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Zero Point Energy and Theory of Everything

  1. Mar 8, 2004 #1
    I have been reading some google documents on ZPE, and it seems that starting from ZPE, physicists have been able to produce Gravity and the Strong-Electro-Weak force as well as Newtonian laws, and the classical forces like momentum, friction, etc.

    if so, would ZPE not be the TOE everyone has been looking for?

    also, since ZPE is part of the electro-magnetic spectrum, would that not mean that the only force IS the electromagnetic force and all other forces are derived from that?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 8, 2004 #2


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    Who are those scientists? Most scientists are not much interested in ZPE, which is very controversial.
  4. Mar 8, 2004 #3
    From: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mark_vuletic/vacuum.html
    which contains different interesting points.

    Quote. :There is a still more remarkable possibility, which is the creation of matter from a state of zero energy. This possibility arises because energy can be both positive and negative. The energy of motion or the energy of mass is always positive, but the energy of attraction, such as that due to certain types of gravitational or electromagnetic field, is negative. Circumstances can arise in which the positive energy that goes to make up the mass of newly-created particles of matter is exactly offset by the negative energy of gravity of electromagnetism. For example, in the vicinity of an atomic nucleus the electric field is intense. If a nucleus containing 200 protons could be made (possible but difficult), then the system becomes unstable against the spontaneous production of electron-positron pairs, without any energy input at all. The reason is that the negative electric energy can exactly offset the energy of their masses.

    In the gravitational case the situation is still more bizarre, for the gravitational field is only a spacewarp - curved space. The energy locked up in a spacewarp can be converted into particles of matter and antimatter. This occurs, for example, near a black hole, and was probably also the most important source of particles in the big bang. Thus, matter appears spontaneously out of empty space. The question then arises, did the primeval bang possess energy, or is the entire universe a state of zero energy, with the energy of all the material offset by negative energy of gravitational attraction?

    It is possible to settle the issue by a simple calculation. Astronomers can measure the masses of galaxies, their average separation, and their speeds of recession. Putting these numbers into a formula yields a quantity which some physicists have interpreted as the total energy of the universe. The answer does indeed come out to be zero wihin the observational accuracy. The reason for this distinctive result has long been a source of puzzlement to cosmologists. Some have suggested that there is a deep cosmic principle at work which requires the universe to have exactly zero energy. If that is so the cosmos can follow the path of least resistance, coming into existence without requiring any input of matter or energy at all. (Davies, 1983, 31-32)"
    end of quote.
  5. Mar 8, 2004 #4
    re: Who are these people

    well, I did not pay much attention to the names sited at the time, but ZPE is what is thought to be the cause of the acceleration of the galaxies, and it is a real effect.
  6. May 5, 2004 #5
    Hello Selfadjoint,

    Here's possibly the article that modmans2ndcoming was possibly refering to by: Aviation Week & Space Technology, 03/01/2004 on page 50, author: William B. Scott Austin, Texas.

    The article is fully reprinted on this secondary site, otherwise you need a subscription to Aviation Week & Space Technology to view it on thier site.

    Link to article on ZPE (Zero Point Energy).

  7. May 5, 2004 #6


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    Good luck to those companies. I daresay at least some of the meticulous experiments were the Casimir effect ones, and they don't lead directly to any applications. The ZPE is a is a first-order effect, in that it takes the simple harmonic oscillator representation of the quantum vacuum seriously. But I have seen papers that assert that multiple loop corrections remove the ZPE. So the physics is unsettled at this time.
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