# QuestionSpace

#### glexchess

In the absolute vacuum of space there is absolutely nothing. Everything removed (theoretically), including radiation, light, "dark matter", etc., we are left with a totally empty "container", space. There is now absolutely nothing in that "container", so what is that NOTHING made of. If it is truly nothing, how come it has dimensions? Again, not talking about the Universe with any of the "debris" (galaxies, photons, "vibrations" etc.) in it, only the infinite totally empty container, space. What is that totally empty space made of?

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#### billslugg

The vacuum contains "zero point energy" which is the lowest quantum state. As such it cannot flow to a lower state thus cannot be removed.
How much energy is in there? That question leads to the "vacuum energy catastrope", a huge unresolved difference between observation and theory.
By looking at the rate at which distant galaxies acellerate away we can estimate the amount of energy in the vacuum. This energy has a repulsive force, which pushes distant galaxies away. By this estimate the zero point energy is 10^-9 joules per cubic meter. But by applying theoretical quantum chromodynamics the estimate is 10^113 joules per cubic meter. No one can explain this discrepancy.

Helio

#### Helio

The vacuum contains "zero point energy" which is the lowest quantum state. As such it cannot flow to a lower state thus cannot be removed.
How much energy is in there? That question leads to the "vacuum energy catastrope", a huge unresolved difference between observation and theory.
By looking at the rate at which distant galaxies acellerate away we can estimate the amount of energy in the vacuum. This energy has a repulsive force, which pushes distant galaxies away. By this estimate the zero point energy is 10^-9 joules per cubic meter. But by applying theoretical quantum chromodynamics the estimate is 10^113 joules per cubic meter. No one can explain this discrepancy.
This seems to be a nice summary.

Is this lowest state for the vacua like a max. entropy state as well?

Is it proper to give these quantum particles extremely long wavelengths? If so, is it that the universe is supposedly filled by zillions of these particle-waves that gives them such high energy? Thus seems counter intuitive as it looks like a huge energy source, hence not a max. entropy state.

#### billslugg

Yes, I would think that a volume with the lowest possible energy state would have maximum entropy. None of the energy is available for work thus all of it is unavailable. The amount of unavailable energy in a system is a measure of its entropy.

I don't know about zero point wavelengths. I found a source says it is 3100 cm^-1 which is 3 microns which is in the infrared. How many of them, I don't know.

An area of high energy can be unable to serve as a source. As long as its quantum state is lower than that around it, it cannot move energy to a lower level thus no work can be done, thus entropy is at its maximum.

Helio

#### Helio

Ok. So, in a classical view, the vacua is like a graveyard. But old quanta never really die, there’s that probability wave that allows, on occasion, a free get out of jail card. Is this view right?

#### billslugg

As I understand it, the energy of the vacuum is not "old quanta" but is due to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle which says the energy and momentum of a particle can never both be measured to exactness. Since momentum has time in it, then there is an uncertainty in the amount of time that a virtual particle could exist. To say that amount of time was exactly zero would violate this principle. Thus the virtual particles exist, but for only a brief amount of time.

#### Helio

As I understand it, the energy of the vacuum is not "old quanta" but is due to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle which says the energy and momentum of a particle can never both be measured to exactness. Since momentum has time in it, then there is an uncertainty in the amount of time that a virtual particle could exist. To say that amount of time was exactly zero would violate this principle. Thus the virtual particles exist, but for only a brief amount of time.
Right. I read a description that stated the particle behaves like a particle when measuring its position, but without the ability to measure its momentum. It behaves more like a wave (which it is) when measuring momentum, but without the ability to measure its position.

[The "old quantum" was to be a lead-in to a McArthur quote about soldiers, but I elected to not use it. ]

The question I have is more about trying to understand just what energy is really there in the vacua. What do physicists see that suggests there's about 10^120 more energy there than we can find?

