NASA may not have invented Quantum Foam, but they're looking for it. For those of you who don't know what Quantum Foam is, it's as simple as the fabric of the universe. Believe it or not, this concept isn't new to the Twenty-First Century. It's as old as 1955, theorized by a man named John Wheeler.
Quantum Foam is the idea that as we zoom a theoretical(mathematical) microscope into empty space, we will end up finding something at some point. The above picture gives you an idea of the level of insanely small we're talking about here. 10^-33CM. This is within the quantum realm of the Planck Length, which is a measurement of time as well.
How does this idea of Quantum Foam effect us? Well as every day average Joes and Janes it doesn't effect us much. However, in terms of science, Quantum Foam leaves scientists baffled with how traditional Relativity and Quantum Physics break down on such a small scale. Proving the existence of Quantum Foam could fundamentally change how we approach science in the future.
Quantum Foam is chaotic in nature, which could throw many different views in science on it's head. For example: If the universe is chaotic in nature, how is it that so much of the universe is symmetrical? Could this have ramifications for our Holographic Universe theory? Could it help us better understand quantum communications?
How does this effect how we approach Science Fiction? I haven't really ever heard much about Quantum Foam in much of the sci-fi I've read or seen. I'll admit I could stand to branch out and experience more sci-fi, but it still is hardly a theme many attach to. How could a writer use this theory to their advantage?
It's not one we see directly. If any writers are taking advantage of the Quantum Foam theory, they are doing well by hiding how it effects the rest of the story. Yet the warping of space time is a pretty common theme. Wouldn't it stand to reason Quantum Foam should be somewhere in their calculations? Is that why we haven't been able to successfully create a proper warp drive in reality?
I can't possibly speculate on reality, but I do believe this idea deserves more attention from the Sci-Fi community. It doesn't have to drive an entire story. However, it should factor in to certain themes, especially when quantum physics are at play. If anyone knows of any particular pieces that do discuss quantum foam, please let me know!