So I'm just learning about the higgs, electro-magnetic, strong and weak nuclear fields/forces. Is dark energy one of those? I understand there is as difference in the universe expanding from expansion and everything 'receding' from dark energy. I was watching a UC video on expansion, the hubble radius etc. and he said that expansion was like 'nothing' wasn't 'nothing', it was like static (quantum) noise on your telly, like full of particles popping in and out of existence. And it was this that when the universe got started there was this 'energy' in the quantum 'nothing'. More 'nothing' (space) - > more energy -> more space (does this mean like a plank length is getting bigger, and if so or if not, what implications does this have for say the space inside an atomic nucleus?) Which seems ridiculous to me as an explanation, though I'm sure it won a nobel prize. Also, it seems to me that there were still these fields / forces, 'around' before the universe / expansion / big bang / the quantum perturbation which caused particles and radiation to exist; according to the standard model. In which case the big bang isn't an explanation for existence, because the fields / forces have always existed, even when there was no 'space'...which is kind of weird because how can you have quantum fluctuations without space to have them in? (not to mention how can you not have space....that's like the universe doesn't exist yet, it's just as real as an imaginary theory in God's mind....which is like you need an observer which doesn't exist to conjure up something which is a meta concept of the properties of non-existance, that is: 'something' but without spacial dimensions. What I'm saying is I can see how 'time' and 'space' can break down (be compressed and stretched) asymptotically around a black hole, but for space to not exist at all is incomprehensible. I guess it's a bit like the tree falling when no ones around, if space exists with nothing happening, is time passing, or non-esistant? Or can time exist without space? Can anyone elaborate on this, or clear anything up?