looks like it to me but i would like other people's opinion.
In short,IT IS.One needn't have a PhD to figure out the error in this phrase:"Since light, magnetic fields and heat all travel through a vacuum, something must be there."
It's really weird that he published in Phys.Rev.D... :yuck:
This part "This paper originally appeared in Speculations in Science and Technology, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 247-257, 1990." says it all,even though it is in contrast with the sentence that precedes it "Reproduced here, with the permission of the author, is a paper written by Dr. Harold E. Puthoff, a respected physicist in quantum electrodynamics (QED) and in the relatively new field of stochastic electrodynamics (SED).'...
EDIT:I wonder by whom...He's definitely lost me as a potential fan.
yes thats exactly what i thought probably another one of them ether crackpots.
I'd classify it as fringe science. That's basically where you have a crackpot theory that's being presented properly by a person with a degree :-).
What you need to move a theory from the fringe science category to the mainstream is some evidence that it is actually true, as opposed to a totally abstract example of mathematics that has little or nothing to do with the real world.
"Fringe science" isn't really a very well defined category - in the sense that I mean it, the theories presented are well defined enough and clearly enough written about to actually make predictions (a hard enough job that that J. random crackpot off the street can't generally accomplish even this much), but a theory deserving the "fringe science" classification doesn't have any actual evidence that the predictions it makes are true. It also helps a theory reach the fringe category if it makes unusual assumptions that are not generally accepted.
Harold "Hal" Puthoff
In case you don't recognize the name, Puthoff is a notorious crackpot. Just one example: He was one of the crack team (along with Russell Targ) that tested Uri Geller years ago. Naturally, they were completely duped by Geller's conjuring trickery. (See James Randi's books for a complete debunking of Geller and the tests done by Targ and Puthoff.)
Are you sure it's the same guy?
I was wondering if it might be...
Same guy. No doubt about it. Institute for Advanced Studies... give me a break.
I've occasionally wondered - who funds "The Institute for Advanced Studies"? Where do they get their money?
The article is not completely false. QFT considers the vacuum ground state not to be completely empty, but to consist of a seething mass of virtual particles and fields. This might also be related to the cosmological constant in general relativity.
It's been a long time since I've looked at Puthoff's theories, but IIRC they are purely classical, in spite of the fact that they talk about vacuum energy. The way I recall it, he mathematically deals with the problems that classical mechanics has with point charges (radiative self-reaction forces, mainly) in a very unusual way, which leads to the idea that electromagnetism causes inertia. This assumption he makes not because of any compelling experimental evidence, but to get rid of problems with point-particle classical electrodynamics.
Unfortunately one of the end results of his assumptions is that his theories are incompatible with quantum mechanics (which more or less deals with most of the problems that classical point particles have via a totally different route).
There are some other ideas that suggest that there could be vacuum energy as Starship describes it, which are different from Puthoff's ideas - but nobody's found any way that this energy could be accessed, even via a thought experiment, AFAIK.
This is a very disingenuous characterization of Puthoff. In fact, if you check his publications webpage at www.earthtech.org/publications, you will find that he has published numerous papers in Phys Rev. and other respected physics journals. Furthermore, he has actually discredited a number of so-called "over-unity" devices with his rigorous experimentation at earthtech. In twenty years, his team has tested over twenty devices and found nothing "workable" or capable of overunity. Also, consider that earthtech and the Institute for Advanced Studies are privately owned by investor Bill Church and actually save the government money, by testing dubious devices which would otherwise be tested or evaluated by the NBS, USPTO, or NASA. In fact, Puthoff likens earthech to a mini national bureau of standards.
With regards to his testing of Geller in the 1970's, he and Targ never verified his abilities. They specifically stated that they found no evidence for his alleged psychokinesis, but did find some evidence for so called "remote viewing" though they never said this was proof of some psychical ability. Moreover, a subsequent 22-year study with the Cognitive Science program of the CIA found that this perceptual anomaly is not exclusive to a few people, but is observed with ANY person. Perhaps you should read the actual study, rather than relying on a dubious secondary source:
I"ve seen grad students start to giggle uncontrollably when the name Puthoff is mentioned. (Ok, this example is actually from a usent posting, not real life.)
