Quantum foam

From Academic Kids

John Wheeler derived the concept of the quantum foam in 1955. It is also referred to as spacetime foam and bears a superficial resemblance to the old concept of the ether (or aether).

The quantum in quantum foam comes from quantum mechanics, and the foam comes from the idea that at extremely small distances (of the order of the Planck length), the energy of spacetime itself ceases to be smooth, and resembles instead a kind of rapidly changing foam.

Importance

The importance of quantum foam is that it is thought to give rise to a sea of virtual particles that pop into existence for an very short time (on the order of the Planck time), given by the uncertainty principle. The time of existence is dependent on the energy the virtual pair "borrows" from the universe. These virtual particles make their existence known by the Casimir effect. The quantum foam can be thought of as the uncertainty principle at work on the measurement of the vacuum energy. There will always be constant quantum fluctuations in the energy.

The "foamy" spacetime could have a very complex structure, much like that of a storm-tossed sea. Wormholes may be able to form in the quantum foam. However, their time of "existence" is very small, and so not much would be able to be done with it.

Reginald Cahill has developed a theory called Process Physics, which describes space as a quantum foam system in which gravity is an inhomogeneous flow of the quantum foam into matter. According to this theory, the so-called spiral galaxy rotation-velocity anomaly may be explained without the need for dark matter.

Various scientists have theorized that quantum foam is an incredibly powerful source of energy. It has been estimated that one cubic centimeter of space contains enough energy to boil all the world's oceans.

See also

References

nl:Kwantumschuim

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