Loving story of twin fireflies: Physicists extract light from seeming emptiness; World Science report via humanrescueintermedia

Physicists extract light from seeming emptiness

Nov. 18, 2011
Courtesy of Chalmers University of Technology
and World Science staff

http://www.world-science.net/othernews/111117_casimir.htm

Phys­i­cists in Swe­den say they have man­aged to cre­ate light from vac­u­um, the clos­est thing to emp­ty space known to ex­ist.

In find­ings pub­lished this week in the re­search jour­nal Na­ture, the sci­en­tists said they ver­i­fied an ef­fect pre­dicted over 40 years ago by cap­tur­ing some of the par­t­i­cles of light, or pho­tons, that con­stantly ap­pear and disap­pear in the vac­u­um.

vacuumphotons.jpg
A di­a­gram il­lus­trating how vir­tu­al pho­tons bounce off a “mir­ror” that vi­brates at a speed ap­proach­ing that of light. The round mir­ror in the pic­ture is a sym­bol, and un­der that is the quan­tum elec­tron­ic com­po­nent (re­ferred to as a SQUID), which acts as a mir­ror. This makes real pho­tons ap­pear in pairs, phys­i­cists say. (Cred­it: Phil­ip Krantz, Chal­mers U.)
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