What exactly is nothing?

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voidpotentialenergy

I think it would be more meaningful to ask what is the distance between two objects rather than two points. Since objects have a size relative to us, it would immediately become apparent what the distance between the objects is. It is simply a ratio between the size of the object and how many objects you can fit in the space between them. It's irrelevant whether that space is void or not. You can then talk about the distance between points with a standardised measurement relative to us or common objects. I think an inch was at one time defined as the length of three barley seeds end to end?
If we measure the points then the universe seems big.
If we measure what is between them then the universe could be tiny.

A black hole can have point A and B measured with no distance between.
Just because the universe in non black hole format has distance between points is it real distance?

David-J-Franks

All possible that fundamental properties of the universe keep an electron in orbit at set locations in n atoms orbit.
More difficult to guess at why electrons don't degrade orbits, never loose or gain energy.
When you try to pin down the location of the electron it proves impossible.

Fluctuation IMO is just a balance act of potential energy.
Creating particles then almost instantly removing them and that is probably fine energy balance properties of fluctuation.
Before fluctuation became balanced it probably created stable particles until that energy balance was reached.
That could be a very simple reason why we now have conservation of energy.

The reason for fluctuation?
IMO either a potential energy of nothing or instability of nothing.

Everything from nothing sounds crazy but breaking down what the universe is and it's hidden amounts of nothing already it isn't a giant leap to imagine a property of nothing was the start.
Yes it's strange about the electrons orbit. It might just be a simple matter of something like Newton's First Law of Motion, if something is in motion it will stay in motion permanently unless you disturb it. Like everything else it needs a cause to make something change.

You say;

"a potential energy of nothing or instability of nothing."

"a property of nothing"

Using the dictionary definition of 'nothing', 'nothing' can't have potential energy, it cannot have instability and it does not have any properties. Overall there is nothing there to fluctuate.

I think we've been here before, so it might be now useful if you could define what 'you' mean by nothing?

I can't wait for the answer.

David-J-Franks

If we measure the points then the universe seems big.
If we measure what is between them then the universe could be tiny.

A black hole can have point A and B measured with no distance between.
Just because the universe in non black hole format has distance between points is it real distance?
true size only has meaning to the person measuring or observing something, it's only a relative term to us.
If we measure the points then the universe seems big.
If we measure what is between them then the universe could be tiny.
I don't think measuring points has any meaning because points don't actually exist. It's more meaningful to talk about objects and measure them. Once again, 'tiny is only a word relative to us, so it's whether you consider the universe tiny or not.

However without us as observers, everything in the universe still has a relative size between the different objects in it. So the distance between them will be relative to the size of the objects themselves and I think that applies whether there is a void or not between the objects.

A black hole can have point A and B measured with no distance between.
I'm not quite sure what you mean here, but I think you should take your tape measure back and get a refund
Just because the universe in non black hole format has distance between points is it real distance?
The universe doesn't have any points in it. it has objects, and the distance between the objects is real because it can be measured as a ratio of how many objects you can fit in between the two objects.

Atlan0101

Within the 'principle of uncertainty' a particle, or a traveler, can be in many positions, many places, many spaces and times, at once. Or, if you can stop it dead in place, fixed its position, fixed it in place, it can be on an infinite number of planes of velocities, doing an infinity of velocities (you've totally blurred, unfocused, the entire surrounding universe. It, the particle, the traveler, the object or subject, fills the void, the vacuum, at least according to QFT. But! It doesn't do away with the void, the vacuum. The void, the vacuum, the Big Hole, the infinitely flat smooth hyperplane or floor of space (hyperspace and not any fixed time or space-time), remains exactly as was and is.

Stellarwest

Its really hard to me to even try to define nothing. Its like if someone walked into an empty room and said nothing is there but in reality there is space there which is something. So my question is what would true nothing be like? a place without space or matter?
The paradox of nothing or a void contains information so the word nothing or a void is a misnomer.

Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
What exactly is nothing?

In reality, nothing is a word in common usage having a wide variety of interpretations.
nothing in the box, nothing unusual, nothing to worry about, etcetera.
Due to this wide variety, there is no single exact meaning.

It should not be confused with an abstract meaning.
Nothing, as in 'absence of anything' does not occur in reality.
In the whole of our knowledge and experience, there is no state which corresponds to a complete absence of anything. There may be hypothetical suggestions, but these have no place as yet in our knowledge and experience.
The abstract nothing corresponds to a mathematical three dimensional volume which defines a space in a graph, OR, in fact excludes a space This has no reality.
This nothing cannot be described exactly, except as graph coordinates. I do not believe that this is what the questioner intended.

