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Zero point gravity

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June 15, 1991

The following paper has been graciously shared with KeelyNet by Moray King,
author of the book, "Tapping the Zero Point Energy".

Moray specifically mentions a new free energy device patented in January 1990
and which has a power multiplication of 10, that is 2.4 KW input yielding 22.9
KW output for a net power output of 20.5 KW.

We researched the patent at the Dallas Library and it will eventually be
listed on KeelyNet.

We wish to thank Mr. King for sharing such advanced information with our

Please feel free to share this with other BBS's and with other interested

Tapping the Zero-Point Energy as an Energy Source

Moray B. King
P.O. Box 859
Provo, UT 84603


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

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.


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

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 p of the zero-point
fluctuations must have the particular form as a function of frequency w :

p(w) = kw

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

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

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

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 real proof that the zero-point energy could become an energy source can
only come from a repeatable experiment. The above discussion suggests that
the motion of a plasma's nuclei might be an effective transducer for
interacting with the ZPE.

The coherent oscillations of nuclei in a plasma is known as the ion- acoustic
mode, and it has been associated with anomalous plasma behavior including
run-away electrons (28), anomalous heating (29- 31), anomalous resistance
(32), and high frequency voltage spikes (33-35).

Could these anomalies be associated with a direct ZPE interaction manifesting
a macroscopic vacuum polarization (36)?

The inventor T. Henry Moray (37) stressed the importance of ion oscillations
in the plasma tubes of his invention that produced 50 kilowatts of anomalous
electrical power in the 1930's. His well- witnessed invention could not be
explained with the physics of that time, and puzzled all the scientists who
investigated his device.

Another experiment where coherent oscillations of nuclei could be the source
of anomalous heat is the electrolytic "cold fusion" experiment of Pons and
Fleischmann (38).

In this experiment deuterium nuclei occupy shallow potential wells in the
crystal lattice sites of the palladium. Here the nuclei are free to oscillate
(39), but they generally diffuse to adjacent, vacant lattice sites (40).

However, under the conditions of deuterium supersaturation all the lattice
sites are occupied, and the deuterons within a crystal grain of palladium
could then undergo synchronous oscillations similar to ion-acoustic heat (41).
This hypothesis predicts the effect would be greatly enhanced by
supersaturating a pure single crystal of palladium and that an electrical
pulse could trigger the oscillation.

It might also be possible to generate anomalous heat with experiments using
ordinary water (although it is more difficult to constrain protons to the
lattice sites than deuterons). The difficulty in repeating the heat anomaly
of the Pons/Fleischmann experiment is probably the first repeatable experiment
in which at least some other scientists are able to produce an energy anomaly


Other investigators have claimed energy anomalies associated with plasma
behavior. The Russian plasma physicist, Chernetskii, from his observations of
anomalous energetic plasma activity explains that under appropriate conditions
a plasma interacts directly with the ZPE (43).

He has recently claimed to have created a plasma device that absorbs energy
from the vacuum fluctuations when the plasma's particles undergo cycloid
motion (43).

Likewise the inventions of Searle (44), Spence (45), and Papp (46) also have
cycloid particle motion in the plasmas within their energy producing devices.

Ball lighting (47) is a possible candidate for a ZPE interaction since it has
been modeled as a vortex ring plasmoid (48). The energy source needed to
maintain its persistence must be localized within the ball since it has been
observed inside of shielded environments such as aircraft and submarines.

In a submarine a particular type of circuit breaker has launched it on
multiple occasions (49). The vortex ring model for ball lightning has its
plasma particles undergoing precessional cycloid motion, and it might
therefore be an example of a zero-point energy coherence occurring in nature.

It may also be possible to induce the cycloid motion of nuclei within solid
state magnetic materials such as ferrites. When a ferrite's magnetic domain
wall moves, the microscopic magnetic dipoles rotate (50). This supports the
propagation of nonlinear spinor waves through the ferrite (51). This wave
directly couples to the ferrite lattice causing an elastic, acoustical spinor
wave (52). This results in the helical motion of the ferrite's nuclei.

If such motion induces a zero-point energy coherence, then nearby pickup coils
might detect anomalous energy. Such a hypothesis may help explain the "free
energy" inventions of Coler (53) and Sweet (54).

