Quantum fluctuations can jiggle objects on the human scale
Date: Thursday, July 02, 2020 @ 13:40:47 MST
Topic: Science


Via MIT News: Study shows LIGO’s 40-kilogram mirrors can move in response to tiny quantum effects, revealing the “spooky popcorn of the universe.”

The universe, as seen through the lens of quantum mechanics, is a noisy, crackling space where particles blink constantly in and out of existence, creating a background of quantum noise whose effects are normally far too subtle to detect in everyday objects.

Now for the first time, a team led by researchers at MIT LIGO Laboratory has measured the effects of quantum fluctuations on objects at the human scale.


In a paper published today in Nature, the researchers report observing that quantum fluctuations, tiny as they may be, can nonetheless “kick” an object as large as the 40-kilogram mirrors of the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), causing them to move by a tiny degree, which the team was able to measure...







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