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Author Topic: Do voids of 'nothing' exist at either the Quantum or Universe scale  (Read 2756 times)

Offline Fluid_thinker

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It seems a Vacuum is not 'nothing' as it is made of matter and antimatter particles, which in a vacuum state they cancel each other out.

So, a Vacuum is not 'nothing'.

Is there anything that suggests 'Nothing' exists at the quantum scale or at the Universe scale (e.g. Voids, although these appear to be vacuums and not nothing).

Or is it a philosophical definition of what is Nothing?


 

Offline evan_au

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"Nature abhors a vacuum" is attributed to Aristotle.

With what we know about Cosmic Background Radiation, the Casimir effect and Dark Energy, you would have to say that modern physics almost agrees with him on this point.

As a working definition, I would have to say that a vacuum is a relative thing:
  • If you study the path of alpha particles through gold foil, as Rutherford's students did, you would say that despite its density, gold is a pretty good vacuum.
  • If you study the path of air molecules, you would have to say that the air we breathe is mostly void.
  • The solar wind is far more sparse, and intergalactic space even more so.
  • On the larger scale, cosmologists imagine the universe to be something like a sponge, with the galaxies forming the thin walls, and most of the volume being taken up by large voids. But even these voids will be suffused with the glow of the CMBR.
     
I heard that one of the best man-made experimental vacuums was created by an artificial satellite in Earth orbit. Despite the fact that it was orbiting through the outer regions of Earth's atmosphere, the bulk of the spacecraft pushed this air out of the way, leaving a very "hard" vacuum behind it, which was used for conducting experiments.
 

Offline jccc

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according to Coulomb's law, space is fill with em force.

if your detector is good enough, you'll find no space is nothingness.

if the whole space has only 1 electron, the whole space becomes em field. f=ke x 1/r^2.

seems very basic science, why so much confusing?
 

Offline sciconoclast

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Is any one willing to accept that just as energy and matter are the same thing configured differently, that energy, matter, and space could be the same thing configured differently. And, that the concepts of nothing and something are misconceptions humans evolved to enable them to interact with their sensory environment.

This concept has been around for a long time. In keeping with the prior reference to ancient Greece; Democritus of Clazomenae theorized that atoms ( not the modern atom ) combine to bring things into being and separate to form space and take things out of being. There are modern versions of similar theories.
 

Offline PmbPhy

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It seems a Vacuum is not 'nothing' as it is made of matter and antimatter particles, which in a vacuum state they cancel each other out.

So, a Vacuum is not 'nothing'.

Is there anything that suggests 'Nothing' exists at the quantum scale or at the Universe scale (e.g. Voids, although these appear to be vacuums and not nothing).

Or is it a philosophical definition of what is Nothing?
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum#Quantum_mechanics
 

Offline jeffreyH

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It seems a Vacuum is not 'nothing' as it is made of matter and antimatter particles, which in a vacuum state they cancel each other out.

So, a Vacuum is not 'nothing'.

Is there anything that suggests 'Nothing' exists at the quantum scale or at the Universe scale (e.g. Voids, although these appear to be vacuums and not nothing).

Or is it a philosophical definition of what is Nothing?
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum#Quantum_mechanics

I wonder how gravitation operates in these quantum vacuums?
 

Offline sciconoclast

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The link Pmbphy provided is a great link and provides excellent descriptions for the different definitions of a vacuum.

Whatever takes place on a quantum or cosmological scale takes place within the fabric of space. "In recent decades, physicist and mathematicians have asked if space is also made of discrete peaces ..... woven out of individual fibers." ( Lee Smolin ).  www.phys.lsu.edu/faculty/pullin/sciam.pdf   If space is something then the concept of pockets of nothing goes out the window.

I am puzzled by Fluid Thinker's reference to antimatter and matter cancelling each other. Antimatter is just a category for matter which has the less common charge. For example the positron as opposed to the electron. When an antimatter particle and a regular matter particle collide photons are generated with energy equivalent to the total energy and mass of the particles and nothing is lost.


     
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Quote from: sciconoclast
Antimatter is just a category for matter which has the less common charge.
That's incorrect. First, it should be noted that not all antimatter particles have charge to them. Antineutrons and antineutrinos are perfect examples. Second the antimatter particle might have the greater charge. Antimatter is an arbitrary designation. All that really exist are particles which are anti particles of each other. For example: The electron is the antiparticle to the positron and the positron is the antiparticle to the electron. Which one is called the antiparticle is merely a matter of history and convenience. .

Quote from: sciconoclast
When an antimatter particle and a regular matter particle collide photons are generated with energy equivalent to the total energy and mass of the particles and nothing is lost.
That's incorrect. The result isn't always photons. In some instances when a particle annihilates its antiparticle then there are a variety of things that can happen based on the particular particle/antiparticle pair. Electron/positron annihilation results in photons in all instances. But that's not always true for all other particles.
« Last Edit: 06/06/2015 07:14:31 by PmbPhy »
 

Offline sciconoclast

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Yes Pmbphy you are correct. I was trying to keep my post simple. Antimatter is still a sub category for matter. Instead of saying that antimatter is matter that has the less common charge I could have talked about reverse symmetries. I am aware that there is an anti-neutron where electric charge does not occur and that particles can occur also from such collisions.

The point that I was trying to make is the principle of conservation of matter energy means that the total combined value of energy and or matter is not lost in antimatter-matter interactions. 
 

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