Does Space Have Mass? | Exploring Virtual Particles

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In summary: From now on, whenever you discuss a physical topic, be sure to include a link to some more information so that people can learn more.
  • #1
Nano-Passion
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I've heard that virtual particles can come out of the nothingness of space. Since e=mc^2 does space have mass in essence? Or is the mass simply go in and out of existence as the virtual particles do?

I know I probably got something wrong over here so forgive my ignorance.
 
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  • #2
Nano-Passion said:
I've heard that virtual particles can come out of the nothingness of space. Since e=mc^2 does space have mass in essence? Or is the mass simply go in and out of existence as the virtual particles do?

I know I probably got something wrong over here so forgive my ignorance.

maybe we are allowed to borrow...

we don't fully understand dark enery, anti-matter...

maybe the below equation works...;)

s = ec^2

where s = space
maybe its a cube

maybe one day some scientist, like you, will tie all this together...
 
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  • #3
I wouldn't call it space, but the vacuum state of a quantum field (which corresponds to the absence of particles) in general can have nonzero energy. This is the origin of the so-called Casimir effect. Virtual particles are just a misleading description of this.
 
  • #5
Polyrhythmic said:
I wouldn't call it space, but the vacuum state of a quantum field (which corresponds to the absence of particles) in general can have nonzero energy. This is the origin of the so-called Casimir effect. Virtual particles are just a misleading description of this.

I don't really understand the concept of a quantum field much. I'm only in classical mechanics thus far. =/

Wow, so there are no virtual particles? If so then curse the media.

granpa said:

Thank you, it was an interesting read.
 
  • #6
Nano-Passion said:
I don't really understand the concept of a quantum field much. I'm only in classical mechanics thus far. =/

Wow, so there are no virtual particles? If so then curse the media.

A quantum field is an entity which spans all space. It can be excited at each point, and we call such an excited state a particle. The absence of excited states is called the vacuum. This vacuum can have energy, that's what is sometimes called zero-point energy in this context.

Virtual particles only show up mathematically, there is no reason to assume that they actually exist in the form of measurable physical objects.
 
  • #7
Polyrhythmic said:
A quantum field is an entity which spans all space. It can be excited at each point, and we call such an excited state a particle. The absence of excited states is called the vacuum. This vacuum can have energy, that's what is sometimes called zero-point energy in this context.

Virtual particles only show up mathematically, there is no reason to assume that they actually exist in the form of measurable physical objects.

Wow, its interesting that the vacuum of space can have energy. I can't wait till I learn of quantum field theory, I don't think I can just sit here and have an intellectual conversation/reasoning simply with the English language. I need mathematics behind it.

Thanks for your time.
 
  • #8
Nano-Passion said:
Wow, its interesting that the vacuum of space can have energy. I can't wait till I learn of quantum field theory, I don't think I can just sit here and have an intellectual conversation/reasoning simply with the English language. I need mathematics behind it.

Thanks for your time.

I think you just realized something very important. Seriously discussing physical problems only makes sense if you have the theoretical background, everything else can only be regarded as unguided speculation (as often encountered in a broad range of topics, for example "reality of virtual particles","black holes" and so on). People need to learn to admit when they have no clue regarding a certain subject.
 

Related to Does Space Have Mass? | Exploring Virtual Particles

1. What is virtual mass?

Virtual mass is the concept of mass that is associated with virtual particles in quantum mechanics. Virtual particles are particles that pop in and out of existence in a vacuum, and they have a fleeting mass that contributes to the overall mass of space.

2. Does space have a measurable mass?

Yes, space does have a measurable mass due to the presence of virtual particles. However, this mass is incredibly small and difficult to measure, making it almost negligible in most cases.

3. How do virtual particles contribute to the mass of space?

Virtual particles contribute to the mass of space through the concept of vacuum energy. According to quantum mechanics, empty space is not truly empty but filled with virtual particles that constantly pop in and out of existence, contributing to the overall mass of space.

4. Can we observe the mass of space directly?

No, we cannot observe the mass of space directly as it is very small and difficult to measure. However, scientists can indirectly measure the effects of mass in space through various experiments and observations.

5. Does the mass of space affect the behavior of objects in space?

Yes, the mass of space does affect the behavior of objects in space, particularly at a very small scale. The presence of virtual particles and vacuum energy can cause slight changes in the behavior of objects, but these effects are usually too small to be noticeable in everyday life.

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