In this post, I’ll take a quick look at superfluid vacuum theory, an idea from the physics and cosmology discard pile, that may be related or aligned with NPQG
Superfluid vacuum theory is also known as BEC vacuum theory, where BEC stands for Bose-Einstein condensate, which is a state of matter that is a superfluid gas. SVT theory models spacetime as a superfluid gas.
Superfluid vacuum theory (SVT), sometimes known as the BEC vacuum theory, is an approach in theoretical physics and quantum mechanics where the fundamental physical vacuum is viewed as superfluid or as a Bose–Einstein condensate (BEC).
The microscopic structure of this physical vacuum is currently unknown and is a subject of intensive studies in SVT. An ultimate goal of this approach is to develop scientific models that unify quantum mechanics (describing three of the four known fundamental interactions) with gravity, making SVT a candidate for the theory of quantum gravity and describing all known interactions in the Universe, at both microscopic and astronomic scales, as different manifestations of the same entity, superfluid vacuum.Wikipedia
The core idea, published by Sinha/Sivaram/Sudarshan in 1975, is that the particles of spacetime are a variety of fermion anti-fermion pairs describable by macroscopic wave equations. Because the scale of the spacetime particles is so small, there is no direct observational evidence to support or falsify this theory.
SVT differs from two major tenets of GR-QM era theory. SVT has an aether, which was supposedly ruled out by the Michelson-Morley experiment. However, a superfluid was not in fact ruled out by Michelson-Morley. Furthermore the modern roiling quantum vacuum is quite different from Einstein’s abstract curvy spacetime.
SVT does not break with the Inflation / Big Bang theory, nor the cosmological constant, aka dark energy. That is a very large difference with NPQG, although I don’t see how these ancillary topics should be related to SVT in the first place.
The concept of a luminiferous aether as a medium sustaining electromagnetic waves was discarded after the advent of the special theory of relativity, as the presence of the concept alongside special relativity leads to several contradictions; in particular, aether having a definite velocity at each space-time point will exhibit a preferred direction. This conflicts with the relativistic requirement that all directions within a light cone are equivalent. However, as early as in 1951 P.A.M. Dirac published two papers where he pointed out that we should take into account quantum fluctuations in the flow of the aether. His arguments involve the application of the uncertainty principle to the velocity of aether at any space-time point, implying that the velocity will not be a well-defined quantity. In fact, it will be distributed over various possible values. At best, one could represent the aether by a wave function representing the perfect vacuum state for which all aether velocities are equally probable.Wikipedia
Circa 2005 B. L. Hu visited the topic of spacetime as a condensate. Dr. Hu observes that several microscopic theories of spacetime and matter, when considered at the low energy, long wavelength portion of the scale will produce the mathematics of general relativity. Hu suggests it is more important to understand the structure of spacetime than to quantize gravity. Hu says that Sakharov viewed spacetime as a “collective state of matter in a limiting regime of interactions.” Hu suggests that spacetime is a condensate in the entire sub-Planckian temperature regime. Hu gives up on general relativity beyond the Planck scale which is where he thinks the deeper structure of spacetime and matter reveals itself.
In the relativistic quantum field theory the physical vacuum is also assumed to be some sort of non-trivial medium to which one can associate certain energy. This is because the concept of absolutely empty space (or “mathematical vacuum”) contradicts the postulates of quantum mechanics. According to QFT, even in absence of real particles the background is always filled by pairs of creating and annihilating virtual particles. However, a direct attempt to describe such medium leads to the so-called ultraviolet divergences. In some QFT models, such as quantum electrodynamics, these problems can be “solved” using the renormalization technique, namely, replacing the diverging physical values by their experimentally measured values. In other theories, such as the quantum general relativity, this trick does not work, and reliable perturbation theory cannot be constructed.Wikipedia
Perturbation theory uses small deviations to explore a mathematical function near a singularity. These perturbations do not work for QFT in regards to the quantum vacuum. Rather than determine the reason why this is the case, QFT physicists invented a new technique called “renormalization” to overcome the issue. This is a fundamentally flawed technique because the real issue is that the spacetime æther is actually discrete and the singularity and non-perturbative nature are signaling this discrete physical implementation to the scientists but they have not realized what is happening at the finest scales of nature.
NPQG teaches of a spacetime æther which may be implemented by a BEC vacuum superfluid gas of particles. NPQG goes farther in describing the structure of those particles in terms of fundamental electrinos and positrinos that also compose standard matter. The open question is exactly what composes the spacetime æther. All of the following are candidates in NPQG:
- tired photons
- tired neutrinos
- reaction products of tired photons and/or tired neutrinos
The multi-peaked CMB power spectrum suggests that the spacetime æther is a mix of various particles, much like air contains oxygen, nitrogen, etc.
My conclusion is that superfluid vacuum theory is yet another discarded idea in the bone pile of physics that actually has merit and should be considered a precursor to NPQG.
J Mark Morris : San Diego : California : July 18, 2020 : v1