3
   

NOT much ado about "nothing"

 
 
bob600
 
Reply Sun 21 Nov, 2010 02:15 pm
Has there been much investigation into "nothing" and if so what is the current position. See my thoughts below, I would appreciate comments as to the validity or foolishness of same:-

Some thoughts on nothing
The more I think about it, one of the most important areas of investigation for scientists should be “nothing” yet it would appear that very little thought or scientific investigation is being focused on “nothing”.

By that I don’t mean they should sit about and drink tea doing pointless crossword puzzles. I mean they should be investigating something that is the very foundation of existence itself. “NOTHING”

The Taoist philosopher Lao Tse wrote.
Thirty spokes meet in the hub,
but the empty space between them
is the essence of the wheel.

Pots are formed from clay,
but the empty space between it
is the essence of the pot.

Walls with windows and doors form the house,
but the empty space within it
is the essence of the house

From this we can conclude that it is not the matter/energy construct of the Universe that makes it the Universe, but the “nothing” between the matter/energy that is the true essence of the Universe.

Grammatically, the word "nothing" is an indefinite pronoun, which means that it refers to something, so even at that level, “nothing” is something.

The philosopher Leucippus (early 5th century BC), basing his conclusions on his observations of everyday motion and change, suggested, quite logically, that there could be no motion without a “nothing” to move in. This in itself makes “nothing” a logical “something” and as such Leucippus was the first to state that "nothing" has some sort of a reality attached to it.

On the subject of philosophers, the old philosophical question of “Why is there something rather than nothing?” misses the point that “nothing” is just another form of something, so there is only something.

There are a few states that we might initially consider “nothing”, for example:-

Non existence, this can be confused with “nothing” so best to get this out of the way first. Non existence is not “nothing” in any shape or form, it’s certainly not a “state” it’s simply not existing. This is a truly infinite concept, as there are an infinite number of things that don’t exist. In fact non existence itself does not exist, as it’s simply a human concept, while “nothing” actually does exist as a “state” regardless of the impossibility of human observation. To see it means it contains something in order to make it observational, which instantly destroys its “nothing” status.

An empty space, inside a glass jar with nothing in it, for example, would seem to represent nothing, but as its really full of energy, particles, protons, various molecules, atoms, and minute bits of matter to small for the eye to see it actually contains quite a lot, and can’t be considered as being anywhere close to “nothing”

A Vacuum, this form of nothing is simply a space that has been evacuated of all air and other atom based matter, but just to view it must still contain protons which are passing through it, plus other radiating particles, radio waves, gravity, etc. So again this is not exactly “nothing” as it is a space filled with something, certainly lots of movement of energetic particles.

A Quantum Vacuum, is a sort of vacuum state that contains no physical particles at all, but does contain a seething mass of energy, going in and out of existence continuously and very rapidly, so fast that it does not violate the law of conservation of mass/energy that says you don’t get something from nothing. This is thought to be created by particles and antiparticle popping in and out of existence, cancelling each other out creating energy. Again it’s not truly nothing as it contains considerable amounts of energy.

“Nothing”, so take away the air, the particles, and the energy, and you then truly have “nothing” and this is the true foundation for all existence, it certainly is not non existence, as something actually exists in a form ready to receive energy, particles and the like. So true “nothing” is actually “something”, a sort of potential container for all the various “something’s” connected with existence.

I must admit at this stage to the possibility that “nothing” as described above does not in fact exist, and that the state of “nothing” without the energy does not exist. If that is the case then it would be the Vacuum energy that is actually “nothing”, and in that context could not be separated from “nothing” being the same thing.

In many ways it is irrelevant as to whether or not Vacuum energy and “nothing” are one or two separate things, but it would be nice to know which is the true state of affairs.

Based on the law of conservation of energy. Which states that, “energy can neither be created (produced) nor destroyed by itself, it can only be transformed”. My money is on two separate states, even if only based on the logic that energy can be transformed and as such taken from and added to anything, so logically it can also be transformed and taken from a quantum vacuum leaving only the state of “nothing” ready to absorb more energy.

The consideration of “nothing” may cast some light on the current confusion over the accelerating nature of the expansion of the Universe, with various theories being put forward to explain what is driving this accelerating expansion, something which does fit in with the standard understanding of the “big bang” that allegedly created the Universe. The current prevailing theory being “black energy” is driving the expansion of the Universe, this “black energy” seems to be a companion to “black matter” something which seems to make up 90% of the Universe.

