okay, so pairs of particles can be created spontaneously out of nothing (from ZPE?), and then within the time allowed by HUP, recombine and annihilate each other. correct so far? if they do not recombine, they each become real particles, (does that mean we have stolen energy from nowhere?). the particles must, by definition, comprise a particle and its antiparticle. generally, when a particle and antiparticle annihilate, energy (pairs of high-energy photons) is released. so, first question: 1. is energy actually released into the universe when particles produced by spontaneous particle process recombine and annihilate? or does the (virtual?) energy released from the annihilation get "absorbed" back into the ZPE from which it came? if no energy is released, how does the universe know the difference between "real" particle/anitparticle annihilation and the annihilation of spontaneously created particles (are they not real particles)? hawking radiation apparently depends on the capture of a "negative energy" particle by a BH. i thought real particles such as electrons and positrons both had positive energy, just opposite charge and mirror image. frankly, i do not understand how a particle can have negative energy. so, second question: 2. does one of the particles created during spontaneous pair production have a negative energy state? how? what is the difference between them and regular particles/antiparticles that would give them negative energy?