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  Could energy be stored into (not extracted from) the quantum zero point field (like a battery)?

+ 5 like - 0 dislike

In order to explain the question clearly, I will make a short introduction.

In 1962, Josephson predicted that for a sufficiently thin insulating layer, it should be possible for Cooper pairs to tunnel between two pieces of superconductor.

With a potential difference $V$ across the junction, an alternating current should flow at a frequency $f$ given by:

$$h\,f = 2\,e\,V.$$

For a potential difference of up to $10^3\text{ volts}$ (just an example), the frequency of these alternating currents would be up to around $10^{18}\text{ Hz}$ (for a potential difference of only $1\text{ volt}$, these alternating currents would still be in the petahertz region).

There are diodes that operate at petahertz frequencies. One example is the metal/double insulator/metal tunneling diodes. These designs are based on the idea of harvesting vacuum fluctuations using down converter and antenna - coupled rectifier. Note that I am proposing a completely different idea (since most of the designs just mentioned have been proved not feasible).

According to stochastic electrodynamics (SED, references [2], [3], [4]), the energy of classical electron orbits in atoms is determined by a balance of emission and absorption of vacuum energy. Electrons emit a continuous stream of Larmor radiation as a result of the acceleration they experience in their orbits. As the electrons release energy, their orbits would spin down were it not for the absorption of vacuum energy from ZPF (zero - point fields). This balancing of emission and absorption has been modeled and shown to yield the correct Bohr radius in hydrogen. There is some coupling here with ZPF.

After this introduction, I can probably state my question more clearly. As I said above, I am thinking about a network of Josephson tunnel junctions under high voltage, that can also be seen as vacuum gap (instead of a dielectric) superconducting capacitors. Is it possible that the phenomenon of resonance could play a role in this setup? More appropriately, we should probably consider some sort of coupling with the zero point field. I am not necessarily saying that we would get any "free lunch" (by this I mean energy from nothing), but this kind of coupling with ZPF should at least open some designs of systems that could at least store the input energy, for later use (battery design). I say "at least", because other interesting phenomena might appear in this context.

By the way, I am drawing a parallel here between stable atoms and various vibrational modes involving ZPF (think about some sort of 3D Chladni figures, as an analogy). Following this analogy, only radiation of certain frequencies will couple with the ZPF (I would call them Larmor frequencies). These interesting frequencies should be in the range of Josephson tunnel junctions under high voltage, mentioned above (range as far as frequency is concerned, we are dealing here with alternating currents, not direct radiation).


[1] G. Moddel, B. Eliasson, "High speed electron tunneling device and applications", US Patent No. 6563185 (13 May 2003). This design is related to energy extraction, and its feasibility is questionable.

[2] T. H. Boyer, "Random electrodynamics: the theory of classical electrodynamics with classical electromagnetic zero point radiation", Phys. Rev. D 11, 790-808 (1975).

[3] L. de la Pena, M. Cetto, "Quantum phenomena and the zero point radiation field II", Found. Phys. 25, 573-604 (1995).

[4] D. C. Cole, Y. Zou, "Quantum mechanical ground state of hydrogen obtained from classical electrodynamics", Phys. Lett. A 317, 14-20 (2003).

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2015-11-29 08:09 (UTC), posted by SE-user Cristian Dumitrescu
asked May 17, 2014 in Theoretical Physics by Cristian Dumitrescu (25 points) [ no revision ]
retagged Nov 29, 2015

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