Femtosecond Lasers Allow Physicists to Directly Observe Zero-Point Energy
Date: Sunday, October 04, 2015 @ 14:07:35 EDT
Topic: Science


Via Motherboard: "Femtosecond Lasers Allow Physicists to Directly Observe Zero-Point Energy" by Michael Byrne

This was a good week for nothing. That is to say that it was a good week for research into the vast strangeness that is zero-point energy—or vacuum fluctuations, the small quantum twitches of standard deviation that arise when every bit of matter and energy is removed from a unit of space. The unvoid.

On Wednesday, I reported on a study released by physicists at Chalmers University describing an experiment in which vacuum fluctuations are probed using artificial atoms reflected against a sort of mirror. The setup is based on using the atom's radiative decay (aka spontaneous emission) as an amplifier of sorts for the fizz of virtual particles that arise in vacuum conditions. Amplification has been a key requirement of most all zero-point energy detection experiments.



Now, a second study, released Thursday in Science, offers a new way into the zero-point world. Crucially, it's a method that doesn't require amplification and instead offers a means of direct detection using the electro-optic effect, in which the refractive index of a region of space alters the polarization of short laser probe beams. These pulses can then be analyzed, offering up new information about the true nature of the void...

Full article: Femtosecond Lasers Allow Physicists to Directly Observe Zero-Point Energy





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