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# In a total empty infinitely huge void could one move?

Tue 10 Mar, 2009 04:26 pm
Hi,

In my musings I have thought about speed and the logic of movement in a hypothetical totally empty, vacuum. void of infinite dimensions.

The void must be thought of as absolutely devoid of everything, light, energy, matter Think about total black darkness in every direction , stretching outwards into infinity

So in a mind experiment we construct a space craft and place it in the void. This space vehicle can exceed the speed of light, indeed it can accelerate right up to a speed of infinity.

So the space craft captain starts up his huge engine and drives the vehicle at maximum speed (infinity) in the direction of his headlights, outwards, into the abyssimal empty infinite eternal darkness.

Now the question , has the spacecraft moved?

If you think it has then to where has it moved?

Lets take it from there , I would be interested in your responses , if any
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proV

1
Tue 10 Mar, 2009 05:17 pm
@Alan McDougall,
If you take into account Newton's law of action and reaction, than the vehicle would need to "throw" or push something (let's call it rocket fuel) back through it's motors to push itself forward.

Based on the relative distance between the fuel and the rocket (if you could somehow measure it), relative speed and relative location could be calculated.

If there would be no need to follow that law, and the rocket would not need to push the fuel back, there would be no other things (matter for example) to relate to. Because of the void there would also be no outside forces acting on it. As/(if) the observer is inside the space craft, then I believe by definition, he can only be at rest.
Holiday20310401

1
Tue 10 Mar, 2009 06:55 pm
@proV,
Without space there can be no speed. In fact, if you consider the implications of extension, and that we don't consider a void to be the same as nothingness, then wouldn't there have to be a set of conditions which implies the potential (though not necessarily) for matter. Matter after all is just emergent on a set of conditions. And I'm assuming speed here is relative to matter-objects.

If you set 1 object (say your spaceship example) into a void, then it could not possibly have a velocity. It would behave in an all or none sort of way. You could say it moves at an infinite velocity, because what other conditions are there to relate to say it is not moving? But then you could say movement transcends the potential the object really has, because well... velocity requires relative objects. The object, if the only object, (thus the only condition in this "void") cannot therefore have zero movement, because that implies a value. Zero is not the opposite of infinity.

Although... perhaps I am wrong in this dichotomy, because I'm kind of treating the void itself as an object, which is fallacious, but then it begs the question, what is a void?
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nameless

1
Tue 10 Mar, 2009 08:42 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;52931 wrote:

Now the question , has the spacecraft moved?

First, if you and your craft exist, then the space in which you exist can no longer be considered a complete vaccuum.
Second, all notion of motion is relative. Without something to measure against, an accepted standard (any reference point), you cannot be considered in mnotion. Going 'faster than light' (if possible) would be no different than going the speed of a slug through the morning dew! There would/could be no 'going'!
You could never know whether you were 'at rest' (there can be no such concept!) or 'in motion' (there can be no such concept!), period, without a relative frame of reference.
Any such notions as 'rest' or 'motion' remains unmanifested potential.
Alan McDougall

1
Wed 11 Mar, 2009 12:04 am
@nameless,
Hey Guys I must commend all of you for excellent maybe profound responses:bigsmile:

nameless

Quote:

First, if you and your craft exist, then the space in which you exist can no longer be considered a complete vaccuum.
Second, all notion of motion is relative. Without something to measure against, an accepted standard (any reference point), you cannot be considered in mnotion. Going 'faster than light' (if possible) would be no different than going the speed of a slug through the morning dew! There would/could be no 'going'!

This is a thought experiment and we can imagine anything we like, even if it is far out there. Einstein who was much smarter than me imagined himself riding on a beam of light for example

I agree with you that without any reference point to state that something is in motion is meaningless. Great response, however!

proV

Quote:
Based on the relative distance between the fuel and the rocket (if you could somehow measure it), relative speed and relative location could be calculated.

If there would be no need to follow that law, and the rocket would not need to push the fuel back, there would be no other things (matter for example) to relate to. Because of the void there would also be no outside forces acting on it. As/(if) the observer is inside the space craft, then I believe by definition, he can only be at rest.

Relative speed and location would have no meaning if you and your spacecraft were the only objects that exist would, they?

Holiday20310401

Quote:
Without space there can be no speed. In fact, if you consider the implications of extension, and that we don't consider a void to be the same as nothingness, then wouldn't there have to be a set of conditions which implies the potential (though not necessarily) for matter. Matter after all is just emergent on a set of conditions. And I'm assuming speed here is relative to matter-objects.