Problem is no one has a clue as to what “black matter” or “black energy” actually is, but the argument goes, “whatever it is it must be there as something is messing up our (scientists) calculations which are based on various unshakable laws of physics”

It’s a bit like Sir Isaac Newton saying that the apple fell from the tree because an invisible undetectable being pulled it from the tree and placed it on the ground. Clearly that theory would fit the facts, should we believe in the possibility of invisible, undetectable beings that move stuff about. But this is the 21st century, and we don’t believe in things like that now, we have moved into a more scientific era, now we believe in the possibility of invisible, undetectable stuff that moves stuff about. Right.

Perhaps there is another explanation, it may be possible that the Universe is not being driven outwards at an ever expanding rate, its being “pulled” outwards, not pushed.

One alternative explanation is that our Universe exists like a bubble floating in an infinite amount of “nothing”, and the nature of nothing seems to be that should any “something” be anywhere near, it will be drawn into it. As the Universe would be surrounded by “nothing” then the boundaries of the Universe would be sucked into this infinite nothing at the speed of light and just as the skin of a balloon will expand outwards faster than the centre when being inflated, the speed of inflation will slow down the closer to the centre of the Universe you observe, in fact the exact centre of the Universe (which, again is only a concept, as there is no actual centre, but that’s another story) will either not be expanding at all, or, if it is, at the very least infinitely slowly.

So what happens next? Logically it would seem that the boundaries of the Universe would continue to expand at the speed of light dragging the rest behind it, thinning out the Universe as it goes until the Universe, as we know it, would simply consist of of individual atoms, protons and bursts of energy drifting further and further apart in an ever thinning quantum vacuum.

Perhaps, after an almost infinite period of time, this dilution of the Universe will become so great that in fact all that in practice is left is an infinite “nothing” primed and ready to trigger whatever natural law it is that abhors such an infinite “nothing” and produce another “big bang”. So the saying, based on years of observation of the natural state of things, "nature abhors a vacuum" may be even truer than we think.

One possible mechanism that could bring about this recurring “big bang” could be curvature, not space curvature, which was once a popular theory to explain the infinite size of the universe, but fell out of favour. But curvature of “something” moving through a medium.

Assume that anything moving through space in an expanding Universe as described above had a slight natural curve at an angle to its line of travel, so small that current science has yet to detect it. The reason? call it a yet undiscovered natural law.

That being the case, then eventually that “something” be it matter or energy would arrive back from where it started, in the case of the Universe the location of the “big bang”

All that matter and energy arriving at one small point at the speed of light would create something that physics could not yet describe, but for the sake of argument call it a super stupendous black hole, pulling everything into it, including the very energy underlying the quantum vacuum, leaving only the super black hole in the middle of pure “nothing”

A black hole that by its very mass is constricted into a nearly infinitely small size, that at some stage cannot get any smaller and explodes into the “nothing” creating the Universe once again.

This “big bang” creating in turn another expanding Universe, a “big bang” that, should this theory be correct is, and was, only one of an infinite number of “big bangs”

The ability to create and influence the “big bang” could explain another possible feature of “nothing”, this could be the ability of “something” to move in it faster than the speed of light.

Light is considered as a constant only because it always moves at approx 186 thousand miles per second in a vacuum, the quantum vacuum of space.
However in air it’s a bit slower say 180 thousand miles a second, in water its approx 140 thousand miles a second, while in glass its 124 thousand miles a second.

So what I hear you say, well, the facts would suggest that as the speed of light varies depending on the medium it’s travelling in a downwards direction, why should the 186 thousand miles a second be the fastest it can travel in an upward direction.

Logic dictates that the denser the material the slower light travels, but the medium that is considered the medium that light can move the fastest in also contains something that light must negotiate in its journey, the energy underlying that quantum vacuum. This energy must affect light in some way, and that effect is to slow it down.

So if 186 thousand miles a second is the speed light is slowed down to by the energy in the quantum vacuum, then it has a potential to go faster.
So what happens if the energy in the quantum vacuum is not there and there is just pure “nothing”, logically light will travel faster.

Now, bearing that in mind, consider one of the puzzles of the big bang, how the Universe got so big in such a short space of time. It’s called “Inflation” and for all the calculations to work it has to assume that in the first split seconds of the creation of the Universe it needed to expand faster than the speed of light.

But how could that be? Nothing moves faster than the speed of light, but remember, that’s in a quantum vacuum. What if at the initial stages of the expansion of the Universe it was expanding into pure “nothing”, and it would be logical to assume that before the creation of energy or matter there was just “nothing” so the speed of light would be a lot faster.

