Quantum Particles Borrow Their Energy From The Future

I've heard this quoted a few times now, apparently it's been tested in the lab too so it's all kosher.

Particles can exist in a vacuum by appearing out of no-where and then suddenly disappear out of existence again. Where do they come from? Apparently they 'borrow' energy from the future so that they can be created. Pretty crazy eh?

Borrowing Energy from the Future

The uncertainty principle does not necessarily have to refer to that one pair of values which are velocity and position. It can refer to energy and time as well. The shorter the time interval, the wilder the fluctuations in energy. This results in a simple and beautiful consequence: that particles can be created out of nothing.

In the quantum realm, the time scale of events is very short. The number of times that a proton can travel from one side of the atomic nucleus to the other in a single second is 1022. This short time scale allows particles such as protons and neutrons to utilize the uncertainty principle in a crucial way. They can borrow energy from the future (literally nowhere) for a short duration provided the energy gets paid back before the uncertainty principle is violated. The shorter the time the energy is needed for, the more can be borrowed.

A particle called a pion, which is responsible for holding protons and neutrons together can be created by a nucleon (either proton or neutron) which borrows enough energy from its surroundings to create it. The pion then jumps to another nucleon where it vanishes again.

In a similar way, the EM force between charged particles can be seen as the exchange of such a photon, which can be called a messenger particle or virtual particle. It is different from a real photon which may keep its energy for as long as it likes.

Even a vacuum is full of activity and is not exactly empty. Energy is borrowed from the future to create a matter particle and antimatter particle, which collide in a process called pair annihilation to form energy again (through e=mc2), returning the energy borrowed. A vacuum can be said to contain matter and antimatter particles which are constantly created and destroyed all the time.

This is just a physics blog though, I have heard it quoted by physicists and written in a few science mags.

Sacha Vongehr has stated this in one of his blogs too:

Often when reading about cutting edge physics and the amazing feats of the Large Hadron Collider, we are treated to crazy scenarios involving “virtual particles”, also variously referred to as “ghost particles” or worse. These labels clearly distinguish the involved concepts from "real particles" like atoms. Not being bound by restrictions of reality, virtual particles “borrow” energy from nothing, go faster than light, travel back in time, do an infinite amount of loops creating an infinity of other virtual particles during every single infinitesimal moment.
Virtual Particles Real Yet Real Ones Unreal According To Feynman

Sascha Vongehr's Profile | Science 2.0

And this from the New York Times:

Dr. Krauss delineates three different kinds of nothingness. First is what may have passed muster as nothing with the ancient Greeks: empty space. But we now know that even empty space is filled with energy, vibrating with electromagnetic fields and so-called virtual particles dancing in and out of existence on borrowed energy courtesy of the randomness that characterizes reality on the smallest scales, according to the rules of quantum theory.

It would be interesting to get a science paper where these particles have been observed in the lab. It's such an absurd concept that something could get energy from a future which hasn't even happened that it's too incredible to believe.

I've heard this quoted a few times now, apparently it's been tested in the lab too so it's all kosher.

Particles can exist in a vacuum by appearing out of no-where and then suddenly disappear out of existence again. Where do they come from? Apparently they 'borrow' energy from the future so that they can be created. Pretty crazy eh?.........................................................

Very interesting, and a bit spooky. It sounds like the sort of thing that Douglas Adams would have come up with.
if they appear then disappear sounds to me evidence for higher dimensions..if space/time is different in the higher dimension (as it must be) ten that would account for the "future" ... I suspect when mathematical proofs are shoehorned into the English language something is lost/mangled in the translation
Borrowing fom the future you say ? Then disappearing to parts unknown you say ?

So that's the Gordon Broon fiscal model's origins and the saving of the banks bollox then . And i thought he was responding to the voices in his head ......
It sounds like the laws of physics have been engaging the services of Goldmann Sachs, the shady zorro masked bank which assisted the: German, French and Greek governments in moving their new debts into the future.
Is it possible to get an electric meter to draw on future electrons, from the next occupants bill perhaps?

I'm sick of being plunged into darkness whenever the streetlights go off.
Here's a simplified vid to explain:


If you ignore the patronising cartoon bullshyt it's actually quite a good explanation for weird quantum stuff.

The basic premise of quantum mechanics is that stuff on the atomic level behaves as a wave, i.e. it can be in more than one position when you're not observing it. But when you do observe it this 'wave' collapses and the atomic matter becomes a single atom or photon.

But if everything is made of atoms, does this mean that larger things like the moon behave like a wave when you're not looking at it? That's the bit which is screwed up.

The other screwed up part is entanglement, meaning that if two atoms are 'connected' then making one spin will make the other spin at precisely the same time, even if they were on the opposite sides of the universe. This breaks the rule about information being limited to the speed of light and suggests everything in the universe is somehow connected.

The latest absurd claim, which this thread is all about, is that this atomic matter and stuff can pop out of no-where in a vacuum and then just as quickly disappear. They supposedly do this by 'borrowing' their energy from the future.

