Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

ZPE energy levels and cosmology.

  1. Dec 11, 2004 #1

    turbo

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    In a post below relating to Hawking radiation, Chronos linked to a page that expressed the existence of virtual pairs as a product of energy and time limited by the Heisenbug uncertainty principle:

    [tex]\Delta E\Delta t\geq\frac{\hbar}{2}[/tex]

    This simplified view neatly illustrates one of the problems facing the folks who are attempting to reconcile quantum theory with GR. If we model the ZPE field using shorter and shorter time intervals, the permissable energies get higher and higher, leading us to the conclusion that the total energy of the ZPE field is immense. In the GR view of mass/energy equivalence, this energy would cause our universe to collapse to a volume not much larger than the Earth. Clearly, this has not happened. The quantum model of the vacuum is greatly at odds with GR.

    What limits the gravitational effect of the ZPE field?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 11, 2004 #2

    Garth

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    This ‘ultra-violet catastrophe’ is a problem for the standard theory, however one possible answer to this question is that in the theory of SCC (pages 11,12) the effective ZPE is limited by the curvature of space-time. Therefore the gravitational effects of the effective ZPE would be also limited and can be thought of as a form of 'Dark Energy', though with a total density of only 0.11 critical density.

    In the theory there are two separate solutions to the scalar field equation, one derived from Mach's Principle, and the other derived from the local conservation of energy. These solutions converge as space-time tends to asymptotic flatness but diverge as curvature increases. Consistency between these two solutions requires a small amount of vacuum energy density, consistent with observations of the Casimir energy field, that is a function of the curvature. One prediction of the theory is that there should be a 'bottoming out' of the Casimir force that should be detectable with present sensitivities in the solar gravitational field at around the orbit of Jupiter (and well away from the planet's own field).

    Garth
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2004
  4. Dec 11, 2004 #3

    turbo

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Does this bear upon SCC's treatment of the Pioneer anomaly?
     
  5. Dec 11, 2004 #4

    Garth

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Not directly - there is also a time slip in SCC between atomic clock time and ephemeris time which would explain the Pioneer anomaly, at least to within an OOM. The anomaly may be due to a combination of several effects, gas leakage, anisotropic radiation budget etc. more investigation is required to tie the effect down.

    Garth
     
  6. Dec 11, 2004 #5
    Garth:
    the effective ZPE is limited by the curvature of space-time. Therefore the gravitational effects of the effective ZPE would be also limited

    Rothie M:
    Why would curvature limit ZPE?
    When masses are put in the vacuum ZPE increases above dark energy density-
    Casimir force!
    However,if the ZPE consists of gravitational force carriers perhaps they would
    not curve space-time i.e gravitons might not be absorbed and emitted by gravitons
    whereas gravitons would be emitted and absorbed by protons,electrons etc.
     
  7. Dec 11, 2004 #6

    turbo

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I read this a few months ago, when we discussed availability of experiments to test non-standard cosmologies, and I'd love to see such an experiment. In my model, the ZPE fields are densified/polarized in the presence of matter and interaction of masses with the polarized fields is the cause of gravitation and inertia. I predict that in "empty" space (in the absence of large nearby masses), the ZPE fields would be relaxed and unpolarized, but that the Casimir force would still be measurable. After all, the ZPE fields exist in empty space and they exert pressure, so exclusion of some frequencies of these particle pairs in a Casimir device should still create a field somewhat below the ZPE ground state and result in an apparent attraction of the plates. If the ZPE fields are polarized by mass, an orbiting Casimir detector should be able to measure differences in the Casimir force due to ZPE field gradients caused by the Earth, the Moon, and the Sun. Of course, I would dearly love to see such an experiment performed.
     
  8. Dec 11, 2004 #7

    Garth

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Rothie M - This effect is a feature of SCC not GR. I gave the SCC 'hand waving' explanation in post#2 above, for the mathematics you might like to follow the link to SCC in that post.
    In SCC the ZPE consists of virtual particles with either energy or energy equivalent rest masses, photons, electrons, positrons etc.

    Garth
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?