What is Quantum vacuum: Definition and 39 Discussions

In quantum field theory, the quantum vacuum state (also called the quantum vacuum or vacuum state) is the quantum state with the lowest possible energy. Generally, it contains no physical particles. the word Zero-point field is sometimes used as a synonym for the vacuum state of an quantized field which is completely individual.
According to present-day understanding of what is called the vacuum state or the quantum vacuum, it is "by no means a simple empty space". According to quantum mechanics, the vacuum state is not truly empty but instead contains fleeting electromagnetic waves and particles that pop into and out of the quantum field.The QED vacuum of quantum electrodynamics (or QED) was the first vacuum of quantum field theory to be developed. QED originated in the 1930s, and in the late 1940s and early 1950s it was reformulated by Feynman, Tomonaga and Schwinger, who jointly received the Nobel prize for this work in 1965. Today the electromagnetic interactions and the weak interactions are unified (at very high energies only) in the theory of the electroweak interaction.
The Standard Model is a generalization of the QED work to include all the known elementary particles and their interactions (except gravity). Quantum chromodynamics (or QCD) is the portion of the Standard Model that deals with strong interactions, and QCD vacuum is the vacuum of quantum chromodynamics. It is the object of study in the Large Hadron Collider and the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, and is related to the so-called vacuum structure of strong interactions.

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  1. D

    I The Casimir effect and Quantum vacuum fluctuations

    The Casimir effect is a small attractive force that acts between two close parallel uncharged conducting plates. That force is caused by quantum vacuum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field. What is the cause of the fluctuations? Or, they are uncaused (random)? At least, what are the...
  2. S

    I Is it a fact that vacuum energy exists?

    I have always read that vacuum energy and zero point energy are established facts of physics supported by various observations of their effects both indirectly and even directly. But I have also read some comments from various physics discussion sites where they say that it is not a fact that...
  3. microatx

    B Does the quantum vacuum have information?

    Hey everyone, My question is simple. Has quantum vacuum information ? And can we measure it with Shannon Entropy and the other ways. By the way I just started to learn english so ı have any grammer mistake please tell me. I know this is out of subject but thank you.
  4. R

    B Can anyone help me with my high school paper on vacuum and quantum vacuum?

    So... I've been writing my work about the vacuum and quantum vacuum. Now my problem is that I've come to realize that I can't really bring my thoughts and research onto paper the way I would like it. I am now in 12th grade in high school I know that this is a crazy demand but hear me out: I...
  5. A

    A Quantum vacuum fluctuation in BEC

    Hi, I have some problems with visualization (I'm trying to understand Jeff Steinhauer's experiment, but my questions are general). Why the quantum vacuum fluctuations are guaranteed by the underlying pointlike atoms composing a BEC? And if vacuum fluctuations generate excitations (i.e...
  6. S

    A Measuring Quantum Vacuum Fluctuations

    I have been reviewing potential methods for measuring Quantum Vacuum Fluctuations that I might be able to implement in a home hobbyist environment. Must be room temperature devices. I have seen that there are only a couple of possibilities: The Tunnel FET and the Single Electron Transistor. I...
  7. Cerenkov

    B The Spectral Gap and Quantum Vacuum Fluctuations

    Hello. Recently Scientific American magazine carried an article about the work of the authors of this paper. https://arxiv.org/abs/1502.04573 The Undecidability of the Spectral Gap. The SciAm article is linked to here -...
  8. J

    I What Objects Can Exist in the Quantum Vacuum?

    May I know objects are allowed and prohibited to exist in the quantum vacuum as sanctioned by Witten, Hawking and others of the authority? If all the quantum fields were gone.. and we have only branes left.. do you consider branes as existing in the quantum vacuum or outside of it? Or what...
  9. M

    B GR vs quantum vacuum Lorentz invariance

    is spacetime Lorentz invariant like the quantum vacuum? They say the quantum vacuum is Lorentz invariant.. you can't locate it at any place.. but if spacetime manifold is also Lorentz invariant and you can't locate it at any place.. how come the Earth can curve the spacetime around the Earth...
  10. wolram

    B Physicists study the quantum vacuum

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170118132244.htm I read this with a degree of skepticism, can we manipulate the quantum back ground? An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made by researchers in Germany. The team of scientists...
  11. J