The universe is definitely stranger than we can imagine.

The part from 6.25 onwards in this vid is crazy, I want to find one of those photographs showing a superposition.
I don't have a problem with this... forget about particles. They are just illusions in a snapshot of time....like looking out of a porthole on a ship and you see the tip of a wave. The wave is part of a sea full of waves. They pop up and down at a certain frequency... but we think that it is in one place because we can only focus sharply on it when the frequency clicks with our vision....the brain is like a high speed camera, blink and the wave is gone to a new position. Movement is the illusion that time creates.

Imagine a film exposure of an F1 car when the shutter speed is too slow....it appears blurred. This is showing the car in several places at the same time as it is spread accross the image... Then looking at the grain of the film one sees that at the highest magnification, in some places there is nothing there. Only the chemical elements that are sensitive to light were affected.

Our eyes and brain are not evolved to see things as they really are. Just accept that we are lucky enough to have a fleeting gimpse of existence and can interact with some bits because we are actually connected to it.
Very interesting, but it would be even more so if future beer particles could introduce themselves to my empty can. But then that may mean that when I crack open my next can, it will already be half empty! Damn Physicists, stealing my future beer.
If particles are able to fly in the face of Einstein's gobbing off about conservation of energy, and borrow the shit from the future, then that suggests to me that the future might be a bit more energetic than we like. That energy might be coming from: a future big bang, the CERN Franco Swiss D.I.Y blackhole in the garden kit, or, in accordance with my own cosmic ringpiece theory, from the multiverse suddenly disapearing up it's own arse, which is in India by the way!
This does throw in some weird stuff about the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics too, for those unfamiliar with this technical sounding term the principle is easy; energy can't be created or destroyed and it's a one way process, like leaving a cup of tea in a room for an hour and the heat dissipating into the surrounding air, the heat doesn't go back into the tea, and that's the same for the universe too. Once the stars burn out the universe will supposedly be the same temperature across all areas and no further actions can take place. Penrose has an interesting theory for what happens next.*

But if particles can appear out of no-where this throws the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics into doubt, because energy is created out of what appears to be nothing. But if energy from the future must be borrowed does this mean the future is changed or slightly different because of it, even if this energy is paid back?

*Penrose theory basically states that when all the stars are burnt out and there's no actions left to happen in the universe then it becomes unstable. If there's no actions there's nothing to mark the progress of time and presumably time doesn't exist. Then a photon explodes or something and we go to Big Bang MK2.

Horizon- What Happened Before the Big Bang_
(12 seconds of Chinese bs to start with) His theory is shown on this video at 36:00 and appears to me the most sensible theory of them all.
But if particles can appear out of no-where this throws the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics into doubt, because energy is created out of what appears to be nothing. But if energy from the future must be borrowed does this mean the future is changed or slightly different because of it, even if this energy is paid back?
The cup of tea example is often a good one, but breaks down at the quantum level in many ways. Here’s the original paper (at least I think it’s the one you’re referring to (and note that experimental verification is still required)):


Section 2 tacitly refers to your comment about the second law of thermodynamics, but only to point out that the authors are considering (or restricting themselves to) pairs of particles in which a symmetrical balance is maintained (such as electrical charge and “color”*), except, essentially, for the energy of the pair and corresponding properties, without which they couldn’t exist. This is energy that is “borrowed”, but “paid back”. Given the properties of the particles, which effectively sum to zero, no violation of the second law has taken place.

Likewise, the second law applies to only closed systems. The particles are thought to exist in our universe and so inside the same system, so again there isn’t a violation (the “time” of the particles is neither here nor there in this context and in any case the paper correctly refers to properties of the vacuum and not “the future”**). Note that this isn’t really the point of the paper and this borrowing/paying back has been known about for quite some time.

The paper is surprisingly mathematically simple (at least in physics paper terms), but it still demonstrates an important point in quantum mechanics – attempts to explain quantum mechanics without maths always leads to word-based gobbledygook and ultimately confusion if taken far enough. Trying to make “sense” of it is at best extremely difficult, and often impossible, because we simply don’t have the words or mental capacity to comprehend the universe at that scale, hence the use of maths. When I asked as an undergrad “yes, but what does it mean?” I was told, quite rightly and like many before me, to “shut up and calculate”. The really clever people (not me!) can actually make *some* sense out of it and apply it in the real world.

Still, all good stuff and the “wonder” of it is part of its interest, otherwise no one would do it.

* Here, color refers to a property of particles at the quantum scale and has nothing to do with the word colour as it would be used normally. Particles at the quantum scale don’t have any colour in the usual understanding of the term.

** The distinction is of course important, but not in the context of the paper (try finding the word “future” in it), but popular science editors know how to grab the reader’s attention ;)


It's all quite straightforward really. Forget about quantums and such, it's all to do with how fast each particular drum is spun. The fellow to ask at Cern, is the one with the brush.

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