So the characterization of Puthoff as a "respected scientist" is not totally accurate. "Controversial" or even "fringe" would be adjectives that would much better describe Puthoff than "respected", in my opinion.
It isn't "disingenous". It is a counter to the claim that he is a "respected" physicist. Nothing could be further from that! He isn't "respected", especially when if you buy everything he says about zero-point energy, empty space should be opaque with the amount of energy that he claim can be extracted. Do the math!
And as for his record of publication, take this:
And take note to everyone one else. This is NOT the "Institute for Advanced Studies" in Princeton. It's in Austin, TX!
Pardon me, but since when has the CIA been known to produce solid science? I am more amused that they actually released such a thing publically (oooh... let's see some peer-reviewed publication on this thing) since there have been some legitimate science they have tried to keep under wraps. Humm... maybe this is a hint.
Further, you are also covering up the fact that Puthoff himself has run some of these things for the CIA. Again, same source:
However, what it boils down to is always this: where's the beef? Similar to the Podkletnov effect and the "hydrino" claimed by the Blacklight Power Co., there has only been "talk" but no physical evidence of anything. Considering the length of time that has passed, and the amount of money that has been poured in, one would think by this time, there has been some legitimate and verified effects. Whatever else they may claim, the one thing they CANNOT claim is that they have a working piece of apparatus to do what they claim they can do AND verified independently.
There have been way too many cries of wolf. It is perfectly understandable that the physics community does not pay much credibility to him anymore.
This fellow doesn't happen to also own Trinamic Technologies, does he?
He's clearly giving a history of what was thought back then, He himself is not saying this.
Anyway, I dont see what your peoples problem is with this article, he makes no new claims does he? ZPE is being described as the energy field charge that exsists at any point as the sum of all charges in the Universe. This is in part described in Feyman Lectures volume 1 chapter 31 in "The index of refraction" in which he states
"(a) That the total electrical field in any physcial circumstance can always be represented by the sum of the fields from all the charges in the Universe"
Feyman then goes on to describe why the source of an electric wave that travels through a material (glass sheet) must take into acount the charges within that material that will affect the measurement at a point past the material in addition to numerous environmental charges. Eg. The total electrical field measured past the sheet is according to the source charge, the material charges and the Universe charges. So the "empty" Universe (so called vaccum) has within it a certain definate energy that is the sum of all charges, while each charge drops off as the square inverse of the first power of distance. ZPE is directly associated with such Universal electric field such we can say that a vaccum is almost never void of a measurable charge.
Now re-read this section "SOURCE OF ZERO-POINT ENERGY"
The question is possed how do you achieve "VACUUM ENERGY EXTRACTION?"
If anyone wants to further understand why such electrical fields exsists from every charge, you need to read Feyman lectures on Electromagnetism and electricity, E and B Fields to see why there are 3 different parts of the equation for 3 distinct componets of EMR. They have to do with the rate at which the force falls off, eg. Inversely, square root of inverse, and square root of inverse to the first power. The later given to the charge force field which explains why charges a great distance away are applicable and add to the sum.
There is another possibly wrong usage/definition of ZPE that being the lowest possible level an electron can occupy within an atom... Whatever. Is that all you guys do, find articles and post them here and get on the crackpot bandwagon? I hate people like that, why dont you all do the opposite for once, ignore the questionable(what you dont understand) and find the good points because Im sure he makes some whether you want to believe it or not.
"yes thats exactly what i thought probably another one of them ether crackpots."
Did you actually understood the physics of E&M, in particular, the Maxwell equation that Feynman was trying to demonstrate, or do you know only to quote him verbatim?
For example, while the E field depends on the distribution of ALL the charges, free or not, the D field does NOT! The displacement current field depends entirely only free charges, and these are the only ones you account for when you're in a medium that is polarizable! It makes for the handling of Gauss's Law a lot simpler.
And speaking of Gauss's law, you appear to have ignored completely the role of the geometry of the charge distribution when describing how the field "falls off". Would it surprise you if I tell you that I can give you a geometry in which the E field is CONSTANT and non-zero everywhere? The fact that we have Gauss's Law means that ANALYTICALLY, we can have a simplified and correct way of dealing not only "sources" of charge, but how they are distributed to figure out what field we have to deal with. It is silly to say that ALL calculation of E-field MUST include all the charges in the universe. If this is true, then everything we have done is wrong, and your electronics should not work.
