Scientists have managed to measure absolutely nothing for the first time

Swiss physicists, after a series of grueling experiments, managed to measure something that actually does not exist. This is the so-called "quantum tremor" or "vacuum fluctuations" - the effect created by that part of the space of the Universe, which is considered to be empty. And this opens up new possibilities for creating unique measuring instruments and sensors.

There is no absolute emptiness in the Universe, in this respect it is like a blank canvas for a painting - when an artist leaves a drop of paint on it, it is superimposed on the already existing texture of the base. And this can distort the future picture, so you need to learn to take into account such factors. The emptiness of the Universe is actually an arena for events - at a particular point at some time a particle can be located or radiation can be observed. But this may not happen, therefore, on average, the energy of empty space tends to zero - but still it is there.

Since the energy in a vacuum is infinitely small, conventional sensors are useless in this case - their principle of operation is based on measuring the effect of particles or energy on a sensitive element. Therefore, the Swiss physicists decided to measure not the energy, but the signatures of its effect on the photons in the laser pulse. They took a very cold crystal and sent a pulse of one trillionth of a second through it to understand how the space between atoms would affect light.

The impact was so small that even devices working on the brink of possibilities did not always record it. The experiment would have to be repeated over a trillion times to get useful numbers and eliminate error. However, in the end, physicists were able to determine the exact spectrum of the electromagnetic field in its basic state. And this data is already going to form the basis of the modernization plan for the LIGO gravitational wave detector.