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Author Topic: The Casimir effect & the expansion of the universe  (Read 2743 times)

Offline DoctorBeaver

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(or, more accurately, the Casimir-Polder effect)

Hendrik B. G. Casimir and Dirk Polder posited all-pervading energy fields between objects that will exert a force on those objects. The existence of this force has been shown experimentally. The classic experiment involves suspending 2 metal plates very close together in a vacuum. Gradually, the force exerted by the vacuum energy pushes the plates towards each other.

This force is exerted at every point in the universe. So, could this be the cause of the acceleration in the expansion of the universe? If every point in the universe is exerting an outward force, adjacent points will tend to be pushed apart. As they are pushed apart, the new intervening space will exert its own pressure and so on. The more space there is, the more points there are to exert the force, which causes more points to be created ad infinitum.

The further apart 2 points are, the more intervening space there is, so the more force there is between them. This would cause objects that are further apart to move away from each other faster; which is exactly what is observed.

Whatever is driving the acceleration is overcoming gravity (on very large scales), and it seems to me that the Casimir-Poulder force is a prime candidate.

Does anyone with expert knowledge of this subject have anything to say on it? I'm prepared to be shot down in flames for being a dumb ass.


 

Offline Soul Surfer

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The Casimir effect & the expansion of the universe
« Reply #1 on: 22/01/2008 09:20:17 »
The reason that the plates are pushed together is that the conducting plates exclude certain longer wave modes in the Heisenberg uncertainty allowed vacuum energy spectrum which are available outside so the Casimir effect is more a suck than a push.

One thing related to this effect that I have been wondering about concerns MOdified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) which is one of the suggestions as an alternative reason for the apparently anomalous behaviour of gravity over long distances and times that is usually attributed to dark matter and dark energy.
Because at all ages our universe is assumed to be a finite size and of a limited period of existence there is a lower limit to the frequency of electromagnetic gravitational waves that can exist at any time in the universe.  And this could have a profund effect on the models of the evolution of the universe particularly in its earlier stages and may even have effects now.
 

Offline syhprum

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The Casimir effect & the expansion of the universe
« Reply #2 on: 22/01/2008 12:10:36 »
I am interested to know how the force drawing the plates together varies with their separation.
By no means proposing it as a practical source of power there must be some generated as the plates are drawn together.
I have since learnt that it increases as the fourth power of the reciprocal of the separation      kf=1/d^4.    
« Last Edit: 22/01/2008 15:51:40 by syhprum »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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The Casimir effect & the expansion of the universe
« Reply #3 on: 22/01/2008 22:53:52 »
MOND is certainly interesting. I'm impressed that someone has had the temerity to try to nobble Newton yet again  :D

Unfortunately my understanding of MOND is very limited. However, I am endeavouring to rectify that situation. What I can say, though, is that if anyone wants to measure such small acceleration, they are welcome to test me getting out of bed  ;D
 

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The Casimir effect & the expansion of the universe
« Reply #3 on: 22/01/2008 22:53:52 »

 

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