An Exercise in nothing semantics.

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  • #1
Mentat
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An Exercise in "nothing" semantics.

I apologize for not being able to include the responses, in fact my computer is moving so slowly that I'm not going to be able to copy the exact original post.

The point was this: If you take a sentence, where the word "nothing" is used, and replace "nothing" with "not anything", the result gives the same meaning as the original, but it doesn't allow for foolish contemplation of what "nothing" is.

An example would be... "The universe is expanding into nothing" = "The universe is not expanding into anything". The same meaning, and yet it eliminates the need for poinless debates about the "nothing" that the universe is expanding into.
 

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  • #2
quantumcarl
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Originally posted by Mentat
"The universe is expanding into nothing" = "The universe is not expanding into anything". The same meaning, and yet it eliminates the need for poinless debates about the "nothing" that the universe is expanding into. [/B]

It would be nice to get into this discussion "tableu blanc" but, I remember some of it and I remember you stating that the universe is expanding into the universe.

Are you stating that the universe is "not anything" with your example? Or is it a purely hypothetical and didactic statement that has "much adeu about nothing"?
 
  • #3
Mentat
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Originally posted by quantumcarl
It would be nice to get into this discussion "tableu blanc" but, I remember some of it and I remember you stating that the universe is expanding into the universe.

Are you stating that the universe is "not anything" with your example? Or is it a purely hypothetical and didactic statement that has "much adeu about nothing"?

Actually, it was carl (you?), who said that the view is usually that the universe is expanding into the universe. I have never said that. I said that the expansion of the universe is merely a "broadening of it's horizons", and that discussion of what it was "expanding into" was moot.

Side Note: In other threads, I also made mention of the point that "universe" means "everything", and thus it makes no sense to say that universe is expanding "into something", because there would be nothing (or "there wouldn't be anything") outside of it.
 
  • #4
quantumcarl
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Originally posted by Mentat
Actually, it was carl (you?), who said that the view is usually that the universe is expanding into the universe. I have never said that. I said that the expansion of the universe is merely a "broadening of it's horizons", and that discussion of what it was "expanding into" was moot.

Side Note: In other threads, I also made mention of the point that "universe" means "everything", and thus it makes no sense to say that universe is expanding "into something", because there would be nothing (or "there wouldn't be anything") outside of it.

Hi Mentat, OK, yes its me.

How do you define "broaden". How can we put an horizon on an infinite universe? Perhaps you don't see the universe as infinite?
 
  • #5
CJames
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When we talk about the universe expanding, we simply mean that the distances between points in space time are increasing. There is no requirement for it to be expanding into a larger space, since all space exists within the universe. Therefore, "the universe isn't expanding into anything" is good word usage. Distances are simply increasing between objects. That's what it means.
 
  • #6
Iacchus32
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Originally posted by CJames
When we talk about the universe expanding, we simply mean that the distances between points in space time are increasing. There is no requirement for it to be expanding into a larger space, since all space exists within the universe. Therefore, "the universe isn't expanding into anything" is good word usage. Distances are simply increasing between objects. That's what it means.

So the space is already there, meaning the Universe is expanding into empty space?
 
  • #7
muhahaha IM BACK *comes riding in looking all majestic and stuff*

hehe

CJames, your definition of expansion is not expansion, it is just movement in a defined area. Unless youmean to say tat all matter, energy, ect. is infinite. In which case this is against the BB theory since there, at some point, was a starting point for the expansion and a defined condensed area in which it started. Perhaps I misread what you are explaining.

Iacchus32, use Mentats way and say that the Universe is expanding into not a thing.

Mentat said:
An example would be... "The universe is expanding into nothing" = "The universe is not expanding into anything". The same meaning, and yet it eliminates the need for poinless debates about the "nothing" that the universe is expanding into.

I would say "The Universe is expading into not a thing". Your example makes it sound like the universe is not expanding. ut we all know what you meant.
 
  • #8
Mentat
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Originally posted by quantumcarl
Hi Mentat, OK, yes its me.

