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Physicists Prove Einstein Wrong with Observation of Instantaneous Velocity in Brownian Particles

Physicists Prove Einstein Wrong with Observation of Instantaneous Velocity in Brownian Particles

A century after Albert Einstein said we would never be able to observe the instantaneous velocity of tiny particles as they randomly shake and shimmy, so called Brownian motion, physicist Mark Raizen and his group have done so.

levitating-bead-inside.jpgAUSTIN, Texas—A century after Albert Einstein said we would never be able to observe the instantaneous velocity of tiny particles as they randomly shake and shimmy, so called Brownian motion, physicist Mark Raizen and his group have done so.

“This is the first observation of the instantaneous velocity of a Brownian particle,” says Raizen, the Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents Chair and professor of physics at The University of Texas at Austin. “It’s a prediction of Einstein’s that has been standing untested for 100 years. He proposed a test to observe the velocity in 1907, but said that the experiment could not be done.”

In 1907, Einstein likely did not foresee a time when dust-sized particles of glass could be trapped and suspended in air by dual laser beam “optical tweezers.” Nor would he have known that ultrasonic vibrations from a plate-like transducer would shake those glass beads into the air to be tweezed and measured as they moved in suspension.

Raizen’s research, published in Science, is the first direct test of the equipartition theorem for Brownian particles, one of the basic tenets of statistical mechanics. It is also a step toward cooling glass beads to a state in which they could be used as oscillators or sensors.

The equipartition theorem states that a particles’ kinetic energy—the energy it possesses due to motion—is determined only by its temperature, not its size or mass.

Raizen’s study now proves that the equipartition theorem is true for Brownian particles; in this case, glass beads that were three micrometers across.

Raizen says he and his colleagues can now push the limits, moving the particles closer to a quantum state for observation.

“We’ve now observed the instantaneous velocity of a Brownian particle,” says Raizen. “In some sense, we’re closing a door on this problem in physics. But we are actually opening a much larger door for future tests of the equipartition theorem at the quantum level.”

There, he expects that equipartition theory will break down, leading to new problems and solutions surrounding the quantum mechanics of smallparticles composed of many atoms.

Raizen’s coauthors are Tongcang Li, Simon Kheifets and David Medellin of the Center for Nonlinear Dynamics and Department of Physics at The University of Texas at Austin.

Contact: Dr. Mark Raizen, professor of physics, 512-471-4753; Lee Clippard, public affairs, 512-232-0675.

My Kid is a (HEALTH SCIENCE) Honors Student
Levitating glass bead proves Einstein wrong

Comments 29

 
Guest - John on Sunday, 18 July 2010 10:33

And again we see that even the smarted people, who make absolute declarations about the future, will eventually be proven wrong.

And again we see that even the smarted people, who make absolute declarations about the future, will eventually be proven wrong.
Guest - karen on Saturday, 24 July 2010 21:27

So because the title is written to attract readers, the above comments must belittle the work of the group? This work has nothing to do with the state Texas or school boards. This work is independent from the public school system.Rather, this is excellent science and work at UT which shows that UT physics can be competitive with any Ivy League school.

So because the title is written to attract readers, the above comments must belittle the work of the group? This work has nothing to do with the state Texas or school boards. This work is independent from the public school system.Rather, this is excellent science and work at UT which shows that UT physics can be competitive with any Ivy League school.
Guest - Tom Black on Monday, 14 June 2010 08:12

Mark and team - Congratulations!!

Mark and team - Congratulations!!
Guest - Josue Osuna on Friday, 21 May 2010 12:12

Congratulations to Raizen and his team. I am a proud old friend of David and have witnessed your passion in these findings. Outstanding and magnanimous job, keep pushing humanity knowledge and certainty beyond, we all thank.

Congratulations to Raizen and his team. I am a proud old friend of David and have witnessed your passion in these findings. Outstanding and magnanimous job, keep pushing humanity knowledge and certainty beyond, we all thank.
Guest - fizik on Monday, 26 July 2010 12:40

Congratulations!!It’s a prediction of Einstein’s that has been standing untested for 100 years. He proposed a test to observe the velocity in 1907, but said that the experiment could not be done.:))

Congratulations!!It’s a prediction of Einstein’s that has been standing untested for 100 years. He proposed a test to observe the velocity in 1907, but said that the experiment could not be done.:))
Guest - Mike B on Tuesday, 27 July 2010 19:10

No way! Does it really prove Einstein wrong? I was reading about something called hologram theory that attempted to explained how 2 particles can seemingly communicate with each other instantaneously. It was described like a fish tank, if you view it from the front, a fish may look like it's coming forward but if you view it from the right side of the tank it would look like it was moving left but it's the same fish. Hologram theory says that each particle kind of holds all the information of the whole.

I have to confess.. I didn't actually read this article.. only the headline. I also must confess.. I don't know wtf I'm talking about or if it relates to this article even remotely. I'm just bored.

No way! Does it really prove Einstein wrong? I was reading about something called hologram theory that attempted to explained how 2 particles can seemingly communicate with each other instantaneously. It was described like a fish tank, if you view it from the front, a fish may look like it's coming forward but if you view it from the right side of the tank it would look like it was moving left but it's the same fish. Hologram theory says that each particle kind of holds all the information of the whole. I have to confess.. I didn't actually read this article.. only the headline. I also must confess.. I don't know wtf I'm talking about or if it relates to this article even remotely. I'm just bored.
Guest - Jason on Wednesday, 28 July 2010 05:56

Cool science but what a stupid headline.
something this interesting doesn't need sensationalism.