The plasma vortex-ZPE hypothesis could also be applied to the water vortex
studies of Schauberger (55). He claimed that water forced to precess through
specially shaped spiralling tubes induced an energy anomaly causing a peculiar
bluish glow to appear at the center of the vortex.

Also the gyroscope studies by Laithwaite (56) may fit the vortex hypothesis.
Laithwaite observed that a precessing gyroscope that was displaced along a
particular cycloid path would exhibit an inertial/gravitational anomaly.


The expectation of gravitational anomalies associated with coherence of the
zero-point energy arises directly from general relativity.

Gravity is described as curvature of the space-time metric induced by the
stress-energy tensor (57). If the zero-point energy has the enormous density
as predicted by Wheeler, then even a slight coherence in its activity could
curve the local space-time metric producing measurable gravitational or time

An experiment which altered the pace of time near the apparatus would suggest
the ZPE's involvement (58). Puthoff (59) has recently quantitatively explored
Sakarov's suggestion that gravity is intimately coupled to the behavior of the
ZPE by proposing a model in which gravity directly arises from the action of
the zero-point fluctuations.

An experiment which produced a gravitational or time anomaly would yield
evidence that the ZPE is being cohered because the ZPE is the only energy
appreciable enough to induce a space-time metric curvature by technological

How could such an anomaly be demonstrated experimentally? The ideas presented
in this paper suggest the following preliminary experiment:

A piping system is shaped into a vortex ring (Figure 1) whose
poloidal/toroidal size ratio is similar to the plasmoids observed by Bostick
(60) in his experiments.

Charged fluid or plasma is pumped to circulate rapidly through the vortex
ring. Note that the plasma is forced to undergo an effective precessional
motion (a poloidal rotation closing into a toroidal rotation).

A weight change in the apparatus or a change in the pace of time nearby the
apparatus would support the proposed conjecture that an ionic plasma vortex
could induce a ZPE coherence.

(since we cannot duplicate the drawing in this file, Figure 1 shows a donut
shape viewed from the top and generated by loops as if a Slinky toy was
connected end to end "Vortex ring mainfesting precessional flow")

An oscillatory ion-acoustic plasma vortex ring can be created with an
electrical circuit. A toroidal coil is wound on a ferrite core with wire
whose insulator is coated with a mildly radioactive material.

Alternatively the coil could be bombarded by ionizing radiation (61). The
radiation only needs to be strong enough to ionize the air or gas near the
surface of the toroidal coil, and it maintains a cold plasma.

The coil is then tuned to resonate at the ion-acoustic frequency of this
plasma by adding an appropriate capacitance to the circuit. A properly tuned
resonance yields ion oscillatory displacement currents in the medium
surrounding the wire which acts as a wave guide.

During resonance further ionization could accrue shifting the ion- acoustic
frequency. This nonlinear effect can be stabilized with a parallel, variable
capacitor controlled via feedback by the magnitude of the output current.

The capacitance is automatically adjusted to maximize the output current
unless it becomes too large at which point the system is intentionally
detuned. If the ion-acoustic plasma vortex were to interact coherently with
the ZPE, then anomalous energy production might occur in such a system.


The plasma vortex ring motif can be applied directly to the virtual ZPE plasma
to create a model of an elementary charge. Bostick showed that a pair of
plasmoid vortex rings could arise from an abruptly excited, turbulent plasma

In a similar fashion could electron-positron pair production arise as vortex
rings from the ZPE modeled as a virtual plasma? In this analogy the charge
would be associated with the helicity of the electric flux circulation on the
vortex ring (62,63).

Likewise the electric (E) field lines emanating from a charge could be modeled
as helical filaments (64). Here the helical filaments would originate from
the charge and be sustained continuously by electric flux flowing at the speed
of light. This model of E field lines offers a dynamic possibility for
activating the vacuum energy.

If an E field line alone could be abruptly rotated, it would mimic the
precessional flow of a vortex ring section (Figure 2) and consequently would
manifest for an instant virtual charge at a macroscopic level. This would
constitute a coherence in the zero- point energy.