How do you define "broaden". How can we put an horizon on an infinite universe? Perhaps you don't see the universe as infinite?

Hey carl, good to see you, again :smile:. Cool new name.

When I say "broaden", I mean basically what CJames said (in his post). That all parts of it are getting farther apart. But when I say "broadening it's horizons", I make specific reference to the edge of the universe (as I do not believe that the universe is infinite).
 
  • #9
Mentat
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Originally posted by Ishop
muhahaha IM BACK *comes riding in looking all majestic and stuff*

hehe

CJames, your definition of expansion is not expansion, it is just movement in a defined area. Unless youmean to say tat all matter, energy, ect. is infinite. In which case this is against the BB theory since there, at some point, was a starting point for the expansion and a defined condensed area in which it started. Perhaps I misread what you are explaining.

Iacchus32, use Mentats way and say that the Universe is expanding into not a thing.

Mentat said:


I would say "The Universe is expading into not a thing". Your example makes it sound like the universe is not expanding. ut we all know what you meant.

Actually, Ishop, I worded it as I did purposefully. You see, a big problem with the question, "what is the universe expanding into", is that it implies that the universe is - in fact - expanding into something. I am saying that it is expanding into nothing, or (better phrased...) it is not expanding into anything.
 
  • #10
CJames
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Iacchus32,
So the space is already there, meaning the Universe is expanding into empty space?
No, once again it is not expanding into anything.

Ishop,
CJames, your definition of expansion is not expansion, it is just movement in a defined area. Unless youmean to say tat all matter, energy, ect. is infinite. In which case this is against the BB theory since there, at some point, was a starting point for the expansion and a defined condensed area in which it started. Perhaps I misread what you are explaining.
It is not expansion in the way we commonly interpret it, but it is what is meant by the expansion of the universe. Any two points in spacetime are moving away from each other. That is the expansion of the universe. A universe of infinite size does not defy the big bang theory, nor is it required for this sort of expansion to work. Is there a topic on this yet in astronomy? If so, you should look it up, as this is the philosophy section.
 
  • #11
Mentat
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
So the space is already there, meaning the Universe is expanding into empty space?

No, Iacchus32, if you re-read my post, you'll see that the theory is that the universe in not expanding into anything.
 
  • #12
chosenone
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So if the universe is expanding into nothing,then the longer it keeps happening the soon will cease to exist when we to become nothing!just a little joke!if we exist in space ,the matter that exists in space takes space to occuppyit.how could a universe full of empty space expanding outward to take space itself to do it.the universe occuppies space to,so we must be expanding in something that has space too,because you cant have space on the inside and not on the outside!
 
  • #13
Mentat
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Originally posted by chosenone
So if the universe is expanding into nothing,then the longer it keeps happening the soon will cease to exist when we to become nothing!just a little joke!if we exist in space ,the matter that exists in space takes space to occuppyit.how could a universe full of empty space expanding outward to take space itself to do it.the universe occuppies space to,so we must be expanding in something that has space too,because you cant have space on the inside and not on the outside!

Yes, you can, and that's the point. There is nothing outside of everything (read "there isn't anything outside of 'everything'"), and so it is - in fact - impossible for the universe to be expanding into more of anything.
 
  • #14
arivero
Gold Member
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Originally posted by Mentat
The point was this: If you take a sentence, where the word "nothing" is used, and replace "nothing" with "not anything", the result gives the same meaning as the original, but it doesn't allow for foolish contemplation of what "nothing" is.
Indeed the nominalization of the negative action is a well known falacy. It is evident for infinite sets, where while it can be proved easily that some concrete element is not in the (finite or infinite) set A, it is a whole big logical jump to believe in the existence of "the set whose elements are not in the set A". It amounts to believe in the closed existence of "the set of everything", so you can substract A from the Total.

