It depends on the definitions you use. For instance, what is density? The ratio of mass and volume (mass/volume = density). But wait, what is mass? One definition is "a measure of how much matter is in an object," which creates some problems to say the least. A similar thing happens when we try to define energy. What is energy? The classic definition is, "the capacity to do work." But wait, what is work? "The energy exerted in applying a force over a distance." Hmm, that too creates some circularity problems. (You can go to Merriam-Webster's dictionary and look up both energy definition 3 and work definition 2c if you want to verify my claims.) In reality, there is no fully satisfactory definition of energy (much like "life" in biology). The same might be true for matter.Temporarily Blah said:"Matter is anything with density."
Why is that so hard to understand, unless i'm missing something?
I agree, I dont think this answer will be achieved using a system such as english to describe the universe to the most fundamental level, atleast presently. I, for one, do not really believe we even have the ability to understand matter at the most fundamental level and truly grasp what it "is" for certain. It is just something that when probing deeper and deeper into, the more confused one seems to be. Just like one is to ask 'What exactly is time?' It just can't be done within the universe. Wait until you leave this system someday and ask that question, it may be answerable. But would it then even matter? If it does not matter, why are we concerned about it now. Here we go again. Circularity problems.Tisthammerw said:. A similar thing happens when we try to define energy. What is energy? The classic definition is, "the capacity to do work." But wait, what is work? "The energy exerted in applying a force over a distance." Hmm, that too creates some circularity problems.
I'm not sure I 100% agree with you on that one. I do agree that electromagnetic forces are the main constituent of why, for example, I do not "go through" the very chair I'm sitting in and go right into the center of the earth. Because the gravitational force acting on my body is almost infinitesimally smaller (something like a billion, billion times smaller) than the electromagnetic forces that are acting also. Thus, theoretically if someone could "punch" hard enough there could be actual collision. However, that is well beyond what any human can do for sure. But a certain older experiment tells me otherwise, with the gold foil and shooting alpha particles at the thin gold foil. The alpha particles would "bounce" off only when hitting the dense nucleus of the atom. And I strongly disbelieve they were opposite charges. I think in that experiment there was actual collision. But if not, correct me.azneternity said:There is no matter, nothing is solid. When you punch a wall, your hand is not even touching the wall. Nothing solid is actually striking each other.
Well, science tells us that we have a good estimate or idea of what 'Matter' is. In philosophy nearly 99.99% of the time is devoted to defining things. That is, finding the exact or perfect definition of a given term of reality. The whole project is turned on its head when we turn philosophisical attention to Metaphysics - a branch of philosophy which questions the fundamental nature of things, relations and quantities. When hair-splitting questions such as (1) what things really exist?, (2) what categories of things are there?, (3) what relations do things really maintain between them, given that we know what things exist in the first place?, and so on, here your guess is as good as anyone else's.vague said:
I would submit that no collision takes place, at least not in the physical sense. What azneternity may be trying to get across is that matter is composed of nothing at all, that on the fundamental level all constituents are no more than geometrical embodiments (conceptual entities).Lifter0569 said:But a certain older experiment tells me otherwise, with the gold foil and shooting alpha particles at the thin gold foil. The alpha particles would "bounce" off only when hitting the dense nucleus of the atom. And I strongly disbelieve they were opposite charges. I think in that experiment there was actual collision. But if not, correct me.
One might just as well say that the breaking apart is the result of close proximity (still no collision).Also, what about particle acceleraters? They send particles without opposite charges hurling at near the speed of light and collide and they precisely measure what occurs and how they "break apart" into their smaller constituents. That does not seem like repulsion to me.
On the contrary we have no proof of solid constituency unless you are prepared to show solid constituents on the fundamental level, and last I heard no such animal exist. This leaves the possibility of non-physical open for discussion.The whole idea of everything in the universe not having any kind of solid constituent kind of strikes me as illogical.
Empty space to me is as busy as any other location in the universe. Matter to me is the location of the foci of fundamental geometric entities, space is merely the extension of those foci.I do realize a major percentage of all the universe is actual empty space
Mass - The kind that is no more than a geometric embodiment of nothing at all, does not displace anything. This is because all of nothing is shared. If the universe is descibe as a non-physical entity, one must throw displacement out the window in favor of conceptual understandings. In other words - If the universe is not a physical entity.............Physics cannot be used to explain it.The amount of matter or mass of an entity would then just turn into the volume that an entity displaces, but how is an entity to displace nothing if they are composed of nothing.
There obviously is matter. Consider the definition that first pops up on dictionary.com:azneternity said:There is no matter, nothing is solid.
So the concept of matter is not crucially dependent on the concept of solidity, and matter does indeed exist.1. a. Something that occupies space and can be perceived by one or more senses; a physical body, a physical substance, or the universe as a whole.
b. Physics. Something that has mass and exists as a solid, liquid, gas, or plasma.
From Einstein, we know that matter can be defined in words as "energy divided by speed of light squared" (M = E / c^2). This seems like a very direct and useful definition of matter. From this we see that matter must in fact exist, otherwise neither would energy exist, for we cannot have energy that is not matter moving very fast indeed.vague said:Why is matter so hard to define. Care to venture ideas? i need some...