of A New Culture"
the bottomlessness of Her Womb the Light is born
Vacuum Fluctuations and Virtual Particles
In the everyday world, energy is always unalterably fixed; the law of energy conservation is a cornerstone of classical physics. But in the quantum microworld, energy can appear and disappear out of nowhere in a spontaneous and unpredictable fashion. (Davies, 1983, 162)
The uncertainty principle implies that particles can come into existence for short periods of time even when there is not enough energy to create them. In effect, they are created from uncertainties in energy. One could say that they briefly "borrow" the energy required for their creation, and then, a short time later, they pay the "debt" back and disappear again. Since these particles do not have a permanent existence, they are called virtual particles. (Morris, 1990, 24)
Even though we can't see them, we know that these virtual particles are "really there" in empty space because they leave a detectable trace of their activities. One effect of virtual photons, for example, is to produce a tiny shift in the energy levels of atoms. They also cause an equally tiny change in the magnetic moment of electrons. These minute but significant alterations have been very accurately measured using spectroscopic techniques. (Davies, 1994, 32)
In modern physics, there is no such thing as "nothing." Even in a perfect vacuum, pairs of virtual particles are constantly being created and destroyed. The existence of these particles is no mathematical fiction. Though they cannot be directly observed, the effects they create are quite real. The assumption that they exist leads to predictions that have been confirmed by experiment to a high degree of accuracy. (Morris, 1990, 25)
Vacuum Fluctuations and the Origin of the Universe
There are something like ten million million million million million million million million million million million million million million (1 with eighty [five] zeroes after it) particles in the region of the universe that we can observe. Where did they all come from? The answer is that, in quantum theory, particles can be created out of energy in the form of particle/antiparticle pairs. But that just raises the question of where the energy came from. The answer is that the total energy of the universe is exactly zero. The matter in the universe is made out of positive energy. However, the matter is all attracting itself by gravity. Two pieces of matter that are close to each other have less energy than the same two pieces a long way apart, because you have to expend energy to separate them against the gravitational force that is pulling them together. Thus, in a sense, the gravitational field has negative energy. In the case of a universe that is approximately uniform in space, one can show that this negative gravitational energy exactly cancels the positive energy represented by the matter. So the total energy of the universe is zero. (Hawking, 1988, 129) [thanks to Ross King for this quote]
There is a still more remarkable possibility, which is the creation of matter from a state of zero energy. This possibility arises because energy can be both positive and negative. The energy of motion or the energy of mass is always positive, but the energy of attraction, such as that due to certain types of gravitational or electromagnetic field, is negative. Circumstances can arise in which the positive energy that goes to make up the mass of newly-created particles of matter is exactly offset by the negative energy of gravity of electromagnetism. For example, in the vicinity of an atomic nucleus the electric field is intense. If a nucleus containing 200 protons could be made (possible but difficult), then the system becomes unstable against the spontaneous production of electron-positron pairs, without any energy input at all. The reason is that the negative electric energy can exactly offset the energy of their masses.
In the gravitational case the situation is still more bizarre, for the gravitational field is only a spacewarp - curved space. The energy locked up in a spacewarp can be converted into particles of matter and antimatter. This occurs, for example, near a black hole, and was probably also the most important source of particles in the big bang. Thus, matter appears spontaneously out of empty space. The question then arises, did the primeval bang possess energy, or is the entire universe a state of zero energy, with the energy of all the material offset by negative energy of gravitational attraction?
