By J. David Baxter

Robert Forward is a very well known and prolific science fiction writer. At the August 1997 NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Workshop, Dr. Forward stated that he wants to make some of the things he writes about, come true. He has submitted peer review accepted papers to professional physics journals. He is respected in the science and engineering community.

"EXTRACTING ELECTRICAL ENERGY FROM THE VACUUM BY COHESION OF CHARGED FOLIATED CONDUCTORS", Robert L. Forward, Physical Review B, Vol. 30, num. 4, Aug. 1984, pages 1700-1702.

With a series of conducting plates, a charge of electrostatic energy can oppose the casimir force. If this opposition is less than the casimir force energy, the plates will close, and add energy to the electric field between the plates.

The closest separation distance, in which casimir force levels have been measured, is at 1.4 nanometers, using crossed cylinders of mica. The measured force, between the cyliders, was 10 Kilonewtons per square meter. At present, no good experiments with metal plates can be done below 1 - 20 nanometers.

Development of molecular beam epitoxy atomic spray guns, can lay down nonolayers of atoms, to make flat plate distance less than a nanometer.

The casimir force has some of the same properties as the gravitational force. It is attractive, with flat plates, and varies with the inverse power of separation distance, but at a higher power of difference, when compared to the gravity force. Earth's gravity field is conserved. Hydroelectric dams extract energy from high gravitational potential. The source is evaporated water from solar energy. During times of low demand, electric pumps can pump water back to high gravitational potential.

A corkscrew design of casimir cavities, can have a high vacuum-fluctuation potential energy state, due to a large surface area, The same effect can be gained with coils. Closing the plates produces kinetic energy, For reverse mode, electrostatic repulsion is used with the same polarity of positive charge.

Robert Forward, "Mass Modification Definition Study (An Air Force Report)" Journal Of Scientific Exploration, vol. 10, number 3, autumn 1996.

The gravitational mass and the inertial mass, of a body, are induced effects, brought about by changes in the fluctuation energy of the quantum vacuum, when the physical body is present. This according to Puthoff (1989), along with and Haisch and Rudea (1994). Modification of the vacuum, surrounding a body, is based on the science of quantum electrodynamics. Nuclear energy is 9 X 10 to the 13th power, in joules of energy per gram of mass. Zero-point-energy has an energy density of 10 to the 108th power of joules of energy density per cubic centimeter. The equivalent mass energy density, according to E=MC square, is 10 to the 94th grams of mass per cubic centimeter.

According to one of the present theories about the vacuum, place one single proton in the center of a cold empty vacuum, and it will gain, within one second, 1000 electron volts of energy from the vacuum. It only costs a few electron volts, to ionize hydrogen, to conduct the experiment. This is measured by the radiation emitted.

With the high mass-energy density of zero-point-energy, it might be possible to use it as a reaction mass for propulsion.

Matter and energy are quantized . There is an uncertainty principle with both matter and energy. Matter quanta are atoms. Zero-point-energy is derived from the average energy vibrations of vibrational quanta, or phonons. Phonons are transferred from atom to atom. Due to ZPE, there are vibrations in a crystal at absolute zero. As a result, liquid helium can't freeze solid.

The vacuum must contain potential in order to support electromagnetic vibrations. The math equations are equal to mass-spring vibrations of atoms in a block of matter. Photons transfer rapidly, and some electromagnetic vibrations have no photon. Richard Feynman determined if the smallest ZPE vibration is the size of a proton, then the energy density is 10 to the 108th Jules per cubic centimeter, and mass density is 10 to the 94th grams per cubic centimeter. Nuclear density is 10 to the 14th grams per cubic centimeter. However, only differences in vacuum energy, produced by the presence of matter, counts.

In the Dirac Sea vacuum, involving zero-point-energy, electron-positron pairs are swiftly created and destroyed continuously. The changes back to photon, is a shorter time frame then the limits of the uncertainty relationship. The index of refraction of zero-point-energy, is only slightly different then unity, and it responds to non-linear strong electromagnetic fields.

Using the casimir effect with conducting plates, the conducting plates must be uncharged to begin with. The plates short-circuit electromagnetic vibrations, that do not have a zero (transverse) electric field, at the position of the conducting plates. With the casimir effect, there is less vacuum energy between the plates than there is outside of them. The plates can be made of dielectrics (capacitors) instead of conductors. The casimir effect is a quantum mechanical effect. Dielectric measurements are the most accurate.

The Lamb-Retherford experiment, with an excited hydrogen atom, proves that there is a creation of electron-positron pairs, going on continuously in the vacuum. This is known as the Dirac Sea. Schornhorst (1990), used quantum electrodynamics to predict that the speed of light would be faster for both mass and energy, within a casimir cavity. This process is anisotropic. Inertial mass would also decrease in a casimir cavity. Rudea, Haisch, and Cole (1995) predict that isolated charged particles, will use zero-point-energy to be accelerated to high speeds. Proton energy gain would be 1000 electron volts per second. A recommendation was made for 80 nanometer thick aluminum casimir cavities, alternating with 50 nanometer magnesium fluoride, (MgF2), in thousands of layers of casimir cavities. This device should weigh less than the materials used, due to the casimir effect.

In doing casimir effect experiments, must consider the cutoff wavelengths of the materials used. Diaelectrics use glass, quartz, or mica. The best results come from curved mica in a cylinder. 20 nanometer separation is possible with current microfabrication processes . A hallow, conducting sphere, makes the casimir force, an outward repulsive force (Milton 1978). A rectangular box, with units 1 by 1 by 3.3 in dimensions, has no casimir force, due to all the forces canceling. A cube shape has the casimir force repelling all four walls.

Ion beam lithography, and other sub-micron microelectronic fabrication, and processing techniques, can be used for electromagnetic antennas, and guides. Atomic force microscopes can control spacings and motion down to 1 nanometer (10 angstroms) or less. 10 nanometers per rad., might be a limit, due to metals becoming transparent in the ultraviolet range. The broadest band reflector is aluminum. It goes transparent at 10 nanometers. Conducting capacitor plates are recommended for experiments. For increasing the speed of light, conducting plates are recommended. Particles may accelerate, in the vacuum, to create cosmic ray levels of energy.


Device uses rectangular cavity, with two different length to width, and width to length ratios. One direction has the same values. Perpendicular direction has varied values, but the sum total of energy. Can have casimir vacuum energy extraction cycles, allowing endless extraction of energy from the vacuum. This is made possible through cyclic manipulation of casimir cavity dimensions. Zero-point-energy does not exist inside the physical conductors themselves. It is blocked. The process doesn't involve closing the cavity, causing zero sum energy. Two uncharged conductive plates experience an attractive force. The rectangular box is used as a casimir cavity. It has a massless vector field, due to zero-point-energy balance.

This is also known as the energy density of an electromagnetic field. This energy density is positive, negative, or zero, depending on the shape of the cavity. The cube has the smallest volume, and maximum positive energy density. Can use mechanical or electrical means, to extract energy from the moving walls. No energy is required to move a wall at zero energy density. Can be moved back to positive energy density to repeat the cycle.