Treknology Encyclopedia - Z
Zero-point energy Quantum fluctuation
effect that is taken advantage of to enhance the explosive force of Federation quantum torpedoes
Zero-point energy (ZPE) is a real theory which assumes that there is a significant amount of energy below what we use to measure as the zero level, because of quantum fluctuations. It was believed that there is no practical use of ZPE, since it should not be possible to transfer this energy to a higher level. However, if two metal plates are put very close together, the range of possible waves of the quantum fluctuations between the plates can be restricted such that the zero-point energy is smaller than in the surrounding area. The result is an attractive force between the plates which will move towards each other. This is known as the Casimir effect.