- #26

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**Trying to clarify my question yet again**

Thank you! This addresses at least half of my question. But, correct me if I am wrong, GR tells us nothing at all about quantum mechanics, or about the vacuum energy predicted by QM. Again, correct me if I am mistaken, but GR doesn't predict the Casimir effect (which reveals a type of vacuum energy).Bingo. There is a problem with your question which makes your question invalid.

Given that GR offers us no definition for "the energy of the universe" (at least not a universe with a FRW metric), how can you possibly expect us to answer a question about what happens to said "energy of the universe" other than having us point out that it is not defined?

So, in essence, I am asking a different question than the one that you are answering. I really am not asking about the implications of GR by itself, which everyone else here seems totally focused on. Rather, I am merely assuming that GR is more or less correct (unified field theories not yet being available), and asking a question that proceeds from this:

There is energy per cubic meter. QM teaches us this. And GR teaches us that the universe is getting larger in volume (at least for this epoch in cosmic history, and likely for a lot longer, maybe forever.) So with more and more volume filled with vacuum energy, doesn't this imply that the total energy of the universe is always increasing?

I do appreciate that physicists have taken the time to answer me. But the problem is that physicists haveYou also might want to think about how productive it is to criticize physicists for "not understanding your questions" when presumably it is the people you think of as "physicists" who are answering them?

*not*been answering my questions, but rather seem to have misunderstood them, or understood them in a much more limited way than was intended. Just re-read my initial and follow-up posts, and look at most of the answers. They misunderstood my question!

*You were the first one to address one of the imporant issues I was asking about*(the problem with my question having hidden assumptions! Most questions do.)

I'm hoping that someone will think about QM, and address what I see as the core issue. There are many

*possible*answers I can think of, such as:

(A) We postulate that the vacuum energy is entirely unrelated to anything in GR. GR thus really tells us nothing about the total energy of the universe, and this is one of its major limitations.

(B) We postulate that the vacuum energy is related to anything in GR. GR thus

*does*tell us something about the total energy of the universe.

(B1) Perhaps this tells us that as the universe gets bigger, energy lost in some way due to expansion is gained as more vacuum energy. Total energy may thus be constant.

(B2) Perhaps this tells us that as the universe gets bigger, there really is more and more energy in the universe. Conservation of energy is thus being violated on a massive scale, all the time, but over regions so large that we don't observe this, and in a way that isn't useful to do work. (i.e. we can't use this to make a perpetual motion machine.)

(C) Something else I haven't thought of, which is much more likely.

Is my question more clear? I am not focusing on GR alone. This line of reasoning ends up being about the implications of QM. I have looked for papers on this subject, but so far have found none. I am sure that there is something in the literature out there, but I haven't been able to find a narrow enough search to let me find a paper that addresses my question.

Robert