A region of space devoid of any fluid molecules resulting in a zero pressure in ideal cases. In practice, even space has a small but finite number of molecules.

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4answers
2k views

Is space “real”, or is it some sort of accepted postulate?

sorry for this very naive (layman) question. What is space? It seems to be every where in the equations of physics (as some sort of postulate or hidden hypothesis). We also have a direct experience ...
19
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4answers
2k views

Can one obtain free energy from the vacuum?

It is known that from the vacuum of a quantum field theory, virtual particle pairs are created and destroyed; is it possible to capture these particles thus obtaining free energy from the vacuum?
17
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2answers
3k views

How does space affect the human body (no space suit, no space craft)

How does "outer space" affect the human body? Some movies show it as the body exploding, imploding or even freezing solid. I know space is essentially a vacuum with 0 pressure and the dispersion of ...
16
votes
6answers
993 views

Do all massive bodies emit Hawking radiation?

It is known that any accelerated observer is subject to a heat bath due to Unruh radiation. The principle of equivalence suggests that any stationary observer on the surface of a massive body should ...
15
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2answers
189 views

What would happen to wet laundry in the vacuum of space?

Imagine for a second that I was in a college dorm room frustrated that all the dryers were broken or in use. I'm impatient and not a jerk so I don't wait or take out someone else's laundry, I shoot it ...
15
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4answers
1k views

Is there an intuitive description of vacuum entanglement?

People often refer to the fact that the vacuum is an entangled state (It's even described as a maximally entangled state). I was trying to get a feeling for what that really means. The problem is ...
15
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0answers
236 views

Finding the vacuum which breaks a symmetry

I will start with an example. Consider a symmetry breaking pattern like $SU(4)\rightarrow Sp(4)$. We know that in $SU(4)$ there is the Standard Model (SM) symmetry $SU(2)_L\times U(1)_Y$ but depending ...
13
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3answers
628 views

How should I clean a part before installing it in a vacuum system?

What are proven procedures for preparing a part that comes fresh out of the workshop for ultra-high vacuum (UHV) and extremely-high vacuum (XUV)?
12
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2answers
684 views

Does string theory have a notion of vacuum?

Does string theory have a notion of vacuum? If yes, what is known about it?
12
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2answers
2k views

Are we living in a false vacuum? Is there any way to tell?

I was thinking of the noted 1980 paper by Sidney Coleman and Frank de Luccia--"Gravitational effects of and on vacuum decay"-- about metastable vacuum states that could tunnel to a lower energy "true ...
12
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7answers
1k views

Can energy be taken out of the QFT vacuum?

There have been recent questions about the vacuum. In my simplified knowledge the vacuum is like a ground state energy level, and also that there might even exist other lower energy levels than the ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

What is meant by Vacuum?

What is the exact meaning of the word vacuum? Is it just a state of very low pressure or is it nothingness (as in there is nothing)? Also, when we say space is vacuum - it must be referring to ...
11
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1answer
1k views

How to interpret vacuum instability of Higgs potential

If the Higgs mass is in a certain range, the quartic self-coupling of the Higgs field becomes negative after renormalization group flow to a high energy scale, signalling an instability of the vacuum ...
11
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1answer
184 views

How long will our artifacts last in moon & space?

Given all the different space probes and equipment that have been either launched into space or lying on the moon. How long will they last before they get decayed into dust or some unrecognizable ...
11
votes
1answer
313 views

How is it possible the speed of light is not constant?

I was reading this article recently, which summarizes a couple of new studies into the speed of light. In one paper, Marcel Urban from the University of Paris-Sud, located in Orsay, France and his ...
9
votes
3answers
399 views

What is the difference between $|0\rangle $ and $0$?

What is the difference between $|0\rangle $ and $0$ in the context of $$a_- |0\rangle =0~?$$
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Does anything exist in the intergalactic space?

I am a part time physics enthusiast and I seldom wonder about the intergalactic space. First, it is my perception that all(almost all) the objects in the universe are organized in the forms of ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the calculations for Vacuum Energy?

