Sounds in Space, vibration of virtual particles

This question is a continuation of this previous question. My question is given two plates located in space is it possible to transmit acoustic vibrations from one plate to the other plate using the changes inherit in dynamic positions and the Casimir effect?


2 Answers 2


The Casimir effect is an electromagentic effect:

The typical example is of the two uncharged conductive plates in a vacuum, placed a few nanometers apart. In a classical description, the lack of an external field means that there is no field between the plates, and no force would be measured between them.1 When this field is instead studied using the quantum electrodynamic vacuum, it is seen that the plates do affect the virtual photons which constitute the field, and generate a net force2 – either an attraction or a repulsion depending on the specific arrangement of the two plates.

Bold mine.

In this paper the Casimir force has to be taken into account for vibrating plates, seems it can impede electromagnetic transmission of vibrations, so it is possible vibrations in one plate may be transformed electromagnetically to the other plate , as the Casimir effect is seen as a force.

The vibrating plates, if a setup is made, in a vacuum will not transfer sound anyway, as vacuum has no medium.If the outside of the plates is in air only very small distances of sound transmission can be utilized.

I do not see why in order to transfer sound in space you have to do it with the complicated Casimir effect. Satellites transfer sound with radio waves all the time, to earth and to other satellites. Electromagnetic waves work best in vacuum after all.


This is really a footnote to Anna's answer. Suppose you take two charged plates, place them close to each other with a vacuum between them, then make one of them vibrate. The change in the distance between the plates will make the electrostatic force between them change, so the other plate will also vibrate.

Would you regard this as transmitting acoustic vibrations? You could certainly use sound to produce the vibrations of the first plate, then have the vibrations of the second plate produce sound. In this sense you have transmitted the sound through the vacuum between the plates. But of course what you really did is convert the acoustic vibrations to another form then convert them back to sound.

Your experiment with the Casimir force is no different from the above thought experiment. The Casimir force is not an electrostatic force, but both the electrostatic and Casimir forces are forces mediated by the quantum fields in QED - just in different ways. The Casimir force seems mysterious because we never encounter it in everyday life, while most of us have experienced electrostatic shocks, but it is just another manifestation of quantum electrodynamics.


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