    I Hilbert Space vs Quantum Vacuum

    If Hilbert space is just a mathematical tool like a column for an accountant and doesn't have factual existence. How about the quantum vacuum. Isn't it quantum vacuum is just another tool? Is it like Hilbert space or does the quantum vacuum have more factual existence? If the quantum vacuum is...
  12. Dotini

    Quantum Vacuum Plasma Drive Potentially Confirmed by NASA

    A possible breakthrough for space travel, yet lacking an explanation in physics, they say. http://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20140006052...
  13. M

    Quantum vacuum in proximity of matter

    This quantum vacuum thing... I'm thinking about these virtual particles popping in and out of existence. Does that happen everywhere including inside atoms(within electron orbitals), protons, quarks and whatever is smaller? Or just in the space between Atoms... what i would call vacuum? im a...
  14. Q

    Quantum Vacuum and Quantum Foam

    How are the two related mathematically ie QV is SpaceTime devoid of matter and has Zero Point Energy on one hand QF on the other hand at PlanckScales SpaceTime fluctuates at high energies when probed Can you get Quantum Vacuum when probing Quantum Foam?
  15. P

    Particle annihilation in quantum vacuum

    Well this is a doubt that comes from some time ago and I haven't found the answer on the net. Quantum fluctuations in quantum vacuum create particle-antiparticle pairs for very short periods of time satisfying ΔEΔt≥\frac{\hslash}{2} It is very well known that when a pair particle-antiparticle...
  16. K

    Exploring the Quantum Vacuum and Its Role in Inertia and CMB in Deep Space

    The quantum vacuum is said to be the ground state of the combination of all virtual particles contributions from all particles and forces. How about in deep space where there is only CMB... so the virtual particles present is only from contribution from the CMB or complete particles meaning the...
  17. A

    How does the quantum vacuum appear to different inertial observers?

    According to QM the ground state of the quantized empty space is not considered to be empty but as a fluctuating sea of virtual particles creating and annihilating continuously. In the case of virtual particles with mass I have a problem with this. According to which reference inertial frame are...
  18. P

    Electron LOSING energy to the quantum vacuum?

    okay, here goes. Electron A moves through a vacuum. There are quantum fluctuations ocurring all the time, some generate electron positron pairs, which we'll call B. Electron A travels past these. Surely chared Electron A should interact with and lose energy to B electrostaticly in analoge to a...
  19. L

    Quantum vacuum as origin of light speed?

    What do you think of the article published in the "European Physical Journal D" with the title: "The quantum vacuum as the origin of the speed of light" ? http://link.springer.com/article/10.1140%2Fepjd%2Fe2013-30578-7
  20. O

    Quantum vacuum nothing or sea of energy

    I always thought that the quantum vacuum was absolutely nothing. But I have heard that the quantum vacuum is not nothing and contains energy although it is the lowest state of energy. I am not talking about the fluctuations rather I am talking about the vacuum itself. Also do quantum...
  21. K

    Quantum vacuum plasma thruster

    Hello all I've been reading about the quantum vacuum plasma thruster. On the surface it sounds great. My question is, well, is it legitimate? I don't have the expertise to give it a yea or nea. Could someone who knows what they are talking about give me an answer. It seems like a miracle...
  22. W

    Infinite Energy beneath Quantum Vacuum?

    In the thread https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=343049 Science Advisor Born2bwire mentioned: "Since the vacuum state has infinite energy, it has infinite photons. Everytime we add energy into the electromagnetic fields, we just pull a photon out of the vacuum state." How many...
  23. L

    Entanglement between the Future and the Past in the Quantum Vacuum

    Hello all ! Help me please. I can not understand – which particles are entangled in this case http://prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v106/i11/e110404 Full text here http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/1003/1003.0720v1.pdf
  24. M

    Dark matter may be an illusion caused by the quantum vacuum

    http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-08-dark-illusion-quantum-vacuum.html "His ideas (like those in the previous paper) rest on the key hypothesis that matter and antimatter are gravitationally repulsive, which is due to the fact that particles and antiparticles have gravitational charge of...
  25. P

    Quantum Vacuum before the big bang?

