving clock tick out time more slowly, and a moving ruler shrink in length, a moving object likewise experiences a mass increase (all of the above is as viewed from our outside stationary point of reference).
Then there is the more popular relationship between matter and energy via E=mc^2. I find it incredible that these seemingly very different aspects of reality are so intertwined.
Thanks for posting this. It actually is very interesting and a novel way to examine squeezed states
No there is no easily understood explanation for the average science lover. 45 yrs in lasers and electro optics helps
All I know is I had a flood light burst, and the pump field went out, and I had to buy a wet/dry/light vacuum to clean up the mess. Thank God for ABCE=MC2 Warehouse.
There is no such thing as a total vacuum as consciousness exists everywhere.
Time is not just a function of the speed of light. Time is a function of the frequency of consciousness divided by the speed of light. As consciousness increases in frequency time decreases.
Perception of reality is a function of the frequency of consciousness observing it.
This is the missing component of Einstein’s theory of relativity as he belonged to the “Flat Consciousness Society.”
Consciousness can’t reach these high frequencies unless it combines in it’s dual aspects to form a standing wave. This is where Love is important as it is the glue that holds consciousness together so it can reach higher frequencies without vibrating like a car tire out of balance at high speeds.
Religion(s) are merely theories and philosophies of the anatomy & physiology of human consciousness and how it interacts with its environment. They have much truth in them.
Light is an intrinsic characteristic of higher levels of consciousness. When I go deep in meditation, no matter the level or frequency of consciousness I am at, I always perceive the levels above me as Light.
I’ve observed that Niels Bohr’s discovery of the orbitals of electrons and how electrons yield photons when moving to a lower level is also true of consciousness. The higher I go, the brighter the Light I perceive.
Are "squeezed states" in any way related to the concentration of light rays required in forming a laser beam?
I’ve come to the opinion that there is no total vacuum in space. My reasoning is that in any location in space you can see the light from stars which is accompanied by other radiation from those sources. Since the radiation is present it isn’t a total vacuum.
Not really. Laser beams are formed by amplifying a particularly frequency of the electromagnetic spectrum. In most visible lasers that requires optics that allow the amplification
Yes, not only that but so-called "empty space" is seething with an inherent energy within it, with 'virtual particles' continuously popping into and out of existence. I believe this 'hidden' energy is referred to as 'quantum flux'.
Brian Green on what space looks like from a String Theory perspective.
Interesting in relation to this article.
Because String Theory is way out there in terms of speculation. Instinct tells me it doesn't come close to accurately explaining or describing the fundamental nature of reality, if such a single explanation of reality even exists. ie, there is a near-infinite number of perspectives in which to view or experience the universe. In other words, from the perspective of something residing in the realm of quantum mechanics, its experience is completely different than something in the macroscopic/everyday world. How can we possibly select one of these countless possibilities and decide that it is the correct and only perspective in which to describe the universe.
I thought much of the quantum infinities had been excluded by pegging values to those twenty odd fundamental numbers. Weight of a proton, etc. meaning, the possible universes were few.
but Im certainly no expert. I find the non Euclidean geometry and higher dimensional studies fascinating.
Yes, from my vague understanding, that was the basis for coming up with string theory in the first place. To put a lower limit on the size of quantum entities. Otherwise, current mathematics treat individual entities as though they had zero volume, as dimensionless ‘point’ particles.
more probable, episodes/topics from that excellent PBS series that he did than this one.
Looking forward to watching. I must not have caught them all. Thanks!!
What is Space? Brian Greene - 2016 Documentary: HD 720p
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