A relationship between linguistics and politics is stablished by some thinkers by noticing that while "no thing" is an action, dynamical, "nothing" is a noun, static. Thus nominalization allows for burocratical tasks, classification, etc. and then also allows for freezing and stagnancy of a society. In this point of view the fallacy comes from believing in the closed existence of "the reality" as, say, a set of all the existing things. The fallacy, by the way, applies to more specific examples. The most popular in politics could be to identify "we want no social order!" with "we want social disorders". But one can do it with almost every action.
 
  • #15
Mentat
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Originally posted by arivero
Indeed the nominalization of the negative action is a well known falacy. It is evident for infinite sets, where while it can be proved easily that some concrete element is not in the (finite or infinite) set A, it is a whole big logical jump to believe in the existence of "the set whose elements are not in the set A". It amounts to believe in the closed existence of "the set of everything", so you can substract A from the Total.

A relationship between linguistics and politics is stablished by some thinkers by noticing that while "no thing" is an action, dynamical, "nothing" is a noun, static. Thus nominalization allows for burocratical tasks, classification, etc. and then also allows for freezing and stagnancy of a society. In this point of view the fallacy comes from believing in the closed existence of "the reality" as, say, a set of all the existing things. The fallacy, by the way, applies to more specific examples. The most popular in politics could be to identify "we want no social order!" with "we want social disorders". But one can do it with almost every action.

Good comparison .
 
  • #16
Eh
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Ishop,

This subject came up on the old board. Maybe a URL might help clear things up. [Removed Broken Link]
 
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  • #17
arguements on the Big Bang theory aside, if what you describe is the "space" between objects changing is the expanding universe, then you are still describing space as "not a thing" (nothing). This bolds well for the arguement that there is a "nothing". An area defined by the lack of something. It is a negative property and therefore can exsist. Just as dark exsist. Even thouh dark is only defined by lack of light, nothing is defined as lack of exsistence. No one argues that there is no dark. Now the only problem is that people see the word "nothing" as a noun because we treat it as so in our language. But we use the word "dark" as an adjective to describe a noun. This confuses people into thinking that "nothing cannot be a something therefore there cannot be a nothing because it cannot be something". Obviously this is just a play on words and ignores the concept and definition of nothing. The truth is "nothing" is a adjective that is spoken in the nouns place. The noun is area. So instead of saying there is not a thing in this area. You say there is nothing here. Nothing meaning: not a thing in this area. So, even your explaination of expansion requires there to be a nothing. This then makes the arguement of "is the universe expanding or simply moving away from eachother" mute. Both arguements require a "not a thing area" to exsist.

I also know that many of you are just itching to reply with "area requires measurements, you cannot measure "not a thing"". Here is your answer to that. Take dark. We say a room is dark. Why does the dark stop? Did we measure dark? No, we simply measured where the light ended. If there is 2 meters in which light does not exsist, we say the dark is 2 meters long. The dark is not measured, the lght is in a negative way in order to define the dark. The same concept applies with nothing.
 
  • #18
Eh
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Originally posted by Ishop
arguements on the Big Bang theory aside, if what you describe is the "space" between objects changing is the expanding universe, then you are still describing space as "not a thing" (nothing). This bolds well for the arguement that there is a "nothing".

Actually, space is a field, which is just as physical as matter. But you can really call it anything you want.

An area defined by the lack of something. It is a negative property and therefore can exsist. Just as dark exsist. Even thouh dark is only defined by lack of light, nothing is defined as lack of exsistence.

You can call space chocolate for all it matters, the area is still a field whether or not matter is present. The question is, why call matter a thing, and a field not anything? In terms of geometry, they are quite similar.

....The noun is area. So instead of saying there is not a thing in this area. You say there is nothing here. Nothing meaning: not a thing in this area.

And that again illustrates my question. Why call an an empty area of the gravitational field nothing, while calling matter something? What makes matter so special that it should be called a thing, while fields should not?

So, even your explaination of expansion requires there to be a nothing. This then makes the arguement of "is the universe expanding or simply moving away from eachother" mute. Both arguements require a "not a thing area" to exsist.

If you want to refer to a vacuum (absence of matter) as nothing, fine. But even that won't work, because QM forbids the existence such vacuums. At every point in the universe, there seems to be at least a small amount of energy present. What then?
 