    I understand that the quantum vacuum is nothing with particles popping into and out of existence and I also understand that this has been in existence since the big bang but I am curious as to whether this type of nothing could exist before the big bang (not relying on a multiverse). I assume it...
  26. A

    Quantum vacuum, virtual particles and ''friction''

    Hi folks, I have a question that I so far haven't been able to locate an answer to - it's mostly for curiosity. If virtual particles are continually popping in and out of existence in the vacuum, why do they not produce a frictional force on objects moving at constant velocity through...
  27. A

    Quantum Vacuum (or QFT) Interpretations

    Hi, Quantum Mechanics has so many Interpretations like Many Worlds, Bohmian, etc. How come we seldom hear about Interpretations in Quantum Field Theory? Is there something in the quantum vacuum ontology that cancel out all the Interpretations? Or is it also valid? For example, in Many Worlds...
  28. A

    Spacetime inside Quantum Vacuum or vice versa

    Hi, Is Spacetime inside the Quantum Vacuum or is the Quantum Vacuum inside or fill up Spacetime?
  29. R

    The Origin of the Universe: Scientific Theory or Hypothesis?

    Layman here Is the notion that our universe derived from a fluctuation which took place in a quantum vacuum scientific theory or just a hypothesis? I tend to believe the later, yet there are many scientists(particular motivated atheists) who talk about it as if it is scientific theory. Can...
  30. A

    The origin of the quantum vacuum?

    Hi, I've been reading about particle- and quantum physics and have seen some educational video's about it. But I do have a probably philosophical question about it. Most likely based on ignorance (but what question isn't) and false interpretations of what I think to know. This is what I...
  31. N

    Mass and gravity originating from the quantum vacuum

    Following are some fascinating ideas (to me anyway) on the origin of mass and gravity from the quantum vacuum...have these ideas been dissected here in the forums before?? A superficial search did not turn up anything. Comments/criticisms? Other threads?? Tentative outline of a research...
  32. H

    What is the Relationship Between Vacuum Energy and Fluctuations?

    I was reading about this effect called the 'Casimir Effect' which provides evidence for the existence of Quantum Vacuum. What is Quantum Vacuum, and how is it different from the ordinary Vacuum?
  33. R

    Is the vacuum the same as a quantum vacuum?

    is the vacuum the same as a quantum vacuum? Minor question but just wondering.
  34. B

    What is the origin of vacuum fluctuations in quantum field theory?

    Hello, I was wondering something about the quantum field theory. Do vacuum fluctuations (the ones that create virtual-antiparticle pairs) come from nothing? I have heard three different responses to these. The first is that they do come from nothing, the second is that come from zero-point...
  35. S

    What is the Role of the Dynamic Quantum Vacuum in Quantum Mechanics?

    My next thread is about the Quantum Vacuum -- this idea that the vacuum is actually a player/participant in the behavior exhibited by objects, particularly smaller ones. So suppose we then take all the random/imprecise behavior shown by particles, and "outsource" these to the vacuum itself...
  36. X

    Exploring the Quantum Vacuum: Empty Space or Something More?

    Is the vacuum between the electron orbitals and the nucleus completely empty?
  37. N

    Creating a First Moment in Quantum Boom or Quantum Vacuum: Does This Seem Right?

    creating a first moment in quantum boom or quantum vacuum, does this seem right? hey all, Just wanted to ask if this looks right. Using the idea behind http://n0n.madtracker.net/N0Ntheory_toe.bmp using the idea. I am just alittle bit away from creating a what I think is a quantum...
  38. S

    Can Photons interact with Quantum Vacuum Fluctuations?

    Can Photons interact with or be absorbed by Quantum Vacuum Fluctuations? Would it be possible for a photon traveling in space interact with a particle from a quantum vacuum fluctuation? Say you have a particle antiparticle pair arise at just the right moment and the right frequency that one...
  39. E

    Gravity and the Quantum Vacuum (with general carp)

    I have a few observations from my interactions on this site,not just from this latest post. (Please wait while I step onto my pedestal) I don't know if its noticed by anyone else but there seems to be a herd effect. The latest and greatest theories that the majority seem to follow often don't...