Optical Cavity Induced Current

This is a new experimental result1 that seems to violate the second law of thermodynamics. The author claims to have “captured” zero-point energy and created a device that can continuously generate a 20 nA/10mV current seemingly out of nothing.


My very rudimentary understanding of this device is as follows. When you have two metal plates very close to each other (< 1 micron), they experience a force trying to pull them towards each other, called the “Casimir force” or “Casimir effect”. This is supposed to happen because it “restricts the wavelengths” between the plates (wavelengths of what?).


The author3 claims that his device is able to “capture” this energy using a metal-insulator-metal diode, effectively violating the 2nd law of thermodynamics. This is a device that (timestamp 16:52 in 2) allows electrons to “tunnel through” an insulator and get captured Âon the other side while not allowing them to flow back. The author claims that if such a device is exposed to some kind of radiation, it causes thermal electrons to flow across the barrier in both directions resulting in no net flow. Adding the “casimir cavity” on one side however, will restrict the wavelengths on that side, thereby causing a net-flow of electrons in a direction towards the cavity (19:15 in 2).


He claims that the devices produce 70W/sq.m . I will have to learn more about this if I am to understand this further and read the charts/grpahs he has made.


If this turns out to be real, the implications are massive.

However, as with any such claim, I view this with skepticism. The author doesn’t seem like one of those crazy “free-energy” youtubers, but independent reproduction and verification is required. And as with the EMDrive, this may end up being nothing. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

While the author3 is a professor at UCBoulder, his CV4 detailing a whole lot of “parapsychology” stuff does not inspire confidence. His video2 also involves a bit of blaming “mainstream science” and some victimhood which doesn’t lend credence to his position. Maybe I am being a bit too harsh here.

I wonder how difficult/expensive it will be to reproduce this result.

See also


[1] “Optical-Cavity-Induced Current”, Garret Moddel, Ayendra Weerakkody, David Doroski and Dylan Bartusiak, PDF

[5] “Casimir-cavity-induced conductance changes”, Garret Moddel, Ayendra Weerakkody, David Doroski and Dylan Bartusiak, Physical Review Research 3, L022007, PDF