Of Particular Significance

Another New Webpage: the Zero-Point Energy of a Guitar String

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

ON 02/14/2024

In my last post, I introduced a new webpage concerning “zero-point energy”, the core concept that lies at the heart of the hierarchy puzzle. I have now posted the next webpage in the series, which extends the notion of zero-point energy to a slightly more complex system, an ordinary metal string of finite length. It’s a bit schematic, but it serves to teach us some crucial and surprising lessons about the zero-point energy associated with the internal vibrations of physical objects. [Please let me know in the comments if you spot any typos or if you find some of the presentation especially confusing!]

(See the previous post for a brief summary of the hierarchy puzzle, and for links to longer discussions of it.)

The next webpage to come will apply these lessons to quantum fields themselves. Then things will really become interesting — directly and profoundly relevant to the universe as a whole.

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