APR 30, 2018 06:21 PM PDT

The Unruh Effect: Something out of Nothing?

Here is a strange scenario physicist W. G. Unruh had pondered half a century ago: from the perspective of an accelerating observer or detector, empty space or vacuum would appear to be filled with thermally warm particles. The faster the acceleration, the warmer temperature.

Alternatively known as the Fulling–Davies–Unruh effect, this rather bizarre prediction in quantum field theory produces two contrasting consequences for two observers: for those accelerating, they will witness blackbody radiation, a thermally warm bath of radiation full of particles, and for those traveling at a constant speed, no radiation will be observed.

What is this yet-to-be-proven prediction important? It shows that the concept of the number of particles is only frame-dependent, and have nothing to deal with gravity, even though the two concepts are closely related. The Unruh effect also resonates with the idea of Hawking radiation. The radiation, named after the famed physics pioneer, is hypothesized to stem from black holes despite the latters' enormous gravitational pull.

Source: PBS Space Time via Youtube

About the Author
  • With years of experience in biomedical R & D, Daniel is also very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles.
You May Also Like
NOV 11, 2018
Space & Astronomy
NOV 11, 2018
Rocket Lab Successfully Sends Electron Rocket on its First Commercial Flight
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket quickly became of the most prominent means of commercial and private satellite launches, but sending such a massive rocket t...
DEC 13, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 13, 2018
Biochemical Antifreezes: How Do They Work?
How do fish survive in the Arctic ocean where the temperature is under zero degree Celsius most of the year? They rely on a class of polypeptides called th...
DEC 20, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 20, 2018
Bacteria-Powered Superfluids
Viscosity is the property of a fluid. It is the measure of its resistance to transformative stress, in a simpler explanation, the friction between its mole...
JAN 16, 2019
Technology
JAN 16, 2019
Chemistry for Computational Logic Operations
Generally speaking, computers are made of the most basic features that included semi-conductor chips consisting of processors and memory. However, the basi...
FEB 11, 2019
Space & Astronomy
FEB 11, 2019
Ever Wonder How Long You'd Survive On Other Planets Without a Space Suit?
The Earth is the only known habitable planet in the solar system, yet curious minds still wonder: what would happen if you visited another world without a...
FEB 19, 2019
Plants & Animals
FEB 19, 2019
A Lobster's Softer Shell Tissues Are Astonishingly Durable, New Research Claims
Lobsters are fascinating marine animals, but they’re also a delicacy in certain parts of the world. While eating lobster for dinner one evening, rese...
Loading Comments...