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 Blue phosphorus -- mapped and measured for the first time
16.10.2018 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie

nachricht All in the family: Kin of gravitational wave source discovered
16.10.2018 | University of Maryland

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: Goodbye, silicon? On the way to new electronic materials with metal-organic networks

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.

Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...

Im Focus: Storage & Transport of highly volatile Gases made safer & cheaper by the use of “Kinetic Trapping"

Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles

Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...

Im Focus: Disrupting crystalline order to restore superfluidity

When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.

We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...

Im Focus: Micro energy harvesters for the Internet of Things

Fraunhofer IWS Dresden scientists print electronic layers with polymer ink

Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...

Im Focus: Dynamik einzelner Proteine

Neue Messmethode erlaubt es Forschenden, die Bewegung von Molekülen lange und genau zu verfolgen

Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Conference to pave the way for new therapies

17.10.2018 | Event News

Berlin5GWeek: Private industrial networks and temporary 5G connectivity islands

16.10.2018 | Event News

5th International Conference on Cellular Materials (CellMAT), Scientific Programme online

02.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Robot-assisted sensor system for quality assurance of press-hardened components

17.10.2018 | Trade Fair News

Sensory Perception Is Not a One-Way Street

17.10.2018 | Life Sciences

Plant Hormone Makes Space Farming a Possibility

17.10.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>