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B Physicists study the quantum vacuum

  1. Jan 19, 2017 #1

    wolram

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    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170118132244.htm

    I read this with a degree of skepticism, can we manipulate the quantum back ground?

    An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made by researchers in Germany. The team of scientists has now shown how to manipulate the electric vacuum field and thus generate deviations from the ground state of empty space which can only be understood in the context of the quantum theory of light.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 19, 2017 #2

    fresh_42

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  4. Jan 19, 2017 #3

    A. Neumaier

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    This is journalistic exaggeration. Nobody can make experiments with pure nothingness since whatever is doen is generated by experimental equipment or by the observed environment.

    The misunderstanding comes from the fact that in the quantum optics of a beam splitter (which in theory has two input and two output beams) one models a missing input beam by a state containing zero photons, which is the ground state of the corresponding harmonic oscillator. And taking over a notion from quantum field theory, they call the ground state the vacuum state. Thus the input of a beam splitter fed by one laser beam is in the model a tensor product of a coherent state and a vacuum state, and this can be manipulated.

    ''Vacuum'' therefore just refers to the absence of a beam in part of the experimental arrangement. But to make headlines in the press, this is too little exciting, and Science News uses the well-oiled machinery of the quantum magicians and sells a historically sanctioned misunderstanding for the real thing.
     
  5. Jan 19, 2017 #4

    wolram

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    Thank you Neumaeir.
     
  6. Jan 19, 2017 #5

    A. Neumaier

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  7. Jan 20, 2017 #6

    A. Neumaier

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