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What is 'nothingness'?

  1. Feb 23, 2010 #1


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    Gold Member


    This has always been a confusing topic for me. What is 'nothingness'? How can we imagine it? I certainly can't... and is there anywhere in the universe (or outside of the universe?) where there exists 'nothingness'? The answer can't be 'empty space', because that means that there EXISTS empty space in that space, meaning that it isn't nothingness.

    Can someone help me to understand what nothingness is?

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 23, 2010 #2
    Re: Nothingness?

    I think it is well defined mathematically, i.e. the empty set. By definition, nothingness isn't something that exists, so you don't have to imagine it. Just imagine what exists instead, and don't worry about what doesn't exist. At any rate, that's my philosophy :-)

  4. Feb 23, 2010 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Nothingness?

    I think you want to talk to a Buddhist monk or something similar, not a bunch of physicists and engineers.
  5. Feb 23, 2010 #4
    Re: Nothingness?

    Some questions and many in physics have no exact answer. Nothing is zero, or as noted, an empty set. Is the color blue happy??

    Is time "empty"? I do not know; is space empty...apparently it is teeming with virtual particles, so it appears it is NOT "empty". What is an "empty" temperature? absolute zero; again I don't know, but that does not exists either....

    You might check "zero point energy" to get more a physicsts idea of empty space...
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