Home > News > Quantum challenge for USD professor
December 13th, 2009
Quantum challenge for USD professor
That last point is the subject of Sheehan's most recent paper, published in the Journal of Chemical Physics. It concerns the possibility that "virtual photons" — particles of light that blink in and out of existence without ever being seen or directly detected — may actually exert real force in a perfect vacuum. If true, it might mean that physical and chemical reactions could be mechanically altered without any exchange of material particles or energy.
"A bit like making something happen by waving a magic wand," Sheehan said, smiling.
To be sure, Sheehan doesn't actually know if this can really happen inside a vacuum. It's theoretical. Experiments need to be done. And if it does happen, it likely occurs only at the infinitesimal, invisible level of quantum mechanics.
News and information
Haydale Secures Exclusive Development and Supply Agreement with Tantec A/S: New reactors to be built and commissioned by Tantec A/S represent another step forward towards the commercialisation of graphene October 24th, 2014
QuantumWise guides the semiconductor industry towards the atomic scale October 24th, 2014
MEMS & Sensors Technology Showcase: Finalists Announced for MEMS Executive Congress US 2014 October 23rd, 2014
Nanoparticle technology triples the production of biogas October 23rd, 2014
Solid nanoparticles can deform like a liquid: Unexpected finding shows tiny particles keep their internal crystal structure while flexing like droplets October 12th, 2014
Unconventional photoconduction in an atomically thin semiconductor: New mechanism of photoconduction could lead to next-generation excitonic devices October 9th, 2014
Nanoparticles Break the Symmetry of Light October 6th, 2014
Ultrafast remote switching of light emission October 2nd, 2014
Imaging electric charge propagating along microbial nanowires October 20th, 2014
Superconducting circuits, simplified: New circuit design could unlock the power of experimental superconducting computer chips October 18th, 2014
Nanocoatings Market By Product Is Expected To Reach USD 8.17 Billion By 2020: Grand View Research, Inc. October 15th, 2014
Perpetuus Carbon Group Receives Independent Verification of its Production Capacity for Graphenes at 140 Tonnes per Annum: Perpetuus Becomes the First Manufacturer in the Sector to Allow Third Party Audit October 7th, 2014
NIST quantum probe enhances electric field measurements October 8th, 2014
Quantum environmentalism: Putting a qubit's surroundings to good use October 2nd, 2014
Rice launches Center for Quantum Materials: RCQM will immerse global visitors in cross-disciplinary research September 30th, 2014
Big Results Require Big Ambitions: Three young UCSB faculty receive CAREER awards from the National Science Foundation September 18th, 2014