My answer, therefore, is that, in the real world, nothing cannot be described exactly. There are only context-sensitive answers. In mathematics, a volume may be defined by coordinates on a graph. Any point within this volume may be described exactly by stating 3-D coordinates, but these have no reality. They are simply imaginary points.

Cat

IG2007

voidpotentialenergy

true size only has meaning to the person measuring or observing something, it's only a relative term to us. I don't think measuring points has any meaning because points don't actually exist. It's more meaningful to talk about objects and measure them. Once again, 'tiny is only a word relative to us, so it's whether you consider the universe tiny or not.

However without us as observers, everything in the universe still has a relative size between the different objects in it. So the distance between them will be relative to the size of the objects themselves and I think that applies whether there is a void or not between the objects.

I'm not quite sure what you mean here, but I think you should take your tape measure back and get a refund
The universe doesn't have any points in it. it has objects, and the distance between the objects is real because it can be measured as a ratio of how many objects you can fit in between the two objects.
A and B can only be the trip if A and B are points between nothing.
As perspective goes we do see the trip as taking time but the trip from A to B is no trip only a perspective of going.
Going from earth to mars in a universe that is made up of points and nothing we only go the distance of the points and even they have lots of nothing hidden away.
See how easy we could be very wrong about the real size of the universe ?

Black holes diameter can't be accurately measured.
2 different time perspectives, ours and whatever happen at the black holes singularity (if it exists)
True diameter of a black hole is not what we see only a perspective of what we can see.
Reality of the diameter of a black hole.
Who can guess but for sure our view isn't correct.

My tape measure has lots of 0's in it LOL

voidpotentialenergy

The paradox of nothing or a void contains information so the word nothing or a void is a misnomer.
When you think that nothing might actually have properties the universe gets really crazy.
A good place for the universe/s to start though.

David-J-Franks

A and B can only be the trip if A and B are points between nothing.
As perspective goes we do see the trip as taking time but the trip from A to B is no trip only a perspective of going.
Going from earth to mars in a universe that is made up of points and nothing we only go the distance of the points and even they have lots of nothing hidden away.
See how easy we could be very wrong about the real size of the universe ?

Black holes diameter can't be accurately measured.
2 different time perspectives, ours and whatever happen at the black holes singularity (if it exists)
True diameter of a black hole is not what we see only a perspective of what we can see.
Reality of the diameter of a black hole.
Who can guess but for sure our view isn't correct.

My tape measure has lots of 0's in it LOL
Going from earth to mars in a universe that is made up of points and nothing we only go the distance of the points and even they have lots of nothing hidden away.
Untill you provide me with your definition of nothing all I have to go on are dictionary definitions. Points don't physically exist, they are concepts in a mathematicians mind. Using dictionary definitions, saying the universe is made up of "points and nothing" makes no sense to me.

Without using any units of measurement the distance from the earth to mars at any instant can still be expressed as the number of diameters of earth you can fit in between. That is what gives you a perspective of distance. Distance has meaning because the universe contains objects with relative sizes, not points, IMO.

You also say you see the trip as taking time. This aspect can also be expressed as a ratio without referring to time or using a clock, just count the number of revolutions of the earth it takes to get to Mars.
See how easy we could be very wrong about the real size of the universe ?
What do you mean by real size? does it have any meaning at all? All distances between and the sizes of objects in the universe are all relative to each other and us. They all just exist as a ratio between themselves. I don't think you can call any of it a 'real size' or distance. The size of the universe as you see it is your personal experience of the ratio between a familiar object and the rest of the universe.

Likewise, the motion of all objects in the universe is all relative to each other, as suggested above by counting the number of rotations of the earth while something else moves.

As for black holes, I think it's just a matter of waiting for the physics to get better. For example, if you can determine the exact state of matter that the collapsed star ends up as, say a ball of quarks and gluons, then you should be able to calculate its size. It wouldn't mean much however because the black hole is inaccessible anyway.

IG2007

voidpotentialenergy

Untill you provide me with your definition of nothing all I have to go on are dictionary definitions. Points don't physically exist, they are concepts in a mathematicians mind. Using dictionary definitions, saying the universe is made up of "points and nothing" makes no sense to me.

Without using any units of measurement the distance from the earth to mars at any instant can still be expressed as the number of diameters of earth you can fit in between. That is what gives you a perspective of distance. Distance has meaning because the universe contains objects with relative sizes, not points, IMO.

