Does "nothing" have a meaning in physics?

  • B
  • Thread starter houlahound
  • Start date
  • Tags
    Physics
In summary, the conversation revolves around your ability to only provide summaries of content and not respond to questions. You are described as an expert summarizer who consistently delivers concise and accurate summaries. The conversation does not mention any other details or context.
  • #1
908
223
Why is this a word if it has no meaning. Is there a physics meaning of nothing.
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
I know nothing about that, I'm afraid.
 
  • Like
Likes SammyS and OCR
  • #3
its nothing to be afraid of...
 
  • Like
Likes OCR and sophiecentaur
  • #4
It has no technical meaning. Just the standard English meaning. Vacuum, on the other hand, has a technical meaning.
 
  • #5
Whatever a "thing" is, it is what is left over when you remove it.
 
  • #6
"nothing" is very contentious in Physics, and is best avoided. "A Universe from Nothing" for example, means different things to different people.
 
  • #7
You've been watching too many H & R Block tax preparation commercials on TV. We're all anxious to hear what Micheo Kaku says.
 
  • Like
Likes phinds
  • #8
Chestermiller said:
You've been watching too many H & R Block tax preparation commercials on TV. We're all anxious to hear what Micheo Kaku says.
Actually, now that you bring it up, a good definition of "nothing" is "the scientific value of Michio Kaku's statements on physics in the last few years". :smile:
 
  • Like
Likes Jodo, OCR and Chestermiller
  • #9
Nothing is the just the opposite of everything I believe
 
  • #10
PeTrichOr12 said:
Nothing is the just the opposite of everything I believe
And how does that work as a definition in physics?
 
  • #13
phinds said:
I don't think so. That's a math thing. This is a physics question.

Math is sometimes employed in physics, so there tends to be overlap.
 
  • #14
Landru said:
Math is sometimes employed in physics, so there tends to be overlap.
Of course, but I think not in this case.
 
  • #15
The important thing to know is that "null" is not the same as "zero", "no value" versus "a value of zero", and so the meaning of "nothing" depends on which more specific word or definition it's making reference to.
 
  • #16
Landru said:
The important thing to know is that "null" is not the same as "zero", "no value" versus "a value of zero", and so the meaning of "nothing" depends on which more specific word or definition it's making reference to.
Yes, that's my point. The question here is not about math but about physics and the universe.
 
  • #17
Can you give an example of where the distinction becomes important?
 
  • #18
Landru said:
Can you give an example of where the distinction becomes important?
Not offhand but it's important to keep in mind that, as Alfred Korzybski said, the map is not the territory.
 
  • #19
phinds said:
"nothing" is very contentious in Physics, and is best avoided.

Yeah, it's even hard to make a conclusive statement about "nothing"...[COLOR=#black]..[/COLOR]:olduhh:

"A Universe from Nothing" for example, means different things to different people.

Just funning you ...[COLOR=#black]..[/COLOR] :oldbiggrin:
 
  • #20
Strawberry fields forever.
 
  • #21
I think it is a reasonable physics question to ask ie;

if there is a possibility that a volume of truly nothing; has ever, does, or can ever exist.

it appears Heisenberg uncertainty law forbids the existence of nothing if I understand it correctly.

the closest I have found is the Casimir effect.
 
  • #22
houlahound said:
I think it is a reasonable physics question to ask ie;

if there is a possibility that a volume of truly nothing; has ever, does, or can ever exist.
Adding the word "truly" in front of the word nothing does little to clarify things.

A region where nothing can ever exist would be quite interesting. What happens if you shoot a high energy electron into such a region? Does it reflect? Does it come out the other side with zero elapsed time? Does it simply disappear? How do you square this with conservation of energy? If this is a finite region with detectable behavior then it will have a measurable velocity. How is it affected by gravity? What gravitational effects does it have? Does the region grow or shrink over time? Is it possible to create such a region? If you have two such regions that intersect, do they interact? If so, how does this square with the fact that a region of nothing cannot, by definition, exist within a region of nothing?
 
  • #23
Yes indeed, I speculate nothing has not ever existed.
 
  • #24
.
 
  • #25
^ I see what you did there.
 
  • #26
To my knowledge, there's no rigorous definition of "nothing" in physics. Doesn't mean nothing is nothing, though...
 
  • #27
Closed pending moderation

Edit: some off topic posts have been removed, and the thread will remain closed
 
Last edited:

1. What is the concept of "nothing" in physics?

The concept of "nothing" in physics refers to the absence of any physical matter or energy. It is often described as a vacuum or empty space.

2. Can "nothing" exist in the universe?

According to the laws of physics, it is not possible for a true state of "nothingness" to exist in the universe. Even in the emptiest regions of space, there are still particles and fluctuations in energy present.

3. How does the concept of "nothing" relate to the Big Bang Theory?

The Big Bang Theory suggests that the universe began as a singularity, a point of infinite density and temperature. This can be thought of as a state of "nothingness" before the explosion that led to the creation of the universe as we know it.

4. Is the concept of "nothing" relevant to quantum mechanics?

Yes, the concept of "nothing" is relevant to quantum mechanics as it explores the behavior of particles at a subatomic level. The uncertainty principle states that even in a vacuum, particles and energy can appear and disappear at random, challenging the idea of a true state of "nothingness".

5. How does the idea of "nothing" impact our understanding of the universe?

The concept of "nothing" is a fundamental aspect of our understanding of the universe and its origins. It challenges our perception of what can exist and how the laws of physics govern the behavior of matter and energy. It also raises philosophical questions about the nature of existence and the role of consciousness in perceiving "nothing".

Suggested for: Does "nothing" have a meaning in physics?

Back
Top