Zero Point Energy: Can it become a practical, near-term, alternative?
Date: Monday, April 12, 2004 @ 20:23:15 EDT
The following is a summary of the Zero Point Energy picture from my personal perspective.
Gas prices remind us daily that we are entering a new era. Price reductions from here forward are likely to be temporary. Only revolutionary new energy technologies can make a major change. Competition from such breakthroughs is the best, and probably the only way to reverse the present trend. Effective solutions require unusually rapid development of little-known energy conversion systems. Perhaps the most promising is ZPE.
March 1st, 2004, Aviation Week and Space Technology published an article headlined: “Aviation Giants Eye Zero Point Energy”. The next line reads: “Zero Point Energy emerges from realm of science fiction”. The article goes on to suggest that ZPE might result in “Mach 4 fighters, quiet 1,200-seat hypersonic airliners that fly at 100-mi. altitudes as far as 12,000 mi. in about 70 min., and 12.6-hr. trips to the Moon.”
ZPE is still not widely known or understood. It emerges from experiments that demonstrate that seemingly empty space, sometimes called the “quantum vacuum”, is teeming with energy. According to Tom Valone at IRI, data from the NASA Wilkinson Probe suggests that it should be possible to extract about 20 times more energy from the Zero Point Field, per unit of surface area on earth, than can be derived from solar energy -- approximately 20 kilowatts per square meter -- 24 hours per day.
ZPE has been investigated as a potential power source since a 1984 paper, by the late Dr. Robert Forward, appeared in Physical Review. Physical Review has also carried several articles stating that it is theoretically possible to tap this energy for power and propulsion. ZPE is present everywhere in the universe. The late Nobel physicist, Richard Feynman, once remarked that enough was present in the volume contained within a light bulb, to evaporate the oceans of the earth.
Dr. Fabrizio Pinto, formerly a physicist with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, created Interstellar Technologies Corp., (see his extensive website: www.interstellartechcorp.com), to develop near-term applications of ZPE. In a U.S. Patent issued last December entitled “Method for Energy Extraction”, he states: “ZPE is expected to exhibit infinite density and to be universally present, and might therefore be a limitless source of energy.”
ZPE can be extracted magnetically. Two Russian laboratories claim to have done so. One reproduced and improved a magnetic device, invented in England, with an output of 7 kilowatts. ZPE could prove to be only one form of available, extremely dense, vacuum energy, capable of being harnessed to produce electricity.
Dr. Hal Puthoff, Director of the Institute of Advanced Study at Austin, is quoted in the Aviation Week article: ”I’d say our confidence level [of a breakthrough] is 50% or better. If our [research] is successful, almost assuredly there’d be no problem with small units—a few cubic centimeters of ZPE—providing enough energy to power spaceships.”
Magnetic Power Inc., has quietly been evaluating, (and more recently developing), ZPE systems for two decades. Laboratory results are now encouraging. Systems capable of producing several kilowatts of electric power from Zero Point Energy seem to be on the horizon. Prototype drive systems for vehicles may be possible within two years. These electric power generators will require no fuel and produce no pollution. If we, and others working with revolutionary energy technology, are successful, the beginning of a transition away from oil, and other fuels, could be a near-term event.
Demonstration devices, as well as inexpensive toys, are planned, in order to overcome understandable skepticism. As acceptance of the reality of new energy conversion devices becomes widespread, the price of gasoline could gradually stabilize, and later fall back.
Funding such breakthrough research has been difficult. At this early stage it still depends on Accredited Angel investors, individuals who can afford high risk. Later, it will involve Strategic Partners interested in manufacturing generators under license. One of the latter has already provided substantial assistance.
Chairman and CEO
Magnetic Power Inc.