33-6 - – Uncertainty also says you can violate energy...

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What s the Nature of the Vacuum ? What s going on when there is nothing there? Q uantum M echanics tells us the vacuum must be a turmoil of continuous production and annihilation of particle-antiparticle pairs : E=mc 2 in action Uncertainty also says you can violate energy conservation temporarily : [ borrowed energy] x [time of loan ] ~ Planck's constant (very tiny number) electron antielectron (positron) This happens all around us, all the time, in empty space. What impact does this sea of virtual particles have on the expansion of the Universe? Is this related to Dark Energy? borrowed energy returned energy pair creation annihilation Vacuum! Δ E Δ t ~ h
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What s the Nature of the Vacuum ? What s going on when there is nothing there? Q uantum M echanics tells us the vacuum must be a turmoil of continuous production and annihilation of particle-antiparticle pairs : E=mc 2 in action
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Unformatted text preview: – Uncertainty also says you can violate energy conservation temporarily [ “ borrowed ” energy] x [time of “ loan ” ] ~ Planck's constant (very tiny number) electron antielectron (positron) This happens all around us, all the time, in “ empty ” space. What impact does this sea of “ virtual particles ” have on the expansion of the Universe? Is this related to Dark Energy? “ borrowed ” energy “ returned ” energy pair creation annihilation Vacuum! Δ E Δ t ~ h Not “ real ” : if one of these actually interacts, the energy mortgage has to be paid ! GUTs, Strings and TOEs 60 • Grand Unified Theories (GUTs) try to combine strong and weak forces • One popular approach: string theory • Quarks (for example) could be standing waves on Planck-scale sized “strings” • Strings may be only part of a Theory of Everything (TOE)...
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