First quantum jiggles detected in solid object: The new experiment uses a silicon bar about 12 micrometres long and less than a micrometre across. Oskar Painter at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and colleagues cooled the bar to within half a degree of absolute zero and then used a laser to detect its motion.
Some photons from this laser got a shift in energy when they hit the vibrating bar. Ordinary thermal vibrations can either boost or reduce photon energy, but the zero-point quantum vibration is different. Because it is the lowest energy state possible, it can only absorb energy. Painter's group detected this bias towards lower-energy scattered light, a clear signature of a quantum twang...
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