Dual Universe: Science and Religion
           Spacetime and Void


Formless Energy

        Dimensionless energy is not readily detectable, but I suggest it is a permanent part of our world. It is necessary to enable one form of energy to change into another, and to provide energy conservation. Energy has many forms: gravitational, kinetic, potential, thermal, electrical, for example. The essential properties of any type of energy depend on its specific dimensions. The kinetic energy of a moving object has dimensions of mass and velocity. The potential energy of a stationary object in a gravitational field has dimensions of mass and position. When one form turns into another, no energy is lost, but somehow energy with one set of dimensions, loses them and gains another set.

    Such transformations can be illustrated in the movement of a rock thrown up in a vacuum. As the rock rises in a curve, losing speed and kinetic energy, it continually gains an equivalent amount of potential energy. As the rock falls back to earth, the reverse occurs. And I suggest that the unknown energy that continually keeps its original numerical value as it moves from one set of dimensions to another is dimensionless: the same sort of energy as exists before existence of spacetime.

    Energy comes in quanta of action, indivisible amounts energy acting over time. The minimum quantum of action, known as the Planck constant, is 6.63 x 10-34 Joule-second. This miniscule quantity will be the amount in individual steps going from one set of dimensions to another. It is also an amount by which the law of conservation of energy can briefly be allowed to fail and then be restored. In the energy transformation in a body like the moving rock,  the exchange between kinetic and potential energy is taking place at its individual elementary particles.  In an exchange, each quantum of action will be dimensionless for the period of the minimum action, while it loses one set of dimensions and gains another.

    The ability of a four-dimensional vacuum to store energy, with the aid of imaginary particles, is acknowledged in continuous-time physics.  In quantized spacetimeIt it seems reasonable to expect a void to store dimensionless energy.

    By its nature, dimensionless energy will be difficult to detect. Having no dimensions, the energy of the bulk of the void has no mass, and so no gravitational effects. And although the energy of the void requires a high initial temperature to yield a cooling universe, it emits no radiation, because radiation requires the dimensions of spacetime. Dimensionless energy is entirely dark.

< BACK     NEXT >