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Moving mirrors make light from nothing
Nature News ^ | 3 June 2011 | Geoff Brumfiel

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posted a paper on the popular pre-print server arXiv.org, but have declined to talk to reporters because the work has not yet been peer-reviewed.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 ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: casimirforce; physics; quantummechanics
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To: djf
Up to a point ~ but beyond that ...................... did you realize they just found a galaxy that's TWIN to our own?

Probably is our own if the truth be known. The holographic universe has yet to be disproved as a viable hypothesis for everything.

41 posted on 06/03/2011 5:05:50 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Repeal The 17th
As a PhD in quantum mechanics, let me say to, well done!

Consider yourself highly commended.

Cheers!

42 posted on 06/03/2011 7:35:03 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: Repeal The 17th
That is on par with asking, "Do refrigerators make cold?"
43 posted on 06/03/2011 11:30:33 PM PDT by TXnMA (There is no Constitutional right to NOT be offended.)
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>> a writhing foam of particles flitting in and out of existence.

Transforming energy and matter at a frequency too fast to measure? I surmise.


44 posted on 06/03/2011 11:39:27 PM PDT by Gene Eric (*** Jesus ***)
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To: KarlInOhio

By using the light thus produced, you can quantify the dead cats and thus measure the effectiveness of the random poison application


45 posted on 06/04/2011 4:48:13 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. N.C. D.E. +12 ....( History is a process, not an event ))
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To: grey_whiskers

Thanks, but I can not take the credit...
(see post # 24 above)


46 posted on 06/04/2011 6:52:01 AM PDT by Repeal The 17th (Proud to be a (small) monthly donor.)
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To: DownInFlames
Can they put it in a light bulb?


47 posted on 06/05/2011 10:54:03 AM PDT by anymouse (God didn't write this sitcom we call life, he's just the critic.)
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