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ZPE, Dark energy and Dark Matter

  1. Aug 14, 2004 #1
    I'm reading Hawking's take on ground state energies never being zero, and he adds an interesting point. He said based on the casimir effect the denisty of ground state fluxuations (wavelengths) are less by a finite amount between the plates, causeing them to draw together. To me this explains everything about gravity in a nutshell to borrow the metaphor. I have two contaversial but provocative idea to throw out there. Please pick them apart or elaborate further.

    It would explain Dark energy: as the density, or pressure of the vacuum (mostly, but also within the finite spaces between particles) that causes the force we know as gravity as a secondary effect. Example-we are held in a 'gravity well' on Earth caused by outward pressure upon the mass of two objects (you and Earth)

    And It would explain Dark Matter: the other side of the dark 'coin' where an attractive force spread uniformly throughout the universe with minute and finite gravitational effects is produced by the ground state fluxuations, also known as ZPE.

    They can both be explained as flip sides of the same cause, causing the force of gravity through quantumn zero-point energies, and providing the missing mass by its consistancy throughout the universe.

    OK, your turn guys.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 24, 2004 #2
    I'm curious why nobody has commented here. Is it because the idea is so idiotic that it is not worth addressing, or am I confusing you?

    Well, regardless i'm updating myself here, as later research has seemed to indicate dark matter isn't uniform throughout but clumps around galaxies, though it seems uniform around those galaxies. This probably means that dark matter cannot be a flip-side of dark energy. So with that I'll stick with one issue, dark energy, which appears to be a repellent force.
    My question is whether this repellent force, this dark energy (possibly ZPE), which I will address as the pressure system of the vacuum, can actually be the same force we experience as gravity. What would appear as an apple 'falling' to the earth by attraction would actually be negative vacuum pressure, caused by the proximity of massive bodies relative to the greater pressure of the vacuum, pressing them together like Casimir plates. Usually this pressure forces mass together because the pressure between bodies is less than outside the bodies, giving the impression of a gravity well. But when more vacuum pressure exists between matter clumps than outside them (only possible with galactic and intergalactic spaces) they are repelled from each other by the same pressure that made them clump to begin with. This is how an expanding universe doesn't require a cosmological constant, an antigravity, because it's already built into the vacuum pressure and how it affects matter. Of course in this theory one must pressume that the vacuum does not extend into infinity beyond the known galaxies but rather the farthermost galaxies (probably all galaxies, if we can wrap our minds around the concept) sit on the 'edge' of our brane, or something to that effect. If vacuum (space) extends indefinately (a very linear one-dimentional line of thought) then this theory could hold no water, because pressure would force the galaxies into a big crunch faster than you could say 'singularity'.

    There, does that clarify my premise? I'm confused by why this notion has not been popularized. Perhaps it's too 'out there'. But I'd really like scientific feedback. Anyone care to comment?

    BTW, I still stand that if dark matter is uniform throughout the universe then it can be a ground state energy that though small has mass (as energy is mass). This energy would have the secondary (and more pronounced) effect of Dark energy, a pressure system as stated above that we feel as gravitational forces and the intergalactic repellent force.
  4. Aug 24, 2004 #3


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    I won't comment on most of what you wrote. However, the Casimir effect is such that quantitatively what you seem to be suggesting doesn't hold up. It is an extremely small effect, barely noticeable for two parallel plates very close together. For large bodies, not parallel plates, it is too small to be measured.
  5. Aug 24, 2004 #4
    I need more evidence to the contrary

    Are your measurements based on facts or a guess? Don't you think a massive body like the sun (and thus objects around it) would be effected substantionally more by such a pressure system than two paltry plates? :confused:
    I'll admit I'm guessing at the ability of the vacuum pressure to affect mass. If there is statistical evidence to disprove me bring it forward.

    I guess I ust don't like the idea of messenger gravitons...

    BTW...you did give me an idea. If parallel massive bodies were created (artificially I presume) would the effect be substantially more?
  6. Aug 25, 2004 #5


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    Try applying the equation for the Casimir effect over distance and predict the macroscopic effects. Seriously though, study calculus and rethink that question. Physics is hard because the math is way harder. Had I to do it all over again, I would not even consider a physics course until I understood differential equations. Physics is a lot easier after that.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2004
  7. Aug 25, 2004 #6


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    It seems you don't understnad the basis for the Casimir effect. Essentially it is due to the fact that when two plates are parallel and close together, only standing waves can exist in the space in between, thus excluding some contributions to the vacuum energy, so the pressure on the outside is greater. It is most observable for large very thin plates.
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