(Figure 2 shows a 1 quarter section of the doughnut shape as described in
Figure 1 "Vortex filament model of abruptly rotated E field line")

An experiment in which E field lines are abruptly rotated might yield
excessive energy from the resulting voltage transients.

Such an experiment has already been done, and its description is essentially
the invention by Hyde (65). Hyde uses rapidly spinning segmented rotors to
abruptly cut E field lines, and his invention is reported to output power TEN

The invention consists of a pair of excitor plates, a pair of segmented rotors
and a pair of segmented stators (Figure 3). Charge is free to migrate on the
conductive surfaces comprising the rotors and excitor plates, but on the
stators the adjacent, conductive segments are electrically insulated from each

(Figure 3 consists of 3 parts, the first shows a simple circle labelled
EXCITOR PLATE, the second shows a disk segmented into 3 section similar to the
symbol for atomic hazard and labelled SEGMENTED ROTOR and the third shows a
circle sectioned into 6 areas much like a pie chard evenly divided into 6
sections, it is labelled SEGMENTED STATOR "Simplified version of excitor,
rotor and stator")

An external voltage source charges the excitor plates which provide an
electrostatic polarization field. Insulation on the device's negatively
charged surfaces insures that no current leaks from the excitor plates and
little power is drwan from the charging voltage source.

The rotors are electrically connected to each other through a conductive shaft
which is spun by an electric motor (not shown).

The rotors in the patent description were electrically connected by brushes to
their adjacent stators, but Hyde has since improved his invention by removing
these contacts (66). The field from the excitor plates induces a polarization
between the connected rotors.

The segments on both rotors are aligned to allow them to shield an aligned
pair of stator segments. As the rotor spins, aligned stator segments are
ALTERNATELY EXPOSED and SHEILDED from the excitor polarization field.

Each stator segment is electrically connected to its counterpart on the other
stator through a PULSE RECTIFIER CIRCUIT in which the transient voltage pulses
are stepped down and then channeled to a combining rectifier output circuit
(not shown).

It is a surprise that such a simple device as Hyde's could output anomalous
power. An analysis using just classical physics would predict that the
voltage induced across a stator segment pair would swing between zero and the
excitor plate voltage since this is the steady state limit for the shielded
and exposed conditions. This is observed when the rotor is spun slowly.

However, when the rotor is spun on the order of 6000 rpm, a 3 KV potential
across the excitor plates yields stator pulses in excess of 300 KV with a very
small drag on the rotor (67).

During the exposed condition, current flows to charge the stator segment pair.
Under rapid spin, the rotor blade cuts through the gap quicker than the charge
can leave the stator segment due to the current's momentum from residual
inductance of the connecting circuit.

The charge remains on the stator segment during the instant its E field lines
are cut resulting in their abrupt rotation. If such an abrupt rotation of E
field lines manifests virtual charge from the vacuum energy, then this charge
would greatly augment the potential across the stator segment pairs and yield
a more vigourous voltage transient.

Note that opposite virtual charge is created simultaneously on the outer
surfaces of the connected stator segments. Quantum electrodynamics allows
virtual charge pair production from the ZPE as long as charge is conserved.
This analysis of Hyde's invention suggests virtual charge pair production in
the macroscopic realm.

The resulting transient zero-point energy coherence accelerates the charges of
the stator segment circuit, and the system outputs anomalously excessive


Applying the principles of system self-organization to the theories of the
zero-point energy suggests that an appropriate system might be able to induce
a coherence in the action of the zero-point energy.

Quantum electrodynamics shows that the ZPE intimately interacts with the
various elementary particles with differing vacuum polarization dynamics. The
vacuum polarization description of atomic nuclei suggests that abrupt,
synchronous motion of ions or nuclei may be a good candidate for coherent
vacuum energy activation.

The observed anomalies associated with the ion-acoustic oscillations of a
plasma might be evidence for this. Further circumstantial evidence may arise
from the claims of different investigators and inventors whose devices exhibit
a common modus operandi: They utilize coherent, synchronous motion of ions or

The largest claims are associated with devices that produce cycloid or
precessional motion of nuclei. This leads to the hypothesis that a POSITIVELY

The idea can be experimentally explored by rapidly circulating a charged
plasma or fluid through a vortex ring piping system and looking for a
gravitational or time variation since there is a recognized theorectical
connection between gravity and the action of the zero-point energy.

