Honorable Mention - John Kohoutek

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Graduate Student, Department of Electrical Engineering

This image shows two gold-coated microspheres which Kohoutek, a graduate student in the laboratory of Hooman Mohseni, is using to experimentally detect the Casimir force. The Casimir force, which was first predicted in 1947, is the attractive force between two objects in a vacuum space - a space devoid of matter at absolute zero temperature. Literally, it's a force that comes from nothing. However, with a better understanding of quantum mechanics - the behavior of matter on the atomic and subatomic scale - the Casimir force can now be detected and measured, and it is known to be very important on the nanoscale.