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.
Named for a Dutch physicist, the Casimir effect governs interactions of matter with the energy that is present in a vacuum. Success in harnessing this force could someday help researchers develop low-friction ballistics and even levitating objects that defy gravity. For now, the U.S. Defense Department's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched a two-year, $10-million project encouraging scientists to work on ways to manipulate this quirk of quantum electrodynamics.