May the force be with us? Precise measurements test quantum electrodynamics, constrain possible fifth fundamental force
(Phys.org) —Quantum electrodynamics (QED) – the relativistic quantum field theory of electrodynamics – describes how light and matter interact – achieves full agreement between quantum mechanics and special relativity. (QED can also be described as a perturbation theory of the electromagnetic quantum vacuum.) QED solves the problem of infinities associated with charged pointlike particles and, perhaps more importantly, includes the effects of spontaneous particle-antiparticle generation from the vacuum. Recently, scientists at VU University, The Netherlands, published two papers in quick succession that, respectively, tested QED to extreme precision by comparing values for the electromagnetic coupling constant1, and applied these measurements to obtain accurate results from frequency measurements on neutral hydrogen molecules that can be interpreted in terms of constraints on possible fifth-force interactions beyond the Standard Model of physics2. In addition, the researchers point out that while the Standard Model explains physical phenomena observed at the microscopic scale, so-called dark...
- Researchers discover how to conduct first test of 'untestable' string theoryWed, 1 Sep 2010, 9:50:20 EDT
- Physicists get an up-close look at synthetic quantum materialsThu, 17 Jun 2010, 14:43:11 EDT
- Researchers measure elusive repulsive force from quantum fluctuationsWed, 7 Jan 2009, 13:43:49 EST
- Syracuse University physicists develop model that pushes limits of quantum theory, relativityTue, 3 Aug 2010, 13:38:11 EDT
- EUROCORES conference gives cold quantum matter a European twistTue, 6 May 2008, 7:21:35 EDT