It is possible to settle the issue by a simple calculation. Astronomers can measure the masses of galaxies, their average separation, and their speeds of recession. Putting these numbers into a formula yields a quantity which some physicists have interpreted as the total energy of the universe. The answer does indeed come out to be zero wihin the observational accuracy. The reason for this distinctive result has long been a source of puzzlement to cosmologists. Some have suggested that there is a deep cosmic principle at work which requires the universe to have exactly zero energy. If that is so the cosmos can follow the path of least resistance, coming into existence without requiring any input of matter or energy at all. (Davies, 1983, 31-32)
Once our minds accept the mutability of matter and the new idea of the vacuum, we can speculate on the origin of the biggest thing we know - the universe. Maybe the universe itself sprang into existence out of nothingness - a gigantic vacuum fluctuation which we know today as the big bang. Remarkably, the laws of modern physics allow for this possibility. (Pagels, 1982, 247)
Where did all the matter and radiation in the universe come from in the first place? Recent intriguing theoretical research by physicists such as Steven Weinberg of Harvard and Ya. B. Zel'dovich in Moscow suggest that the universe began as a perfect vacuum and that all the particles of the material world were created from the expansion of space...
...the idea of a First Cause sounds somewhat fishy in light of the modern theory of quantum mechanics. According to the most commonly accepted interpretation of quantum mechanics, individual subatomic particles can behave in unpredictable ways and there are numerous random, uncaused events. (Morris, 1997, 19)
Creation ex nihilo - Without God (1997)
Mark I. Vuletic
Because it exists in a vacuum, ZPE (Zero Point Energy) is homogeneous (uniform) and isotropic (identical in all directions) as well as ubiquitous (exists everywhere). In addition, the intensity of the energy at any frequency is proportional to the cube of that frequency. Consequently, the intensity of the energy field increases without limit as the frequency increases resulting in an infinite energy density for the radiation spectrum. With the introduction of the ZPE into the classical electron theory, a vacuum at a temperature of absolute zero is no longer considered empty of all electromagnetic fields. Instead, the vacuum is now considered as filled with randomly fluctuating fields having the ZPE spectrum. (http://www.zpower.net/zpe.htm)
Great Mother Mysticism
The Origin of life starts with the Vacuum. "She" is the bottomless Cosmic Womb. The characteristics of this Emptiness (beyond Emptiness) is that it isn't just Empty, but that this Emptiness is uninterruptedly Emptying Itself. In this unfathomless Depth ("Abyss") the Divine Light is continuously born. Fullness and Emptiness ("He" and His Mother) are thus "two sides of the same coin". The Dutch have one word for it: "Vol-Ledigheid". It is like two parallel layers, in which the Light is continuously born out of the Womb, while returning to Her in the Selfsame Eternal Moment. Hence, in pre-historic times the Divine was considered both "Son" and "Lover" of the Great Mother. (Han Marie Stiekema, 1981)
In "His" turn the Light is giving birth to the visible world. In the first stage of life the "centrifugal" forces are dominant ("birth/growth"); in the middle stage of life the "centrifugal" and the "centripetal" forces are balancing each other ("permanence"), while in the third stage the "centripetal" forces overrule the others ("death"). The cosmic power behind is the Vacuum, causing continuous death and rebirth on all levels of existence. Without the Vacuum the universe cannot be understood. The shift from the Light as the Ultimate Reality to the Vacuum - "at the same time pulling and pushing", destroying and creating - is thus the most revolutionary breakthrough in cosmology: "Not God created the world out of nothingness, but Nothingness is continuously giving birth to both God and the world". (Han Marie Stiekema, 1981) See: Realization.
Davies, Paul. 1983. God and the New Physics. London: J.M. Dent & Sons.
Davies, Paul. 1994. The Last Three Minutes. New York: BasicBooks.
Genz, Henning. 2002. Leere und Fuelle im Universum. Hamburg: Rowohlt.
Hawking, Steven. 1988. A Brief History of Time. Toronto: Bantam.
Morris, Richard. 1990. The Edges of Science. New York: Prentice Hall.
Morris, Richard. 1997. Achilles in the Quantum World. New York: Henry Holt & Co.
Pagels, Heinz. 1982. The Cosmic Code. Toronto: Bantam.
Paul J.Steinhardt "The Endless Universe".
Warnke, Ulrich. 1997. Gehirn-Magie. Saarbruecken: Popular Academic. http://feynman.princeton.edu/~steinh/cyclintro/index.html
© 2000 Copyright Han Marie Stiekema