The Multiverse view, at least from the recent book I read, fails to explain how a quanta particle can inflate with the energy of the universe to produce the Universe. This seems just as ad hoc (scientifically) as any other explanation, but worse since there are, supposedly, zillions more of them.

#### billslugg

That there is energy in the vacuum is a consequence of Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.
We also know it is there due to cosmic expansion acelleration and by direct measurement via Casimir Effect.
The energy in the vacuum is created at the same time that space expands. This positive energy is exactly balanced out by the negative energy of the gravitational potential energy of the galaxies being moved further out.

#### Classical Motion

With observation and measurement over huge areas and eons of time, we have never found empty space. We have never found a perfect vacuum.

However, with the classical point of view, space is empty. The problem is that to find it, one has to go several cosmos diameters out from here, to find it. This is because mass, very frequently emits radiation. The reason it emits, is because mass can only stay stable as mass, at certain energy levels. They call this the quantum effect. This makes the mass act like an energy spring. If you shine radiation on mass, some of the mass, will re-emit radiation, because not enough was absorbed, to take it to the next higher level. So it emits, and returns to it's previous level. To stay stable. After all these eons, we have a background of these "orphan" emissions....which was called static. This energy is only temporarily occupying space, it does not come from space. These orphans can superposition for short periods of time, giving a field density. We measure this as spurious or fleeting spots of energy.......which can be measured as temperature also.

With classical theory, space has always been here, emptiness needs no creation. Empty space is the only thing that can fill infinity.

However, modern theory has a much different point of view.

In the future we might be able to build a container which can be made, to have no particles within it. But, it will not be a perfect vacuum, because we can not keep fields and emissions out of it. So it will still be occupied. With a physical presence.

#### glexchess

With observation and measurement over huge areas and eons of time, we have never found empty space. We have never found a perfect vacuum.

However, with the classical point of view, space is empty. The problem is that to find it, one has to go several cosmos diameters out from here, to find it. This is because mass, very frequently emits radiation. The reason it emits, is because mass can only stay stable as mass, at certain energy levels. They call this the quantum effect. This makes the mass act like an energy spring. If you shine radiation on mass, some of the mass, will re-emit radiation, because not enough was absorbed, to take it to the next higher level. So it emits, and returns to it's previous level. To stay stable. After all these eons, we have a background of these "orphan" emissions....which was called static. This energy is only temporarily occupying space, it does not come from space. These orphans can superposition for short periods of time, giving a field density. We measure this as spurious or fleeting spots of energy.......which can be measured as temperature also.

With classical theory, space has always been here, emptiness needs no creation. Empty space is the only thing that can fill infinity.

However, modern theory has a much different point of view.

In the future we might be able to build a container which can be made, to have no particles within it. But, it will not be a perfect vacuum, because we can not keep fields and emissions out of it. So it will still be occupied. With a physical presence.
At least theoretically, we can remove the content of a container that is, let's say, 1 m3. We deduct everything that could be called something in it. The 1 m3 of void is still there.

#### Classical Motion

I guess it would depend on what your concept of a void, and a vacuum is. If void only includes the absence of mass, then yes, in theory. But to me a void is an area without a physical presence. Fields and emissions are physical entities. So, for me, a vacuum with fields and emissions, is not a void. It's just a vacuum. A vacuum is lack of mass, and a void is a lack of anything.

#### glexchess

Thanks for taking the time... I didn't really expect a clear answer to this question. I had accepted that "What is empty space made of?" is just as unanswerable as "How is the Universe infinite?" Certain notions are inconceivable for the limited capacity of our mind.

#### Classical Motion

"Certain notions are inconceivable for the limited capacity of our mind."

Quite true. But physicality is the only thing we have in common with all of our realities. It ties what ever we think and discern.....together. I don't think we can answer questions like when and how this cosmos came to be. Or such things as why we exist. Or why life appears to be unique.

But I do believe we can discover what physicality and mass actually is, and learn how to manipulate it more easily. And use nature's forces for great advantage. And I don't think it is as complex as people believe.

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