Casimir Force Experiment

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© Umar Mohideen, University of California at Riverside.

The ball in this electron microscope image, only a tenth of a millimeter in diameter, is positioned to measure the quantum mechanical effects of empty space. When a smooth plate is placed above the ball, the ball is drawn toward it in response to a force generated by the quantum mechanical effects of the empty space between the plate and the ball. The tiny displacement in the ball's position, measurable with an atomic force microscope, is evidence that the quantum mechanical view of empty space as a seething froth of particles and antiparticles is correct. (Unit: 11)