Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Virtual Particles Revisited

Note to self, virtual particles have in fact been confirmed, via the Casimer Effect (see PhysicsWorld's The Casimir effect: a force from nothing, 2002).

In this "effect" we find verification of the probabilistic nature of the quantum world. Particles simply pop into existence, and then back out of existence. Proven.

While the Casimir effect is a label for a force which exist at a quantum level I wonder if the Casimir effect could be sensed, or even manipulated, at a larger classical scale.

If the Casimir effect could be verified at a cosmic scale then that discovery could be used to support the argument that what happens at the quantum scale continues in fractal fashion into the classical large scale world.

I'm sure I'm not the first person to ask this question, and my next step is to search around on the net to see if any research has been done to see if the Casimir effect has been detected on a classical scale - perhaps with low frequency large wavelength electromagnetic waves, or if the Casimir effect could play a role in the discussion of dark matter and dark energy.


RickMonday said...

Is this the so called "God Particle" that they have been looking for?

JeromeProphet said...


Virtual particles are dubbed with such a moniker because these particles come into existence for a very short period of time, and then almost all of them simply vanish.

Even in a vacuum these particles appear, and then disappear. Decades ago they were simply a part of a larger theory, but technology has advanced enough so that such particle's existence has been verified.

Like any particle they possess mass, and emit radiation, and collectively at any one point in time they actually "weigh" something - that is they have mass.

If you look at vast quantities of so called empty space and take these particles which simply pop into that space, and then disappear then you are talking about huge numbers of particles in the known Universe, and a very great deal of mass.

Including right next to you, and inside of you.

The Casimir Effect is actually quite a bit more important than just theory because we now have science labs around the world working to develop nano-technology and it turns out that the Casimir Effect plays a role, and will probably play a very important role, in the development of very small technology which will revolutionize electronics, medicine, etc.

My thought was whether the effect could be measured on a large scale, and not just at the quantum scale.

I believe that there is no cut off for quantum effects - including the effects that seem so strange - like particles simply appearing and disappearing - or particles corkscrewing back through time - or B coming before A, etc.

What about you?

Mattpenning said...

Read about the Varying Speed of Light - not a constant here: http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2009/01/faster-than-the.html

Interesting thinking, yours on the quantum effects in the classical.

There's so much unknown which is fascinating.

JeromeProphet said...


I have seen Joao Magueijo on CSPAN during his book tour a few years ago. A fascinating theory. Wonder how the VSL theory handles dark energy when it comes to inflation? I haven't read enough about the VSL theory to know.

What is interesting is that with cosmology one can construct an entirely feasible theory, and view the universe anew using that theory, and then along comes a cadre of supporters, and detractors.

In the mean time dilettantes like myself scramble to hold onto what they thought they knew, while attempting to accommodate the latest interpretation or discovery. It's a harrowing task for most.

Good to know I'm not the only one in these parts of the woods with such interest.

email jp

  • jeromeprophet@gmail.com





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