In wiki the Vacuum Energy in a cubic meter of free space ranges from $10^{-9}$ from the cosmological constant to $10^{113}$ due to calculations in Quantum Electrodynamics (QED) and Stochastic ...
9
votes
1answer
460 views

The vacuum in quantum field theories: what is it?

In Section 10.1 of his textbook Quantum Field Theory for Mathematicians, Ticciati writes Assuming that the background field or classical source $j(x)$ is zero at space-time infinity, the presence ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

What causes the permittivity and permeability of vacuum?

When light travels through a material, it gets "slowed down" (at least its net speed decreases). The atoms in the material "disturb" the light in some way which causes it to make stops on its path. ...
8
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4answers
272 views

Direct exposure to the vacuum of space

I was watching a few sci-fi movies and was wondering the real science explaining what would happen if you were to be subject to the conditions of outerspace. I read the wikipedia article on space ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Measured Higgs mass and vacuum stability

There is such a thing, called "stability bound" on mass of the Higgs boson. The basic idea (as I understand it) is that we take Higgs self-coupling, and calculate its renormalization running. And it ...
8
votes
4answers
297 views

Does time exist in a vacuum?

Imagine a perfect vacuum devoid of all matter and radiation. Irrespective of whether such a space can even exist, my intuition tells me that time would not exist within such a space. What this thought ...
8
votes
2answers
155 views

Do siphons really require air pressure to function?

Can the siphon mechanism work in vacuums? There seems to have been experiments where exotic liquids (low vapor pressure) were used in siphons mounted in vacuum chambers. The idea is that the falling ...
8
votes
2answers
164 views

What are the current experimental limits on the polarizability of the vacuum?

Many (all?) materials are polarizable at some level; meaning that when we apply an electric field across the material, there is an induced dipole moment $$ \vec{p}=\alpha(\omega)\vec{E}, $$ where ...
7
votes
1answer
759 views

Do we breathe air by creating a vacuum?

How do we suck air into our lungs, are we generating a vacuum?
7
votes
3answers
662 views

What really goes on in a vacuum?

I've been told that a vacuum isn't actually empty space, rather that it consists of antiparticle pairs spontaneously materialising then quickly annihilating, which leads me to a few questions. ...
7
votes
2answers
480 views

What is “Energy” of a vacuum in the context of quantum theory?

I'm not a physicist or cosmologist, so I hope I am asking the right question with the right words here. My question regards the word "energy" as it pertains to quantum vacuum states, and to concepts ...
7
votes
1answer
209 views

Understanding multiple instanton contributions to vacuum tunneling in a double potential well

I'm trying to understand the method of calculating the transition probability of one vacuum state to another in a double well potential, using instantons. The reference I am following is Sidney ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Have we managed to make a perfect vacuum?

Have we managed to make a device without any atom inside it on earth? I was reading about vacuum here, and I found in the examples part here that even on the best man made vacuum devices, there are ...
6
votes
2answers
558 views

“Space” in General Relativity and “vacuum” in Standard Model, is it the same thing?

And expansion of space is equal to expansion of vacuum?
6
votes
2answers
708 views

Does water have surface tension in a vacuum?

I could be totally wrong here but I was thinking about water surface and what creates that. My thought is it is the thin mixture of water and air separating the two. This mixture creates the boundary ...
6
votes
2answers
846 views

Wheeler-Feynman theory, QED without fields, vacuum polarization

Initially Wheeler and Feynman postulated that, the electromagnetic field is just a set of bookkeeping variables required in a Hamiltonian description. This is very neat because makes the point of ...
6
votes
1answer
288 views

Why does the echo for soundwaves hitting a vacuum come back out of phase? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Phase shift of 180 degrees on reflection from optically denser medium I've read in a physics book for musicians that, when a soundwave hits a near-solid object, it ...
6
votes
1answer
355 views

Defining the ground state energy of a QFT

I would like to hear of some general discussion on how is the ground state and its energy defined in QFT and how does one go about finding it. (..at least in some simple cases I have seen the use of ...
6
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0answers
215 views

Is a venturi pump feasible at very low pressure?

