Skip to comments.Moving mirrors make light from nothing
Posted on 06/03/2011 11:58:13 AM PDT by neverdem
Researchers claim to have produced sought-after quantum effect.
A team of physicists is claiming to have coaxed sparks from the vacuum of empty space1. If verified, the finding would be one of the most unusual experimental proofs of quantum mechanics in recent years and "a significant milestone", says John Pendry, a theoretical physicist at Imperial College London who was not involved in the study.
The researchers, based at the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, will present their findings early next week at a workshop in Padua, Italy. They have already posted a paper on the popular pre-print server arXiv.org, but have declined to talk to reporters because the work has not yet been peer-reviewed. High-profile journals, including Nature, discourage researchers from talking to the press until their findings are ready for publication.
Nevertheless, scientists not directly connected with the group say that the result is impressive. "It is a major development," says Federico Capasso, an experimental physicist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who has worked on similar quantum effects.
At the heart of the experiment is one of the weirdest, and most important, tenets of quantum mechanics: the principle that empty space is anything but. Quantum theory predicts that a vacuum is actually a writhing foam of particles flitting in and out of existence.
The existence of these particles is so fleeting that they are often described as virtual, yet they can have tangible effects. For example, if two mirrors are placed extremely close together, the kinds of virtual light particles, or photons, that can exist between them can be limited. The limit means that more virtual photons exist outside the mirrors than between them, creating a force that pushes the plates together. This 'Casimir force' is strong enough at short distances for scientists to physically measure...
(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...
Can they put it in a light bulb?
“Let there be light!”
Always wondered. So...it’s all done with mirrors?
That’s pretty interesting.
>>...creating a force that pushes the plates together.<<
Really? Maybe these guys were on to something:
And the first one I saw on the subject:
Gramma always said it was very bad luck to put two mirrors together so they reflected each other infinitely. Demons or something could fly out.
Once again, science validates grandma.
Do light bulbs produce light; or do they suck up dark?
It appears they emit light energy.
Man can not "create".
Man is soooo vain!!
I have noticed that while they are sucking up dark, if something blocks them, they leave a ‘shadow’ of dark behind.
What about Bloody Mary, did they find her?
How does this help me in my quest to randomly poison or not poison cats locked in boxes?
If you reverse bias an LED, will it produce an absence of light?
Schroedinger, Erwin, professor of physics,
Wrote daring equations, confounded his critics!
(Not bad, eh? Don’t worry. This part of the verse,
Starts off pretty good, but it gets a lot worse.)
Win saw that the theory that Newton’d invented,
By Einstein’s discoveries had been badly dented.
“What now?” wailed his colleagues. Said Erwin, “Don’t panic,
No grease monkey I, but a quantum mechanic.
Consider electrons. Now, these teeny articles,
Are sometimes like waves, and then sometimes like particles.
If that’s not confusing, the nuclear dance,
Of electrons and suchlike is governed by chance!
No sweat, though, my theory permits us to judge,
Where some of them is and the rest of them was.”
Not everyone bought this. It threatened to wreck,
The comforting linkage of cause and effect.
Even Einstein had doubts, and so Schroedinger tried,
To tell him what quantum mechanics implied.
Said Win to Al, “Brother, suppose we’ve a cat,
And inside a tube we have put that cat at,
Along with a solitaire deck, and some Fritos,
A bottle of Night Train, a couple mosquitoes,
(Or something else rhyming) and, oh, if you got ‘em,,
One vial, prussic acid, one decaying ottom,
Or atom - whatever - but when it emits,
A trigger device blasts the vial into bits,
Which snuffs our poor kitty. The odds of this crime,
Are 50 to 50 per hour each time.
The cylinder’s sealed. The hours pass away. Is,
Our pussy still purring? Or pushing up daisies?
Now, you’d say that the cat either lives or it don’t,
But quantum mechanics is stubborn and won’t.
Statistically speaking, the cat (goes the joke),
Is half a cat breathing and half a cat croaked.
To some this may seem a ridiculous split,
But quantum mechanics must answer, “Tough shit!”
We may not know much, but one thing’s for sho’:
There are things in the cosmos that we cannot know.
Shine light on electrons - you’ll cause them to swerve.
The act of observing disturbs the observed.
Which ruins your test. But then if there’s no testing,
To see if a particle’s moving or resting,
Why try to conjecture? Pure useless endeavor!
We know probability. But certainty? Never.
The effect of this notion? I very much fear,
‘Twill make doubtful all things that were formerly clear.
Till soon the cat doctors will say in reports,
“We’ve just flipped a coin and we’ve learned he’s a corpse.”
So saith Herr Erwin. Quoth Albert, “You’re nuts.
God doesn’t play dice with the universe, putz.
I’ll prove it!” he said, and the Lord knows he tried.
In vain, until finally he more or less died.
Win spoke at the funeral: “Listen, dear friends,
Sweet Al was my buddy. I must make amends.
Though he doubted my theory, I’ll say of this saint:
Ten-to-one he’s in heaven—but five bucks says he ain’t.”
It then becomes a DED - Dark Emitting Diode.
Used mainly as a power off / power failure indicator.