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Can Zero Point Energy Gain Credibility?

By Brian Westenhaus | Mon, 21 February 2011 14:26 | 12

There is a lot of activity in Zero Point Energy around the world.  In the U.S. it remains an oddball or unscientific field.  In other places the science is taken much more seriously.  This writer abhors the notion of being hooked into ‘known’ science when a lifetime is already filled with the facts being updated, corrected and reframed.  Far better to keep an open mind – opportunity comes when preparedness and new events collide.  Zero Point Energy and Cold Fusion are now events, right or wrong, but if right one better be prepared.

The astronomy and cosmology sciences have observed that two thirds of the total universe is comprised of an invisible type of energy, about which little is known or only slightly more than the fact that it exists.  One cannot see this type of energy thus its been given the name “dark energy”.

The name does not compare or connote with ‘dark’ or some miraculous paranormal forces, it simply points out, that one can’t see this energy – just like one cannot see anything if it is dark. The name also indicates we have little knowledge of its nature or origin. Sometimes to avoid misunderstanding, this energy is sometimes referred to as ‘space energy’ or ‘vacuum energy’, because it is a property of mere space, and thus vacuum.  If classical physics is right – this energy is everywhere.

It does not require a good vacuum in order to establish this energy. There is a great deal of space, even inside ‘solid’ objects.  Things are rather like that: space contains this energy, independently whether it contains any visible matter or not. Another portion of this energy is ‘quantum mechanical zero point energy’ (ZPE), because it is supposed, that it originates from quantum mechanical zero point oscillations. Though these oscillations are rather abstract, they are well known within quantum mechanics and have been so for several decades.

With that in mind, and for some, an adulteration of the theory, there is energy everywhere in the quantum state to be harvested.  The engineering goal is to make the ZPE visible and manifest it in the laboratory leading to a harvest for mankind’s use.  That would convert the classical physics dark energy into mechanical energy thus proving the classical theory.  That premise for progress should but doesn’t light a fire under the physics field to encourage experimentation.

This brings us to what might be the leading bleeding edge of physics theory and engineering.  Claus W. Turtur at the Fachbereich Elektrotechnik, University of Applied Sciences Braunschweig-Wolfenbuettel and Wolfram Knapp at the Institut for Experimental Physics, Otto von Guericke Universitat, Magdeburg, both in Germany think they have devised a device that can harvest the ZPE and get some mechanical energy activity. And the result is no small matter, even though the attention paid is quite small.

Turtur's Schematic
Turtur's ZPE Simple Schematic.

The gentlemen’s problems in obtaining the public notation are, it’s ZPE and the explanation requires considerable mathematics and physic skills. It’s quite a lot to digest and the presentation lends no sound bite type material for the lazy journalist.

So your humble writer will attempt to provide an explanation about Turtur’s paper suitable for the layperson such that the import, if its turns out to really be there, is within grasp.  Yet for those with the skill set this could be a boon for careers.

Turtur has realized that his previous work at harvest attempts were based in the electrostatic field netting such small results that practicality was out of reach.  Thus the new work focuses on the energy-density of magnetic fields because the energy density in magnetics increases availability of energy by several orders of magnitude.

Turtur’s paper proposes a way for theoretical construction of a zero-point-energy converter in the Kilowatt-range. The result is a model of a ZPE motor with a diameter of 9 cm and a height of 6.8 cm producing 1.07 Kilowatts.  That’s a little over 8 inches by about 6.5 inches powering more than 10 100-watt bulbs.

The paper is arranged into numbered parts.  The first part No. 1, discusses how the project is defined meaning the theory is provided awaiting experimentation.  At this writing no working unit has been built, but the mathematics and theory show the materials needed would be the limitations.

The next parts, Nos. 2 to 5 explore the chain of thoughts that took Turtur to the device proposal.  Its important to follow these along, as the discussion shows the steps of theory development.  Over the course of the discussion three questions arose.

Now for the layperson, keep in mind that the quantum oscillations are very, very small and happen over time.  That makes the management of timing, or tuning the device key to its operation.  If one’s device can’t tune to the time segments of oscillation the energy pickup isn’t going to happen.  That means Turtur has to stabilize the device inputs with pulsed signals.  Oscillations are kind of wave like, in that there is an ‘up’ or ‘down’ so to speak, to tune for.  Turtur’s breakthrough is understanding that the tuning has to adjust to the two resonances between the two motions of the oscillation.  Now for the first ‘A Hah!’ moment, the differential of the two resonances is what energy value can be harvested.

By part No. 4 Turtur was ready to try another design with a transformer styled coil pair for shunting out some power.  The next ‘A Hah!” moment yielded 63 milliwatts.  Now Turtur is getting somewhere.

Part No. 5 is not so much an A Hah as brainstorm moment.  Here it’s realized that the initial concept suggesting the oscillation that would be expressed in a capacitor could have the oscillation occur in the device’s coil.  The luxury of a theory with mathematics has rewards – something the cold fusion crowd is still seeking.  The brainstorm solves the matter of getting a capacitor to have moving plates that can be tuned.  Instead a commercial capacitor might well work.  The other advantage is the energy density would be within the magnetic side of the device so harvesting is at that level instead of the electrostatic level.

The device then has the tuning motion coming from an electromagnet within an electromagnet, much like an electrosolenoid in simple terms.  The difficulty is in the tuning. The problem in a nutshell: oscillation of an electromagnet within an electromagnet.