  • #19
CJames
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Ishop, if you are trying to say that the volume of empty space in the universe is rising, it is. So if you call empty space nothing, there you go. But the nothingness we refer to here is absolute nothing. The universe isn't expanding into anything, because there is no thing for the universe to expand into. It is simply expanding.
 
  • #20
CJames, when I say nothing I mean nothing. Not a thing. Absolute nothing in your words. I agree with your last two sentences. I hate the word "space". I mean "space" to be an area. If I say a space with no thing, that is an area in which not a thing exsist. I do not mean the "space a final frontier". Or outside of Earths Atmosphere. I think we agree in our outlooks, you might have taken something wrong that I said.

Eh, you said that expansion is exsisting things seperating not really expanding. Now you say that there are fields (gravitational) that are in between these objects. I agree that a gravitational field is something, but now your idea of expansion is collapsing (excuse the pun). If you have item "A" and item "B" seperating, then you are saying there is a gravitaional field in between them. I'll accept that. But that is not expansion, that is growth. What you are saying is at one point A and B have a field that is 1 meter long between them, a few hours later they have a field that is 2 meters between them. You see this is growth of exsistence, not expansion and not expansion according to the Big Bang Theory. What you describe is much like dirt particles in a glass of water. particle A and B are seperating but have water (field) in between them and that the water is growing. Although it may look like expansion, this is actually growth. The water would be growing not expanding. What expansion would be is dumping the water on the floor. The water would then expand along with the dirt particles. That is expansion. I'll meet you half way though. I see growing gravitaional fields, so I will say that the water is growing and the water is spilled. I think this is an accurate analogy of our universe. However in order to say that anything is expanding there must be a way to measure that. If it is measurable then it is not infinite. A finite universe must yield to the idea that there is not a thing somewhere.

QM does not forbid the concept of a vacum. There is a vacum between Atoms and electrons.
 
  • #21
CJames
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Ishop, the term expansion is used quite loosely in cosmology. We tend to think of expansion in terms of things getting bigger. So call it growth if you so desire, it doesn't change what it is.

The thing you are not understanding is what I mean by absolute nothing. Absolute nothing means not only no matter, but no space and no time. This is actually why Mentat started this topic, to explain how confusing the word "nothing" is. Space isn't expanding into anything, that is the way to put it.

Imagine the surface of a balloon. Imagine that the universe exists on the surface of this balloon. As you blow into this balloon, every point on the surface of the balloon recedes from every other point on the balloon. Remember, the only thing that exists is the SURFACE of the balloon. So you can see there is no edge to this expansion, and there is no empty space into which the balloon's surface is expanding.

Now in the real world, the universe is 3-dimensional, unlike the surface of a balloon. But the concept is the same.
 
  • #22
Eh
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Originally posted by Ishop
Eh, you said that expansion is exsisting things seperating not really expanding.

No I didn't. Space is just another name for the gravitational field, and asymptotically flat expands. Local regions of curved space (matter) do not expand. So you could say the flat space in between galaxies that expands, but not the curved space that makes up the stars and galaxies.

Now you say that there are fields (gravitational) that are in between these objects. I agree that a gravitational field is something, but now your idea of expansion is collapsing (excuse the pun). If you have item "A" and item "B" seperating, then you are saying there is a gravitaional field in between them. I'll accept that. But that is not expansion, that is growth.

Again, it's the space between A and B expanding. A and B don't need to move at all.

What you are saying is at one point A and B have a field that is 1 meter long between them, a few hours later they have a field that is 2 meters between them. You see this is growth of exsistence, not expansion and not expansion according to the Big Bang Theory.

Nope, it's called expansion, and I'd sure like to hear you version of the big bang theory. You once claimed the theory is not compatible with a finite universe, so I'm guessing we're not on the same page here.


