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B Does "nothing" have a meaning in physics?

  1. Apr 20, 2016 #1
    Why is this a word if it has no meaning. Is there a physics meaning of nothing.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 20, 2016 #2

    sophiecentaur

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    I know nothing about that, I'm afraid.
     
  4. Apr 20, 2016 #3
    its nothing to be afraid of...
     
  5. Apr 20, 2016 #4

    Khashishi

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    It has no technical meaning. Just the standard English meaning. Vacuum, on the other hand, has a technical meaning.
     
  6. Apr 20, 2016 #5
    Whatever a "thing" is, it is what is left over when you remove it.
     
  7. Apr 20, 2016 #6

    phinds

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    "nothing" is very contentious in Physics, and is best avoided. "A Universe from Nothing" for example, means different things to different people.
     
  8. Apr 20, 2016 #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.
     
  9. Apr 20, 2016 #8

    phinds

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    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:
     
  10. Apr 21, 2016 #9
    Nothing is the just the opposite of everything I believe
     
  11. Apr 21, 2016 #10

    phinds

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    And how does that work as a definition in physics?
     
  12. Apr 21, 2016 #11
  13. Apr 21, 2016 #12

    phinds

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  14. Apr 21, 2016 #13
    Math is sometimes employed in physics, so there tends to be overlap.
     
  15. Apr 21, 2016 #14

    phinds

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    Of course, but I think not in this case.
     
  16. Apr 21, 2016 #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.
     
  17. Apr 21, 2016 #16

    phinds

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    Yes, that's my point. The question here is not about math but about physics and the universe.
     
  18. Apr 21, 2016 #17
    Can you give an example of where the distinction becomes important?
     
  19. Apr 21, 2016 #18

    phinds

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    Not offhand but it's important to keep in mind that, as Alfred Korzybski said, the map is not the territory.
     
  20. Apr 21, 2016 #19

    OCR

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

    Just funning you ...[COLOR=#black]..[/COLOR] :oldbiggrin:
     
  21. Apr 21, 2016 #20
    Strawberry fields forever.
     
  22. Apr 21, 2016 #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.
     
  23. Apr 22, 2016 #22

    jbriggs444

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    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?
     
  24. Apr 22, 2016 #23
    Yes indeed, I speculate nothing has not ever existed.
     
  25. Apr 22, 2016 #24

    SammyS

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  26. Apr 23, 2016 #25
    ^ I see what you did there.
     
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