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Astrophysics/Photos from vacuum


QUESTION: Good day.

If we were placed in a vacuum to the electromagnetic field of high performance and frequency 10-50 GHz.

Altered by the virtual photons to normal?

Thank you

ANSWER: Hello,

I am not quite sure of the meaning of your question. Is it possible for you to rephrase it, to make it a bit clearer? Do you mean 'what would happen if one tried to take photos in an EM field with the frequencies given'?

Or something else?

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: It is possible to extract the virtual photons from the vacuum using microwave radiation?


It is important first to note the vacuum to which you refer is none other than the quantum vacuum which indeed contains fluctuating electromagnetic waves and so-called virtual particles.

Now, I haven't heard anything about extracting *virtual photons* using microwave radiation but evidently Finnish physicists have succeeded in transforming virtual photons into real microwave photons, then extracting these out of the vacuum's quantum noise. They did this by first changing the position of their experimental mirror in the vacuum - to change virtual particles into real photons. Then, in order to extract the real microwave photons, they rapidly varied the magnetic  field in an array of SQUID (super conducting quantum interference) devices which in turn rapidly changed the speed of light in the array.

You can read more details about the device at this link which also includes photographs:

Hope this helps!


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Philip A. Stahl


I specialize in stellar and solar astrophysics. Can answer questions pertaining to these areas, including: stellar structure and evolution, HR diagrams, binary systems, collapsars (black holes, neutron stars) stellar atmospheres and the spectroscopic analysis of stars as well as the magnetohydrodynamics of sunspots and solar flares. Sorry No homework problems done or research projects! I will provide hints on solutions. No nonsense questions accepted, i.e. pertaining to astrology, or 'UFOs' or overly speculative questions: 'traveling through or near black holes, worm holes, time travel etc. Absolutely NO questions based on the twaddle at this Canadian site: purporting to show a "new physics". Do not waste my time or yours by wasting bandwidith with reference to such bunkum.


Have constructed computerized stellar models; MHD research. Gave workshops in astrophysics (stellar spectroscopy, analysis) at Harry Bayley Observatory, Barbados. More than twenty years spent in solar physics research, including discovery of SID flares. Developed first ever consistent magnetic arcade model for solar flares incorporating energy dissipation and accumulation. Developed first ever loop-based solar flare model using double layers and incorporating cavity resonators. (Paper presented at Joint AGU/AAS Meeting in Baltimore, MD, May 1994)

American Astronomical Society (Solar physics and Dynamical astronomy divisions), American Geophysical Union, American Mathematical Society, Intertel.

Papers appearing in Solar Physics, Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Journal of the Barbados Astronomical Society, Meudon Solar Flare Proceedings (Meudon, France). Books: 'Fundamentals of Solar Physics', 'Selected Analyses in Solar Flare Plasma Dynamics', 'Physics Notes for Advanced Level', 'Astronomy & Astrophysics: Notes, Problems and Solutions', 'Modern Physics: Notes, Problems and Solutions'

B.A. degree in Astronomy; M.Phil. degree in Physics - specializing in solar physics.

Awards and Honors
Postgraduate research award- Barbados government; Studentship Award in Solar Physics - American Astronomical Society. Barbados Astronomical Society award for service (1977-91) as Journal editor.

Past/Present Clients
Caribbean Examinations Council (as advisor, examiner), Barbados Astronomical Society (as Journal Editor 1977-91), Trinidad & Tobago Astronomical Society (as consultant on courses, methods of instruction, and guest speaker).

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