Since vortex ring plasmoid pair production is observed in turbulent plasmas,
modeling the ZPE as a turbulent, virtual plasma supports the vortex ring model
for elementary charge and the vortex filament model for electric field lines.

Such a model predicts that the abrupt rotation of electric field lines would
manifest virtual charge from the vacuum energy.

Experimental support that macroscopic, virtual charge pair production might
provide energy directly from the ZPE arises from Hyde's fully disclosed
invention. It appears imperative that Hyde's invention be replicated, for
only a repeating experiment could prove that it is possible to tap the
zero-point energy as an energy source.


The help of Oliver Nichelson, Adrea Powell and Carl Rhoades is gratefully


[ 1] T. H. Boyer, "Random Electrodynamics: The theory of classical
electromagnetic zero-point radiation," Phys. Rev. D 11(4), 790-808 (1975)

[ 2] E. M. Lifshitz, L.P. Pitaevskii, STATISTICAL PHYSICS, Part 2, Pregamon,
Oxford, 1980. "Hydrodynamic Fluctuations", pp. 369-73

Academic, NY, 1981.

[ 4] L. de la Pena, A. M. Cetta, "Origin and Nature of the Statistical
Properties of Quantum Mechanics," Hadronic J. Suppl. 1(2), 413-39 (1985)

[ 5] I. R. Senitzky, "Radiation-Reaction and Vacuum Field Effects in
Heisenberg - Picture Quantum Electrodynamics," Phys. Rev. Lett. 31(15), 955

Wiley, N.Y., 1977

[ 7] H. Haken, SYNERGETICS, Springer Verlag, N.Y. 1971

[ 8] M. Suziki, "Fluctuation and Formation of Macroscopic Order in
Nonequilibrium Systems," Prog. Theor. Phys. Suppl. 79, 125-140 (1984)

[ 9] A. Hasegawa, "Self-Organization Processes in Continuous Media," Adv.
Phys. 34(1), 1-42 (1985)

[10] M. B. King, TAPPING THE ZERO POINT ENERGY, Paraclete Publishing, Box
859, Provo, UT, 84603, 1989

[11] S. Firrao, "Physical Foundations of Self-Organizing Systems Theory,"
Cybernetics 17(2), 107-24 (1984)

[12] Yu, L. Klimontovich, M. V. Lomonosov; "Entropy Decrease During
Self-Organization and the S Theorem," Sov. Tech. Phys. Lett. 9(12), 606-7

[13] I. Prigogine, I. Stengers, ORDER OUT OF CHAOS, Bantam Books, NY, 1984

[14] P. A. Dirac, Roy. Soc. Proc. 126, 360(1930), Also G. Gamow, THIRTY YEARS
THAT SHOOK PHYSICS, Doubleday, NY, 1966

[15] T. H. Boyer, "Derivation of the blackbody radiation spectrum without
quantum assumptions," Phys. Rev. 182(5), 1374-83 (1969)

[16] J. A. Wheeler, GEOMETRODYNAMICS, Academic Press, NY, 1962

[17] F. Scheck, LEPTONS, HADRONS AND NUCLEI, North Holland Physics Publ., NY,
1983; pp. 212-23

[18] W. Greiner, "Dynamical Properties of Heavy-Ion Reactions - Overview of
the Field," S. Afr. J. Phys. 1(3-4), 75 (1978)

[19] J. Reinhardt, B. Muller, W. Greiner, "Quantum Electrodynamics of
Strong Fields in Heavy Ion Collisions," Prog. Part. and Nucl. Phys. 4, 503

[20] S. W. Hawking, "Wormholes in Spacetime," Phys. Rev. D 37(4), 904-910

[21] S. W. Hawking, R. LaFlamme, "Baby Universes and Non- Renormalizability
of Gravity," Phys. Lett. B 209(1), 39- 42 (1988)

[22] D. H. Freedman, "Maker of Worlds," Discover 11(7), 46-52 (July 1990)