I need assistance (or experience feedback) in estimating if a Venturi pump would work at low pressure. A boiler under vacuum (10% atmosphere) will produce steam (at a given speed depending on the ...
5
votes
1answer
117 views

How do instantons cause vacuum decay?

From what I read about on instantons (Zee, QFT in a Nutshell, pg 309-310), an instanton is a vacuum solution that maps $S^3 \rightarrow S^3$ (the boundary of Euclideanized spacetime), which comes from ...
5
votes
1answer
233 views

Spontaneous symmetry breaking: How can the vacuum be infinitly degenerate?

In classical field theories, it is with no difficulty to imagine a system to have a continuum of ground states, but how can this be in the quantum case? Suppose a continuous symmetry with charge $Q$ ...
5
votes
1answer
41 views

Vacuums and free space

Do physicists use the terms "vacuum," "quantum vacuum," and "free space" synonymously? For example, I have read that based on conservation arguments, the spontaneous splitting of a photon into an ...
5
votes
0answers
94 views

Could energy be stored into (not extracted from) the quantum zero point field (like a battery)?

In order to explain the question clearly, I will make a short introduction. In 1962, Josephson predicted that for a sufficiently thin insulating layer, it should be possible for Cooper pairs to ...
5
votes
2answers
82 views

Does space have a “radiation pressure” caused by subatomic particles?

If space is not actually a void, then there's something shooting around in it, I'm guessing a lot like molecules in a gas. Could we apply a $(PV/T = k)$ -like gas law to it. Obviously we're not ...
5
votes
0answers
130 views

What does $\text{VAC}$ mean in Weinberg's QFT?

Hopefully Weinberg is sufficiently popular that this question isn't too localized. I'm reading Volume II (16.1, p. 63) and he refers to the state $\lvert\text{VAC}\rangle$ quite a lot. Does this mean ...
4
votes
1answer
453 views

Can electrons move through vacuum?

I studied that electronics is the branch of physics which deals with the practical applications of moving electrons through vacuum, semi-conductors and gasses. Can electrons move through vacuum?
4
votes
3answers
662 views

Vacuum and repulsive gravity

How can one show from General Relativity that gravity is attractive force, and under which conditions it becomes repulsive, also why positive energy vacuum drives repulsive gravity?
4
votes
2answers
936 views

If I put a ping pong ball in a vacuum, would it pop?

If I put a ping pong ball in a vacuum, would it pop? If so, at what point would it happen? Any standard table ping pong ball is acceptable.
4
votes
1answer
63 views

Is nuclear fusion via underwater vacuum possible?

An under water explosion creates a bubbly which quickly collapses on itself. The action takes less that 1/100 of a second for bubbles less than a foot across. This creates a point of extremely ...
4
votes
3answers
630 views

Creation of particle anti-particle pairs

I was reading some QFT notes and there is one point that I don't understand, they are justifying why we need QFT saying that the number of particles is not preserved once we consider special ...
4
votes
4answers
122 views

Can “vacuum be brought” from outer space?

Instead of creating vacuum in chambers on earth, why can't vacuum be brought from outer space in chambers? Outer space pressure ranges from $10^{-6}$torr to $10^{-17}$torr very very low. Is it ...
4
votes
1answer
130 views

Does $\langle\Omega|\mathrm{e}^{\mathrm{i}Px}=\langle\Omega|\mathrm{e}^{\mathrm{i}0x}$? $(\langle\Omega| =$ ground state of the interacting theory)

Let $\langle\Omega|$ be the ground state of an interacting theory, just as Peskin & Schroeder(PS) describes on page 82 and page 213. On page 213 PS do the following ...
4
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1answer
174 views

How important is it, really, to clean vacuum parts?

In every lab I've seen, people are quite meticulous about cleaning parts that are to be used in ultrahigh vacuum, as well as the components of the chamber itself. The parts may be put in an ultrasonic ...