Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Hal Puthoff's error in ZPE calculations

On Sep 20, 2005, at 8:36 AM, Puthoff@aol.com wrote:

In a message dated 9/19/2005 12:17:44 P.M. Central Daylight Time, sarfatti@pacbell.net writes:
Hal ... got it wrong in his charge cluster paper where he used the wrong w = + 1/3 instead of the correct w = -1.
No, Jack.

w = -1 is the equation of state for the vacuum.

w = +1/3 is the equation of state for EM fields in the vacuum.

No Hal, you are wrong. The virtual ZPF photons in Casimir effect have w = -1. Only real photons have w = +1/3. You are completely wrong about that. Any calculations that use w = +1/3 are wrong and if they give a seemingly correct answer there is some kind of fudge or cancellation of two errors going on.

Secondly, even if we accept your use of w = +1/3 then you still get into a serious contradiction, because then your zero point energy density filling the vacuum outside the charge clusters corresponds to

/\zpf(Hal Puthoff) ~ (mc/h)^2 ~ (10^-11 cm)^-2

I grant you that this is an improvement over the naive quantum gravity foam value of

/\zpf(Quantum Foam) ~ (c^3/hG) ~ (10^-33 cm)^-2

when the observed number is

/\zpf ~ (H(t)/c)^-2 ~ (10^+29 cm)^-2


So your number is too big by 78 POWERS OF TEN! That's better than 122 POWERS OF TEN for naive quantum foam cutoff at Planck scale, but still not good enough!

Now, I understand that your HRP SED picture of ZPF for the origin of inertia DEMANDS w = +1/3 and that is another reason it is bad physics on top of all the reasons Mike Ibison has given.

Note that in your theory the pressure of the EM ZPF (SED version) is (1/3)(ZPE density) - same as black body thermal radiation of real photons into far field. Ignore Unruh/Hawking effect for now where surface gravity locally equivalent to non-geodesic accelerating LNIF makes a black body spectrum of tiny temperature. Therefore, in your theory the pressure of the SED EM ZPF is positive and this is clearly wrong.

Look at the clear difference between our two models of Ken Shoulders "charge clusters". We both picture a thin spherical shell of N electrons which obey

N(h/mc)^2 = 4pia^2

a = radius of the charge cluster.

You assume ZPE pressure p(inside) = 0 with a POSITIVE ZPE pressure(outside) = +(1/3)ZPE density.

That gets you in contradiction with above data on the vacuum energy density of the universe seen in Type Ia supernovae standard candles.

In contrast I have a huge w = -1 NEGATIVE ZPE p(inside) ~ -c^4/8piG(mc/h)^2 with a very tiny negative pressure outside corresponding to the observed /\ ~ (10^29 cm)^-2 as given by Rocky Kolb's slide above.

Casimir calculations are based on the latter, not the former (except in your model).

I recommend you read the definitive book on Casimir effects, K. A. Milton, Physical Manifestations of Zero-Point Energy: The Casimir Effect (World Scientific Press, New Jersey, 2001).

Yes, and all those calculations are simply wrong. I don't care if they are in text books. People make mistakes. If you read Feynman's original papers on QED you will see those calculations are mis-conceived. It is you Hal who is not skeptical enough in this case! :-)

On Sep 19, 2005, at 11:01 AM, Puthoff@aol.com wrote:
To place all this in perspective, I consider myself, as a radical empiricist, to be an unreconstructed arch skeptic. A corollary of this, of course, is that my skepticism is a double-edged sword that cuts both ways. I am on the one hand skeptical of radical physics ideas (e.g., SED, PV, Yilmaz), but I am equally skeptical of their facile dismissal on the basis of unexamined mainstream physics belief. (As you might correctly infer from these remarks, in my view you are often not skeptical enough!) Since I choose not to accept the given wisdom without question, nor rely on just historical authority alone, I opt to investigate such things myself to see where they lead, and then report out the results. This, to me, rather than sound-bite dismissals, is real physics.

To reiterate. I am aware of Peter Milonni's error in this regard in one of his 3 ways of calculating the Casimir effect and it is in other books as well. Indeed, the error may be traced to Landau himself - I will need to check that. But, obviously the calculation is wrong even if it gives the right answer, it does so for the wrong reasons!

Virtual photons off mass shell (light cone) are inside the physical vacuum. They must have w = -1 (assuming they are totally random & isotropic). Real photons on mass shell radiating to far field have w = +1/3.

Virtual ZPF photons have ALL three polarization states. Real photons have only 2. All of this is in Feynman's original papers that created QED.

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