Greetings all, I'm new here. I've looked through some of the topics on virtual particles and I'm still a little confused. In Philosophy, you don't get something from nothing. In physics, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Yet many on web pages about physics a claim is being made that "virtual particles" pop into existence from literally nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. No thing. I don't believe this for the following reason: the law of conservation of energy says that that energy can neither be created nor be destroyed. Law. This one time I was riding in the car with my wife who was driving and she'd got to talking and didn't realize that the traffic signal had turned red. I tried to warn her about the red light but she wound up driving through the intersection. So I said, "don't worry red is only a suggestion." Luckily, we didn't get into an accident and there weren't any cops around to give her a ticket. The laws of physics work a little bit differently, don't they? Though a law of physics may not be 100% certain, it is extremely, extremely reliable. Maybe 99.99% certain. The Law of conservation of energy says that that energy can neither be created nor be destroyed. Also, there is Einstein's matter equivalency E=mc^2. Matter can turn into energy and energy can turn into matter. No big deal. How does the Casimir effect work? Assuming the force measured is not caused by polarized molecules in the metal plates, doesn't the Casimir effect simply demonstrate that everywhere in the universe--the one we can detect and excluding various multiverse conjectures--everywhere in the universe there is a non-zero energy state? If as it is said that a positron and electron pair materialize in a vacuum, aren't they just materializing from energy that is already there and when they annihlate return back the energy that was already there? What are these physics web pages trying to say when they say virtual particles pop into existence out of nothing?