Colóquio Especial IF-50 Anos: Hoping to get something out of nothing – Vacuum fluctuations and Newtonian (?) gravity – Ricardo Decca, Indiana University

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Colóquio Especial IF50 Anos
Data: 05/06 quinta-feira

Hora: 11:00hs
(será servido um lanche às 10:40hs)
Local: CT – Bloco A, 3o andar, sala 343


Hoping to get something out of nothing:

Vacuum fluctuations and Newtonian (?) gravity
Ricardo Decca
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

This talk deals with measurements of small forces at submicron separations. Part of it was posed by Prof. Ephraim Fishbach, and looks innocent enough: Is Newtonian gravity valid at all distances? I will try to convey the deep sense of ignorance we still have in this topic, and describe the efforts undertaken to advance our knowledge. It will be shown that when trying to measure the gravitational interaction at short separations, other forces have to be taken into account. Among them, vacuum fluctuations are the more ubiquitous ones.
A brief description of how macroscopic bodies (classical objects) interact with vacuum fluctuations (a purely quantum effect) will be presented… towards developing approaches that are insensitive to vacuum fluctuations. Finally these approaches will be presented and discussed.
Ricardo S. Decca got his BS (1988) and PhD. in Physics (1994) at the Instituto Balseiro, Argentina. He was then a postdoc (1994 to 1997) and a research scientist (1997 to 1999) at the Department of Physics, University of Maryland at College Park. He joined the faculty at the Department of Physics, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in 2000, where he is now a Professor of Physics.