Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Possibilities of Negative Energy

A few days ago, I saw a show featuring Michio Kaku, in which he examined the possibility of science fiction devices, and the best plausible way to actually make such things. In his report about warp drive (a sci-fi method for traversing the immense distance between star systems in the timescale of several months or less), he reported the best way to do such a thing would be Dr. Miguel Alcubierre's bubble system, and while doing so, reported the existence of negative energy, with negative-mass materials being the primary sticking point.
The existence of negative energy suggests the possibility of many side effects, as insane as zero point energy generation. Zero point energy generation would make perpetual motion machines possible. Also, given such a technology, I'm sure I could make a habitat anywhere in the universe. Ex-nilho, even, because E=MC^2, and thus I can conjure matter from my endless supply of energy. All other energy production or mining techniques would instantly be obsolete.
Unfortunately, negative energy is practically impossible to research on google, because that keyword is also used in New Age philosophy for negative feelings, which has nothing to do with the physics concept. Dr. Kaku seems to imply that negative energy is rare, expensive, and difficult to get a hold of, so I'm left with many questions about it. Such as, does it operate in the reverse fashion as the conventional positive energy that I'm more familiar with? If I run anti-electricity through a wire, would it cool off from the resistance? Can it be capacitated, or expelled? (I laser-away the negative energy, leaving the positive energy for my own uses) Could it be used to power devices? And when they come in contact with each other, they destroy each other. Would they both just vanish, or would some effect occur there, like an explosion?
I suppose it doesn't help matters that Dr. Kaku receives loads of cranky letters attempting to influence him one way or another...

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