Thirdly, why is the usage of zero-point energy in an energy state a "wrong usage/definition"? The quantum harmonic oscillator where it was FIRST used, came way before virtual interaction was even though to be possible? QFT came A LOT later than harmonic oscillator.
Fourth, how much "energy" do you think you can get out of a vacuum state? I'll simplify this by giving you a 1 cubic meter of a vacuum, which is what I have currently in my vacuum deposition chamber pumped down to 10^-11 Torr. I also have it lined with mu-metal, so tell me what value of E and B-field do you expect to be in there at the moment and how I would measure them.
You paid more attention of Feyman's style of writing than the physics that he was trying to describe. While you keep wanting the rest of us to go look at his Lecture series, I would, on the other hand, tell you to go study Maxwell Equations. This is what Feynman was trying to convey.
Of course Puthoff is a controversial physicist, but he has done some cutting edge work in laser physics that is acknowledged by all in the mainstream physics community. In fact, he is the inventor of the tunable raman laser Patent No. 3,624,421, issued 30 November 1971.
I'm assuming you know that if you integrate all modes of ZP radiation, from 0 to infinity, the sum diverges. And if you place the Planck frequency as the cutoff, you get an energy density of approximately 10^114 J/m^3. This calculation is straight out of QED. Of course, you will probably say that this is a naive calculation and that based on cosmological observations, the vacuum energy density should be close to zero. This is still an unresolved issue however. It is possible to logically hold the former view. In the case of Puthoff, he is extending, with moderate progress, an approach to gravitation originially proposed by Sakharov which is covered quite well in MTW's Gravitation. Puthoff, like Sakharov, has and continues to explore the theory that if gravitation derives from the ZPF and changing dielectric properties of space, then the energy of the ZPF cannot gravitate. Gravitation would consist of minute changes in the ZPF in the presence of matter in analogy to the minute changes in the ZPF that an accelerating particle experiences. Indeed, one would be able to derive the principle of equivalence if we had a complete quantum vacuum-based theory of inertia and gravitation (including possibly the weak and strong interaction zero-point fields). But certainly the ZPF would not act on itself to gravitate; that would be impossible in this picture. The argument about a huge cosmological constant arising if you take the ZPF literally misses the point that a self-consistent ZPF basis for both inertia and gravitation would necessarily preclude this.
Please also know that extracting useful work from the vacuum fluctuations is not that big of a deal. It's no more mysterious than extracting work from the gravitational potential energy of the earth:
Again, these are not controversial or fringe ideas. If you analyze the physical and mathematical arguments, you will find that they are very plausible and rigorous.
<< And as for his record of publication, take this:
http://www.bobpark.org/WN94/wn031194.html [Broken] >>
Bob Park says nothing in that link to disparage Puthoff's publication record. And the fact that he views ZPE energy extraction as a bizarre idea, indicates that he has not bothered to seriously examine the theories and has a limited understanding of thermodynamics and QED. Again, it's not a good idea to rely on secondary sources. I get the impression that you didn't bother to look at the publication link:
<< And take note to everyone one else. This is NOT the "Institute for Advanced Studies" in Princeton. It's in Austin, TX! >>
Surely there is nothing wrong with this!
<< Pardon me, but since when has the CIA been known to produce solid science? I am more amused that they actually released such a thing publically (oooh... let's see some peer-reviewed publication on this thing) since there have been some legitimate science they have tried to keep under wraps. Humm... maybe this is a hint. >>
According to the National Research Council reviewers, statistician Jessica Utts and psychologist and CSICOP fellow Ray Hyman, the experimental methodology of these remote viewing experiments were very well done and eliminated many of the problems that are often associated with such research and in psychology in general. Please refer to these primary sources:
<< Further, you are also covering up the fact that Puthoff himself has run some of these things for the CIA. Again, same source:
http://www.bobpark.org/WN02/wn080202.html [Broken] >>
And yes, Puthoff was the director of the program from '72-85. The program was in affiliation with Stanford Research Institute. I'm not trying to cover up anything.