What you describe is much like dirt particles in a glass of water. particle A and B are seperating but have water (field) in between them and that the water is growing. Although it may look like expansion, this is actually growth. The water would be growing not expanding. What expansion would be is dumping the water on the floor. The water would then expand along with the dirt particles. That is expansion. I'll meet you half way though. I see growing gravitaional fields, so I will say that the water is growing and the water is spilled.

Semantics. You can say the field is growing or expanding - it means the same thing.

...A finite universe must yield to the idea that there is not a thing somewhere.

Since space is a field and something, this claim does not follow.

QM does not forbid the concept of a vacum. There is a vacum between Atoms and electrons.

The quantum vacuum is the ground state - it is not a perfect vacuum. There is a finite amount of energy everywhere - even in between atoms.
 
  • #23
quantumcarl
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Originally posted by Mentat
Hey carl, good to see you, again :smile:. Cool new name.

When I say "broaden", I mean basically what CJames said (in his post). That all parts of it are getting farther apart. But when I say "broadening it's horizons", I make specific reference to the edge of the universe (as I do not believe that the universe is infinite).

Brother Mentat!

Edge of the universe?


"Edge" implies a defining difference between one state and another state.

What do you believe is on the other side of the "edge" of the universe?

Is it the state of "not anything"?!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CJames, dood!

You say the parts of the universe are getting farther apart, basically running away from each other. Like with boiling water, the H2O molecular structures are getting further apart, creating more distance between each other.

They are in a pot so this "getting further apart" tends to result in "steam" and the H2O molecules escape the confines of the pot via becoming a gas and expanding into the atmosphere.

This is what we observe in nature and within the confines of the physical universe.

Why would it be any different for the collection of matter that is this universe... in that, as you say... it does not expand, nor "broaden" but has somehow defied that end result of "creating more distance" which is expansion yet creates more distance between its (huge) "pariticles"?

Is it that matter on a small scale does not act with the same logic as matter on a vast scale?

EDIT. Oops, I just read eh's explaination... so I have to re-word this........

Is it that space does not act with the same logic on a small scale as it does on a large scale? (in that: space expands when it is out of reach of gravitational fields and cannot expand (or create distance) when its warped up in a g field?!
 
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  • #24
Mentat
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Originally posted by quantumcarl
Brother Mentat!

Edge of the universe?


"Edge" implies a defining difference between one state and another state.

What do you believe is on the other side of the "edge" of the universe?

Is it the state of "not anything"?!

I said "edge". I didn't say there was anything on the other side of it. Yes, the "edge of the universe" is the defining difference between existence and the lack-thereof. Fortunately, nothing can reach the "edge", even if such a thing actually exists.
 
  • #25
quantumcarl
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Originally posted by Mentat
Yes, the "edge of the universe" is the defining difference between existence and the lack-thereof. Fortunately, nothing can reach the "edge", even if such a thing actually exists.

So you're using the term 'edge" hypothetically?

Is it because we are conditioned by our experience, here, somewhere in the midst of all the matter of the universe, where there are edges and boundaries... abrupt changes in density etc... that we tend to rely on words like "edge" to describe the "outer reachs" of the universe?

Or is it because that is exactly what it is... a boundary... an abrupt change in density... from space and matter (energy) to... "not anything".

And if that boundary between anything and not anything were there... it would be correct to say that the state of "not anything" allows for the expansion (or broadening) of "anything" by its very potential to accomodate it....... or be replaced by it.

I don't think its fortunate that we can't quite study the "edge" of the universe... if there is one.

I do think its fortunate that the challenge is there... otherwise we'd never think to tackle it!!!
 
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  • #26
QuantumCarl said:
The thing you are not understanding is what I mean by absolute nothing. Absolute nothing means not only no matter, but no space and no time. This is actually why Mentat started this topic, to explain how confusing the word "nothing" is. Space isn't expanding into anything, that is the way to put it

I fully understand this and agree with it. As said in my past posts.
I said:
CJames, when I say nothing I mean nothing. Not a thing. Absolute nothing in your words.
I also said:
I agree that a gravitational field is something

So where did you get that I dont agree with you there?

