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Is space really absolutely nothing?

  1. Jul 1, 2012 #1
    obviously in some points, their is dust and little objects but is space itself really nothing? Not matter, not made of anything like atoms or quarks? I've heard this for along time but only know its begun to seem very bizarre and interesting to me.
    (does dark matter/energy have anything to do with this)

    Thanks for the replies.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 1, 2012 #2

    phinds

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    This subject is discussed here about every 3 minutes it seems. Do a forum search.
     
  4. Jul 1, 2012 #3
    actually i did and really did not get anything. Why don't you offer me a link then.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2012
  5. Jul 2, 2012 #4

    Drakkith

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    Whether "space itself" is "something" or not is an extremely tough question to answer. Space is generally regarded as the "background" that things happen in or upon or whatever. It appears that space has various features such as geometric curvature, as General Relativity describes, but none of this says anything about whether or not space is something or not.

    I can verify that space is NOT made up of matter, energy, or anything like that.
     
  6. Jul 2, 2012 #5

    zonde

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    Do you mean if there is such a thing as really empty space? It is unclear what do you mean by "space itself".
     
  7. Jul 2, 2012 #6
    by "space itself" i mean the actual space that is too far from stars or other objects to have dust and left-over objects their. Imagine space being a big red piece of jello and dust as salt being inside or onto of it, im talking about the red jello, not the thing as a whole.
     
  8. Jul 2, 2012 #7

    DaveC426913

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    Forum searches are notoriously bad (not limited to PF). Better: do a Google search and limit it to physics forums, like this:
    space nothing site: physicsforums.com
     
  9. Jul 2, 2012 #8

    phinds

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    I think that's an excellent way of clarifying what you mean. I've seen long posts that don't get to it quite so nicely.

    The consensus, the the extent that there IS one, seems to be that what you are describing is not known to be anything other than geometry. Galaxies move apart due to expansion, but the "stuff" in between them that we call "space" doesn't "stretch" or "grow" or anything, it's just that the galaxies get farther apart. It's weird. Look up "metric expansion" for more information.

    EDIT: and by the way, Quantum Mechanics specialists will talk about "quantum foam" and "virtual particles" and say that there is no such thing as just jello, it is TEEMING with stuff (that is smaller that the salt).
     
  10. Jul 2, 2012 #9
    As the person above me said, it's basically like asking if the plane in the sort of 2-D geometry you're taught in high school is made up of anything.
     
  11. Jul 2, 2012 #10

    zonde

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    So as I understand by "space itself" you mean anything that is left after you take away stars and other known massive things (light probably as well). So the question would be - is there something left then?
    I would say that yes, there would be something left.

    I can imagine big red piece of jello but I can't imagine it as space. For me space is too abstract to imagine it as anything physical.
     
  12. Jul 3, 2012 #11
    While I call this a matter of philosophy, if we remove all particles whatsoever from somewhere, there won't be anything to probe it with. No way to verify that it's there. And, in my view, this should mean it doesn't exist.
     
  13. Jul 4, 2012 #12
    Op space is nothing more than existence.That is its only property.
    Anyone who says that space has curvature is a bloody idiot.Its like saying that something cant act upon nothing.
    And in existence where everything exists then nothingness can not exist by default of its definition.So therefore everything is connected in a sense like resistors would be in series or in row.
    But that opens then another can of worms like how can something then move?
    Well abstractions are nothing more than interpretations so whatever floats your boat.
    You may give it infinite amount of dimensions or just 2(space and time) or something else.
     
  14. Jul 4, 2012 #13
    Now that i read it again.Op your real problem is the abstraction of nothingness.
    Go into the nature and tell me do you see or feel nothingness?The air(gas),water(liquid) and solid objects.The difference between them is elasticity and density.Now if you believe that air exist then you believe that the ether/vacuum exisist.Which is less denser than gas and you can endlessly go on at categorizing mediums.
    Just accept the fact that the whole can be a part as well.The difference is how you view them.
    If a person asks you to give him a cup of water do you then ask how many molecules of H2O-s he wants?
     
  15. Jul 4, 2012 #14

    Drakkith

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    I believe both General Relativity and science in general disagrees with you.
     
  16. Jul 4, 2012 #15

    DaveC426913

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    Until science comes up with a rigorous definition of 'nothing', this is a discussion that can go no where.
    That is a very strange (and wrong) thing to say. Air is made of atoms. Vacuum is not.
     
  17. Jul 4, 2012 #16
    This is pretty relevant for the discussion of the discovery of the Higgs particle.

    The Higgs particle is important because it shows that the Higgs field exists. The Higgs field is something that gives electrons and weak forces mass, and in order for it to give things mass, the "expectation value" of the Higgs field cannot be zero. Just like there is air around you that you can notice if you wave your arms, there is Higgs field that causes particles to have mass.

    Now one might ask if it's possible to have a region of space in which there is no Higgs field. That's an interesting question, but what would happen if you removed the Higgs field is that particles would no longer have any mass, and no one would be around to see that region of space.
     
  18. Jul 4, 2012 #17

    zonde

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  19. Jul 5, 2012 #18
    Yes let the great church of science tell you what nothingness is!Why think? /sarcasm off
    Nothing by definition is the absence of something and the way OP uses it is the absence of
    everything in certain observable area.
    Air is nothing more than a collection of different gases.Those gasses are nothing more than a collection of molecules.Those molecules are nothing more than a collection of atoms etc.
    And yes vacuum does not have atoms defined by todays standards but its still a different type of gas which is a collection of gases.
     
  20. Jul 5, 2012 #19
    The church of science does not know much about nature.
    And it seems you lack the ability to think that you bring up GR here.Even that certain jew confessed that he was talking BS to a certain extent.(After all he was just a mathematician)

    I dare you to prove me then that space has curvature!
     
  21. Jul 5, 2012 #20

    Drakkith

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    Science knows a great deal about nature. Otherwise we would not be able to build things like computers, cars, artificial hearts, etc. Also, by the rules you agreed to upon creating an account, this forum is for mainstream science only, not for your personal opinions. I've already reported you and unless you wish to receive a permanent ban please stick to the rules.
     
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