What's 'nothing' ???

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by KneD, Jun 17, 2001.

  1. Hevene Registered Senior Member

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    Just want to point out that ether is proved not to exist years ago with the Michelson-Morley experiment in 1887. They tried to detect the motion of Earth relative to the ether using the phenomenon of the interference of light to measure the minute distance but no results were found which proved the ether to be non-existant. The reason for ether to exist at the first place was that the Greeks reasoned that in order for light to travel through space, there must be something to allow it to do so as they think it travels like sound waves - which we now know it's wrong. Through the experiment, they found the ether is not required for light to travel and it travels at constant speech, which is used by Einstein for his Theory of Relativity.
     
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  3. Alpha «Visitor» Registered Senior Member

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    Nothing is simply the absence of something.

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  5. Mr. G reality.sys Valued Senior Member

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    Nothing is simply the absence of something.

    So, we should be able to find nothing by looking for someplace where something is absent? Where?

    Now, Zero is something that mathematically represents nothing. And Nothing is the word used to represent the idea of the absense of something. But where in Nature can we actually find something absent that truly defines the actual existence of Nothing?

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  7. c'est moi all is energy and entropy Registered Senior Member

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    Re: The beginning...

    "And ofcourse, there is the debate of what is there outside the universe. Hmm...seen Men In Black? At the end, there is a riveting sequence in which it is implies that our universe is just contained in another universe, which is contained in another...etc. How visionary!"

    yep, and an Alien playing with it

    if it's like that, that's another question
     
  8. Mr. G reality.sys Valued Senior Member

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    there is the debate of what is there outside the universe.

    There is a post earlier in this thread relevent to your referenced debate.
     
  9. Jake Registered Member

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    Real Nothing

    If you consider Nothing is a void between somethings then Nothing is still a something.
    The only real Nothing you are likely to experience is when you die (unless there is an afterlife of course!)
     
  10. esp Registered Senior Member

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    908
    Jake, Bebelina,

    I concur.

    As soon as you try to define a nothing it becomes a something.
    If the universe is expanding then it must have limits. This being the case, outside the limits defined by the physical size of the universe you may say there is nothing. But the universe expands into it and so even this nothing becomes a something; 'what the universe is expanding into'.
     
  11. Alpha «Visitor» Registered Senior Member

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    It may be that in the real world there is no such thing as nothing. It may exist only as an abstract concept. Just like a paradox, or infinity.
     
  12. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    13,105
    King Canute in Viking Folklore wanted to show that he had reached a godlike state through his command, so much so that he sat on his throne on a shoreline and command the tide not to come in.

    Of course as it goes, the sea did come in and it tarnished his name.

    I look at this thread in the same respects.

    It's all very well to point at an area and say "It's nothingness, but a space, void of matter and energy" but as with the Tide if something was truly empty to the point of being oblivion, then the energy of the space that surrounds it would only too willingly like to fill that space.

    So as for many years before quantum mechanics and it's "Liquid" definitions continues, too look at space as a "Sea" of transversement. (or Zero-point energy)
     
  13. QuanRas Registered Member

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    More thoughts on nothingness...

    When discussing what lies 'outside' the physical universe, it seems ludicrous to me to talk about what happenned 'before' the big bang. Time is simply another dimension of the universe; it can only exist so long as the universe itself exists. We only percieve the passage of time because we are beings of this universe, just as we can only describe the motion of a particle in terms of the three dimensions we see, and no more. So I see it as odd to look for nothingness 'before' the creation of the universe.

    Looking inside the universe for nothing makes just as little sense(as several of you have already pointed out), because even in the absence of matter, energy exists, so 'something' is still there.

    I think the problem here is that we're looking for an ABSOLUTE nothing. I don't think such a thing exists, only relative 'nothings'. Just as there are no absolute positions or velocities in the universe, only relative ones. When speaking of the number of atoms (for instance) in a tube, it has a quantity. But so does the amount of energy, light, etc. One could reduce any of these quantities to zero, procuding a relative zero, but to attempt to reduce all the values to zero wouldn't work.


