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What is Zero Point Energy (ZPE)? Definition

Zero Point Energy is defined as energy resident in the vacuum, that is, "empty" space. Rather than being truly empty, the vacuum is a place of extensive activity in which virtual matter-antimatter particle pairs are created and destroyed randomly. The energy of the vacuum cannot be directly observed, but its effects on other phenomena in the universe can be observed. The Casimir effect is a well-documented result of Zero Point Energy. If two uncharged metal plates are suspended in a vacuum, very near to eachother (on the order of 100 Anstroms), they will become attracted via a force, even if the plates are at absolute zero. This is the result of an imbalance in the interactions of vacuum activity outside the plates and between the plates, thus producing a measurable force.

by Margaret Walker on Wed, 10/20/2010 - 10:23

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