You also use the surface of a baloon as an exaple of the universe, but then say, now imagine that happening in a 3D world. You can't. Because that cannot happen in a 3D world. Your ballon shows a finite universe. It would be possible to account for the entire baloon surface, meaning it is measurable and finite. Then you say, now apply that to an infinite 3D univiverse? Please use a better example. Give me an example of an infinite 3D object. Since Atoms are not infinite and have a measurable defined space you cannot. Your example does not work. I can say imagine a "blah blah" expanding. Now apply that to a 3d infinite universe. Doesn't work.

Eh Said:
Space is just another name for the gravitational field

Which is why I did not use the word space and I hate the word. When I say gravitaional field I mean gravitational field. Gravitaional fields are finite just a light is finite. This coincides with a finite universe meaning that there is somewhere outside the universe that has no universe "not a thing" including gravitaional fields and curves.

You also said:
Semantics. You can say the field is growing or expanding - it means the same thing.

No it doesn't. People do not expand, they grow. A baby does not expand into an adult, they grow. There is a difference. You might as well say"semantics, lettuce, turtles, same thing. Different definitions means different things.

Mentat said:
I said "edge". I didn't say there was anything on the other side of it. Yes, the "edge of the universe" is the defining difference between existence and the lack-thereof. Fortunately, nothing can reach the "edge", even if such a thing actually exists.

Finite universe.



I'm all about going to the Resturaunt and the Edge of the Universe with Slartibartfast and having a Snargleblaster or two.
 
  • #27
CJames
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Ishop,
You also use the surface of a baloon as an exaple of the universe, but then say, now imagine that happening in a 3D world. You can't. Because that cannot happen in a 3D world.
I know it's confusing Ishop. But that is the way it works. That is how general relativity works. It describes the 4-dimensional world (3 spacial dimensions + the dimension of time) as though it were 2 dimensional. It can be bent and warped like the surface of a trampoline. This is how gravity works. It sounds crazy, but there is no denying how it matches reality exactly. Experiment after experiment proves it's accuracey. GPS sattelites don't work without compensating for general relativity.

If the universe is finite, which it doesn't appear to be however it still could be, then continuing in one direction, a straight line, will eventually carry you back to the same spot. It's similar to the 2 dimensional surface of the earth. Keep walking in one direction and you will end up back where you started. In a finite universe, that is how it works, only in 3 dimensions. It's impossible to visualize, but it's how it works.

An infinite universe certainly obeys the same truth. A universe of infinite size that is expanding, you can see there is no center to this expansion, that all points are receeding from all other points, and that there is no empty space into which this universe is expanding.

Again, you can call it growth if you wish. But the term used is expansion.

The reason I am saying all this is because I don't think you are clear on how to visualize this. You have agreed that the universe isn't expanding into anything, but I still have the impression you think there is an edge to this expansion. There isn't. If you understand this then okay, I am sorry.
 
  • #28
CJames
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Carl,
Why would it be any different for the collection of matter that is this universe... in that, as you say... it does not expand, nor "broaden" but has somehow defied that end result of "creating more distance" which is expansion yet creates more distance between its (huge) "pariticles"?
I didn't realize I was this incoherent. I appologize. I am not implying that more space isn't created...

It all depends on what type of universe we are talking about. IF the universe is finite, meaning there is a limit to how big it is, then as I said it is like the surface of a balloon expanding. So in that case, yes, the finite size of the universe is actually getting larger.

In the case of an infinite universe, expansion doesn't mean getting larger than infinity. But it does mean adding more space to an infinite number. This is a confusing concept, but it works. An infinite number isn't the largest number possible. You can do whatever you want with infinity, add it, subtract it, divide it, and you will still get an answer that is infinite.

It must have been that part where I said, "We tend to think of expansion in terms of things getting bigger." That is confusing. Sorry. Disregard it. I was thinking of an infinite universe when I wrote that.
 
  • #29
i find it more comfortable to say that the fluctuating distribution matter within the universe creates the appearance of expansion. it is much like how plant/animal material will shrink or expand with regard to moisture.
 