MECHANICS, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1973

[24] F. A. Wolf, PARALLEL UNIVERSES, Simon & Schuster, NY, 1988

[25] P. Davies, OTHER WORLDS, Simon & Schuster, NY, 1982

[26] T. H. Boyer, "Equilibrium of random classical electromagnetic radiation
in the presence of a nonrelativistic nonlinear electric dipole oscillator,"
Phys. Rev. D 13(10), 2832-45 (1976)

[27] S. I. Putterman, P. H. Roberts, "Random Waves in a Classical Nonlinear
Grassman Field," Physics 131 A, 51-63 (1985)

[28] Y. Kiwamoto, H. Kuwshara, H. Tanaca, "Anomalous Resistivity of a
Turbulent Plasma in a Strong Electric Field," J. Plasma Phys. 21(3), 475

[29] J. D. Sethian, D. A. Hammer, C. B. Whaston, "Anomalous Electron-Ion
Energy Transfer in a Relativistic-Electron Beam Heated Plasma," Phys. Rev.
Lett. 40(7), 451 (1978)

[30] S. Robertson, A. Fisher, C. W. Robertson, "Electron Beam Heating of a
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[31] M. Tanaka, Y. Kawai, "Electron Heating by Ion Acoustic Turbulence in
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[32] Y. Kawai, M. Guyot


If you have comments or other information relating to such topics as this
paper covers, please upload to KeelyNet or send to the Vangard Sciences
address as listed on the first page. Thank you for your consideration,
interest and support.

Jerry W. Decker.........Ron Barker...........Chuck Henderson Vangard


If we can be of service, you may contact Jerry at (214) 324-8741 or Ron at
(214) 242-9346


September 2, 1991

This paper shared with KeelyNet courtesy of Dr. Harold Puthoff. Originally
published in New Scientist, July 28, 1990 Sent to KeelyNet in August of 1990.

Everything for Nothing

by Harold Puthoff

Classical physics tells us that if we think of an atom as a miniature solar
system with electronic planets orbiting a nuclear sun, then it should not
exist. The circling electrons SHOULD RADIATE AWAY their energy like
microscopic radio antennas and spiral into the nucleus. To resolve this
problem, physicists had to introduce a set of mathematical rules, called
quantum mechanics, to describe what happens. Quantum theory endows matter and
energy with both wave and particle-like characteristics. It also restrains
electrons to particular orbits, or energy levels, so they cannot radiate
energy unless they jump from one orbit to another.

Measuring the spectral lines of atoms verifies that quantum theory is correct.
Atoms appear to emit or absorb packets of light, or photons, with a wavelength
that exactly coincides with the difference between its energy levels as
predicted by quantum theory. As a result, the majority of physicists are
content simply to use quantum rules that describe so accurately what happens
in their experiments.

Nevertheless, when we repeat the question: "But why doesn't the electron
radiate away its energy?", the answer is: "Well, in quantum theory it JUST
DOESN'T". It is at this point that not only the layman but also some
physicists begin to feel that someone is not playing fair. Indeed, much of
modern physics is based on theories couched in a form that works but they do
not answer the fundamental questions of what gravity is, why the Universe is
the way it is, or how it got started anyway. Surprisingly, there may be
answers to these seemingly unanswerable questions. Perhaps even more
surprising, the answers seem to be emerging from empty space, the vacuum, the

In fact, according to quantum theory, the vacuum, the space between particles
of matter as well as between the stars, is not empty, it is filled with vast
amounts of fluctuating energy.

To understand this extraordinary idea, we will have to take a detour into the
phenomenon of "fluctuations" with which quantum theory abounds. Fluctuations
arise as one of the most fundamental concepts to come out of the mathematics
of quantum theory. This is the uncertainty principle enunciated by Werner
Heisenberg in 1927, which says that it is impossible to know everything about
a system because of what would seem to be inherent fluctuations in the very
fabric of nature itself. Indeed, quantum mechanics is a statistical theory
that deals with probabilities and it has some profound consequences for our
understanding of reality. For instance, we cannot know the position and the
momentum of an electron at the same time. If we know its momentum, or energy,
accurately, then we can determine its position only probabilistically.

