Today’s “Planet Earth Report” –“Zero Point Energy Could Change the World”

 
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January 23, 2018. Today's headline story on the threats, opportunities, and dangers facing our fragile planet.

Zero-point energy, also known as ground state energy, could be the greatest gift the quantum world can ever give us. It’s a byproduct of the fact that subatomic particles don’t really behave like single particles, but like waves constantly flitting between different energy states. This means even the seemingly empty vacuum of space is actually a roiling sea of virtual particles fluctuating in and out of existence, and all those fluctuations require energy.


If there’s as much energy in those fluctuations as some — though definitely not all — physicists believe, and if we could ever learn how to tap into this phenomenon, we would gain access to an unparalleled source of energy reports Neel Patel in today's Inverse. Zero-point energy could power the planet with the strength of multiple suns, making it easy for us to solve Earth’s energy problems forever or to travel beyond the solar system and take our place among the stars.

 

 

However, we can only guess how much energy is actually contained in the vacuum, with legendary physicists in fierce disagreement on this point. Richard Feynman and John Wheeler calculated the zero-point radiation of the vacuum was so powerful that even a small cup of it would be enough to set all of Earth’s oceans to a boil. But Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity suggests zero-point radiation would “gravitate” — spreading out throughout the universe and be mitigated to a weak power.

Simply put, we don’t know enough about the universe to figure out whether zero-point energy — vacuum energy — really is a bombastic fountain of staggering power.

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