  • #30
CJames Said:
If the universe is finite, which it doesn't appear to be however it still could be, then continuing in one direction, a straight line, will eventually carry you back to the same spot. It's similar to the 2 dimensional surface of the earth. Keep walking in one direction and you will end up back where you started. In a finite universe, that is how it works, only in 3 dimensions. It's impossible to visualize, but it's how it works.

Im sure yu realize that the earth is a sphere(a 3Dimensional object), not 2D. Also, what you describe above is not infinite. The earth is not infinite. There is a defined amount of matter. The universe (things that exsist, ie. gravitaional fields, matter, energy, ect.) are limited to amount. This is the only possiblity in a 2D representation or a 3D or 4D. However you want to represent it. If you want to say that the universe is like the earth (which it is not and I think you didnt mean exactly that) then yu must realize that there is space outside of the earth. If it is like a circle, there is space outside the circle. If it is represented by ANYTHING, there is something outside of it.

Use M&M's as an example. Say you put some M&M's on a coffee table. These M&M's represent EVERYTHING (including fields, energy, mass, ect.) anything that exsist. There is nothing besides the M&M's. No matter what shape you put them in 3D or 2D, ther is still an area in which there are no M&M's. This would be "nothing", "not a thing". The only way that there is no "nothing" is if those M&M's go on for infinity. There is no evidence that supports that matter, energy, fields, ect, are infinite. In fact there actually never could be since a property of infinity is that it cannot be measured. However the Big Ban theory deals with a finite amount of materials. Finite materials means exsistence of nothing.

You also said:
You have agreed that the universe isn't expanding into anything, but I still have the impression you think there is an edge to this expansion

I never said that the universe isn't expanding into anything. I said that it is expanding into "not a thing".

In order for there to be expansion it must be measured. An expansion is a measured speration of particles. I don't see how anyone can argue against that definition. Anything measured is not infinite. If it is not infinite then there is a place where there is no exsisting thing "nothing". You are saying matter, energy, fields, ect. are infinite. While you cannot destroy exsistence, only change its form, you cannot create it either. This implies a finite universe again. You are basicly saying that we get infinite atoms to make infinite things. If this were the case then everything would be solid for infinity.

Eh said:
You once claimed the theory (BB) is not compatible with a finite universe, so I'm guessing we're not on the same page here.

I may have mistyped. As you see above I meant that the BB theory is not compatable with an infinite universe. Same page. Also why the Big Bang theory proves there is an are with "not a thing" in it (nothing).

Eh you also said:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I said this:
QM does not forbid the concept of a vacum. There is a vacum between Atoms and electrons.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You said:

The quantum vacuum is the ground state - it is not a perfect vacuum. There is a finite amount of energy everywhere - even in between atoms.

I won't argue down to the atom, but I do like that you used the terms "finite amount of energy everywhere". Making me think again that you see the exsisting universe as finite. Which proves a "nothing".
 
  • #31
quantumcarl
770
0
Originally posted by CJames
Carl,
I didn't realize I was this incoherent. I appologize. I am not implying that more space isn't created...

It all depends on what type of universe we are talking about. IF the universe is finite, meaning there is a limit to how big it is, then as I said it is like the surface of a balloon expanding. So in that case, yes, the finite size of the universe is actually getting larger.

In the case of an infinite universe, expansion doesn't mean getting larger than infinity. But it does mean adding more space to an infinite number. This is a confusing concept, but it works. An infinite number isn't the largest number possible. You can do whatever you want with infinity, add it, subtract it, divide it, and you will still get an answer that is infinite.

It must have been that part where I said, "We tend to think of expansion in terms of things getting bigger." That is confusing. Sorry. Disregard it. I was thinking of an infinite universe when I wrote that.

Very cool CJames... thank you.

I see the universe as infinite. I see the possibilty of what we call the big bang as only one of an infinite number of big bangs... in whatever variety or manner of "banging".

This coincides with the idea of an infinite universe.

The reason we don't see the other big bangs or results thereof is because of separation by "not anything" or void.