    Just a thought from a newbie =)
    Enjoy
     
  14. razz Registered Senior Member

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    Nothing

    Ok correct me if im wrong but ...

    we as humans dont have the ablity to conceive the idea of nothing, unfortunately its one of the limitations of our mind.

    I dont care how much you talk or how well educated you are , if you can describe what nothing is exactly.....
    Then you just described something, therefore, its not nothing after all, and you just wasted your time talking about something.

    example......

    close your eyes, imagine nothing, then when you have it clearly pictured, remember you just thought of something, IE: a black space or something clear... ermm correct me if im wrong but .....these are somethings.

    Nothingness is beyond our comprehension.

    let that one sink in and bake ya noodel

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    cheers
     
  15. esp Registered Senior Member

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    Re: Nothing

    That's exactly what I meant. The act of defining a nothing makes it a thing, at least as far as human perception is concerned.

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  16. Ankit The Angel Registered Senior Member

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    I would just like to mention these points:

    1. The post that c'est moi referred to was posted by myself (plagiarist!) and its purpose was to illustrate not only the value of art in science (since art is the nucleus of science) but also an interesting concept.

    2. Secondly, this fascinating issue of "nothing" has reared its rather complicated head. There is no such thing as nothing, in my opinion. Possibly a black hole, but I doubt it. It may not actually be a "hole"...rather, the concept of nothing is something derived from Plato & Archimedes in an artistic colour, rather than quantum mechanic. The absence of something is surely impossible? Even in a vacuum there is what we used to call the Boson (recently disproved)...surely something is there...? The concept of zero was invented by we Indians, but it was not supposed to be taken thus...mathematics and physics are the furthest away they ever can be here.

    3. And why do people insist on saying that time could not have existed before the universe? Of course, the mathematical singularity at the beginning of the universe (where Einstein's theories disintegrate in order of effectiveness) cancels out the mere chance of calculating anything, so we are left with almost purely scientific-philosophical questions. For example, can there be time without space (as in the universe)?The space time continuum is one of mankind's most profound discoveries, immediately cancelling the idea of time existing without space...but I wonder...?

    Perhaps, as Razz mentioned, we (humans, atleast those sans the IQ of Einstein's) do not have the mental capacity of thought to consider nothingness and solely time separately. Perhaps if one had about 150 more IQ points than Einstein...Nothingness is nothing yet so much.

    Thatz all for today people.
     
  17. tetra Hello Registered Senior Member

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    "nothing" doesn't exist. The word exixts to describe the abscense of anything of real value at the time.

    If you get rid of all the atoms/quarks/beta/alpha/leptons/etc etc, you still have a whole zoo of things that we know exist but we cannot locate (i.e. gravity)

    Once you get past that, you have Superstrings, intersecting dimensions, blah blah blah.
     
  18. Raion Registered Member

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    "Space is not empty". Yes, it is a vacuum, but I think now that humans can create a vacuum that is emptier than space, which means that the vacuum the humans create and space and still not completely empty. There is no nothingness now.
    Whether the light came out or nothingness in the beginning may well have been, we may never know, since we only have instruments that can only look back so far, and then there is a gap and I do not think that anyone will be able to actually 'see' the early Universe of the Big Bang!
    Different instruments may be used in the upper or lower limit of the electo-magnetic spectrum which is what Einstein worked with on his famous Law of Relativity and Special Relativity.
    E= MC^2 is about the electro-magnetic spectrum.

    Space is not empty, something like a hygrogen atom, (the basic building block of the Universe, the simplest atom) every something like 2.5cm.
     
  19. some_guy01 Registered Senior Member

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    pure "nothing" does not exist(might in the distant future but not now). simple as that
     
  20. Mr_Japio Registered Member

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    Hmmm....

    So, Zen was right afterall....

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  21. Alpha «Visitor» Registered Senior Member

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    Technically Even a vacuum isn't empty. Look up zero point energy.
     
  22. Empty space is made from matter with the least amount of energy. Therefore, if you had space you would have something. If you want to find "nothing", go to the end of the universe, where space is just begining to form.

    Tom
     
  23. Alpha «Visitor» Registered Senior Member

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    It doesn't work that way.
    There is no "edge of the universe."
     

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