Inertia as reaction of the vacuum to accelerated motion

Alfonso RuedaBernhard Haisch

It was proposed by Haisch, Rueda and Puthoff (Phys. Rev. A, 49, 678, 1994) that the inertia of matter could be interpreted at least in part as a reaction force originating in interactions between the electromagnetic zero-point field (ZPF) and the elementary charged consitutents (quarks and electrons) of matter. Within the limited context of that analysis, it appeared that Newton’s equation of motion, f=ma, could be inferred from Maxwell’s equations as applied to the ZPF, i.e. the stochastic electrodynamics (SED) version of the quantum vacuum. We report on a new approach which avoids the ad hoc particle-field interaction model (Planck oscillator) of that analysis, as well as its concomitant formulational complexity. Instead, it is shown that a non-zero ZPF momentum flux arises naturally in accelerating coordinate frames from the standard relativistic transformations of electromagnetic fields. Scattering of this ZPF momentum flux by an object will yield a reaction force that may be interpreted as a contribution to the object’s inertia. This new formulation is properly covariant yielding the relativistic equation of motion. Our approach is related by the principle of equivalence to Sakharov’s conjecture of a connection between Einstein action and the vacuum. If correct, this concept would substitute for Mach’s principle and imply that no further mass-giving Higgs-type fields may be required to explain the inertia of material objects, although extensions to include the zero-point fields of the other fundamental interactions may be necessary for a complete theory of inertia.


arXiv : Inertia as reaction of the vacuum to accelerated motion


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