Empty Space Is Not Empty
The above title began the post's headline which continued: and quantum researchers now have direct evidence
This test makes no sense.
Light is synchronized electric and magnetic fields and their oscillation has a defined wave length.
Then in 2015, a team of German scientists led by Alfred Leitenstorfer announced that they had directly detected that fluctuating energy field by firing a super-short laser pulse into a vacuum and seeing tiny changes in the polarization of the light. Those changes, they said, were caused by the fluctuations in the quantum vacuum.
They again used a super-short laser pulse—specifically, a few femtoseconds long, which is half the size of a wavelength of light in the range they were studying—to generate what's known as "squeezed light," or light that has been slowed down in a certain segment of space-time.
In other words they were testing one wavelength and they generated a wavelength half that. I do not know how that combination can be done in one measurement.
Checking the polarization of light is checking the angle between the two planes of these oscillating electric and magnetic fields relative to the direction of the beam.
Somehow this test detected changes in this angle within a tiny wavelength, 0.3 microns.
a femtosecond is 10^-15 of a second.
For context, a ray of light travels approximately 0.3 μm (micrometers) in 1 femtosecond.
Since the observed change in the polarization angle in this test cannot be explained with physics, the explanation offered is:
Those changes, they said, were caused by the fluctuations in the quantum vacuum. Still, since many things could potentially cause that fluctuation, that result was up for debate.
How long is this awkward conclusion up for debate?
My comment got this reply:
hat's quite the opinionated word salad. This was reviewed in 2017, 2 years after the 2015 results which were "up for debate". While conclusions are typically not truly absolute in any science, the empirical data and observations are consistent. Here is the actual scientific article along with 41 references.
My reply to that:
I agree - too much opinion at the end.
They are looking for a change in light polarization. Light is electromagnetic radiation. QM treats one wavelength as a photon particle.
When the tiny wavelength has a change in polarization the conclusion is the QM photon was affected by 'vacuum fluctuations of electromagnetic radiation in free space. '
QM is always based on probabilities.
This result to be valid had to be qualified using probabilities.
To experimentally access the statistics of the quantum vacuum, we extended the RFLA bandwidth to 1.6 MHz and sampled the probability distribution of the electric field P(Etotal) every 5 μs.
The subcycle temporal resolution provided by the ultrashort probe ensures that we can directly detect effects originating from purely virtual photons.
I assume 'purely virtual photons' are a purely statistical interpretation.
Whenever QM does a test with a photon rather than a real QM subatomic particle like an electron, I wonder whether analyzing the wavelength during the test is open to doubt.
The original post said 'Quantum researchers have solid evidence' so I was skeptical.
In the future I should just ignore QM posts like this.
Hit back to go to previous page in history.
Here is the list of topics in this Cosmology Topic Group .
Ctrl + for zoom in; Ctrl - for zoom out ; Ctrl 0 for no zoom;
triple-tap for zoom to fit; pinch for zoom change; pinched for no zoom