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I Virtual particles and speed

  1. Jan 30, 2017 #1

    mdl

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    Hi,
    quantum fluctuations enable virtual particles in space. If a rocket travels through space, these particles (real ones of antiparticle-particle pairs) could impact it. Is the effect of an impact dependent of relative speed of such particle and the rocket? For example rocket could be warmed more, if particles have greater speed relative to the rocket..
    If so, are these relative speeds of particles the same in all directions regardless of movement of the rocket?

    Thanks
     
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  3. Jan 30, 2017 #2

    Orodruin

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  4. Jan 30, 2017 #3

    PeterDonis

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    This is not correct. The vacuum looks like a vacuum (i.e., no particles present) to all inertial observers; it does not pick out any preferred state of motion. The fact that the vacuum is a quantum vacuum does not change that.

    It is true that a quantum field state that looks like vacuum to inertial observers will not look like vacuum to accelerated observers; this is called the Unruh effect. But for accelerations achievable by humans, this effect is way too small to matter.
     
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