In quantum physics, a quantum vacuum fluctuation (or quantum fluctuation or vacuum fluctuation) is the temporary change in the amount of energy in a point in space, arising from Werner Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.
According to one formulation of the principle, energy and time can be related by the relation
That means that conservation of energy can appear to be violated, but only for small times. This allows the creation of particle-antiparticle pairs of virtual particles. The effects of these particles are measurable, for example, in the effective charge of the electron, different from its "naked" charge.
In the modern view, energy is always conserved, but the eigenstates of the Hamiltonian (energy observable) are not the same as (i.e., the Hamiltonian doesn't commute with) the particle number operators.
Quantum fluctuations may have been very important in the origin of the structure of the universe: according to the model of inflation the ones that existed when inflation began were amplified and formed the seed of all current observed structure.
Other articles related to "quantum fluctuation, quantum":
... A quantum fluctuation is the temporary appearance of energetic particles out of empty space, as allowed by the Uncertainty Principle ... is very large like a macroscopic object, the uncertainties and thus the quantum effect become very small, and classical physics is applicable ... suddenly in 1918, Davis's theory was later proven in the 1920s and became a law of quantum physics by Louis de Broglie ...
Famous quotes containing the word quantum:
“A personality is an indefinite quantum of traits which is subject to constant flux, change, and growth from the birth of the individual in the world to his death. A character, on the other hand, is a fixed and definite quantum of traits which, though it may be interpreted with slight differences from age to age and actor to actor, is nevertheless in its essentials forever fixed.”
—Hubert C. Heffner (19011985)