Please forgive my non-math questions. I am 55 years old and I have been fascinated by QM and particle physics for the past 10 years. I have been an astronomy buff for most of my life so I started with some understanding of light and the atomic process but I only know basic math and statistics (or voodoo). But I thought maybe I could get some good information on this forum. I have read every non-math book on QM and particle physics as well as relativity and quantum gravity and anything dealing with those subjects that does not include much math. So forgive any stupid questions and if you can shed any light on questions I might ask in a non-math way, I would appreciate it. I know it wont be a complete understanding but as much as I wish I would have learned the math as a youth, there is no way I'm heading down that path now. Another of life's opportunities lost. My first question is one that I've heard debated only briefly but I've not heard any good arguments either way. Is matter made from nothing? If E=MC2 and energy is a potential, I can't see it or feel it, and since particles and even atoms exist as a probability until called upon, can we infer that matter is made from nothing but a mathematical probability? Ignore any string theory since the same question could apply to strings. Does it somehow make sense that the universe is formed from nothing, since if the raw materials for the universe existed before the universe, then a universe would have already existed. It seems logical if you are to have something where there was nothing, then it would follow that it would come from nothing. Which I suppose does happen in the case of virtual particles. Please, I'm not trying to get to any cosmic understanding of what's behind the universe, I'm just trying to get a physicists view on weather the building blocks of the universe are more than a mathematical concept.