Thought for the month

“You know," said Arthur, "it's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young." "Why, what did she tell you?" "I don't know, I didn't listen.” From The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams, Author (1952-2001)

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

And then there was ...

A group of physicists working at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, have succeeded in proving that visible photons can be produced from the virtual particles that have been thought to exist in a quantum vacuum. The experiment is based on one of the most counterintuitive, yet, one of the most important principles in quantum mechanics: that vacuum is by no means empty nothingness; it teems with virtual particles flitting in and out of existence. Using the vibrational speeds associated with a superconducting quantum interference device to enact the dynamical Casmir effect the team was able to convert the virtual photons into real ones. Almost magical.

No comments:

Post a Comment