A study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in the USA, alongside researchers at the Gravitational Wave Observatory by Laser Interferometer (LIGO), in the US state of Louisiana, found that quantum fluctuations, however small, are capable of moving large-scale objects.
Published in the journal Nature, the study concluded that the fluctuations, although too small, managed to push the LIGO's 40 kg mirrors, making it possible to measure them. The experts used a quantum “juicer”, with the aim of “manipulating the quantum noise of the detector and reducing its shocks in the mirrors, in order to improve the sensitivity of LIGO in detecting gravitational waves”, explains Haocun Yu, a student of MIT physics, cited by The Independent.
of quantum movements through mirrors
From the point of view of quantum physics, the universe is a place where particles are in constant motion. This creates a very faint quantum noise, the effects of which are usually not easy to detect. However, this new study with LIGO went further and made it possible to observe these changes.
Quantum oscillations happen constantly and “we, too, every nanosecond of our existence, are being kicked and affected by these movements”, says Nergis Mavalvala, professor in the MIT physics department, quoted by MIT News. However, the thermal energy of the human being is so great that it is almost impossible for quantum fluctuations to have any impact on our activity.
created with the objective of detecting the gravitational waves that reach the Earth. For
observe the quantum changes, two instruments were built placed
at two strategic US locations that send light through long tunnels that,
later, it is reflected in a mirror, and goes back to the starting point.
Thus, it was possible to measure the possible quantum impacts through observation
of the movements in the mirror. “This quantum fluctuation can cause a pressure of
radiation that can actually kick an object ”which, in the case of this study, is the mirror
40 kg, as Lee McCuller, a scientist at MIT, quoted by The
had already been studied and observed in previous studies. However, this
it was the first time that scientists were able to measure them using objects
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