Zero Point Energy … or Not?

So, the first book of my new contract is to be called Zero Point. In the past I’ve read fragments about zero point energy and thought it seemed like a good science fictional tool I could employ. My plan was for the title to have a double meaning. Zero point energy would be employed as an inertia-less drive for a space ship, whilst there would also be a link to certain ‘year zero’ events I don’t really want to go into here. I therefore bought some books about zero point energy so as to learn more about the subject.

Oh dear.

I started reading then failed to finish three books on the subject. The impression I get is one of wish fulfilment, of, as one scientist has noted, ‘the modern equivalent of the search for a perpetual motion machine’. There’s plenty of science involved and zero point energy, according to current theories, does exist, but when I start reading about its connection to Chakra points and acupuncture, homeopathy, the soul and the ‘energies that bind us all together’ I start to consider whether the book might better serve as fuel for our stove here. That was one of the books. Another one started rambling on about how zero point energy would solve global warming, whilst another referred to Nazi technology and secret projects on American air force bases, and I put it aside before Area 51 got a mention too.

It seems to me that using zero point energy might be about as daft as having my heroes gunning each other down with lasers powered by cold fusion – also connected to zero point energy.

Now, I know, from the ‘Who Reads My Books?’ stuff here, and other contacts with readers, that an awful lot of you work in proper science-based professions. I know there’s a good chance that one physicist, two biochemists/geneticists and hundreds of high-function IT people will be reading this. I also know that there will be many others who love SF and understand science (the two are inextricably linked) who will be reading this. So tell me, what is your opinion of zero point energy?

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