Vacuum Energy

Discussion in 'Physics' started by wes, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. wes

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Aug 24, 2007
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    I was watching this video,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFqgSf7GDjI&feature=related

    and at about the 4.00 min mark, the guy starts talking about vacuum energy. According to him it's huge huge huge OMG huge, lol.

    Now the thing is I have heard from other places, that it is quite small.

    Also I know not to believe everything especially in this movie, lol. but I just wanted to know the truth. The movie trys to combine quantum physics with spirituality and there is just a lot of interesting things in it like Dr. Quantum, lol
     
  2. Wendy

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    Mar 24, 2008
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    Right now it is theory, with some evidence. The idea is particles are popping into existence everywhere, with a balancing antiparticle also popping into existence, so the net energy is zero. If the two meet they cancel, again the net energy is zero.

    Has to do with the randomness of quantum theory.

    The evidence is the Casimir effect. If two ultra smooth plates are brought into near contact, with an incredibly small gap, there isn't room for particles to pop into existence. The result is extremely powerful attraction between the plates, because the outside of the plates is still surrounded by the quantum foam. This has been experimentally verified. It is like we are fish surrounded by water, we aren't aware of it, but we can create conditions where water isn't there to show the water exists.

    At this time there isn't any theoretical way to tap into it, so the Laws of Conservation still remain safe. It is also the mechanism how small black holes evaporate according to theory, particles that pop into existence inside a black hole are lost, while the matching particle outside wanders freely away. The net imbalance is made up by the black hole loosing mass. From our point of view they start getting more and more radioactive, until they flash out of existence with a bang. Large black holes will take many times the life of the universe to evaporate, since the odds of them capturing both particles is much greater.

    The upshot is there is no usable energy there, but it is interesting. It is another way for the free energy crowd to bamboozle their audience.

    It is also argued by some that this looks a lot like the hypothetical ether or aether. This was disproved in the early 20th century as relates to light and how it propagates, however quantum foam seems to meet the other criteria in the currently discarded theory. Sometime we come full circle with theories.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_energy

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casimir_effect

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luminiferous_aether
     
  3. Kermit2

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    Feb 5, 2010
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    a short pdf on Higgs energy field and dark energy pointing to a possible revived structure of the "aether"

    see attachment
     
  4. Nik

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    May 20, 2006
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    There was a report recently that a theorist has suggested that the more arcane virtual particles may only appear within or near existing subatomic particles. This could go some way towards quashing the 10^FarTooMany difference between observed and predicted Dark Energy.

    Sorry, I can't remember the reference...
     
  5. nsaspook

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    Aug 27, 2009
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    It would seem to me that if an empty vacuum of nothing is filled with energy, then the universe was not "created" by a big bang but was always here but just in a different state or cycle or is it that "space" instead of "nothing" is what we measure because "space" can't exist without matter.

    :confused:

    http://www.multivax.com/last_question.html
     
  6. wes

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Aug 24, 2007
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    So basicaly were not sure, lol

    Well looks like I will have to wait for the next 5 decades or more before we slighty have an idea, lol
     
  7. Wendy

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    I think some the other posts are off myself, the evidence is pretty strong, and I was able to provide links for more information (which is important for any argument or discussion), and those links provided other links and references for those who really cared.

    Fact is, the Casimir effect is a definite reality, easily reproducible if you care to spend the money. Vacuum energy is the best explanation we currently have for the effect.
     
  8. nsaspook

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    Last edited: Sep 4, 2010
  9. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    Cosmology has done strange things ever since the 1950s & Fred Hoyle - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steady_State_theory

    It also seems that every theory to account for the state of the universe breaks down on closer examination, or tends to become somewhat mystical. What is the flavor of the month? - strings or branes?

    That big accelerator (CERN) just has to get evidence of the Higgs (it it still the "intermediate vector boson"?) particle or it may all fall apart again.
     
  10. russ_hensel

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    Jan 11, 2009
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    I always thought that anti-particles had reversed charge, not energy. Am I off on this.
     
  11. nsaspook

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    Or http://amultiverse.com/2010/07/29/sciencemaster-gunter/
     
  12. beenthere

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    Wow! I did like the substandard model.
     
  13. Wendy

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  14. nsaspook

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  15. Wendy

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  16. RyanCM

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    Oct 3, 2010
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    We actually just studied the Friedmann Equation and vacuum energy in school.

    My take:

    -Today it's effects are actually quite small. Very very small actually. However, it's suspected that vacuum energy accounts for the current acceleration of the expansion of the universe.

    -It's also needed to explain the initial inflation that occurred after the big bang.

    -It's natural conclusion from Einsteins work. (though you have to be careful because the concept relates to the Cosmological constant, which Einstein used in a very different context than we use today)

    -WMAP is cited as current evidence of the existence of vacuum energy and NASA has a phenomenal site for it: http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/uni_accel.html

    (disclaimer: I am just a student. Don't know if my take is right or not. ...although I get my test back Tuesday. haha)
     
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