This "fuzziness" of positions described in terms of probability waves gives a
measure of the size and shape over which an electronic orbit fluctuates in an
atom. It also means that the energy of a particle or system is "fuzzy" and
thus there is a slight probability of it changing, or fluctuating, to another
value. In fact, a system can actually, by fluctuation, "tunnel" through an
energy barrier because there is a small but finite probability of the system
existing on the other side of the barrier. I shall discuss later a possible
cause for such fluctuation phenomena.

The adjective zero-point denotes that such motion exists even at a temperature
of absolute zero where no thermal agitation effects remain. Although we
cannot observe the zero-point energy on, say, the pendulum of a grandfather
clock because it is so minute, it is nonetheless real. In many physical
systems this has important consequences. One example is the presence of a
certain amount of "noise" in a microwave receiver that can NEVER be removed,
no matter how perfect the technology.

This zero-point energy is the result of the unpredicatable random fluctuations
of the vacuum energy, as predicted by the uncertainty principle, which is zero
in classical theory. In fact, these fluctuations can be intense enough TO
CAUSE PARTICLES TO FORM from the vacuum SPONTANEOUSLY, provided they disappear
again before violating the uncertainty principle. This temporary formation of
"virtual" particles is somewhat akin to the spray that forms near a turbulent
waterfall. (also termed "quantum foam"....Vangard)

Of all the zero-point fluctuation phenomena, the zero-point fluctuations of
electromagnetic energy are the most easy to detect. Electromagnetic waves
have standing, or travelling modes, that are a bit like the various modes of
waves going along a rope that is shaken. Each set of waves has its own
characteristic set of nodes and crests. It turns out that even though the
zero-point energy in any particular mode of an electromagnetic field is minute
(equivalent to half a photon's worth), there are nearly an infinite number of
possible modes of propagation, that is frequencies and directions. The
zero-point energy ADDED UP OVER ALL POSSIBLE MODES, therefore, is QUITE
ENORMOUS. As hard as it is to believe, it is greater than the energy density
in the atomic nucleus. And this in all of the so-called "empty" space around

Because the zero-point energy of the electromagnetic fields is so large, you
might expect to see its effects easily, but this is not the case because its
density is very uniform. Just as a vase standing in a true void is not likely
to fall over spontaneously, so a vase bombarded UNIFORMLY on all sides by
packets of zero-point energy would not do likewise because of the BALANCED
CONDITIONS of the uniform bombardment. The only evidence of such a barrage of
energy might be minute jiggling of the vase. Such a mechanism is thought to
be involved in the quantum JIGGLE of zero-point motions.

There are situations, however, where the uniformity of the electromagnetic
zero-point energy is slightly disturbed and this leads to effects you can
ACTUALLY MEASURE. One situation is when the zero-point energy perturbs
slightly the spectra of lines from transitions between quantum levels in
atoms. This perturbation is known as the LAMB SHIFT, named after the American
physicist, Willis Lamb. This work carried out in the late 1940's, using
techniques developed for wartime radar, showed that the effect of zero-point
fluctuations of the electromagnetic field was to jiggle the electrons slightly
in their atomic orbits, leading to a shift in frequency of transitions of
about 1000 MEGAHERTZ.

Another, also named after its discoverer, is the CASIMIR EFFECT - which
predicts that two metal plates close together ATTRACT EACH OTHER. Consider
plates set at a certain distance apart. In the space between the plates, only
those vacuum fluctuations for which a whole number of half-waves just spans
the distance can exist, just like waves formed by shaking a rope tied at both
ends. Outside the plates, the fluctuations can have many more values because
there is more space. The number of modes outside the plates, all of which
carry energy and momentum, is greater than those inside. This imbalance
PUSHES THE PLATES TOGETHER. (the metal plates would thus serve as a ZPE
refractor, see NEUTRAL1 on KeelyNet....Vangard)

The Casimir Effect : An imbalance in the quantum fluctuations of empty space
can PUSH two metal plates together

What does this have to do with our basic question of why the electron in a
simple hydrogen atom does not radiate as it circles the protons in its
lowest-energy orbit? I have considered this point by taking into account what
other physicists have learned over the years about the effects of zero-point
energy. I discovered that you can consider the electron as continually
radiating away its energy as predicted by classical theory, but SIMULTANEOUSLY
ABSORBING a COMPENSATING AMOUNT of energy from the ever-present sea of
zero-point energy in which the atom is immersed. An equilibrium between these
two processes leads to the correct values for the parameters that define the
lowest energy, or ground-state orbit (see "Why atoms don't collapse," NEW
SCIENTIST, July 1987). Thus there is a DYNAMIC EQUILIBRIUM in which the
zero-point energy stabilises the electron in a set ground-state orbit. It
seems that the very stability of matter itself appears to depend on an
underlying sea of electromagnetic zero-point energy.