<< However, what it boils down to is always this: where's the beef? Similar to the Podkletnov effect and the "hydrino" claimed by the Blacklight Power Co., there has only been "talk" but no physical evidence of anything. Considering the length of time that has passed, and the amount of money that has been poured in, one would think by this time, there has been some legitimate and verified effects. Whatever else they may claim, the one thing they CANNOT claim is that they have a working piece of apparatus to do what they claim they can do AND verified independently.
There have been way too many cries of wolf. It is perfectly understandable that the physics community does not pay much credibility to him anymore. >>
You are correct to say that there have been many false promises of "free energy" and "antigravity". But you shouldn't lump Puthoff with the crackpots, unless you can make that assesment after having really looked at his work. Puthoff has not made any unreasonable claims with regards to his experimental research on ZPE or "cold fusion". Again, I encourage you to look at some of his experimental work, as it is clear that your knowledge of it is very limited:
I read the same in CIPA. I think it's pseudoscience. Can anyone confirm?
My only point of curiosity regarding your post is: if you're so familiar with Feynman's work, why don't you know how to spell his name?
Puthoff is not a controversial physicist:
a) He is not a physicist
b) He is not controversial, merely a self-deluded fool who has happened to fool a rich guy who doesn't know a thing about science into believing in him.
And I can show you the patent for the hydrino, and a device that put out signal faster than light that can make your begonias grow faster. Such things mean nothing especially until several years ago when the US Patent Office was infiltrated with "free energy" advocates. Luckily, they are gone now.
And I'm assuming you know that the mass of an electron also diverges without any renormalization in QED.
There is one GLARING omission out of all this - where is the experimental proof? If I can get THAT much energy out of the vacuum state, the universe would be OPAQUE and this will NOT be controversial. Everyone and their grandmother would already be siphoning energy out of such thing!
Those of us who are experimentalists will argue against that. Open a typical Physical Review journal and point to me how many of the theoretical papers published have actually amounted to anything physical. Physical and mathematical arguments do not necessarily produce a valid physical effect.
.. while you keep citing HIS webpage as a legitimate, unbiased reference. So this is your "direct source"?
Again, if you look at how physics progresses, especially when "experimental" evidence are made, one can clearly see that LEGITIMATE evidence IMPROVES with time as more and more tests are made and our knowledge of it evolves. We know MORE about many things that we have discovered. And not only that, the effects, which may be very small and hard to detect in the beginning, becomes more and more pronouced, with a greater accuracy of measurement. We have seen this in the top quark mass, and we are seeing this in the neutrino mixing angle. Difficult as they were in their initial find, we know MORE and MORE of their properties as we go along.
The same cannot be said about the Podkletnov effect, ESP, and the extraction of THAT much energy out of ZPE. Such claims and "evidence" have been made for YEARS, and we have not only no improvement in evidence, but zilch independent reproducibility. Just look at how extremely difficult to even detect straightforward Casimir effect even WITH an applied field!
A few blocks from my office was one of the original building that housed, I think, the Chicago Pile #4. It was one of the first demonstration of "useful" energy from a nuclear reaction - they had 4 light bulbs connected that was lighted up solely from energy coming from the fission process that have been studied since Fermi first made a controlled chain reaction under the U of C football stadium (another example of a progression in a valid claim). Till these ZPE advocates can produce the same demonstration, all claims that such a thing has "physically and mathematically" valid arguments mean nothing.
