Inertial mass and the quantum vacuum fields
Abstract
Even when the Higgs particle is finally detected, it will continue to be a legitimate question to ask whether the inertia of matter as a reaction force opposing acceleration is an intrinsic or extrinsic property of matter. General relativity specifies which geodesic path a free particle will follow, but geometrodynamics has no mechanism for generating a reaction force for deviation from geodesic motion. We discuss a different approach involving the electromagnetic zeropoint field (ZPF) of the quantum vacuum. It has been found that certain asymmetries arise in the ZPF as perceived from an accelerating reference frame. In such a frame the Poynting vector and momentum flux of the ZPF become nonzero. Scattering of this quantum radiation by the quarks and electrons in matter can result in an accelerationdependent reaction force. Both the ordinary and the relativistic forms of Newton's second law, the equation of motion, can be derived from the electrodynamics of such ZPFparticle interactions. Conjectural arguments are given why this interaction should take place in a resonance at the Compton frequency, and how this could simultaneously provide a physical basis for the de Broglie wavelength of a moving particle. This affords a suggestive perspective on a deep connection between electrodynamics, the origin of inertia and the quantum wave nature of matter.
 Publication:

Annalen der Physik
 Pub Date:
 May 2001
 DOI:
 10.1002/andp.20015130502
 arXiv:
 arXiv:grqc/0009036
 Bibcode:
 2001AnP...513..393H
 Keywords:

 quantum vacuum; mass; zeropoint field; inertia; gravitation; stochastic electrodynamics;
 General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology
 EPrint:
 Annalen der Physik, in press