Quantum mechanics shows that vacuum isn’t empty at all. It’s essentially occupied by quantum energy and particles that blink in and out of reality for a brief moment. These mysterious particles, more like signals, are known as quantum fluctuations. For past few decades, these fluctuations were only detected indirectly, but couple of years ago, physicists claimed to have spotted these theoretical fluctuations directly.
Now the same team of physicists says that they’ve achieved another milestone by manipulating the vacuum itself, and spotting the deviations in these strange signals in the vacuum. If confirmed after further observations, their experiment will actually be taking us to the territory of high-level physics here, meaning that the physicists might have just revealed a way to detect, probe, and test the quantum realm without interfering with it.
Probing and testing the quantum realm without interfering with it is very, very important, because one of the major difficulties with quantum mechanics is that every single time we measure and observe a quantum system, we actually destroy it, which doesn’t bode well when we want to tease out what’s really going on in the quantum world.
Classically vacuum is defined as; space completely lacking of matter, with the lowermost imaginable energy. There are no particles present in vacuum, and nothing to interfere with pure physics.
We all know about Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, a byproduct of this theory states that there’s a boundary to how much we can understand about quantum particles, and as an outcome, a vacuum isn’t empty, it’s essentially vivacious with its own bizarre energy, and full of particle-antiparticle pairs that come into and out of existence randomly.
Now these quantum fluctuations yield arbitrarily fluctuating electric fields that can disturb electrons, which is basically how researchers first indirectly confirmed their existence back in the 1940s.
Back in 2015, a group of physicists led by Alfred Leitenstorfer from the University of Konstanz in Germany said that his team directly detected these fluctuations, by detecting their effect on a light wave. The research was published in journal Science.
The same team of researchers have now taken their experiment to the higher level by ‘squeezing’ the vacuum, and say they’ve been succeeded in observing the bizarre changes in the quantum fluctuations as a result.
This again proves indication of the reality of these quantum fluctuations and it also proposes that physicists can observe experiments in the quantum world without effecting the results, which is something that would normally terminate the quantum state.
We can analyse quantum states without changing them in the first approximation,