You also say you see the trip as taking time. This aspect can also be expressed as a ratio without referring to time or using a clock, just count the number of revolutions of the earth it takes to get to Mars.
What do you mean by real size? does it have any meaning at all? All distances between and the sizes of objects in the universe are all relative to each other and us. They all just exist as a ratio between themselves. I don't think you can call any of it a 'real size' or distance. The size of the universe as you see it is your personal experience of the ratio between a familiar object and the rest of the universe.

Likewise, the motion of all objects in the universe is all relative to each other, as suggested above by counting the number of rotations of the earth while something else moves.

As for black holes, I think it's just a matter of waiting for the physics to get better. For example, if you can determine the exact state of matter that the collapsed star ends up as, say a ball of quarks and gluons, then you should be able to calculate its size. It wouldn't mean much however because the black hole is inaccessible anyway.
All depends on if we have something between items.
If nothing rules the universe and the rest is just points between nothing then size is just an illusion.
If nothing doesn't exist then what we see and don't see is pretty much what it is.

Nothing can simply be the lack of things between thing.
At some scale we are sure to have 0 anything.
Probably why fluctuation does what it does trying to set energy balances.

Black holes with classic physics just don't add up for math.
Something seriously wrong with thought on black holes or our understanding of the universe is far from correct.
Maybe both

One thing is for sure no matter exists in a black hole, nuclear force is overwhelmed in them so matter can't exist as matter.
Like a neutron star converting everything to neutrons a black holes must strip matter to electrons then pack them into something else.

Gl on a guess to what happens with a ball of compressed energy/black hole

Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
I have not seen anything which addresses my post #107, which concluded:

"My answer, therefore, is that, in the real world, nothing cannot be described exactly. There are only context-sensitive answers. In mathematics, a volume may be defined by coordinates on a graph. Any point within this volume may be described exactly by stating 3-D coordinates, but these have no reality. They are simply imaginary points."

It is a simple matter of separating two distinct types of meaning:
1. Common parlance
2. Mathematical abstraction.

I cannot understand the apparent need for further obfuscation.

Cat

voidpotentialenergy

voidpotentialenergy
Think of it this way David.
We have a trip of 1 inch that involves going from something to nothing to something.
Or we have a trip of going across the universe same format.

What distance did we go on each trip traveling through nothing with just marker points as min chunk of space?

Distance illusion?
Going the time?
Every marker point/min chunk same distance from every other marker point/min chunk in a medium of nothing?

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Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
What exactly is nothing?

VPE, I think that you may be mixing mathematical coordinates with reality.
What is this 'nothing' you go to and from?

Cat

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David-J-Franks

Catastrophe said;

"What us this 'nothing' you go to and from?"

I have already asked VPE what he means by 'nothing' in post 103 and reminded him I was still waiting in post 110. I was going to say I haven't had an answer yet, but if you look closely at Post 112 he makes the following statement;

"Nothing can simply be the lack of things between thing."

It looks like this is the best we'll get

Catastrophe

Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
David, "VPE, I think that you may be mixing mathematical coordinates with reality."

That's my take un the subject.

Cat

voidpotentialenergy

Catastrophe said;

"What us this 'nothing' you go to and from?"

I have already asked VPE what he means by 'nothing' in post 103 and reminded him I was still waiting in post 110. I was going to say I haven't had an answer yet, but if you look closely at Post 112 he makes the following statement;

"Nothing can simply be the lack of things between thing."

It looks like this is the best we'll get
Nothing on a calculator isn't pressing 0, it is not pressing any key.
Math of nothing is the problem when we relate nothing as a 0.

Working our way down the small of quantum leaps we have an impossible situation of each atom having set leaps with single electrons in non disturbed orbits that never loose or gain energy and can not exist in any part of a leap orbit.
A perpetual motion machine breaking a few laws we take for granted in the universe.
No real other way for this to exist other than defined borders or set energy levels of each orbit.
If we have any connection to the rest of the universe with any orbit the laws of conservation will degrade orbits.
IMO only real way this can happen is a disconnect of those laws with a (nothing space) being the reason.

Quantum fluctuation.
If fluctuation was truly the fill of the universe it would fill the universe.
The properties of fluctuation are random.
If we have random activity in the smallest possible thing then 99.9% of the time no fluctuation is happening what is the state of fluctuation?
If we have no fluctuation happening in the tiniest of things what can we call that tiniest chunk of space when nothing is happening ?

Nothing can simply be a lack of activity. area between smallest of things, border in an electron orbit.

If we dig deep enough At some scale nothing will be most of everything.

voidpotentialenergy

David, "VPE, I think that you may be mixing mathematical coordinates with reality."

That's my take un the subject.

