Of course, the headline is totally misleading. ScienceDaily (Dec. 8, 2010)
— Under just the right conditions -- which involve an ultra-high-intensity laser beam and a two-mile-long particle accelerator -- it could be possible to create something out of nothing, according to University of Michigan researchers.
At the heart of this work is the idea that a vacuum is not exactly nothing.
"It is better to say, following theoretical physicist Paul Dirac, that a vacuum, or nothing, is the combination of matter and antimatter -- particles and antiparticles.Their density is tremendous, but we cannot perceive any of them because their observable effects entirely cancel each other out," Sokolov said.
Matter and antimatter destroy each other when they come into contact under normal conditions.
"But in a strong electromagnetic field, this annihilation, which is typically a sink mechanism, can be the source of new particles," Nees said, "In the course of the annihilation, gamma photons appear, which can produce additional electrons and positrons."
Does this mean that every single are of apparently empty space in the universe is composed of matter/anti-matter particles that have cancelled each other out?