Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is nothing an unstable thing that violates HUP?

  1. Aug 29, 2012 #1
    Is "nothing" an unstable thing that violates HUP?

    I am trying to understand the logic behind the likelihood of creatio ex nihilo.

    Does QM tell us that it isn't possible for something to have position and velocity both be 0 at the same time, which is what "nothing" would suggest?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 29, 2012 #2
    Re: Is "nothing" an unstable thing that violates HUP?

    Creatio ex nihilo is possible.Because of the uncertainty principle,or say E*t>h.But the time lasting would be very short,and there's no practical value.
     
  4. Aug 30, 2012 #3

    kith

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Re: Is "nothing" an unstable thing that violates HUP?

    That's not nothing. Nothing means no objects and if you have no objects, you can't even define position and velocity.

    In QM, the HUP usually leads to a groundstate with finite energy. In QFT, this leads to vacuum fluctuations which means that virtual particle-antiparticle pairs are created. There are different opinions about the question whether virtual particles should be considered "real" or a mere mathematical entity because they don't occur in all calculation methods.

    However, QM and QFT tell us nothing about creatio ex nihilo because you need to have particles or fields in order for these effects to occur. And these are obviously not nothing.
     
  5. Aug 30, 2012 #4
    Re: Is "nothing" an unstable thing that violates HUP?

    I agree with Kith. The OP needs to be more clear about what he means by nothing. The Greek philosopher Parmenides (the first philosopher for which we actually have something written down) said that nothing does not exist because to think of nothing is to cause something to exist since the very act of thinking causes existence. Nothing is something which, one, no one has ever thought of before, and two, does not occupy space and is not space itself.

    When the OP refers to nothing he is probably referring to a quantum vacuum which is anything but nothing.
     
  6. Aug 30, 2012 #5
    Re: Is "nothing" an unstable thing that violates HUP?

    Yes,this is a good explanation besides physics.
     
  7. Aug 30, 2012 #6
    Re: Is "nothing" an unstable thing that violates HUP?

    can you give out a good explanation besides physics.
     
  8. Aug 31, 2012 #7
    Re: Is "nothing" an unstable thing that violates HUP?

    Why is there something rather than nothing?
     
  9. Aug 31, 2012 #8

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    Re: Is "nothing" an unstable thing that violates HUP?

    Because of CP violation.

    Are we doing physics or philosophy here?

    Zz.
     
  10. Aug 31, 2012 #9
    Re: Is "nothing" an unstable thing that violates HUP?

    Physics. I want to know the plausible physical answers to the question.
     
  11. Sep 15, 2012 #10
    Re: Is "nothing" an unstable thing that violates HUP?

    "Nothing" is no thing, and so cannot be described. Stable or unstable terms apply to things.

    Physicists, like religionists and people in every human pursuit are intent on describing, measuring, and defining. "Nothing" defies these efforts.

    Yet, every thing is surrounded by and interpenetrated by "nothing" in very large proportion.

    Get quiet - stop your striving - and know "nothing" directly (which is what some folks here have pointed out I know). There is no other tool but your own consciousness for this. Once known, there can be no adequate description. It does become clear, however, who is searching... who is watching. Pay some attention to "nothing".
     
  12. Sep 15, 2012 #11

    Drakkith

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Is "nothing" an unstable thing that violates HUP?

    This thread is careening down a slope of speculation from where there shall be no return.
     
  13. Sep 15, 2012 #12
    Re: Is "nothing" an unstable thing that violates HUP?




    ......... :uhh:
     
  14. Sep 16, 2012 #13
    Re: Is "nothing" an unstable thing that violates HUP?

    Who can understand - 'stand under' - the 'ground of Being'?
    "Nothing" is this ground.
    I admire the courage of this person who is asking about "nothing"!

    While this thread is still open, let us explore the one unknown which words can never de_fine!
    Einstein started on this path - did he not?!
    Peer into the darkness!
    Let there be an unknown!
    Be enhanced by non-verbal knowing!

    I bow now to the 'mentor' who will close this thread.

    Nothing will yet be known!
     
  15. Sep 16, 2012 #14
    Re: Is "nothing" an unstable thing that violates HUP?

    i think the problem with this question is the very vague terms of 'nothing' and 'something' that make it impossible to find a precise answer.

    if parts of the probability density and probability current (that arises form the wave function) count as something then sure you can get both values to zero (though for the location of anything to be x=0 is really just choice of coordinates).

    i think you can yield any answer you want by choosing an appropriate definition of 'something' and 'nothing'. that includes Parmenides self excluding understanding of nothing that does not exist per definitionem.

    maybe try it the other way around: take the answer you want to have and then ask what definitions of 'no-/something' are compatible with it and what mathematical structures of the QM become existing objects.

    personally i go along with Parmenides view because there isn't anything that has no properties of its own. everything has some no-trival structure and that includes the space. if you look into general relativity you know it's a hugely complex entity by itself even if its 'empty'. and looking at the QED or other field theories it tells you that the empty space is everything else then empty. the only thing i'd count as 'creatio ex nihilo' is perhaps the big bang but that is rather due to our 'nihilo' knowledge of what was before.

    phyisics focuses on explaining things based on the existence of some laws of physics. but it does not yield any explanation of why laws of physics exists and it never will. what physics does it always of the type "A => B" but never "=> A". so physics is certainly the wrong place to look at for insight into this question.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
  16. Sep 16, 2012 #15
    Re: Is "nothing" an unstable thing that violates HUP?

    see post #3.

    But 'WHY' questions in physics usually have no fundamental 'rationale'.....Maybe in a different universe things are different; here, we describe what we observe.
     
  17. Sep 16, 2012 #16

    jtbell

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Is "nothing" an unstable thing that violates HUP?

    I still see no physics here, only vague philosophical or metaphysical musings. This thread is closed.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Is nothing an unstable thing that violates HUP?
  1. HUP: Particles <=> ? (Replies: 2)

  2. Distance and the HUP (Replies: 0)

Loading...