The solution: rotate a permanent magnet, instead.

Part No. 6 explains the use of the rotating permanent magnet in considerable detail.  One key is that Turtur has worked out an algorithm to find the tuning points for a working conversion device. Once one has a grounding in the theory, puts the algorithm to work and builds the conversion device – it should work.

This is surely just the beginning.  Several engineering types would have the skill set to build a device and it would be no surprise for some inquisitive engineers to show up with a working devices in the coming months.

Turtur points out the device has limitations based in the materials.  Magnet rotational speeds are within common material specification ranges.  But the wire within the coil is going to be an issue limiting the potential amperage.  But that does not mean the device cannot be scaled up.

Where does that leave us?

For this writer the ZPE concept has for now a theory that can be grasped with working mathematics explaining what’s going on.  Turtur deserves congratulations, the breakthrough of seeing, understanding and devising a converter of the energy available in quantum oscillation might be the opening point of an energy filled 21st century for humanity.

But is the theory right and can it be made to work?  Most everything an engineer would need has been provided by Turtur.  The intellectual property is open source now. The test is in the intelligence and application of skill for building a device followed with a determined persistence of debugging.  One or two of these would provide a very energy dense portable power unit.  The market is huge, the production cost looks to be very low, and the operating management seems adaptable to IC chips.  This is quite something:

If it works. Lets hope it does.

By. Brian Westenhaus

Source: Can Zero Point Energy Gain Credibility?

Leave a comment

  • Anonymous on February 21 2011 said:
    Zero Point Energy would great for mankind. Unfortunately having access to free energy can also be mis-used. In the wrong hands, who knows how powerful, and dangerous this technology could become. As usual I would expect Big Oil, or other special interests groups to step in and squash anything close to ZPE.
  • Anonymous on February 22 2011 said:
    I agree with Dan. People who talk optimistically about 'free energy' seem to know nothing about the politics of energy.
  • Anonymous on February 22 2011 said:
    @ Dan. Free energy empowers the good guys and the bad guys. Like the Internet, hopefully the good guys stay ahead of teh bad guys. It has always been so in history.Here's our coverage of Turtur: http://peswiki.com/index.php/OS:_Claus_W._Turtur:_Zero_Point_Energy_Converter_in_the_Kilowatt_Range
  • Anonymous on February 22 2011 said:
    > There is a lot of activity in Zero Point Energy around the world. In the U.S. it remains an oddball or unscientific field. In other places the science is taken much more seriously.that is very misleading. i would say the opposite is true. Americans have invented almost everything in the modern world. how could the author say something like that? where is the authors evidence for that?
  • Anonymous on February 22 2011 said:
    > this energy is sometimes referred to as ‘space energy’ or ‘vacuum energy’, because it is a property of mere space, and thus vacuum. If classical physics is right – this energy is everywhere.what classical physics are you talking about? what classical physics that demonstrates this energy is everywhere?
  • Anonymous on February 22 2011 said:
    > Things are rather like that: space contains this energy, independently whether it contains any visible matter or not. Another portion of this energy is ‘quantum mechanical zero point energy’ (ZPE), because it is supposed, that it originates from quantum mechanical zero point oscillations. Though these oscillations are rather abstract, they are well known within quantum mechanics and have been so for several decades.this is gibberish. you are just making things up with your imagination. you are presenting things to be facts, when they are just a product of your fantasy.
  • Anonymous on February 22 2011 said:
    > With that in mind, and for some, an adulteration of the theory, there is energy everywhere in the quantum state to be harvested.well, at least you admit it is your imagination. i came here because marketed your link as:"they have devised a device that can harvest the ZPE and get some mechanical energy activity. Their explanation requires considerable mathematics and physic skills. It's quite a lot to digest and the presentation lends no sound bite type material for the lazy journalist."yet the whole article is just nonsense, just somebody's dream/imagination. where were my mathematical and physics skills required Sterling?
  • Anonymous on February 23 2011 said:
    Dan or any othersHow can ZPE "in the wrong hands" be any worse than any other energy in the wrong hands?I do understand the potential negative impact of ZPE WILL have on the worlds economic stability. But i dont get it when folks say "if its in the wrong hands"? As long as it in Everybody's hands)
  • Anonymous on February 24 2011 said:
    Vacuum energy is not so hard to find or understand at all, though still 'invisible' to the majority of scientists and laymen, its indeed everywhere. Just a single state in the U.S, Wyoming has more raw materials for zeolite vacuum energy then the entire world's remaining oil reserves. see: http://zeo-tech.de/index_en.html
  • Anonymous on February 26 2011 said:
    Alas, after checking prof. Turtur program for calculating physical parameters of device, I discovered error in his method of calculating energy. This come from so called 'Stiff Sets of Equations'. You can check it by yourself setting number of integration steps (dt) to 100000 (from 10000) or even bigger.So 1070 Watts vanished and instability he speaks about with a lot of graphics as well. I alerted him twice and upon second email he answered he may have time end of March. In mean time people will spend time and money trying to build impossible device.Bottom line is: if you need computer to make calculations make sure you understand how calculations are made or try to use GSL libraries. Especially if you are professor of physics.
  • Anonymous on May 13 2011 said:
    Why doesnt he tune the coil instead tuning the capacitor? This should be much easier.(e.g. Helmholtz coils could be used or simply an adjustable coil in series)
  • Tim on October 09 2013 said:
    Hopefully soon someone will harness this elusive energy source.

    Great post!

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