First discovered the quantum vibration in a large facility


30/01/2012

Nothing in this world is not in a state of absolute rest. Even at absolute zero, when the thermal fluctuations of matter are frozen, quantum particles continue to vibrate. It’s a subtle tremor was detected in a small silicon bar, which was the first solid object, to demonstrate quantum fluctuations.

This phenomenon, called the zero fluctuations is due to Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which states that the greater the known location of the particle at a given time, the less is known about the speed and direction of its motion, and vice versa. Until today, the zero-point energy was observed directly in single atoms or in a small number of particles.

In this experiment, the silicon block used, the size of 12 micrometers in length and less than a micrometer in width. Oskar Painter of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and colleagues cooled the bar to near absolute zero, and then used a laser to detect signs of movement.

Some of the laser photons have energy shift after the come into contact with the vibrating bar. Ordinary thermal fluctuations can both increase and decrease the energy of the photon, but things are different in the case of quantum fluctuations. Since the smallest possible energy states, it can only absorb energy. Painter Group found that the reflected light is at a lower energy level, which is a clear sign of the quantum fluctuations.

This work is the first in which it was possible to demonstrate the very strange behavior of the zero-point fluctuations. Namely, in this state, the substance can only absorb energy. In conventional systems, the probability of absorption and emission of energy is the same.

One member of the group commented: "We have demonstrated the reason why the macroscopic (billions of atoms), the objects can not be cooled down to absolute zero. At some point, you run into a limit beyond which the substance is exclusively for energy absorption and is not able to give it away . And if it only absorbs energy, it makes it impossible to continue to cool. This is the phenomenon of quantum fluctuations. Similar experiments were carried out in the past, but the scale of a few atoms: nothing is quite large, visible through a microscope (unlike our experiment) . "

Original: Newscientist


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