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Photons created from empty space! Options
TheArchitect
Posted: Sunday, June 12, 2011 7:59:58 AM
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Hi,

A while back one of the members here mentioned free unlimited energy. Like most people I am skeptical towards such ideas. However this weekend I have been thinking about the the public announcement from the Microtechnology and Nanoscience deparment at Chalmers University of Technology of Gothenburg Sweden. The research team claims to have successfully created photons out of empty space! You can download the paper here. (rename to PDF)

In a nutshell... within the vacuum of empty space... quantum field theory predicts that fundamental particles pop in and out of existence. However these particles quickly annihilate each other to preserve the ground state. This leads to ideas such as vacuum energy. Way back in 1948 Dutch physicists Hendrik Casimir and Dirk Polder came up with the idea of putting two conducting metal places extremely close together inside a vacuum chamber and vibrating them. They believed that the small differences of VeV would create an attractive force. Today it is simply known as the Casimir effect. This is what the research team is using to produce light from nothing.

Does this mean we are now able to obtain free and unlimited energy? No, unfortunately the experiment only produced a small amount of microwave photons. And it takes quite a bit of energy to super cool the plates plus a small amount of energy to vibrate the plates. But this experiment does prove that it is possible to produce a small amount of energy from 'emptiness'!

What makes me excited is that this opens the doors for new experimental research. One of the biggest problems with the mathematics humans currently use to describe the universe is that it results in mathematical infinities. This type of research is both interesting and important and may one day lead to solving renormalization challenges associated with modern physics.

-TheArchitect

P.S.
I boldly predict that this team will share a future Nobel Prize in Physics.
Tracy
Posted: Monday, June 13, 2011 2:52:05 PM
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Sorry, I'm sure I'm off topic here,
But it reminds me of The Beach Sand Experiment, which I'm a bit skeptical of.
Some time after I'd read about it I read about similar experiments (in an article from BBC website) conducted by the Soviets on Mir space station. Supposedly in the Mir experiments, under the right conditions, single and double helix structures would spontaneously materialize, quickly (according to The Beach Sand Experiments, in about a month or so) evolving into muti-celled organisms. Or in the case of the BBC article on the Mir Experiments, quickly showing. "memory, and the ability to reproduce."
Your post reminded me of this on account of these experiments supposebly showed how DNA molecules could spontaneously manifest, materialize, out of nothing.
TheArchitect
Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 7:38:31 AM
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Hi Tracy,

I have no problem with off-topic discussions. I was unable to find any online reference to the Mir space station experiments you are referring to. Do you have a link to the article?

I understand your skepticism towards the findings of the experiment performed by the MC2 group. In my opinion it is a positive attribute to remain skeptical of new ideas while maintaining an open-mind. Typically what happens when something like this is discovered it becomes a candidate for 'experimental confirmation' meaning that other research groups will most likely attempt to reproduce the findings.

However in this particular case the finding is not as controversial as you may think. It has long been suspected that by manipulating these quantized fields humans may be able to build amazing nano devices. I'm not sure if you took the opportunity to download the research paper but if you look at the bottom you will find that DARPA funded this research along with a score of other U.S. government agencies.

Here are some other interesting articles about the experiment you may enjoy.

DARPA Tries to Tap Elusive Casimir Effect for Breakthrough Technology
In A Quantum First, Light Is Created From A Vacuum
Moving mirrors make light from nothing
What Important Scientific Breakthrough "Stirs Considerable Passion in the Breasts of Physicists"?
Researchers create light from 'almost nothing'

-TheArchitect
Tracy
Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 2:37:11 PM
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Sorry, no link to the article. I don't even know if it's there anymore. I'm sure I've got a copy of it in the "archives" somewhere. I wouldn't have time to look for it during the week, but I'm sure I can find it. If I remember rightly I think I had all of a folder dedicated to the subject (The Beach Sand Experiment and the Mir thing).
And a correction, the Mir thing wasn't 'Soviet' but what I would call 'Post-Soviet', Russian. And if memory serves me right there were two or three European countries, primary one being Germany, who produced the actual experiment and/or oaid the bill.
When I got some free time I'll look for it.
Tracy
Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 2:39:35 PM
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Damn employer, don't like payin' nothin', do like taking up all my time.
I guess I gotta take the good with the bad.
Tracy
Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 3:30:25 PM
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Boy, did memory serve me wrong.
It wasn't Mir, but the ISS, dust held in zero-g in plasma, and it was a UK Times article.
You'll still want to read it,
Dust 'comes alive' in space:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article2241753.ece
TheArchitect
Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 6:27:36 PM
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Location: USA
Hi Tracy,

Thanks for the link, it was an interesting read. The 'come alive' part is probably literary hyperbole. Some thoughts and comments:

It doesn't surprise me at all that particles in zero gravity when exposed to high energy begin to form helical structures. If you look around you will find the fibonacci sequence absolutely everywhere. We see them in some of the spiral shaped galaxies. If you live near a body of water you can find it on sea shells. If you have plants or trees nearby you may find it on the leaves or flowers. The golden ratio is even found at the tiny quantum levels. No matter how far humans zoom out and zoom into reality... they find the Phi golden ratio. Even many of the the multiverse theories of reality present a logical axiom that reality is expanding following the mandelbrot which also contain Fibonacci sequences.

So what does all of this mean? Nobody currently really knows. But it most likely reveals some very fundamental property of the universe. :)

How could we possibly relate the golden ratio to a programed reality?

Well if you watched the video 'Rebooting the Cosmos: Is the Universe the Ultimate Computer?' then you heard Jürgen Schmidhuber mention algorithm reduction. The golden ratio could possibly be a part of a small equation governing our universe. Or it may be a result of the equation.

An example analogy using human built computers: If you could imagine a sentient artificial intelligence living in an operating system utilizing the x86 instruction set:

The being may observe that for some reason... everything in their universe is aligned on a DWORD boundry. The artificial intelligence might do many calculations and discover that when it attempts reduction... everything seems to always be divisible by 32 bits. New religions may base their beliefs around this number. Perhaps they would even call it the 'golden number'. Unfortunately there would be nothing special about the number... they have simply discovered the Endianness of the hardware performing the calculations.

-TheArchitect
Switch
Posted: Saturday, June 18, 2011 6:09:27 PM
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That's some really interesting links there Architect. I've read about the golden ratio before but never really thought much of it. But after reading all those links it does make you wonder if some of the symmetries found here in the world of the large are a side effect of something occurring in the realm of the quantum.

I found another article talking about it.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100107143909.htm
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