Tapping Zero-Point Energy
Date: Thursday, May 18, 2006 @ 09:48:59 MST
Extract from an article by Moray B. King (re-published & updated in his excellent book: Quest For zero Point Energy - Engineering Principles For "Free Energy"). Also provided is a link to a very good discussion about ZPE on the Meta Research forum (Paradoxes Resolved, Origins Illuminated).
The hypothesis for tapping the zero-point energy (ZPE)
arises by combining the theories of the ZPE with the theories of system
self-organization. The vacuum polarization of atomic nuclei might allow
their synchronous motion to activate a ZPE coherence.
Experimentally observed plasma ion-acoustic anomalies as well as inventions utilizing cycloid ion motions may offer supporting evidence. The suggested experiment of rapidly circulating a charged plasma in a vortex ring might induce a sufficient zero-point energy interaction to manifest a gravitational anomaly. An invention utilizing abrupt E field rotation to create virtual charge exhibits excessive energy output.
Today's physics might allow the possibility of tapping virtually limitless quantities of energy directly from the fabric of space. Such a surprising conjecture arises by merging two separate theoretical areas of modern physics:
1) The theories of the zero-point energy (1-5) (ZPE) that model the vacuum as containing real, energetic fluctuations of electric field energy, and 2) the theories of system self-organization (6-13) which not only open the possibility of inducing coherence in this energy, but also provide the underlying principles on how this could be achieved (10).
At first this hpyothesis might seem to be a blatant violation of the conservation of energy. But the key question is: Does the zero-point energy REALLY exist? If so, a real energy is already present and its conservation would not be an issue.
The real issue centers on how random fluctuations could become coherent. Any spontaneous coherence seems to violate the second law of thermodynamics, which is generally understood to mean systems should evolve toward random behavior, not toward coherence.
This point is thoroughly discussed in the theories of system self-organization (11,12). Prigogine (13) won the 1977 Nobel prize in chemistry for defining the conditions under which a system could evolve from randomness toward coherence. The conditions are that the system must be 1) far from equilibrium, 2) nonlinear in its dynamics and 3) have an energy flux through it.
These conditions are expressed in general system theory terms, and it turns out that the already published theories of the ZPE can, under certain circumstances, fulfill these conditions.
Despite the intriguing possibility offered by system theory, no purely theoretical discussion could ever prove that the zero-point energy could be tapped as an energy source. Only an experiment coupled with the theory would be convincing. This article discusses how observed anomalies associated with the ion-acoustic oscillations in plasmas could be a manifestation of a coherent ZPE interaction and in particular, how the cycloid motion of a a plasma's nuclei might induce a sufficient ZPE coherence to manifest a gravitational anomaly.
This article also highlights an invention which utilizes the abrupt rotation of electric fields to cause an hypothesized pair production of virtual charges from the vacuum energy across a macroscopic system. The invention reportedly outputs excessive power while free running. The invention reportedly outputs excessive power while free running, and its full disclosure may constitute an experiment which could be repeated by the scientific community.
THE FABRIC OF SPACE
Does the fabric of empty space really contain a plenum of energy? This question has been debated throughout the history of science.
The early scientists through the 19th century believed in the existence of an ether, which was modeled as a material substance that could support the wave propagation of light.
The famous Michelson-Morley experiment failed to detect the expected ether wind produced by the earth's motion through it. At the turn of the cnetury Einstein used this result to support the theory of special relativity. When this became accepted, the scientific community rejected the existence of the ether. Thus classical physicists came to consider the vacuum of space to be truly empty.
The classical model was only to last until the 1930's when quantum mechanics became accepted. From quantum mechanics arose a mathematical term in the description of the ground state of any oscillating system called the zero-point energy.
The term "zero-point" refers to zero degrees Kelvin which means this energy exists even in the absence of all heat. The energy was interpreted as being INHERENT TO THE FABRIC OF SPACE ITSELF.
Dirac (14) showed how electron-positron pair production could arise from the vacuum fluctuations and quantum electrodynamics was born.
The Heisenberg uncertaintly principle allowed quantum mechanical systems to "borrow" this energy for short periods of time. The ether came back into science not modeled as a material substance but rather as a randomly fluctuating energy.
Could a space filled with fluctuations of electric flux be consistent with special relativity? Boyer (15) showed that, by invoking the postulate of Lorentz invariance, the spectral energy density D of the zero-point fluctuations must have the particular form as a function of frequency f:
D(f) = kf^3
where the constant k is related to Planck's constant. This result gives a quantitative basis to the theory of random electrodynamics which strives to show that quantum mechanical effects arise FROM MATTER'S INTERACTION WITH THE ZERO-POINT ENERGY.
This cubic frequency relation implies an absurd result: the energy density of the ZPE AT EACH POINT IN SPACE is INFINITE! A similar problem plagues quantum electrodynamics where infinities are renormalized away. Some type of frequency cutoff is required to create a finite, quantitative theory.
Wheeler (16) applied the theory of general relativity to the ZPE to create a natural cutoff in his theory of geometrodynamics. In general relativity the fabric of space curves as a function of energy density. When the density becomes sufficiently great, space pinches like it's forming a black hole. This gives rise to the formation of hyperspace structures that Wheeler called "wormholes." His calculation yielded microscopic channels on the order of 10-33 (to the -33rd) cm having a (mass equivalent) energy density of 10+94 (to the 94th) grams/cm3 (cubed).
The resulting view is that the fabric of space consists of constantly forming and annihilating pairs of microscopic "mini" blackholes and whiteholes which channel electric flux into and out of our three dimensional space. These mini holes manifest dynamics which could be modeled as a turbulent, virtual plasma that Wheeler calls the "quantum foam." In this view the elementary particles are like bubbles or vortices arising from the dynamics of the vacuum energy.
Is it possible to tap this energy? At first the answer seems to be no since it is extermely difficult experimentally to observe its existence; the energy is ubiquitous and a detector REQUIRES AN ENERGY DIFFERENCE to measure field strength. However, the theories of quantum electrodynamics indicate that all the elementary particles are dynamically interacting with the ZPE resulting in vacuum polarization. In particular, quantum electrodynamics shows that the different elementary particles polarize the vacuum differently (17-19).
In a first order model, electrons, especially conduction band electrons, exhibit an ethereal cloud-like random interaction with the zero-point fluctuations and are effectively in thermodynamic equilibrium with it. No net energy would be absorbed by this type of system.
However, an atomic nucleus exhibits a pattern of quasi-stable vacuum polarization channels converging toward it. This may allow the possibility of driving the nucleus-ZPE system off of equilibrium by abrupt motion. This fulfills the first condition for system self-organization.
How the other conditions could be fulfilled as well can be understood by modeling the ZPE as a virtual plasma. Like a plasma, it is nonlinear in its dynamical behavior, it may be driven off of equilibrium by the abrupt motion of nuclei, and it might well be sustained by an energy flux intersecting our three dimensional space from a higher dimensional superspace (20-22).
This last point is clearly the most speculative. If true, it offers VIRTUALLY LIMITLESS ENERGY. It can best be supported by noting that there are interpretations of quantum mechanics and relativity theory which imply the existence of a physically real, higher dimensional space, and the notion of superspace is well discussed in the physics literature (23-25). It is interesting to note that some authors (26,27) recognized that the mathematical analysis of a nonlinear system interacting with the ZPE shows that energy could be extracted, but they are skeptical due to the lack of experimental evidence...
The remainder of this paper is at: http://www.zamandayolculuk.com/cetinbal/tapzeropointenergy.htm
(but see the book for the figures...check our Books section).
The recommended link to the Meta Research forum: ZPE comments