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Alter the Vacuum to Encounter New Phenomena.

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A theme that has come to the fore in advanced planning for long-range space exploration is the concept that empty space itself (the quantum vacuum, or spacetime metric) might be engineered so as to provide energy/thrust for future space vehicles. Although far-reaching, such a proposal is solidly grounded in modern physical theory, and therefore the possibility that matter/ vacuum interactions might be engineered for space-flight applications is not a priori ruled out. The concept of “engineering the vacuum” found its first expression in the physics literature when it was introduced by Nobelist T.D. Lee in his textbook Particle Physics and Introduction to Field Theory. There he stated: “The experimental method to alter the properties of the vacuum may be called vacuum engineering. If indeed we are able to alter the vacuum, then we may encounter new phenomena, totally unexpected.”