The new warp velocity experiment could ultimately provide an indirect test of the most famous prediction of the famous physicist Stephen Hawking on black holes.
A glow effect, called the Unruh (or Fulling-Davies-Unruh) effect, makes the space around rapidly accelerating objects appear to be filled with a swarm of virtual particles, immersing them in a warm glow. This effect is closely related to the Hawking effect, a virtual particle known as Hawking radiation that spontaneously appears at the edge of a black hole, so scientists have long decided to find one as a hint of the existence of the other. I was enthusiastic.
However, it is very difficult to find either effect. Hawking radiation occurs only around the dreaded cliffs of black holes and probably requires a warp drive to achieve the acceleration required for the Unruh effect.A groundbreaking new proposal now published in the journal’s April 26 study Physical Review Letter, You can change it.The author states that he has discovered a mechanism that dramatically increases the strength of the Unruh effect through techniques that can effectively turn around. Matter can not see.
“At least we know that this effect can actually be seen in our lifetime,” said Vivishek Sudhir, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at MIT and co-author of the new experiment. I am. Said in a statement.. “This is a difficult experiment and there is no guarantee that we can do it, but this idea is our closest hope.”
The Unruh effect, first proposed by scientists in the 1970s, is one of many predictions that arise from quantum field theory. According to this theory, there is no such thing as an empty vacuum cleaner. In fact, every pocket in space is packed with infinite quantum-scale vibrations that, when given enough energy, spontaneously eject into a particle-antiparticle pair and disappear from each other almost immediately. And any particle-whether it’s matter or light-is simply a local excitation of quantum field theory.
In 1974, Stephen Hawking predicted that the extreme gravity felt at the edge of a black hole (the horizon of the event) would also produce virtual particles.
Gravity according to Einstein’s general theory Theory of relativity,wind Space-timeThe quantum field is distorted as it approaches the huge gravitational pull of the black hole. Singularity.. Due to the uncertainty and strangeness of quantum mechanics, this distorts the quantum field, creating non-uniform pockets of different travel times and subsequent spikes of energy throughout the field. These energy discrepancies cause virtual particles to emerge from what appears to be nothing on the edge of the black hole.
“Black holes are not considered to be completely black,” said lead author Barbara Shoda, a PhD student in physics at the University of Waterloo, Canada. Said in a statement.. “Instead, as Stephen Hawking discovered, black holes should emit radiation.”
Like the Hawking effect, the Unruh effect creates virtual particles by a strange fusion of quantum mechanics and the relativistic effect predicted by Einstein. But this time, instead of the distortions caused by black holes and the general theory of relativity, they come from near-speed of light and special relativity. This indicates that the closer the object is to the speed of light, the slower the time.
According to quantum theory, a stationary atom can only increase its energy by waiting for a real photon to excite one of them. Electronic.. But for accelerating atoms, quantum field theory fluctuations can look like real photons. In terms of accelerating atoms, it travels through a swarm of warm light particles, all of which heats it. This fever is a clear sign of the Unruh effect.
However, the acceleration required to produce the effect far exceeds the power of existing particle accelerators. Atoms need to accelerate to the speed of light in less than a millionth of a second to produce a glow high enough for a current detector to detect.
“To see this effect in a short amount of time requires incredible acceleration,” says Sudhir. “Instead, if there is some acceleration, you have to wait a very long time. universe — To see the measurable effect. “
To achieve the effect, researchers have proposed original alternatives. Quantum fluctuations become denser due to photons. In other words, atoms moving in a vacuum while exposed to light from a high-intensity laser can theoretically produce the Unruh effect even at fairly small accelerations. However, the problem is that the atom can interact with the laser light to absorb the laser light, raising the energy level of the atom and producing heat that drowns out the heat generated by the Unru effect.
However, researchers have discovered yet another workaround. It’s a technique called transparency caused by acceleration. If an atom is forced to follow a very specific path through a field of photons, the atom will not be able to “see” the photon at a specific frequency and will be essentially invisible to the atom. Therefore, daisy-chaining all these workarounds will allow teams to test the Unruh effect at this particular frequency of light.
Realizing that plan is a difficult task. Scientists are planning to build a laboratory-sized particle accelerator that accelerates electrons to the speed of light while striking them with a microwave beam. If they can detect the effect, they plan to conduct experiments that will allow us to explore possible relationships between Einstein’s theory of relativity and quantum mechanics.
“General relativity and quantum mechanics are still a bit of a conflict, but there must be a unified theory that explains how things work in the universe,” co-author Akim Kemp, applied mathematics. Professor of Waterloo University, Said in a statement.. “We were looking for a way to integrate these two big theories. This work has helped us get closer by opening up opportunities to test new theories for experiments.”
Originally published on Live Science.
Warp drive experiments that obscure atoms can ultimately test Stephen Hawking’s most famous predictions.
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