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JuneSpring25

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- TL;DR Summary
- A question about quantum fluctuations and the limits on energy from the vacuum

Hello!

Amateur question alert! Please excuse any misuse of terms. Answers gratefully received.

I have a question about the energy that can be drawn from the vacuum through quantum fluctuations.

My understanding is there are very strict limits on how much energy can be borrowed for how long from the vacuum so it never violates conservation of energy in the end:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191002102750.htm

I'm confused about this in relation to the concept of Boltzmann brains. As I understand it, Boltzmann brains refers to the idea that if the universe continues indefinitely all possible objects will form from random quantum fluctuations, no matter how unlikely, including brains. (I know the reality of this is doubted by many physicists and philosophers for various reasons but on a hypothetical level...)

I had always assumed if they could exist these structures would only exist for split seconds at a time but in this article by Sean Carroll (where he ultimately argues against Botlzmann brains on philosophical grounds but not in terms of physical laws) he talks about the potential for quantum fluctuations to create 'civilizations which last for millions of years.'

https://arxiv.org/abs/1702.00850

Would it really be possible to draw so much energy from the vacuum? Could it then be possible, no matter how unlikely, given enough time, for an object to stay together and draw energy from the vacuum forever just by the way the quantum fluctuations kept turning out? For a Boltzmann brain or other random object to last forever? This would seem to be contradicted by the other article that says there are strict limits on the time and amount of energy that can be borrowed but if whole ongoing civilisations could be made from random quantum fluctuations, it doesn't sound like there is a limit.

I understand that in most cases a Boltzmann brain is going to be hugely statistically likely to decay almost instantly but given infinite time, could quantum fluctuation coincide to keep providing it with energy to keep together indefinitely?

I'm not hoping for this is true by the way, the idea of infinite life brings the possibility of infinite suffering so I don't like it, just trying to understand if the laws of energy conservation do break down in this case.

Thanks in advance for any replies!

Amateur question alert! Please excuse any misuse of terms. Answers gratefully received.

I have a question about the energy that can be drawn from the vacuum through quantum fluctuations.

My understanding is there are very strict limits on how much energy can be borrowed for how long from the vacuum so it never violates conservation of energy in the end:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191002102750.htm

I'm confused about this in relation to the concept of Boltzmann brains. As I understand it, Boltzmann brains refers to the idea that if the universe continues indefinitely all possible objects will form from random quantum fluctuations, no matter how unlikely, including brains. (I know the reality of this is doubted by many physicists and philosophers for various reasons but on a hypothetical level...)

I had always assumed if they could exist these structures would only exist for split seconds at a time but in this article by Sean Carroll (where he ultimately argues against Botlzmann brains on philosophical grounds but not in terms of physical laws) he talks about the potential for quantum fluctuations to create 'civilizations which last for millions of years.'

https://arxiv.org/abs/1702.00850

Would it really be possible to draw so much energy from the vacuum? Could it then be possible, no matter how unlikely, given enough time, for an object to stay together and draw energy from the vacuum forever just by the way the quantum fluctuations kept turning out? For a Boltzmann brain or other random object to last forever? This would seem to be contradicted by the other article that says there are strict limits on the time and amount of energy that can be borrowed but if whole ongoing civilisations could be made from random quantum fluctuations, it doesn't sound like there is a limit.

I understand that in most cases a Boltzmann brain is going to be hugely statistically likely to decay almost instantly but given infinite time, could quantum fluctuation coincide to keep providing it with energy to keep together indefinitely?

I'm not hoping for this is true by the way, the idea of infinite life brings the possibility of infinite suffering so I don't like it, just trying to understand if the laws of energy conservation do break down in this case.

Thanks in advance for any replies!