I wont even begin to get involved is this discussion. Im merely pointing out the fact that it seems to me that it is more than a common occurance on PF to see the usage of the word crackpot when anything outside the textbooks is presented. New theories are just Not welcomed here whatsoever; thats not to say that ZPE is a new idea at all, this guys article is basically a copy of and probably re-worded from the given references (a second hand interpretation, summary of ZPE) which is many years old (well the first half is). So in a sense if you are arguing the valitity of this particular article as Im reading it, then you are arguing the sources. Fine, whatever, I happen to think it was a great article (came across it a year ago actually) about ZPE as are some of the other links people posted. And its these other people who without even probably knowing what they are reading, briefly ask "is this crackpot?" with no explaination or reasoning behind thier skeptism, as if we shall assume they know something and it is our task to inquire to them about it. So specifically, to the original poster, what would you say is crackpot about ZPE? If they can answer that then so be it, at least give us something to argue instead of "is this crackpot?" WELL I DONT KNOW, SAY, WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Zapper, I wont even try to explain to you the reason I posted what I posted. I certainly did not write it for you to comment on it, as you certainly know more about it then I do... I would like to state that I happen to be in agreement with you in your viewpoint on ZPE, that extraction or even exsistence of such energies is unlikely but it certainly does not fall under the catagory of impossible or crackpot theory if our interpretation or definition of ZPE is not exactly clear what ZPE IS. ZPE is a very abstract concept that can in alot of cases be misunderstood or fabricated to be used in context of a given theory (Example being the Casimer effect is attributed to ZPE, whether that is actually true or not is debateable.), one that should be treated as such but realizing that such an energy Could exsist and one which Certain numbers and concepts Imply exsists. For example of that read (courtesy of X-43D), with emphasis on Modes and application of Heisenberg uncertainty principle to them
"ORIGIN OF ZERO-POINT ENERGY"
"For example, while the E field depends on the distribution of ALL the charges, free or not, the D field does NOT! The displacement current field depends entirely only free charges, and these are the only ones you account for when you're in a medium that is polarizable! It makes for the handling of Gauss's Law a lot simpler."
Whatever you just said, apply it to ZPE so that I can understand the point you want to make.
You say in reply to another "and the extraction of THAT much energy out of ZPE"
Not That much energy, Excess energy in the sense of being able to "tap" into it, for what its worth (possibly space travel)- That is what I gather from it.
I will add my own links to this discussion then thats all, ZPE admittedly barely holds my attention for long (thats not me thinking its crackpot either, but because its not well defined what the hell Im suppose to learn from it or where it is applicable i.e. seemingly the only subject in physics that cites "ZPE" is a topic on ZPE itself, aside some newer gravity theories -which in turn cant be taken to seriously if ZPE is not fully verified)
First of all, you used the Feynman's notes on classical E&M to bolster your argument that EM field permeates ALL of space, including inside matter, and thus, cannot be ignored (would you like me to cite to you where you did this?). For some odd reason, you equate this with the ability of ZPE to produce energy. I then seriously question if you actually understood Feynman's intention, and especially the physics involved here. He was illustrating the workings of classical E&M, and ESPECIALLY Maxwell Equations. Never ONCE did you make any reference to this. You neglected to note that this is nothing more than Gauss's/Coulomb's Law in general, something ANY physics major knows about.
If this is true, then what you said earlier makes very little sense. The geometry of the charge distribution is extremely important. The knowledge to know when to use D instead of E is crucial to make a problem solvable. And the derivation of how a field "drops of" is well-known. EM field doesn't permeate everywhere until one knows the geometry in question.
And where did you "gather" this from?
This word "learn" that you have used. What exactly is meant by that? Your citation of feynman's text showed you know how to quote him, but it appears you have not understood him.
I will ask you one very simple question and your answer will help settle this. Have you formally studied classical E&M enough to think you understood that section of Feynman's Lecture that you quoted?
He's also published a standard textbook - R.H. Pantel, H.E. Puthoff: Fundamentals of quantum electronics. John Wiley, 1969. - which is used by most university physics courses on laser physics.
If you knew much about laser physics, you would know how significant Puthoff's patent was. Do a search on the tunable raman laser, and then come back and try to downplay it.
This is a bad counter example. When summing the modes of ZP radiation, the analogue to renormalization is placing the planck frequency as the cuthoff. And that's all you have to do. It's interesting to note that you have gone from thinking that extracting ANY useful work from the ZPE is a crackpot idea, to thinking that extracting a nearly INFINITE amount of energy is a crackpot idea. Well, to be honest, I find this new position of yours to be much more reasonable. No physicist really knows how much energy we can actuall draw from the ZPE, but the point is, as long as there is no theoretical limit - and there isn't - then its an idea worth pursuing, just like drawing energy from nuclear fission was. Again, I refer you to the following papers:
In fact, it's remarkable how close both ideas are in terms of there initial treatment by the general physics community, and the expected level of success (or failure). Nuclear fission was considered a laboratory curiosity for a long time and getting useful work by splitting the atom was considered a crackpot idea by even Einstein himself. And one could argue that the only reason that nuclear fission became a reality was because there were orders of magnitude more manpower devoted to making it happen, than for ZPE extraction. And even if one cannot extract appreciable amounts of work from the ZPE, that does not take away from their technological utility, particularly in manufacturing MEMS (Microelectromechanical Systems) which already use casimir effect forces to do useful work on a microscopic scale. ZPE manipulation is also widely utilized in quantum optics and squeezed state technology.
