Rosen--Do you know about this one?
A paper presented by Bernhard Haisch and Alfonso Rueda in 1997 at the NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Workshop proposes (in part) that Newtonian inertia can be derived from the zero-point energy field electrodynamics. A couple of teasers:
"The [researchers] analysis resulted in the apparent derivation of Newton's equation of motion, F = ma, from Maxwell-Lorentz electrodynamics as applied to the ZPF [zero-point field]. In that analysis it appeared that the resistance to acceleration known as inertia was in reality the electromagnetic Lorentz force stemming from interactions betwen a charged particle (such an as electron or a quark) and the ZPF....Inertia is an acceleration-dependent electromagnetic (Lorentz) force. Newtonian mechanics would then be derivable in principle from Maxwell's equations."
The paper is online as a PDF document.
But this article in Scientific American (thanks, Torsten) seems to cast doubt on the whole issue of an appreciable zero-point field. In fact, there are some rather harsh quotes from other researchers who seem to feel that underqualified zero-point enthusiasts making unfounded claims tend to siphon money and interest away from more promising albeit conventional physics projects.
Well, anyway, I thought that given some of the discussions we've had about Mach, Einstein, gravity, and intertia this might be interesting...or maybe only amusing.