Way back in 1913, Albert Einstein and Otto Stern developed the concept of “zero-point energy.”

It was also known as “quantum vacuum zero-point energy,” and in 1948, Hendrik Casimir, the late Dutch physicist known for his pioneering work in the field of superconductors, found that zero-point fluctuations in the photon field of vacuums are affected by nearby conducting bodies.

These fluctuations have measurable effects, and it turns out that an unbelievably small amount of energy can — under certain conditions — be extracted from this when done properly.

The whole notion of zero-point energy has been something of a lightning rod for discussion in the physics world ever since. Not so much for people doubting the logic or provability of the concept, but rather for what sort of uses this zero-point energy can serve, and how mankind might best go about applying it. And, as is often the case, there are plenty of hucksters and charlatans who bandy about this little-understood (but impressive sounding) terminology in relation to various geegaws and gimcracks which they claim can treat and cure everything from Parkinson’s disease to shingles.

However, just because con men have jumped on the zero-point bandwagon does not mean there are not serious scientists and innovators who find very real value in the idea of harnessing this naturally occurring energy source.

James Allen knows a bit about all this. The locally based filmmaker, photographer and 3D designer is also the director of “Zero-Point: The Story of Mark McCandlish and the Flux Liner,” a feature-length documentary on his research into what many claim is the U.S. military’s decades-long, top-secret classified program to build and test experimental aircraft powered by zero-point energy.

Even if such a vehicle existed, which is doubtful, it would still be inadeqaute for interstellar travel. To read more, click here.