Cool science but what a stupid headline. something this interesting doesn't need sensationalism.
Guest - Bart van Herk on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 00:35

Misleading, sensational title.
It takes a long stretch of the imagination to say that this proves Einstein wrong - Actuaslly, it proves him right, but in a way he did not think we would ever be able to do practically. So, minus points for misleading sensationalism.

Misleading, sensational title. It takes a long stretch of the imagination to say that this proves Einstein wrong - Actuaslly, it proves him right, but in a way he did not think we would ever be able to do practically. So, minus points for misleading sensationalism.
Guest - Clay Drescher on Thursday, 08 July 2010 17:57

This reminds me of the "spooky physics" in quantum physics, where if two particales are synced up using a laser what happenes to one will happen to the other no matter how far apart they are or if there are obstcales in between them.

This reminds me of the "spooky physics" in quantum physics, where if two particales are synced up using a laser what happenes to one will happen to the other no matter how far apart they are or if there are obstcales in between them.
Guest - Mike on Monday, 02 August 2010 15:53

The title of this article is misleading and is obviously intended to sensationalize the subject to the laypeople. The only thing the creationist wackos will remember is "Einstein was wrong!!!" Way to set the cause of science back people. I wish more care were taken when crafting subjects.

You should be punished by the science community and subsequently hired by the National Enquirer or Weekly world news for your talent.

The title of this article is misleading and is obviously intended to sensationalize the subject to the laypeople. The only thing the creationist wackos will remember is "Einstein was wrong!!!" Way to set the cause of science back people. I wish more care were taken when crafting subjects. You should be punished by the science community and subsequently hired by the National Enquirer or Weekly world news for your talent.
Guest - Cheryl on Thursday, 22 July 2010 04:17

Bart van Herk is right about the misleading sensationalism. It did nothing to prove Einstein wrong. Einstein could only make a prediction based on the information available at the time. However, it did not take reading the article to know this was misleading. With the terrible reputation Texas has in regards to education thanks to their school board's total disregard for scientific and historical fact, it's easy to take every claim of scientific discovery with a large grain of salt.

Bart van Herk is right about the misleading sensationalism. It did nothing to prove Einstein wrong. Einstein could only make a prediction based on the information available at the time. However, it did not take reading the article to know this was misleading. With the terrible reputation Texas has in regards to education thanks to their school board's total disregard for scientific and historical fact, it's easy to take every claim of scientific discovery with a large grain of salt.
Guest - Lucas on Thursday, 30 December 2010 08:42

The title is a little misleading. There isn't any part of the theory broken here, Einstein just didn't have the technology to perform the experiments. I am hoping that someday soon, certain parts of general relativity will be broken or bent because I am dying to travel at multiples of c!

Anyway, good work guys. thats really awesome.

The title is a little misleading. There isn't any part of the theory broken here, Einstein just didn't have the technology to perform the experiments. I am hoping that someday soon, certain parts of general relativity will be broken or bent because I am dying to travel at multiples of c! Anyway, good work guys. thats really awesome.
Guest - sir jorge on Tuesday, 27 July 2010 09:45

wow, this is just too incredible

wow, this is just too incredible
Guest - Xamuel on Thursday, 23 September 2010 00:12

This is the kind of thing that really makes me happy to be living in the 21st century ;)

This is the kind of thing that really makes me happy to be living in the 21st century ;)
Guest - John Henley on Friday, 27 August 2010 15:04

This is exactly why I wish to study physics at The University of Texas at Austin. What happens here changes the world. Hook'Em Horns!

This is exactly why I wish to study physics at The University of Texas at Austin. What happens here changes the world. Hook'Em Horns!
Guest - dingobully on Wednesday, 22 September 2010 16:51

It's weird how people are so jealous of this experiment that they want to find some way to discredit it. I guess this must have happened to Einstein also.

It's weird how people are so jealous of this experiment that they want to find some way to discredit it. I guess this must have happened to Einstein also.
Guest - Sloblock on Monday, 25 October 2010 12:04

Excellent. wish I understood quantum physics, but no matter how much i read...........

Excellent. wish I understood quantum physics, but no matter how much i read...........
Guest - Seriously? on Thursday, 21 October 2010 16:16

Seriously? The title of this article is proving Einstein wrong when in the article itself says that in 1907, over 100 years ago, he didn't believe this kind of technology could be achieved? DO YOU BLAME HIM? HOW ARROGANT. Honestly what do YOU think we'll be capable of in 100 years?

Seriously? The title of this article is proving Einstein wrong when in the article itself says that in 1907, over 100 years ago, he didn't believe this kind of technology could be achieved? DO YOU BLAME HIM? HOW ARROGANT. Honestly what do YOU think we'll be capable of in 100 years?
Guest - Inf on Friday, 22 October 2010 19:33

All experiments should be criticized and an attempt to discredit even the most solid data must be made, only through this method can we progress.

All experiments should be criticized and an attempt to discredit even the most solid data must be made, only through this method can we progress.
Guest - Pat Tompkins on Wednesday, 08 December 2010 22:56

I believe someone said that"When attempting to measure very-very small things,the very act of trying to measure those very-very small things,scews the behaveiour of that which one is trying to measure thereby messing up the measurements of the experiment.They said it much better than my feeble attempt so I hope at least the jist of what I'm trying to say is getting across."Nuff said"

I believe someone said that"When attempting to measure very-very small things,the very act of trying to measure those very-very small things,scews the behaveiour of that which one is trying to measure thereby messing up the measurements of the experiment.They said it much better than my feeble attempt so I hope at least the jist of what I'm trying to say is getting across."Nuff said"
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