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Yoshua
2005-Apr-24, 05:26 AM
I've heard this term used before in sci fi movies and television shows. At first I thought it was just something made up, but hearing it crop up again in unrelated movies/shows leads me to believe it's actually based off something real (or at least a real theory).

So what is the real deal on this, and what are the actual facts about it? Or is it some kind of crackpot deal like cold fusion was?

tmosher
2005-Apr-24, 05:44 AM
Unproven theory.

You could always read this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-point_energy)

Crazieman
2005-Apr-24, 05:46 AM
If you create an absolute vacuum, energy still remains.

An incredible amount of energy too.

Scroll about halfway down. NASA site. (http://www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/research/warp/possible.html)

Yoshua
2005-Apr-24, 06:00 AM
Thanks guys. Some interesting reading. I know I could have googled it, but considering it's a subject I know little about, I tend to worry about being able to sort out facts from the dreck that is likely to show up with it in a search engine.

sarongsong
2005-Apr-24, 07:12 AM
...Or is it some kind of crackpot deal like cold fusion was?
From a Search at Crazieman's link:
"...The bottom line: despite many problems, nuclear reactions can occur at low energies, so cold fusion is real, and what to do about it seems clear."
http://ecolloq.gsfc.nasa.gov/archive/2003-Fall/announce.nagel.html

Yoshua
2005-Apr-24, 07:30 AM
...Or is it some kind of crackpot deal like cold fusion was?
From a Search at Crazieman's link:
"...The bottom line: despite many problems, nuclear reactions can occur at low energies, so cold fusion is real, and what to do about it seems clear."
http://ecolloq.gsfc.nasa.gov/archive/2003-Fall/announce.nagel.html

I stand corrected. I suppose after all the derision I see cold fusion take I'd just tucked it away as being **.

Though it remains to be seen whether anything can be done with it outside of a lab.

Van Rijn
2005-Apr-24, 10:38 AM
Meanwhile, I'll continue to consider cold fusion to be bunk until there are some decent, repeatable experimental results ... Nagel is a cold fusion advocate, this is his opinion. There has been a lot of research, and precious little to show for it.

On ZPE: Most of what you see on this is bunk. Perpetual Motion machine and some cold fusion advocates turn to ZPE as a mechanism. And there are the conspiracy types that say the government is working on it. There is some theory, there may eventually be some practical applications, but if, what or when that may be ... who knows?

I believe Charles Sheffield was the first writer to use ZPE in his stories, followed by Clarke, Anderson, and now it is seeping into movies and TV shows.

Gullible Jones
2005-Apr-24, 10:52 AM
ZPE is there.

There's no way in hell that we can harness it.

That's probably for the better.