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By Marie D. Jones, author of Psience: How New Discoveries in Quantum Physics and New Science May Explain the Existence of Paranormal Phenomena (Amazon US and UK).

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Most ufologists agree that alien spacecraft must be using a highly advanced technology or propulsion system to move them across vast distances in short periods of time. Quantum physics may hold the answer to how they are getting “here from there,” and that answer is the Zero Point Field (ZPF).

Paul Dirac theorized the existence of the ZPF in the early years of quantum mechanics. He suggested that space was filled with particles in negative energy states that exerted a measurable force. This force became known as the Casimir Effect, after the research of Dutch physicist Hendrik B.G. Casimir. The Casimir Effect occurs due to resonance of energy in the space between two objects, say two metal plates held closely together. Increase the distance between the plates, and the force or effect decreases.

Albert Einstein, Max Planck and Otto Stern were early ZPF researchers, and in 1916, Walther Nernst formally proposed that space was not empty as previously thought, but rather filled with this zero point electromagnetic radiation.

We now know that empty space is literally teeming with activity. Tiny electromagnetic fields fluctuate, even at near zero temperatures. Quantum physicists have discovered that there is a field of energy that permeates every inch of space, one so fundamental it is considered to be the source of all other forms of energy and matter.

Later research has shown that the ZPF is made up of particles that “pop” in and out of existence, creating a sort of foam of virtual particles, each with their own residual “jiggle” or minute rate of oscillation.

The most fascinating promise of the ZPF is its potential as an infinite source of energy, one that physicists like Hal Puthoff believe may one day propel space craft to distant parts of our universe. Ufologists believe alien civilizations far in advance of our own are already using the ZPF, harnessing the unlimited field of energy as they literally shoot across amazing distances.

Puthoff believes we are nowhere near understanding how to extract and large amounts of Zero Point Energy for such uses as heating our homes and fueling our cars and planes. Yet, research is going on now that may come up with viable ways to tap into this repository of ground energy states and virtual particles that, according to physicist Richard Feynman, could contain enough energy in just one single cubic meter of space to boil the world’s oceans.

That’s a lot of energy. And if the ZPF is indeed as infinite as space itself, the energy will never run out. Unlike fossil fuels, this field of energy will be constantly self-regenerating. In fact, Puthoff calls the ZPF a “self-regenerating grand ground state of the universe.”

Research into the ZPF also shows its ability to affect gravity, and the ZPF may possibly be the missing link in the quest to bring together the four fundamental forces of gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak and strong nuclear forces.

Because the energy in the ZPF is thought to be massive, even infinite, exceeding nuclear energy densities, just a tiny amount of Zero Point Energy could be turned into a whole lot of fuel. A 2004 article in Aviation Week and Space Technology entitled, “To The Stars”, stated that large aerospace companies and the U.S. Defense Department are launching research into the ZPF and its potential.

For our alien friends eager to visit our planet or just do a quick fly-by, the ZPF is like a superhighway of energy that might just be the preferred mode of fuel for civilizations that have already found extraction methods. Only time and a lot of cutting edge research will tell if we will one day be able to do the same.

MARIE D. JONES is the author of PSIence: How New Discoveries in Quantum Physics and New Science May Explain the Existence of Paranormal Phenomena, published by New Page Books, 2006.