Cat
Cat all depends if nothing exists or not.
If nothing is between everything then a trip really isn't possible.
Every point in the universe would be exactly the same distance from every other point since distance would be only an illusion.

Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
VPE, I may be wrong, I may be right. I have a position at which I have arrived after much thought. I find that position workable, and it serves me well. I am not looking for an alternative. According to that position, there is "nothing" in common parlance, which has many different meanings according to context. It usually signifies something very small or lacking in importance. And then, there is "nothing" or zero, which is a mathematical abstraction, like infinity. In pseudo-philosophy, these are often confused, creating endless, useless, confabulations of worthless, time-wasting. nonsense. I avoid such like the plague and will not waste my life by being drawn into them.

Cat

P.S. I add this, to avoid any meaning suggesting mental illness, which apparently may be associated with the word:

"Confabulation is a type of memory error in which gaps in a person's memory are unconsciously filled with fabricated, misinterpreted, or distorted information. 1 When someone confabulates, they are confusing things they have imagined with real memories. A person who is confabulating is not lying."

"confusing things they have imagined with real memories" as in 'common parlance' and 'mathematical' notions of "nothing".

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Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
Cat all depends if nothing exists or not.
If nothing is between everything then a trip really isn't possible.
Every point in the universe would be exactly the same distance from every other point since distance would be only an illusion.
See Post #120.

voidpotentialenergy

VPE, I may be wrong, I may be right. I have a position at which I have arrived after much thought. I find that position workable, and it serves me well. I am not looking for an alternative. According to that position, there is "nothing" in common parlance, which has many different meanings according to context. It usually signifies something very small or lacking in importance. And then, there is "nothing" or zero, which is a mathematical abstraction, like infinity. In pseudo-philosophy, these are often confused, creating endless, useless, confabulations of worthless, time-wasting. nonsense. I avoid such like the plague and will not waste my life by being drawn into them.

Cat

P.S. I add this, to avoid any meaning suggesting mental illness, which apparently may be associated with the word:

"Confabulation is a type of memory error in which gaps in a person's memory are unconsciously filled with fabricated, misinterpreted, or distorted information. 1 When someone confabulates, they are confusing things they have imagined with real memories. A person who is confabulating is not lying."

"confusing things they have imagined with real memories" as in 'common parlance' and 'mathematical' notions of "nothing".
I agree nothing is more of abstract thought than a place or thing.
We are not designed to think of the absence of something and like to place a 0 as a marker for it.
Nothing is sure to exist at some level in the universe and as soon as it can exist a ruler can't.
Measuring things against nothing gives the result of nothing or no distance or the same distance to every point.
A flat universe because it is flat with no true measure.
Gravities ability for instant communication because it goes instant speed in a rulerless universe and travels nowhere.

An ugly conclusion for sure that our universe could be infinitely small with our concept of time and space just illusions of being mass beings effected by moving through min points.

An even uglier conclusion is that nothings potential energy or instability could be the reason for fluctuation and it the reason for all the rest.

Atlan0101

I've actually enjoyed the back and forth of this thread and the thoughts that another thread, "Absolute Zero", have caused me to think. The extremes of temperature: Absolute zero.... zero resistance to flow. And temperature about 1.420 nonillion degrees centigrade (BB / Planck), just about, or even maybe the extreme itself, of resistance to flow. Neither temperature is attainable: the one beyond infinitesimal, the other beyond infinite (greater than '0' but less than '1'). There's nothing "abstract" about these two extremes though someone might try to tell you that "nothing" is beyond, can be beyond, infinitesimal and/or infinite. The extremes of "nothing at all" and "everything at once" seem to reside beyond infinitesimal and infinite. And the absolutely unattainable extremes of temperature seem to be representative.

To me, the extreme of zero resistance to flow is the ultimate in open system / the extreme of absolute resistance to flow being the ultimate in closed system. Species of the Multiverse, the alternate personality of the Universe (U).

"Closed system", as in Large Hadron Collider, accelerations, and the closed systemic attempts to close in on the unattainable closed systemic speed of light... and the equally unattainable BB / Planck horizon at exactly the same time, in exactly the same space.... two for one: two in one: one and the same thing, Universe (U)- and Multiverse multi-dimensionality -wise.

"Closed systemic". Inside the spaceships of television and movies a "ruler" can measure that closed system's space(s). Look outside the spaceship, though, at the open systemic universe at large where the only measurement can be light-times and therefore only time... only histories. No rigid space ruler can ever rule that infinitely flat planed and planing, ever wormholing / warping; opening / closing; backgrounded / foregrounded vortex and vacuum elasticity. No rigid space ruler can ever measure that unobserved and unobservable spatial void (that simultaneity (0 = 0, likening to the simultaneity of quantum entanglement but up to the macro-scale of universes))-- or that time warp.