Yes the void in this thought experiment is a total empty vacuum, not the impossibly to state nothingness. Nothingness is the absence of everything!

The best description for the void in this thought problem is an absolutely empty vacuum devoid of everything except three dimensional space

Quote:

If you set 1 object (say your spaceship example) into a void, then it could not possibly have a velocity. It would behave in an all or none sort of way. You could say it moves at an infinite velocity, because what other conditions are there to relate to say it is not moving? But then you could say movement transcends the potential the object really has, because well... velocity requires relative objects. The object, if the only object, (thus the only condition in this "void") cannot therefore have zero movement, because that implies a value. Zero is not the opposite of infinity.

I tend to agree the spacecraft pilot might think he is moving somewhere due to the vibrations and noises coming from the engines of his vehicle, but this is just an illusion of movement or is it?

We could try this experiment from a different angle if you like. The earth revolves on its axis at a 1000 miles per hour, around the sun at 60 thousand miles per hour, the sun revolves around the galaxy at 160 thousand miles per hour, the galaxy is moving towards the Andromeda galaxy at a million miles per hour and the whole bunch are moving outward due to the expansion of the universe at a huge rate of almost half the speed of light

Please guys this is just an approximation gleaned from memory.

All this interacting twisted intertwined movement makes the earth appear to be moving is a crazy way through the universe. Much like a twisted fishing knotted reel

So start removing, first the other galaxies and matter besides ours, then all the stars and matter in our galaxy.

Leaving our solar system as the only one in a vast and lonely universe

Then remove all the other planets, sun and matter from the universe. The earth is now embraced by the eternal abysmal dark alone in the vast empty vacuum void

Where as before its movements relative to all the abjects in the universe were twisted, convoluted and complex and almost at half light speed.

The earth is now totally alone!

Has it stopped??

Does it still move?
proV

1
Wed 11 Mar, 2009 04:59 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall wrote:

Yes the void in this thought experiment is a total empty vacuum, not the impossibly to state nothingness. Nothingness is the absence of everything!

The best description for the void in this thought problem is an absolutely empty vacuum devoid of everything except three dimensional space

The problem with that is I believe, that this void or vacuum as you call it, still has properties. You can call it space-time or aether or whatever. Except the space ship there would really need to be nothingness.

Also this hypothetical question has no links with reality because in our universe anything affects everything. You can not remove everything except the Earth and then assume the Earth to remain the same.

Alan McDougall wrote:

The earth is now totally alone!

Has it stopped??

Does it still move?

The Earth doesn't really move. Rather the whole universe is spinning around it. Earth is still and is the center of the universe. Actually the center of the universe is exactly at my head. The proof for that is that the "edge" of the universe is the same in all directions from it. :sarcastic:
xris

1
Wed 11 Mar, 2009 07:04 am
@proV,
What about a box a big big box..Inside the box there is absolutely nothing..I mean nothing..no cats dead or alive, nothing..Does time exist in that box , does the space exist in that box..Confining a space does it exist because of its confinement??????
proV

1
Wed 11 Mar, 2009 09:08 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
What about a box a big big box..Inside the box there is absolutely nothing..I mean nothing..no cats dead or alive, nothing..Does time exist in that box , does the space exist in that box..Confining a space does it exist because of its confinement??????

I guess it again depends on the definitons of time. But as there is no absolute universal time clock found and today's measurement of time is based on matter and energy, you could say time (and space) do not exist in the box.
xris

1
Wed 11 Mar, 2009 09:23 am
@proV,
proV wrote:
I guess it again depends on the definitons of time. But as there is no absolute universal time clock found and today's measurement of time is based on matter and energy, you could say time (and space) do not exist in the box.
But the trouble is if we have nothing in the box how can we have something surrounding nothing..I can see beyond the event horizon there is nothing.Its like saying as the universe expands and nothing is left from where it started the nothing is chasing the something, a bit like a donut.Did that make sense?:perplexed:The trouble is you cant observe nothing the something gets in the way..
proV

1
Wed 11 Mar, 2009 10:00 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
But the trouble is if we have nothing in the box how can we have something surrounding nothing

You probably could say you have no time and space (hypotheticaly) if you ignore the edge of the big box and its outside. That is what I was refering to.

As to the universe, I don't believe it expands into nothingness or vice versa so I have this problem solved. :sarcastic: I wouldn't know how to answer your question otherwise.
xris

1
Wed 11 Mar, 2009 10:11 am
@proV,
proV wrote:
You probably could say you have no time and space (hypotheticaly) if you ignore the edge of the big box and its outside. That is what I was refering to.

