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StrictlyLogical

Why Philosophical Statements About the Vacuum are Invalid

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In my post, I had said 2 instances of the ultimate constituents were moving towards each other in submicroscopic space. This means eventually, at some point in time, say t2, the distance between them would become zero. Not before.

 

But since their motion towards each other reduces the distance between them, then at some point in time, say t1 (before that distance reduces to zero at t2 point in time), the distance would have become so small that nothing could occupy it.

 

Hence my question was: couldn't one say that at the t1 point in time when the distance became so small that nothing could occupy it, the space between them at that point in time, namely t1, contains literally nothing?

 

The above is not the same as 2 billiard balls moving towards each other in macroscopic space. In such a context, there would be air between the balls before they hit each other. And even if it was possible to have 2 billiard balls hit each other in a room with no air at all, there could be other things that exist in the room between the billiard balls, e.g. weakly interacting particles.

 

Whereas, in the case of the 2 instances of the ultimate constituents, there's nothing smaller than it which can occupy the space between them at the t1 point in time.

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In my post, I had said 2 instances of the ultimate constituents were moving towards each other in submicroscopic space. This means eventually, at some point in time, say t2, the distance between them would become zero. Not before.

 

But since their motion towards each other reduces the distance between them, then at some point in time, say t1 (before that distance reduces to zero at t2 point in time), the distance would have become so small that nothing could occupy it.

 

Hence my question was: couldn't one say that at the t1 point in time when the distance became so small that nothing could occupy it, the space between them at that point in time, namely t1, contains literally nothing?

 

The above is not the same as 2 billiard balls moving towards each other in macroscopic space. In such a context, there would be air between the balls before they hit each other. And even if it was possible to have 2 billiard balls hit each other in a room with no air at all, there could be other things that exist in the room between the billiard balls, e.g. weakly interacting particles.

 

Whereas, in the case of the 2 instances of the ultimate constituents, there's nothing smaller than it which can occupy the space between them at the t1 point in time.

 

What you presuppose is that there exist "distances" small enough such that no thing could occupy it, which essentially presupposes entities possess a minimum extension in space.

 

Currently all fundamental particles (neutrinos, electrons, quarks) have been found to be point-like particles.  That is they can get arbitrarily close to each other, and any "occupation" by collections of fundamental particles is a result of the forces and interactions between them.  So although there may be a smallest atomic size, there is no smallest size associated with an electron.

 

Now ignoring the above, I would say it does not matter if the distance is such that no thing could fit between them.  The real fact is that no thing (and no portion thereof) IS between them, whether or not no thing COULD fit between them.  The relationship "between them" is unoccupied.  That relationship is valid to consider conceptually because it can vary, WHEN they are far apart and at a different point in time a thing might actually be "between them".  It happens that now, at T1, given their distance, "between them" is not occupied.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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I've studied special relativity and general relativity, I do not recall ever coming across a passage saying that space itself "moved".  I think you are mistaken about this one HD.

Maybe. I got my information from an analogy involving the Simpsons' Barney, in a Brian Greene book I read several years ago. The gist of it was that the pressure of the ground under our feet (the very pressure we use to measure our own weight) is caused by accelerated motion and that an observer in free fall is at rest.

I think the movement of space itself was my own attempt to make sense of that.

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