What Is the Fundamental Relationship Between Space and Matter?

• Protez
In summary, the conversation discusses the relationship between space and matter. The questions explore whether space is a property of matter or a distinct entity, and whether there can be space without matter or matter without space. The concept of general relativity is also brought up, which describes how gravity can distort space. Ultimately, the conversation raises more questions about the fundamental relationship between space and matter.
Protez
What is the essence of space? Is it a property of matter? If not, is it an entirely new stuff distinct from matter? If the former is true, why does space seem so homogeneous to us while the distribution of matter seems so uneven. If the latter is the case, what does it mean by the matter without space, or the space without matter? If both is not the case, what is the fundamental relationship between space and matter? Is the concept of space just a convenience without real substance? Then what does it mean by general relativity describing distortion of space due to gravity?

Pardon me, these may seem to be a bunch of dumb questions as I didn't study physics in college.

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There was an era in the universe when there was plenty of space but no matter. It was too hot for matter to condense out of energy.

Thank you for reply, Dave. I thought energy counts as matter, too. According to E=mc^2, matter and energy seem equivalent though they have different forms. Let me rephrase my question, is there a possibility of the space deprived of both energy and matter, "and" energy and matter without space?

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Protez said:
Thank you for reply, Dave. I thought energy counts as matter, too. According to E=mc^2, matter and energy seem equivalent though they have different forms.
It's true that there is an equivalency, but that does not mean that one is the other.

A one dollar bill and 100 pennies are equivalent, but that does not mean that 100 pennies can be folded into a sailboat.

Protez said:
Let me rephrase my question, is there a possibility of the space deprived of both energy and matter?
Even the erstwhile empty vacuum is seething with energy. It has been so since very shortly after the Big Bang.

So I don't really have an answer to your question, just more questions...

There are two notions of "space" in general relativity. There is the featureless smooth manifold on which everything occurs. Then on the manifold there is the "metric" field, and "matter" fields which include the electromagnetic field, which many would say is a force field, just like the metric field. The metric field can be used to provide notions of distance and time, and forms the other notion of "space" or more properly "spacetime" in general relativity. However, fundamentally, the metric field is just another force field produced by matter, just like the electromagnetic field is a force field produced by charged particles. Because the metric field is produced by matter, and also provides notions of distance and time, it is therefore said that matter curves spacetime.

1. Is space a physical property of matter?

No, space is not considered a physical property of matter. Physical properties refer to characteristics that can be observed or measured, such as mass, volume, and density. Space, on the other hand, is a concept that describes the three-dimensional extent in which matter exists.

2. Does matter create space?

No, matter does not create space. Space is a fundamental aspect of the universe and exists independently of matter. Matter simply occupies space and interacts with it through forces such as gravity.

3. Can space exist without matter?

Yes, space can exist without matter. This is known as empty space or vacuum. However, even empty space is not truly empty as it contains energy and particles that constantly pop in and out of existence.

4. How is space related to the properties of matter?

Space is related to the properties of matter in that it provides the framework in which matter can exist and interact. The properties of matter, such as mass and volume, determine how it occupies and interacts with space.

5. Is space infinite or finite?

The current scientific understanding is that space is infinite. However, the observable universe is finite, meaning that there is a limit to how much of the universe we can see due to the finite speed of light. The question of whether space is truly infinite or not is still a topic of ongoing research and debate.

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