Thursday, March 7, 2013
Physics Research Conference
Quantum fluctuations: From the Casimir Effect to Quantum Entanglement
Israel Klich, Assistant Professor of Physics, University of Virginia
Nothing is certain in the world of quantum mechanics, even the concept of "nothing" itself is surprisingly subtle. Indeed, the Casimir effect, an attraction between two mirrors separated by vacuum, sometimes called "A force from nothing", is an example of the intricate consequences of taking quantum mechanics seriously. The Casimir effect has been in the spotlight in the last couple of decades, as its importance beyond fundamental physics has been realized. Rooted in quantum field theory, the effect is relevant in areas as diverse as cosmology, condensed matter physics, biology and nanotechnology. In this talk, I will explore the role of quantum fluctuations, and radiation matter coupling in creating this force and review some of the developments in recent years. I will also present new results exploring the entanglement between radiation and matter in a framework inspired by the Casimir effect.