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Boiling the Vacuum

  1. Feb 16, 2008 #1
    "Boiling the Vacuum"

    I came across this article describing the most intense laser pulse ever made:


    In a paragraph near the end, they mention this:

    How exactly does "boiling the vacuum" work? If we take light as a wave passing through a medium of barely-lived virtual particle-antiparticle pairs, are we saying that sufficiently extreme oscillation amplitudes could result in some pairs being imparted enough energy to escape mutual anihilation?

    If so, then could experiments be conducted to test for a "foam" medium that lacks a reference frame? (I've always sort of visualized a "quantum foam" as something like the "snow" on your television screen, whereby all the blinking points of light are so dynamic and briefly-lived that they can't give you a reference frame or sense of movement as you pan your eyes across the snowy/fizzy screen.)

    I'm assuming that only extrema conditions can allow us to detect the "foam". Some researchers have sought to look a very distant, massive stars, thinking that their high energy passing across an extremely large distance would reveal the structure of space. But could this extremely intense laser reduce the need for a distance factor, and allow us to see the structure of space just from the extreme intensity of the laser itself?
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 17, 2008 #2
    I've always wondered if there might be some way to "supercavitate" the vacuum, like that Russian sqval torpedo that can overcome the water's resistance to travel extremely fast. If a spaceship could achieve such "supercavitation" of the vacuum, and suppress/reduce the vacuum oscillations ahead of it, then it might work like that Alcubierre Warp Drive concept, which is based on the idea of "negative space". From what I can see, "negative space" would be space that has less vacuum fluctuations compared to normal space. Sort of like how the vapor bubble around a supercavitating torpedo has less density than liquid water. Or like how the protruding bluntbody surface in front of a quiet supersonic aircraft creates a wake in front of the aircraft.

    So I would plead for some feedback/commentary from the experts on the forum. Is it conceivable that there could be "cavitation" or "supercavitation" of the vacuum? I realize that the "boiling" analogy is a loosely contrived one, but could it hold upto a macroscopic scale?

    If we use ordinary foam as a forced analogy to the conjectured "quantum foam", then how does one measure mach-number or reynolds-number in a foam medium?
  4. Nov 23, 2008 #3
    Re: "Boiling the Vacuum"


    While I am not a scientist, I am working with the application of cavitation onto biomass as a co-catalyst for its rapid dissolving into sugars which we expect to see catalyzed directly to biodiesel and biogasoline...beyond the ethanol paradigm and its Donner Trail, as we utiilze all of the biomass carbohydrates (80%), as well as other components in the total refining of the "barrel of biomass" into fuel within minutes, not days.

    Working with this phenomenon of cavitation in an applied way, and knowing of its mysterious effects of light release..aka sonoluminesence in one induction method, it occurs to me how similar it is in those bubbles to the formation of the vacuum bubble of our universe. In each we have light coming seemingly from nowhere at its origins..many theories, but perhaps no consensus to date on the pre-zero nature of the universe...whereas in the cavitation bubble, we know that a force was applied from outside upon water to achieve the effect, either with the special machine I use, or by those applying modulated frequency inputs into water to cause its boiling.

    I can't crunch numbers to compare the two, but they are similar in many ways with their vacuum interior, their light sources surrounded by cold space and their mystery. Could it be that something analgous to water preceded the universe as we know it, and that some force acted upon that universal water analogue...dark energy perhaps, providing for a drawing back rather than the "big explosion" from a dimensionless dot of the "big bang"?

    Silly at one level perhaps, but there are not many things that compare to the first moment of the universe that are closer than cavitation...but then I don't know that much...just from my reference point. In the pre-zeroness, could some energy, dark energy, have acted upon some form of matter which we really do not understand yet...dark matter, that resulted in a sucking action which became our universe? It fits with the way nature works around us, the cavitation, or at least the first stage of cavitation (it being "basically" a two stage event of expansion (with a release of light, and "they" say, 5000 degrees heat..with some saying higher, for..is it a pico-second?) being the formation of a vessel, then a second stage in which the bubble collapses and...interesting...a release of an energy wave at the speed of a tsunami traveling through the ocean. BTW..those two stages, deftly delivered gives economic support for biomass hydroysis. Which leads one to think about oscillating universe with the collapse sending out a shockwave into the dark matter post collapse, perhaps becoming the very energy for its next round.

    The fascinating tendency for everything to evolve, from a human perspective, would seem to indicate that within the expanding bubble there is some code that tells rocks to want to become people, and beyond.

    Cavitation is really cool.

    My apologies for not talking in physics speak, but I hope that the ideas aren't "anti physics"...except in a constructively negative, cavitating way.
  5. Nov 24, 2008 #4
    Re: "Boiling the Vacuum"

    Of course, those "evolving" people are just parasites of the local star...
  6. Dec 11, 2008 #5
    Re: "Boiling the Vacuum"

    If it eventually pans-out through more work, I find the concept and potential fascinating.
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