Recent study reduces Casimir force to lowest recorded level

This is a schematic drawing of the experimental configuration used to measure the Casimir force between a gold-plated sphere and a nanonstructured grating. Credit: Ricardo Decca, Ph.D.

This is a schematic drawing of the experimental configuration used to measure the Casimir force between a gold-plated sphere and a nanonstructured grating. Credit: Ricardo Decca, Ph.D.

A research team that includes a physics professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) has recorded a drastically reduced measurement of the Casimir effect, a fundamental quantum phenomenon experienced between two neutral bodies that exist in a vacuum.

For more than 60 years, scientists have studied the peculiar electromagnetic interaction between two neutral objects. The Casimir effect, a long-standing point of study in quantum physics, refers to this unavoidable physical force that exists between the objects, even when those objects are placed in an environment void of any external forces.
This recent study, published online on Sept. 27 in the Nature Communications, breaks new ground in the standard measurements of the Casimir effect known to scientists. The experiment used nanostructured (micro-ridged) metallic plates to suppress the force to a much lower rate than ever recorded previously, said Ricardo Decca, Ph.D., professor of physics at IUPUI.
“These results build upon our expertise in the measurement of the Casimir effect. At IUPUI, we have the most precise determinations of this interaction,” said Decca, one of nine co-authors in the discovery. He also is the director of the graduate program in the Department of Physics at IUPUI and co-director of the Nanoscale Imaging Center.
“Based on previous knowledge, the attraction discovered here should not have decreased as much as it did. There was still an attraction measured but not near the levels typically found,” Decca said…..
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Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-10-casimir-lowest.html#jCp

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