Gravity as a Long-Range Casimir Force

As well as providing new insights into quantum theory, zero-point fluctuations
also give us some insight into gravity. Einstein's general theory of
relativity describes gravity well but we still do not know its fundamental
nature very well. The theory is basically descriptive without revealing the
underlying dynamics for that description. As a result, attempts to unify
gravity with the other forces (electromagnetic, strong and weak nuclear
forces) or to develop a quantum theory of gravity have foundered again and
again on difficulties that can be traced back to a lack of understanding at a
fundamental level. To rectify these difficulties, theorists have resorted to
ever-increasing levels of mathematical sophistication and abstraction, as in
the recent development of supergravity and superstring theories.

The well-known Soviet physicist Andrei Sakharov took a completely different
tack to explain such difficulties. He suggested that gravity might not be a
fundamental interaction at all, but rather a secondary or RESIDUAL effect
associated with other, non- gravitational fields. Gravity might be an effect
brought about by changes in the zero-point energy of the vacuum, due to the
presence of matter ("A key to understanding gravity", NEW SCIENTIST, April
1981). If correct, you could then consider gravity as a variation on the
Casimir theme, in which the pressures of background zero- point energy were
again responsible. Although Sakharov did not develop the concept much
further, he did outline certain criteria such a theory would have to meet -
for example, predicting the value of the gravitational constant G in terms of
the parameters given by zero-point energy theory.

I have studied Sakharov's approach to gravity in detail with some positive
results. A particle sitting in the sea of electromagnetic zero-point
fluctuations develops a "jitter" motion, or ZITTERBEWEGUNG as German
physicists have named it. When there are two or more particles, they are each
influenced not only by the fluctuating background field, but also by the
fields generated by the other particles, all similarly undergoing
Zitterbewegung motion. The coupling between particles due to these fields
produces the attractive gravitational force. Gravity can, therefore, be
understood as a sort of LONG-RANGE Casimir force.

Because of its electromagnetic underpinning, gravitational theory in this form
constitutes what is known as an "already-unified" theory. The main benefit of
the new approach is that it helps us to understand characteristics of the way
gravity works that were previously unexplained. These include why gravity is
so weak; why positive but not negative mass exists; and the fact that gravity
cannot be shielded because zero-point fluctuations pervade space and so cannot
be shielded.

So, if we have an explanation for non-radiating atomic ground states and for
gravity, do we know where the electromagnetic zero-point energy comes from in
the first place? There are two schools of thought. One is that it is just
simply a part of the boundary conditions of our Universe like, for example,
the background radiation left over from the big bang. The other is that the
zero- point energy is generated by quantum-fluctuation motion of the charged
particles of the latter. I assumed that zero-point fields drive the motion
throughout the Universe, in turn, generate the zero-point fields in the form
of a self-regenerating feedback cycle, not unlike a cat chasing its own tail.

This self-consistent approach yielded the correct values for the zero-point
field. Thus, the zero-point fields observed at any given point are due to
random radiation arriving from particles throughout the Unverse that are
themselves undergoing zero-point motion ("Where does the zero-point energy
come from?", NEW SCIENTIST, December 2, 1989).

These self-regenerating zero-point fields also produce the familiar properties
of quantum theory, such as fluctuation phenomena and the uncertainty
principle, for example. This means that it might be possible to model many
aspects of quantum theory on the basis of self-consistent, random interactions
between particles and the zero- point fluctuation fields they generate.

Although a knowledge of zero-point fields emerged from quantum physics as that
subject matured, Timothy Boyer at City College in New York took a contrary
view. In the late 1960's, he began asking what would happen if we took
classical physics as it was and introduced a background of random, classical
fluctuating zero-point fields. Such fields would presumably have originated
in the initial random processes of the big bang and then by regeneration as I
have just described. Could such an all-classical model reproduce quantum
theory in its entirety, and might this possibility have been overlooked by the
founders of quantum theory who were not aware of the existence of such a
fluctuating background field?

