Ionacoustic Oscillations

A natural place to look for evidence of macroscopic vacuum polarization would be in a plasma. The coherent oscillation of plasma ions is known as the ion-acoustic mode. Many investigators have observed that the ion-acoustic mode is associated with large radiant energy absorption,35*37 vigorous high-frequency spikes,58"42 runaway electrons,43,44 rapid and anomalous plasma heating,45"48 and anomalous plasma resistance.48"51 Could any of the ion-acoustic anomalies be associated with the existence of macroscopic vacuum polarization effects?

There is evidence for ion-acoustic activity in nature's plasma. The evidence comes indirectly from the observation of whistler or sweeper waveforms. Whistlers55 are waveforms that rapidly downshift their frequency and cannot normally be detected by standard narrow-band receivers. They are observed with increased ion-acoustic activity in laboratory plasmas.38,51"54 Sweeping emissions are also observed in nature.5^58 The following description of sweepers by Gerson56 is similar to what Moray60 described as the source of radiant energy driving his invention:

"Wideband noise bursts termed sweepers drift in frequency through portions of the HF and VHF bands. There are two broad types: (1) instantaneous, and (2) drifting mainly from higher to lower frequencies. They are readily observed at many locations over the planet. Their occurrence maximizes between 24-26 MHz. The instantaneous type is probably associated with thunderstorm activity. The drifting type may occur in trains that persist for hours. Individual mem-

bers recur at closely the same time interval and display no significant dispersion. Intensities may be very high. They are generally not noticed when narrow band receivers are used. Their origin is not clear "56 These sweepers may originate from tropospheric, ionospheric, magnetospheric, exospheric, and solar plasmas.57,58 Podgornyi59 notes that "the interplanetary medium is a giant reservoir filled with plasma in which various phenomena connected with collective interactions take place."59 Webb58 shows this activity persists through the atmosphere: "The geoenvironment is permeated with an electrical structure and with active electrical processes which serve to unify and control geoelectricity and to inter-relate geoelectricity with other physical aspects of the earth and its solar environment"58 If the sweepers are associated with the vigorous ion-acoustic activity, then the action of the atmospheric, magnetospheric, exospheric, interplanetary and solar plasmas could be a source of longitudinal vacuum polarization displacement current. Could the ion-acoustic oscillations emit and detect this hypothesized form of radiant energy while conduction electrons not readily detect it?


The hypothesis of the preceding section is viable, for the experiments conducted to confirm our present knowledge of electromagnetism has always used electron-based detectors. There is an exception, however. T. Henry Moray60 experimented with ion oscillators and detectors, and as a result, he may have discovered what appears to be a novel energy source. Moray built a system of plasma tubes61 and valves that were apparently tuned such that each tube resonated at its own ion-acoustic plasma frequency. The tubes were tuned and the circuit switching timed to shift the energy from the high-frequency stages down to the lower-fre-quency tubes.62 A feature of resonating the ion-acoustic mode would be that the individual ions can experience a mutually coherent, low-loss harmonic motion without being totally disrupted by collisions. This would allow small pulses of energy from the previous stage to synchronously augment the oscillations. (Electrons are poor carriers for this purpose, since they are so light and their displacement is so large that they would undergo an excessive number of collisions per cycle of oscillation.) The ion-acoustic mode can also yield high electrical capacitance in each tube at its operating frequency. The oscillating ions in the plasma beget a maximal effective dielectric polarizability, while the anomalous resistance associated with the ion-acoustic mode prevents the plasma "dielectric" from breaking down. The use of many coupled stages at different operating frequencies allows a broadband interaction with the environmental energy. If impinging surges of vacuum polarization displacement currents encounter the ions in the tubes, the ions could synchronously move with them. Thus, Moray's ion-acoustic oscillators could resonate with the incoming vacuum polarization surges and absorb the energy.

Evidence to support the hypothesized existence of macroscopic vacuum polarization may come from studying the unusual characteristics of the output current from Moray's device. Most witnesses who observed the device in operation were impressed by the unusual, bright glow of the load-bank light bulbs. Another reported observation was that the conductive leads and the thin wires in the device remained cool even after hours of operation. This may be significant, for 30-gauge wire was used in the circuits within the device, and it delivered power on the order of kilowatts.60 These observations might be explained by hypothesizing that the conductive leads acted as waveguides for the surrounding vacuum polarization displacement currents. In this case, the nuclei of the wire's metallic lattice would be the wave guiding structure with the conduction band electron cloud providing a smooth "continuity condition" to minimize scattering. Little net energy or momentum would be transferred to the conduction electrons since the vacuum polarization energy and the electron cloud are in thermo-

dynamic equilibrium. The waveguide hypothesis can also be used to explain why a vigorous brush discharge was observed when the antenna was disconnected from the operating input-stage detector. Here, the detector itself set up high-frequency vacuum polarization displacement currents that were guided onto the antenna. This process would establish lines of polarization along the antenna that could then help channel environmental polarization displacement oscillations back to the detector's individual ions. This would augment the detector's effective cross-section for absorbing the environment's vacuum polarization energy. In this model, the ion oscillations and the vacuum polarization displacement currents are intimately phase-locked to yield a macroscopic wave-particle system. Perhaps Moray's invention was a manifestation of a macroscopic zero-point energy coherence.

The observations of the current from Moray's device suggest a qualitative experiment that could be used to help support the hypothesized significance of the ion-acoustic mode. A plasma tube is excited at its ion-acoustic frequency using an external power supply. If the hypothesized vacuum polarization displacement currents can be successfully coupled from the tube through conductive probes to an output load-bank circuit, then the current's characteristics can be compared to those that were observed in connection with Moray's device. If the output current during ion-acoustic resonance behaves similarly to the observed current from Moray's invention, and if the behavior cannot be duplicated by control tests using normal electrical conduction at the same power and frequency, then the tests would lend support to the hypothesis that the ion-acoustic mode launches macroscopic vacuum polarization displacement currents.

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