Vacuum friction

Barnett, S. M. and Sonnleitner, M. (2018) Vacuum friction. Journal of Modern Optics, 65(1), pp. 23-29. (doi: 10.1080/09500340.2017.1374482)

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We know that in empty space there is no preferred state of rest. This is true both in special relativity but also in Newtonian mechanics with its associated Galilean relativity. It comes as something of a surprise, therefore, to discover the existence a friction force associated with spontaneous emission. The resolution of this paradox relies on a central idea from special relativity even though our derivation of it is non-relativistic. We examine the possibility that the physics underlying this effect might be explored in an ion trap, via the observation of a superposition of different mass states.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by a Royal Society Research Professorship (RP150122) and by the Austrian Science Fund FWF (Grant No. J 3703-N27).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sonnleitner, Dr Matthias and Barnett, Professor Stephen
Authors: Barnett, S. M., and Sonnleitner, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Journal of Modern Optics
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1362-3044
Published Online:14 September 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Modern Optics 65(1): 23-29
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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