Researchers have developed a new theory for observing a quantum vacuum that could lead to new insights into the behaviour of black holes.
The Unruh effect combines quantum physics and the theory of relativity. So far it has not been possible to measure or observe it, but now new research from a team led by the University of Nottingham has shed light on how this could be achieved using sound particles. The team’s research has been published today in the journal Physical Review Letters.
The Unruh effect suggests that if you fly through a quantum vacuum with extreme acceleration, the vacuum no longer looks like a vacuum: rather, it looks like a warm bath full of particles. This phenomenon is closely related to the Hawking radiation from black holes.
A research team from the University of Nottingham’s Black Hole Laboratory in collaboration with University of British Columbia and Vienna