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Uber High Frequency

  1. Oct 14, 2009 #1
    Ok topic was rather unscientific i know, but yes, i want to know, what are the highest frequency waves that are laboratory producable? also, what are the limiting factors in designing devices capable of reaching upwards of the YoctoHertz range for example. how are the frequencies generated in the first place?

    also lets just be hypothetical here, no need to come crashing down on me with a "it can't be done because of XXX limitation in currently known technology". lets just assume that we have access to an infinite selection of materials, capable of performing any required task, what are the variables which must be manipulated to achieve higher and higher level frequencies?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2009 #2


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    In currently accepted physics, there's no known higher limit on frequency, but there are reasons to believe that there might be a fundamental limitation around something of the order of 1/Plancktime. This would correspond to something like 10^44 Hz.

    The thing that determines frequency is essentially the energy of individual entities: for electromagnetic radiation, that's the energy of a photon.
  4. Oct 15, 2009 #3
    the problem is not as much generating the frequency, its measuring it
    you don't know what you have unless you can quantify it

  5. Oct 15, 2009 #4
    I don't know if you realize but you are talking about gamma rays. The photon energy of hard gamma rays is very high. To get enough energy into one photon you have to use matter antimatter reactions. And those also produce other field excitations, not just the gamma rays. We are limited by our colider powers, nature isn't, and regularly showers the earth with cosmic rays that are much stronger than anything we can produce on earth.
  6. Oct 15, 2009 #5
    Did you ever hear of Compton scattering of laser light off of high energy electrons? If you shoot 2-eV photons at a 20 GeV electron (gamma = 40,000), you get a scattered photon coming back with an energy of about gamma-squared times 2 eV = 3 GeV. Nice way to produce high energy photons. No antimatter required.
    Bob S
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