Quantum Theory, The Quantum Hologram and Zero Point Energy
Perhaps the most pressing issue of our time is the increasing demand for fossil fuel energy, a non renewable resource that is becoming increasingly expensive and in short supply. The continued demand worldwide will certainly outpace known reserves in the relatively near term. We have at best 20-30 years to find alternatives to the impending energy crisis considering that a complete new technology base and infrastructure must be investigated and implemented. Other more plentiful fossil fuel alternatives with larger reserves (coal, peat, etc) do not offer reasonable alternatives; they are expensive to extract, dirty and the resulting carbon emissions from their use would still contribute to the global warming crisis and widespread pollution we are now facing.
Failure to succeed at the task of developing a clean inexpensive plentiful energy supply can predictably lead to collapse of major economies and perhaps imperil civilization itself. Additionally, abundant, clean and inexpensive energy generation and utilization is essential if we are to reverse many of the additional challenges to the sustainability of modern civilization. This QuanTrek proposal describes a major research program to address many of these issues and solutions to them.
Quantum Theory & The Quantum Hologram
Quantum theory is at the cornerstone of every natural science from physics, chemistry, biology and cosmology. It explains why stars shine, how photosynthesis works, it underpins all biological processes, and is at the root of how the universe came into existence. Most modern technologies are based on devices designed using the principles of quantum mechanics. Quantum theory is probably the most accurate theory ever developed in describing reality. It applies to both micro and macro size objects and accurately describes all of the energy and matter interactions in the universe.
The Zero-Point Energy (ZPE) field as electromagnetic quantum fluctuations is an accepted mainstream concept of quantum mechanics and takes place even at zero degrees Kelvin. It represents an almost unlimited, ubiquitous energy source that permeates and sustains all matter and exists everywhere (even the vacuum of outer space). The Heisenberg uncertainty principle unambiguously demands that short-lived virtual photons pop in and out of existence (along with positron-electron pairs). The inability of Helium to solidify even at absolute zero temperature is attributed to zero-point energy.
Arising out of particle physics are several relevant issues related to the ZPE field. These are the emission / absorption phenomenon of energy quanta, the wave particle duality, and the structure of the mechanics of non-locality, entanglement, coherence and quantum correlation, resonance, group processes (including at the macro scale ) and information (as patterns of energy). While investigating improvements to functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), it was discovered that the phenomenon of emission / re-absorption of energy by all macro level physical objects carries information about the event history of that object in phase relationships of the underlying interference patterns of the emitted quanta. The resulting mathematical formalism (theoretical model) is the same formalism used in holography, hence has been named Quantum Holography (QH). QH also provides a basis for explaining how the whole of creation learns, self-corrects, and evolves as a self-organizing inter-connected holistic system. Non-local quantum correlations observed in particle interactions exhibit the capacity to admit and absorb information at all scale sizes, guiding evolutionary processes with built in storage and retrieval mechanisms for vast quantities of information. The phenomena of QH takes place at all temperatures (e.g. does not require zero degrees Kelvin)
The implications of QH are immense. QH provides a means for how dark energy and dark matter (now thought to be primordial energy and matter) arise out of the ZPE field. It suggests that it is the basis from which self-organizing systems learn including life. The non-local quantum correlations observed in particles, and the non-local QH associated with molecular and larger scale objects appears to serve the purpose of providing information at all scale sizes to guide evolutionary processes.
QH suggests that learning takes place in both DNA molecules and prokaryote cells as an adaptation process of environmental resonance rather than mutation and adaptation solely by random processes. Non-local quantum correlation between entangled quantum particles can now be considered the root cause of the phenomenon experienced as perception (through a form of resonance) in more complex matter and QH appears to be the mechanism of the non-local carrier of information for molecular and larger scale matter through the ZPE field. These associated phenomena are not well understood but are sufficiently validated by both theory and experiment to provide a basis for postulating a necessary condition for the existence for all consciousness phenomena. This in itself has major ramifications for the interconnectedness at a deep level for all matter (living and non living) in the universe.
Zero Point Energy (ZPE)
QH also offers the mathematical formalism behind the ZPE field. Once properly modeled by theory, predictions can be made and then experiments conducted to verify the predictions (and the theoretical model). Evidence for extracting energy from the ZPE was first demonstrated by Hendrik Casimir in 1947 using forces from zero-point radiation overpressure pushing on the outside of perfectly conducting parallel plates. The resulting effect is now called the Casimir force. By the 1990’s this force has been measured to a high precision. It is widely sited as evidence that a vast sea of zero point energy underlies the entire universe.
The question is can this underlying sea of virtual energy in the ZPE be tapped in some way. There are reasons to think so although the proof lies in experiments. For example, Hawking radiation converts electromagnetic quantum fluctuations into real thermal emission. It explains why black holes radiate and will eventually evaporate. The Unruh-Davies effect does a very similar thing: an accelerating object experiences a heat bath that derives solely from quantum fluctuations. It may also explain gravitational and inertial effects. Furthermore, the Casimir force and the so called Lamb shift can be attributed to quantum fluctuations (though not unambiguously). Several other effects as well can be explained by ZPE.
An experiment is being conducted at a major American university that is attempting to modify electron orbitals in Casimir cavities and from that to extract ZPF energy. This is an effect predicted by theory. The experiment has been done so far with a very limited budget and a few fairly simple test configurations, probably much too simplistic to obtain the results that are ultimately predicted. A lot more experimental variations need to be tried but will require major additional funding.
Even if only a tiny fraction of zero-point energy can be tapped, the limit on available power lies not in the reservoir of energy (which is virtually unlimited), but in the extraction device. A patent application model and several designs have been developed that involve gas flows through Casimir cavities. Using a very conservative estimate of one electron-volt of energy per atom transiting the appropriate cavity, estimates of this approach would yield approximately one watt per cubic centimeter of structure (the structure being a fairly easy to fabricate a stack of Casimir cavities). The expected output is heat. Even allowing for considerable overhead of related devices to capture the thermal energy and convert to electricity, estimates show that a single power plant should be able to generate at least a gigawatt of power. Future advances could increase this output considerably.
The uncertainty of our estimate of energy output lies in the physics. If it is correct, the conversion technology is very straightforward, conventional, and perhaps most of all, clean. The gases used in our projected process are continuously recycled and are harmless noble gases (neon, xenon, argon or krypton). This energy can then be converted and utilized in many applications including lighting cities and powering automobiles given appropriate technologies.