Then as the Universe expanded thus creating “something” in “nothing” that very something put the quantum drag on light and slowed it back down to 186 thousand miles a second.

Thus in the first few split seconds of the Universe it expanded faster than the speed of light, before settling down to the more mundane speed of 186 thousand miles a second.

I would suggest that this is a more logical theory for the unexplained expansion than the many so far postulated.
 
north
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2010 04:04 pm
@bob600,
bob600 wrote:

Has there been much investigation into "nothing" and if so what is the current position. See my thoughts below, I would appreciate comments as to the validity or foolishness of same:-

Some thoughts on nothing
The more I think about it, one of the most important areas of investigation for scientists should be “nothing” yet it would appear that very little thought or scientific investigation is being focused on “nothing”.

By that I don’t mean they should sit about and drink tea doing pointless crossword puzzles. I mean they should be investigating something that is the very foundation of existence itself. “NOTHING”

The Taoist philosopher Lao Tse wrote.
Thirty spokes meet in the hub,
but the empty space between them
is the essence of the wheel.

Pots are formed from clay,
but the empty space between it
is the essence of the pot.

Walls with windows and doors form the house,
but the empty space within it
is the essence of the house

From this we can conclude that it is not the matter/energy construct of the Universe that makes it the Universe, but the “nothing” between the matter/energy that is the true essence of the Universe.


its just about space



0 Replies
 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2010 04:12 pm
@bob600,
What we assign as nothing could have something. Simply because we cannot or unwilling to detect it does not mean it doesn't exist e.g. we assumed nothing lived in the deserts but scientists now show a myriad of life forms eke out a living in inhospitable deserts.
north
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2010 04:22 pm
@talk72000,
talk72000 wrote:

What we assign as nothing could have something. Simply because we cannot or unwilling to detect it does not mean it doesn't exist e.g. we assumed nothing lived in the deserts but scientists now show a myriad of life forms eke out a living in inhospitable deserts.


agreed and thats the thing about nothing , is that , if nothing comes about , manifests , then this so called nothing was something in the first place

inotherwords nothing cannot ever produce something
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2010 04:26 pm
bob600
You seriously need to read the book "House of Leaves"

It will forever change your idea of what nothing, and empty space is.
north
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2010 04:37 pm
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:

bob600
You seriously need to read the book "House of Leaves"

It will forever change your idea of what nothing, and empty space is.


why ?
north
 
  0  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 01:24 am
@north,
north wrote:

chai2 wrote:

bob600
You seriously need to read the book "House of Leaves"

It will forever change your idea of what nothing, and empty space is.


why ?


I'm not going to read this book unless you give me a very good reason why I should

roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 01:33 am
@north,
That's fine, but I don't see your discussion going very far if you don't.
north
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 02:24 am
@roger,
roger wrote:

That's fine, but I don't see your discussion going very far if you don't.


it goes as far as those who want to discuss and understand
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  3  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 06:21 am
wow, calm down North.

first off, I wasn't making the suggestion to you.
read it or not, I don't care.
it was a suggestion, not a command.
actually, it wasn't even a suggestion, but rather a well intentioned and friendly comment.

secondly, I just now read both those posts, and I notice there were 9 hours between the 2.

During that time, I was doing a little something called "getting ready for bed and sleeping"

and a good, good morning to you too.
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 07:31 am
@bob600,
Quote:
The Taoist philosopher Lao Tse wrote.
Thirty spokes meet in the hub,
but the empty space between them
is the essence of the wheel.

Pots are formed from clay,
but the empty space between it
is the essence of the pot.

Walls with windows and doors form the house,
but the empty space within it
is the essence of the house


We could perhaps say that "the empty space" refers to the function the thing has. There would be no empty space between if there weren't 30 spokes to divide the emptiness.

Music isn't about sound. It's about sound and silence in specific intervals.

There isn't much to be gained by exploring "nothing" since everything that can be understood about it comes from "reverse engineering" experiences of "something".
0 Replies
 
bob600
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2010 03:01 pm
I'm not certain if anyone is actually grasping the concept of "nothing" its not space, that's just an illusion of nothing, useful as it is. Its calculable as the logical progression from something to nothing, and its actually turns out to be "something" in fact it would appear that there is no such thing as nothing as its actually something, its a vessel that contains more something. Given that its the container for the entire universe it needs to be rated with greater importance that it is.
0 Replies
 
 

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