Different types of particles interact differently with the vacuum zero-point energy.25"25 In a first order model, protons, nuclei, and heavy ions generally produce a spherically distributed vacuum polarization with lines of polarization converging sharply to the particle (Figure 1). In fact, Greenberg26 has demonstrated that if the nucleus becomes large enough, the intensity of the polarization precipitates real electron-positron pairs from the vacuum.
The spin of a particle also affects the vacuum fluctuations. Sciama notes that charged fields of differing spins (0, l/*> 1) give rise to different vacuum states.12 Vorticity can also appear in the vacuum. Graham27 has experimentally observed a macroscopic vacuum angular momentum caused by a static electromagnetic field's circulating Poynting vector. It is clear that different particles give rise to different vacuum interactions.
In view of this, can a conduction electron radiate differently than an ion? The quantum mechanical wave function description of the electron in matter or in a conductor is that of a smeared charge cloud. This smearing dilutes the vacuum polarization intensity and prevents the lines of polarization from converging onto the electron in a stable, orderly way (Figure 2). The electron could be described as a light, "ethereal" particle whose interactions with the zero-point fluctuations alter its form and actually cause it to smear. This intertwining interaction helps explain atomic ground state stability.19 The electron tends to stabilize into "standing wave" harmonic eigenstates in matter. This smeared cloud is in
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