With regards to your comment that the universe should be opaque with such a high ZP energy density, this is actually incorrect. If you have a homogeneous distribution of randomly phased, nonthermal, virtual photon radiaition field with an energy density of 10^114 J/m^3 in space, you will not visually observe this field because you are in thermodynamics equiliubrium with that radiation bath. In thermodynamics, if you are in thermal equilibrium with a uniform bath of electromagnetic radiation, you will not be aware of that radiation bath, unless you produce excitations such as heating a blackbody radiator or accelerating through the field that cause the electromagnetic waves to couple into ensembles and become more intense than the surrounding EM field. Likewise, it's only when you produce asymmetries in the vacuum fluctuation field that you observed noticeable effects i.e. the Casimir effect or spontaneous emission. Please read this short paper:
So based on the above comment, are you saying that most theoretical papers, even those that are universally acknowledged, have little intrinsic value in physics? Then this is a classic case of a theorist arguing with an experimentalist.
And I keep citing Puthoff's webpage because it gives the list of his publications which you can easily verify through the journal websites such as phys. rev. It's really not that hard to do. Moreover, his experimental work isn't reviewed in depth anywhere else. So that is actually the ONLY available direct source.
Like I said before, ZP energy extraction already exists on a small scale. The problem is that, like nuclear fission initially, Puthoff and others have been unable to scale up the effect. And again, consider how much manpower was devoted to nuclear energy and other areas of physics, versus ZPE extraction.
I should also mention though that there has been considerable discussion by Milton, Visser, and Schwinger of a dynamical Casimir effect mechanism to account for sonoluminescence, which has the potential to lead to nuclear fusion. In fact, one could argue that it already has via Taleyharkan's work.
So you don't think much of theoretical physics. Well then what can I say!
You seem to have missed a considerable number of the counter point I was making.
In this particular case, you tried to raise his stature by citing the fact that he has patents. I did NOT argue against the validity of the patent. I argued against using the POINT that JUST because someone has a patent, it doesn't AUTOMATICALLY means such a thing must be correct, or that person is anywhere sane. You are making it sound as if having a patent is a SUFFICIENT CRITERIA to be taken seriously. I provided counted examples. It has nothing to do laser physics, thank you.
Er... there's no "theoretical limit" to drawing energy from nuclear fission? Since when?
Also, can you please find in this thread where I said this is "crackpottery"? My intrusion in this thread was when there was a claim that Puthoff is considered generally to be a "respected" physicist, as if what he represents is generally accepted. He isn't! The opinion expressed by Bob Park isn't a minority opinion!
And this accounts for non-opacity of free space for the whole range of EM spectrum that we know of? And it is rather anthropic, don't you think, that space just happens to have the correct radiation field for us to be in "thermal equilibrium" to it.
It isn't, because as in the beginning, you missed my point. You used the argument that something that is "plausible ..... physical and mathematical arguments..." to automatically and necessarily be valid. I disagree. There are MANY theories that are plausible physically and mathematically that are NOT valid and have no empirical evidence of their validity. To be "plausible" physically and mathematically isn't a sufficient criteria to be valid, not by a longshot. This isn't an argument against theoretical papers. It is an argument against the logic that you have presented.
No one here is arguing about the validity of the Casimir effect. I've attended enough talks by various people to know such a thing is well documented. But pay attention to how small, and how difficult it is to achieve such a thing even with an applied field! Such an effect is consistent with the extremely weak effects expected out of such a vacuum state! None of the seminars that I've attended have people made the same claim as Puthoff. What does he know that they don't?
I think A LOT about theoretical physics. I just don't think much of exegerated claims of something being possible "on paper" that has gone on for years without any kind of improvement or progress.
Separate names with a comma.