This does not mean the "void" has a property... it has a lack of a property... as mentat might agree.... and thus it cannot transmit or carry light.

It also does not mean the "void" has a depth or substance of any kind.... just that it acts as a kind of membrane or psuedomembrane between regions that hold the results of energy ie: matter, space etc.

Thanks again for your explaination of the finite and infinite views of the universe. It gets confusing but I'm experienced with confusion!!!

In the case of an infinite universe i can see that any number or type of movement would not be termed expansion... only change

We have definitely been conditioned by our experience as "middle men" in the scheme of the universe. We witness expansion and contraction only because we have a finite physical body and relate what we have to what we see. I think this conditioning has helped us survive as long as we have! However, it may become necessary, at some later date, to see things differently in order to survive on a universal level of consciousness.
 
  • #32
Mentat
3,890
3


Originally posted by quantumcarl
So you're using the term 'edge" hypothetically?

Is it because we are conditioned by our experience, here, somewhere in the midst of all the matter of the universe, where there are edges and boundaries... abrupt changes in density etc... that we tend to rely on words like "edge" to describe the "outer reachs" of the universe?

Or is it because that is exactly what it is... a boundary... an abrupt change in density... from space and matter (energy) to... "not anything".

And if that boundary between anything and not anything were there... it would be correct to say that the state of "not anything" allows for the expansion (or broadening) of "anything" by its very potential to accomodate it....... or be replaced by it.

I don't think its fortunate that we can't quite study the "edge" of the universe... if there is one.

I do think its fortunate that the challenge is there... otherwise we'd never think to tackle it!!!

Don't speak of "not anything", as though it were a state. It is not. There is not the state of there being nothing there. There would be no "there", if there were "nothing there". The edge of the universe (if it exists) would be the point where existence stops; however, even if you could catch up to this point, you'd never "find" it because the fact that you are there, means that there is something, and that is thus not the edge of the universe anymore.
 
  • #33
I agree with mentat about "not anything" being a on state.

Carl, while I disagree with how you come to your conclusion, it appears we both agree that there is absolute void by your last post...and that's what this thread was about so I won't debate the other things here.....cool. Seems like we've agreed on something. Wierd. lol
 
  • #34
Eh
746
1
Originally posted by Ishop

"...Which is why I did not use the word space and I hate the word. When I say gravitaional field I mean gravitational field. Gravitaional fields are finite just a light is finite."

You can space whatever you want, but there is nothing that says the gravitational field must be finite. The geometry of the field (space) can be either infinite or finite, we just don't know which.

This coincides with a finite universe meaning that there is somewhere outside the universe that has no universe "not a thing" including gravitaional fields and curves."

No it doesn't, since by definition you cannot have a place without space. There logically can be no "outside" of space, and as I said space IS the gravitational field.

Now you might think that such a finite space would only be a small region in an infinite void, but this is only possible if the void has 4 spatial dimensions. You simply cannot embeded a hyperbolic object with only 3 dimensions.

But at any rate, there is no evidence whatsoever that such a void exists, and a finite universe does not lend credibility to the idea.

People do not expand, they grow. A baby does not expand into an adult, they grow. There is a difference. You might as well say"semantics, lettuce, turtles, same thing. Different definitions means different things.

Err, no. With a region of space that is increasing in volume, you can say it is growing or expanding. It makes absolutely no difference.
 
  • #35
Eh
746
1
Originally posted by Ishop

I may have mistyped. As you see above I meant that the BB theory is not compatable with an infinite universe. Same page. Also why the Big Bang theory proves there is an are with "not a thing" in it (nothing).

That is also incorrect. The big bang is not incompatible with an infinite or finite space. See the link I posted, as it explains this.

And by definition, and area is a region of space. You cannot have a place without space, and in cosmology the expanding universe is the expansion of space itself.

I won't argue down to the atom, but I do like that you used the terms "finite amount of energy everywhere". Making me think again that you see the exsisting universe as finite. Which proves a "nothing".

Does not follow.
 

Suggested for: An Exercise in nothing semantics.

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