As to the universe, I don't believe it expands into nothingness or vice versa so I have this problem solved. :sarcastic: I wouldn't know how to answer your question otherwise.
It depends how explain nothing as there is no such thing as nothing yes your right, but nothing is the limit of something.The universe is finite and so it must be described but its like my box in reverse how do describe something without it having perimeters.If you say the universe is a billion light years across and growing you are describing the nothing that is beyond .For the life of me however much i try i can not imagine this absolute nothing, it always becomes a void.
proV

1
Wed 11 Mar, 2009 10:19 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
The universe is finite...

There is no real proof for that.
xris

1
Wed 11 Mar, 2009 10:27 am
@proV,
proV wrote:
There is no real proof for that.
As i go on the assumption that the universe appeared or should i say advanced into recognisable significance and manifested itself with the BB...I must assume as it started with boundaries it must have them now. If it is not finite, you have to describe infinity and that is not possible either.
proV

1
Wed 11 Mar, 2009 10:42 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
I must assume as it started with boundaries it must have them now. If it is not finite, you have to describe infinity and that is not possible either.
:a-ok:

But if you go with finity you first have to explain finity but with that you don't exclude infinity just yet.

If there is one edge, there could be many edges -> ...Something, nothing, something, nothing... ad infinitum.
xris

1
Wed 11 Mar, 2009 10:57 am
@proV,
proV wrote:
:a-ok:

But if you go with finity you first have to explain finity but with that you don't exclude infinity just yet.

If there is one edge, there could be many edges -> ...Something, nothing, something, nothing... ad infinitum.
Sorry but the universe does not describe infinity only the universe we exist in.We have only this universe to examine and by that it describes a finite universe , with boundaries.No one has found a box yet because something keeps getting in the way.
0 Replies

nameless

1
Wed 11 Mar, 2009 03:56 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;52982 wrote:

nameless

This is a thought experiment and we can imagine anything we like, even if it is far out there. Einstein who was much smarter than me imagined himself riding on a beam of light for example

It is called a 'gedanken experiment', only performable in the mind. Be that as it may, even in a gedanken experiment, one cannot have something where there is nothing. A simple re-wording of your hypothesis will take care of that little problem; "Imagine a completely empty 'space/void' (excepting our presence in a vessel),..."
Peace
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Alan McDougall

1
Thu 12 Mar, 2009 03:41 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Hey guys

Maybe the space craft becomes everything in this situation, it has nothing esle relative to it
Exebeche

1
Thu 12 Mar, 2009 04:56 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall wrote:
Hey guys

Maybe the space craft becomes everything in this situation, it has nothing esle relative to it

This would in fact have been my answer.

The whole question is kind of related to Newton's problem who has already been wondering about the water in a bucket.
How is the water in a rotating bucket going to behave if the surrounding universe is completely empty?
Newton of course was mostly concerned about the mass and gravity in the universe.
A couple of centuries later Ernst Mach answered the question by saying:
There would be no rotation.
If the universe was empty, the bucket would be the only existing thing, there is nothing it can relate to, as some of you already mentioned.
So it simply can not rotate.
Regardless if one wants to agree to this perspective, it is a statement by somebody who is widely respected as an important physicist.
My personal point of view is in fact that this bucket, being the only thing that exists IS the universe.
The particles in it can relate to each other.
If you started rotating the bucket itself in relation to the water still it wouldn't be rotating towards an outside world.
In fact it would be impossible to tell if it's the bucket that moves or the water in it.
This would lead to the assumption that in fact there is no absolute movement but in fact every movement depends on the things that it is related to, or in other words it's all relative.
Could it be that OUR universe is a bucket?
Alan McDougall

1
Fri 13 Mar, 2009 06:10 am
@Exebeche,
Exebeche :bigsmile:

Thanks for a great response, this is really a philosophical type question and that is the reason I posted it here on out philosophical forum.

I posed this very same question on a science forum and got almost zero feedback

Think about reversing time, right back to before the big bang. The almost vanishing infinitely tiny singularity was everything.

So what we call macro or huge or tiny and quantum tiny are just reflections of our very limited human reasoning and perspectives

1
Fri 13 Mar, 2009 04:29 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Hmmmm
I would assume that a void must be void of everything including the laws of physics. Placing a ship into the void would either make the void the ship, like above, which i really liked, or make the ship void, or both. In danger of getting reall Hitchhiker's Guid on people. A void would likely have infinite probabilities, or and abscence of all probability.

So I would assume that placing a ship into a void would make the ship a void. One can't say that it becomes part of the void, because a void really can't be divided. It all or nothing.
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