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[Scientific American] Something from Nothing? A Vacuum Can Yield Flashes of Light - Page 2

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by alcal View Post

It was already known that energy can spontaneously be created for short periods of time.

Actually, the first law of thermodynamics says otherwise - see here
Quote:
Originally Posted by [PWN]Schubie View Post

If you do think something is a repost, please post the original thread, don't just say repost and expect it to be gone.

Read again dude....
(repost != double post)

Back to the news - this is scary, if they mean a true vacuum (i.e. no particles of any kind), doesn't this mean string theory's extra dimensions & many-worlds interpretation is the only explanation (i.e. that it isn't an isolated system, and the photons are coming from elsewhere)
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post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeing Red View Post

Easy there, he was talking about his own post.

doh.gif
My bad Rookie1337
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post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemicalfan View Post

Back to the news - this is scary, if they mean a true vacuum (i.e. no particles of any kind), doesn't this mean string theory's extra dimensions & many-worlds interpretation is the only explanation (i.e. that it isn't an isolated system, and the photons are coming from elsewhere)

It is very interesting, I think we simply don't know enough about the phenomenon yet to determine if it provides evidence that the universe is not a closed system.
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post #14 of 20
MIND BLOWN.
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post #15 of 20
"Something from Nothing"

Not really. A vacuum isn't "nothing".

We have no concept of what nothing is. No examples or evidence.

"Something from Nearly Nothing"

or

"Something from Vacuum"
post #16 of 20
Alright, I've had a read around "quantum fluctuations" & "virtual particles", and I understand where they're coming from, but I still stand by my comment. In a hypothetical "true" vacuum (a QED vacuum), you have to conserve energy. Although it's only hypothetical, as no known vacuum is devoid of all particles (you can't measure dark matter/energy, but it's there)
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post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemicalfan View Post

Actually, the first law of thermodynamics says otherwise - see here

Science stops being as simple as "f=ma" and "conservation of energy" as soon as you start looking at general relativity. It's been a while since I studied it, but the total amount of energy in the universe is not constant (even if you hold the total amount of mass to be constant). This is to say that energy can just "appear" in small quantities given that it disappears again shortly thereafter. The net amount of energy/matter will remain the same over time, but fluctuations can be observed in very small windows. I think it had something to do with the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, though I should probably stop talking since I really don't remember this too thoroughly.
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post #18 of 20
That's more in the quantum mechanics realm, and I get what you're saying - I just struggle that the maths (and that's pretty much all quantum mechanics is) permits violation of some of the fundamental "rules of the universe" in some permutations. Some would say rules are meant to be broken, but others would say that if there's no rules, what's the point in playing? smile.gif
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post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by alcal View Post

Science stops being as simple as "f=ma" and "conservation of energy" as soon as you start looking at general relativity. It's been a while since I studied it, but the total amount of energy in the universe is not constant (even if you hold the total amount of mass to be constant). This is to say that energy can just "appear" in small quantities given that it disappears again shortly thereafter. The net amount of energy/matter will remain the same over time, but fluctuations can be observed in very small windows. I think it had something to do with the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, though I should probably stop talking since I really don't remember this too thoroughly.

Well what you studied sounds wrong. One of the fundamental tenants of physics is that energy is conserved and energy in = energy out. If you don't hold that true, than any conception of reality that science has constructed over centuries is just plain wrong. Modern electronics, for example, would not work without the fact the the universal change in energy is always 0. However, different, opposite energies can definitely appear from nothing in terms of virtual particles popping in and out of existence. These particles have exactly opposite angular velocities, they have opposite charges, and they annihilate each other on contact with nothing remaining afterwards. Its the same reason why you can do 0 = 1 - 1 or 0 = X - X , or any combination in the set of infinity. The net universal energy is still constant before and afterwards, except that entropy probably increases because they allow black holes to decay if you believe in hawking radiation. I'm not sure what small fluctuations you're talking about, but if there were small fluctuations, they would average out to zero with some other place in the universe that received a random fluctuation of the same magnitude but opposite sign.
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post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie1337 View Post

Darn for a moment I was thinking this was going to be a discovery that lead to ZPMs.

LOL that was the first thing I though of also!
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