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Sunday, May 29, 2011

I'm back! Pendulums, Space Pic, Quantum Fluctuations, and a breakdown of Hawking Radiation

Sorry for the hiatus!  I'm back in town and ready to rock.  Here's a video, an awesome space pic, and a fascinating read for you all.

Today via Astropixie:
"Pendulum Waves"
Absolutely mesmerizing.  Short and sweet to boot.

Video Credit: Youtube user NatSciDemos

Today via Universe Today, a stunning pic of
"Astronomy Without A Telescope – Holographic Dark Information Energy"

Image Credit: Croman/an APOD for November 7 2005

Over on Io9 today, an article on quantum fluctuations in a vacuum.
"Mirrors can actually create light through the magic of quantum weirdness"
Quantum fluctuations refer to the spontaneous particle pairs that pop into existence out of nowhere and shortly thereafter annihilate each other.  In this article, the Casimir Effect is explained.  Mirrors placed next to each other in a vacuum actually emanate light when the particles produced are of a shorter wavelength than the distance between the mirrors.  The situation gets even more interesting when the mirrors are travelling at close to the speed of light, which is referred to as "Relativistic Speed."

A bit more about this effect: Quantum fluctuations are the phenomenon that fuels Hawking Radiation as well.  When particles spontaneously pop into existence at the event horizon of a black hole, one particle flies out into space, while the other gets sucked into the black hole.  The "hole" that's left in the vacuum actually causes the loss of mass of the black hole.  Think of it as the emptiness in the vacuum maintaining a net 0.  This is how a black hole "evaporates."  Wild stuff!

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