Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How to unbalance Nothingness

28.10.2011
Physicists of the Universities Jena and Graz Calculate the Time Development of the Vacuum Decay

Nothingness – this is the research subject-matter of a team of theoretical physicists from the Universities Jena (Germany) and Graz (Austria). “The ground state of our world can’t be described by the absence of all matter,” Professor Dr. Holger Gies from the Institute of Theoretical Physics of the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena and the Helmholtz-Institute Jena explains. ”This so-called quantum vacuum rather turns out to be a complex state of constantly fluctuating quantum fields with physical properties.”

The world-wide community of physicists is hoping to be able to witness a particularly spectacular characteristic in a few years’ time: the spontaneous decay of the vacuum into pairs of particles of matter and antimatter in super strong electric fields. Due to the new research results of the Austro-German team of physicists, this goal came a few steps closer.

Although first theoretical consideration concerning the spontaneous decay of the vacuum dates back to the year 1931, its comprehensive understanding is still in its infancy. „A great challenge in modern theoretical physics is the description of quantum fields out of equilibrium,” Professor Gies explains. “We are facing this problem in phase transitions in the early Universe as well as in many experiments in solid state physics." Therefore experimental proof of the vacuum decay – as it might be delivered by high intensity lasers in the near future – will provide knowledge exceeding this particular field.

The scientists from Graz and Jena now succeeded calculating the time evolution of the vacuum decay in detail. ”Even we were surprised by the results," Professor Gies confesses. According to the results particles of matter and antimatter behave in a novel self-focusing way and therefore the possibility of discovering them is higher than expected. "The quantum vacuum has already had some surprises in store,” says the Heisenberg-Professor for Theoretical Physics. “To unbalance this nothingness could develop into a new prolific field of research."

The results of this co-operation have just been published in the renowned scientific journal ‘Physical Review Letters’: http://link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.180403.

Original-Publication:
F. Hebenstreit, R. Alkofer, H. Gies: Particle Self-Bunching in the Schwinger Effect in Spacetime-Dependent Electric Fields, Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 180403 (2011), DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.180403
Contact Details:
Prof. Dr. Holger Gies
Institute of Theoretical Physics of Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena
& Helmholtz-Institute Jena
Max-Wien-Platz 1
D-07743 Jena
Tel.: 0049 (0)3641 / 947190
Email: Holger.Gies[at]uni-jena.de

Axel Burchardt | idw
Further information:
http://link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.180403
http://www.tpi.uni-jena.de/~gies/welcome.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL
23.06.2017 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

nachricht Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?
23.06.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>