Boyer began by tackling the problems that led to quantum theory being
introduced in the first place, such as the blackbody radiation curve and the
photoelectric effect. His upstart, neoclassical approach reproduced the known
quantum results one by one. This approach is called STOCHASTIC
Peter Milonni at the Los Alamos National Labroratory in the US noted in a
review of the Boyer work that if physicists in 1900 had thought of taking this
route, they would probably have been more comfortable with this classical
approach than with Max Planck's hypothesis of the quantum. One can only
speculate as to the direction that physics would have taken them.

The list of topics successfully analysed using the SED approach, which produce
THE SAME RESULTS as when the QED approach is used, has now been extended to
include the harmonic oscillator, Casimir and van der Waals forces and the
thermal effects of acceleration through the vacuum.

Out of this work emerged the reasons for such phenomena as the uncertainty
principle, the fluctuating motion of particles, the existence of van der Waals
forces even at zero temperature, and so forth, all show to be due to the
influence of the unceasing activity of the random background fields.

There are also some notable gaps in the development of SED; for example,
deriving Schrodinger's equation, as yet turns out to be an intractable
problem. Several researchers are confident, however, that this obstacle can
be overcome. Until theory as we have come to know it will be entirely
replaced by a refurbished classical theory in the near future.

But regardless of the final outcome, the successes to date of the SED
approach, by its highlighting of the role of background zero- point
fluctuations, means that when the final chapter is written on quantum theory,
field fluctuations in empty space will be accorded an honoured position.

And now to the biggest question of all, where did the Universe come from? Or,
in modern terminology, what started the big bang? Could quantum fluctuations
of empty space have something to do with this as well?

Edward Tyron of the City University of New York thought so in 1973 when he
proposed that our Universe may have originated as a fluctuation of the vacuum
on a large scale, as "simply one of those things which happen from time to

This idea was later refined and updated within the context of inflationary
cosmology by Alexander Vilenkin of Tufts University, who proposed that the
universe is created by quantum tunnelling from literally nothing into the
something we call the Universe. Although highly speculative, these models
indicate that physicists find themselves turning again and again to the void
and fluctuations therein for their answers.

Those with a practical bent of mind may be left with yet one more unanswered
question. Can you find mundane applications for this emerging Rosetta Stone
of physics? Will it be possible to extract electrical energy from the vacuum?
Robert Forward at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California has
considered this possibility. Could the engineer of the future specialise in
"vacuum engineering" as the Nobel laureate Tsun-Dao Lee has put it? Could the
energy crises be solved by harnessing the energies of the zero- point "sea"?
After all, the basic form of zero-point energy is highly random and tends to
cancel itself out, so if a way could be found to bring order out of chaos,
then, because of the highly energetic nature of the vacuum fluctuations,
relatively large effects could be produced.

Given our relative ignorance at this point, we must fall back on a quote given
by the Soviet science historian Roman Poldolny when contemplating this issue.
"It would be just as presumptuous to deny the feasibility of useful
application as it would be irresponsible to guarantee such application." Only
the future can reveal the ultimate use to which humans will put this remaining
fire of the gods, the quantum fluctuations of empty space.


Harold Puthoff is a theoretical physicist at the Institute for Advanced
Studies at Austin in Texas. He specialises in Quantum Electrodynamics.

Further Reading

"The classical vacuum", SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN Timothy Boyer, August 1985, p. 70

"Is the vacuum really empty?", AMERICAN SCIENTIST Walter Greiner and Joseph
Hamilton, March-April 1980, p. 154

Something Called Nothing - Physical Vacuum, What is it? Roman Podolny, MIR,

Vangard note...

We also suggest you download CFG1 and CPEDOG which deal with Charge
Fluctuations, the Casimir effect and Gravity.

If you have comments or other information relating to such topics as this
paper covers, please upload to KeelyNet or send to the Vangard Sciences
address as listed on the first page. Thank you for your consideration,
interest and support.

Jerry W. Decker.........Ron Barker...........Chuck Henderson Vangard

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