APR 30, 2018 6:21 PM PDT

The Unruh Effect: Something out of Nothing?

WRITTEN BY: Daniel Duan

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
  • Graduated with a bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Science and a master degree in neuropharmacology, Daniel is a radiopharmaceutical and radiobiology expert based in Ottawa, Canada. With years of experience in biomedical R&D, Daniel is 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. The recurring topics in his Chemistry & Physics trending news section include alternative energy, material science, theoretical physics, medical imaging, and green chemistry.
You May Also Like
APR 06, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
APR 06, 2020
How the chemical industry can cut down on carbon emissions
The chemical industry faces a unique challenge in order to comply with countries’ commitments to become carbon-neu ...
APR 15, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
APR 15, 2020
Pandemic Maths: Why Time Doesn't Matter in Understanding Infection Trajectory
There's no doubt that a lot of our current attention goes to the COVID-19 infection cases, as media outlets publish ...
APR 20, 2020
Space & Astronomy
APR 20, 2020
Here's How the ESA's CHEOPS Mission Works
Exoplanetary detections have exploded exponentially since the first discovery of one by Swedish astronomers in 1995. The ...
APR 26, 2020
Space & Astronomy
APR 26, 2020
Can Planets Be Larger Than Their Host Stars?
When you look at the confines of our solar system and notice just how large the Sun is when compared to Jupiter, the lar ...
MAY 12, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAY 12, 2020
Here's What Would Happen if You Fired a Gun in Outer Space
Many of the world’s greatest science fiction films depict massive battles in outer space between starships and eve ...
MAY 15, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
MAY 15, 2020
Can we harness the COVID-19 momentum?
Forced confinements during the COVID-19 global pandemic have resulted in altered energy demands internationally, reports ...
Loading Comments...