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voidpotentialenergy

I've actually enjoyed the back and forth of this thread and the thoughts that another thread, "Absolute Zero", have caused me to think. The extremes of temperature: Absolute zero.... zero resistance to flow. And temperature about 1.420 nonillion degrees centigrade (BB / Planck), just about, or even maybe the extreme itself, of resistance to flow. Neither temperature is attainable: the one beyond infinitesimal, the other beyond infinite (greater than '0' but less than '1'). There's nothing "abstract" about these two extremes though someone might try to tell you that "nothing" is beyond, can be beyond, infinitesimal and/or infinite. The extremes of "nothing at all" and "everything at once" seem to reside beyond infinitesimal and infinite. And the absolutely unattainable extremes of temperature seem to be representative.

To me, the extreme of zero resistance to flow is the ultimate in open system / the extreme of absolute resistance to flow being the ultimate in closed system. Species of the Multiverse, the alternate personality of the Universe (U).

"Closed system", as in Large Hadron Collider, accelerations, and the closed systemic attempts to close in on the unattainable closed systemic speed of light... and the equally unattainable BB / Planck horizon at exactly the same time, in exactly the same space.... two for one: two in one: one and the same thing, Universe (U)- and Multiverse multi-dimensionality -wise.

"Closed systemic". Inside the spaceships of television and movies a "ruler" can measure that closed system's space(s). Look outside the spaceship, though, at the open systemic universe at large where the only measurement can be light-times and therefore only time... only histories. No rigid space ruler can ever rule that infinitely flat planed and planing, ever wormholing / warping; opening / closing; backgrounded / foregrounded vortex and vacuum elasticity. No rigid space ruler can ever measure that unobserved and unobservable spatial void (that simultaneity (0 = 0, likening to the simultaneity of quantum entanglement but up to the macro-scale of universes))-- or that time warp.
For sure good fun talking and thinking about nothing.
The universe/s is sure to be a logical set of steps to become and maintain what it is
The fun part is trying to understand what those steps could be even if the weirdness of those steps doesn't make us happy.

Nothing could exist or it might not exist.
Nothing is a good place to start everything, but everything isn't a good place to start nothing.

If nothing is a part of reality then our understanding of the universe will be totally wrong.
If it isn't part of reality then we are only mostly wrong.

Nothing lasts forever not even nothing.

Curiosity killed the cat

Exellent answer... Relativity is a concept, which even when you understand it, can be notoriously difficult to explain, Good job.

David-J-Franks

Atlan0101

In my own modeling I've set the conditions of infinite Universe (U) as Big Crunch Vortex / Big Hole Vacuum / Big Mirror mirroring. With "nothing" being outside, "nothing" coming before, the thing is infinitely everywhere possible already and there is really nowhere and nothing it will expand into from some "Big Bang" excepting itself, thus holing itself like a big black hole. And the kind of gravity being talked about for the Big Crunch Vortex (Big Hole Vacuum) means a self mirroring to infinity. In that self mirroring to infinity, can you see a form of expansionism to infinity that in fact goes nowhere and into nothing but itself actually? An infinity of universes (u) (infinities of infinities) from a nakedly singular infinite Universe (U) that is the only real immovable object.... its irresistible force having to be solely toward and into itself (thus a contraction that is at once an expansion (and... balance)).

It's not going to stretch in an expansion outward from a point since it is infinitely everywhere and for all time to begin with. Someone might think, though, that the self mirroring should make it appear, and be, exactly the same everywhere and in everything. That someone would not understand the fractal of Chaos Theory nor the particle-wave of Quantum Mechanics. They would not understand the [[bottom / top]] basic, foundational, building block of multi-dimensionality, thus Multiverse. You see, the infinite Universe (U) is not only outside in (via Planck / Big Bang level horizon) to the infinity of its mirroring parallel universes (u), it is also -- at once -- inside out (via Planck / Big Bang level horizon) to them. (the trees are in the forest. The forest is in the trees.)

Nor would they understand the "time crystal" (not Google's but the nature's it models and demonstrates) or the real time "universal clock" (QM) endlessly ticking 'endless beginning' ('now'). Nor would that someone understand String Theory's foundational "vibrating" strings (which I see as the animate / action physic between singularities pairing (it would not surprise me if they -- either the singularities or the strings -- were at once Hawking's "baby universes" ( of which ours would be just one of mirrored infinities of them in infinitesimal broad and deep))).

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