Quantum physics predicts the existence of an underlying sea of zero-point energy at every point in the universe. This is different from the cosmic microwave background and is also referred to as the electromagnetic quantum vacuum since it is the lowest state of otherwise empty space. This energy is so enormous that most physicists believe that even though zero-point energy seems to be an inescapable consequence of elementary quantum theory, it cannot be physically real, and so is subtracted away in calculations.

This energy is so enormous that most physicists believe that even though zero-point energy seems to be an inescapable consequence of elementary quantum theory, it cannot be physically real, and so is subtracted away in calculations.

It has been found that an object undergoing acceleration or one held fixed in a gravitational field would experience the same kind of asymmetric pattern in the zero-point field giving rise to such a reaction force. The weight you measure on a scale would therefore be due to zero-point energy (see gravitation).

The possibility that electromagnetic zero-point energy may be involved in the production of inertial and gravitational forces opens the possibility that both inertia and gravitation might someday be controlled and manipulated. This could have a profound impact on propulsion and space travel.

Credits:

http://www.calphysics.org/zpe.html

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