quantum fluctuations

10/14/2011 - 10:16

Fluctuations are fundamental to many physical phenomena in our everyday life, such as the phase transitions from a liquid into a gas or from a solid into a liquid. But even at absolute zero temperature, where all motion in the classical world is frozen out, special quantum mechanical fluctuations prevail that can drive the transition between two quantum phases. Now a team around Immanuel Bloch and Stefan Kuhr at Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU) and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) has succeeded in directly observing such quantum fluctuations.