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casimir.jpg (342×1284 The dynamical Casimir effect is the production of particles and energy from an accelerated moving mirror. This reaction was predicted by certain numerical solutions to quantum mechanics equations made in the 1970s.

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A water wave analogue of the Casimir effect. Two parallel plates are submerged into colored water contained in a sonicator. When the sonicator is turned on, waves are excited imitating vacuum fluctuations; as a result, the plates attract each other.

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Harnessing the Casimir effect (which takes place between the two metal plates in the above diagram) could help researchers build tiny machines, such as microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), that today are hindered by surface interactions that can make nanomaterials sticky to the point of permanent adhesion.

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