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Of what does Space consist?

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There is an interview of Nobel Prize laureate and MIT Physics Professor Frank Wilczek regarding the Large Hadron Collider and the stuff in-between or what we are surrounded by. In the interview, he says:

Firstly, equations tell us that what appears to us in ordinary life as empty space is actually a material which affects the properties of matter in ways that our very successful equations tell us, but we've never yet really broken down this material to see what it's made out of. So it's as if we have been fish in an ocean, surrounded by water, and for a long time we've taken the water for granted because it's the only thing we know, we couldn't imagine a world without it.

So, there are at least some scientists who realize there is something there.

Of course, as I like to say, equations indicate but reality dictates, so even though some equations have indicated there is something there, they need to run experiments to find out what it is.

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I'm confused by your statement, Mr. Odden. What Mr. Miovas has stated is what Dr. Peikoff has said (I don't know where. Anyone?), that if there is nothing between two things then they are touching.
I see -- the question is actually ambiguous as to whether we mean that there is a measurable distance but a vacuum between two entities, versus no distance at all. I am referring to the situation with a vacuum, where it makes some intuitive sense to talk of there being "space" between the entities. The question of two particles being infinitesimally close together is a different question: I haven't seen any argument that we know whether this is possible.
If two things are apart, not touching, then there is something between there even if we don't know what that something is.
That's the part that is a non-sequitur. The correct way to phrase the observation about non-adjacent entities in a vacuum is that "It is not the case that there exists any entity which is between a and b". That does not reify "nothing", it denies that a thing exists. It also does not require the reification of space. Without substantive proof that there is any form of actual stuff like "aether", it is arbitrary to assert that "aether exists in this location".

As you probably know, in cases where things are touching, there is actually a measurable separation albeit a small one.

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As to a fluid-like aether . The analogy does not escape the problem we are discussing. Fluids are compressable precisely because there is 'space' between the constituents comprising them[discontinuous object]. All of this brings up whether there is a fundamental constituent/constituents which would by definition be continuous.

Again I recommend Harrimans lecture on space. He mentions the analogy of some comparing 'space' to water opening up and the fish moves through the opening or something to this effect.

Edited by Plasmatic
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equations have indicated there is something there, they need to run experiments to find out what it is.

is working backwards or "bottom up". We work from observations forward . The reverse is why physics is in such a mess force fitting ad hoc reinterpretations to fit theories. Equations should be a result of observed phenomenon. This is why so much of modern physics have equations with no objective referents.

Edited by Plasmatic
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The correct way to phrase the observation about non-adjacent entities in a vacuum is that "It is not the case that there exists any entity which is between a and b". That does not reify "nothing", it denies that a thing exists. It also does not require the reification of space. Without substantive proof that there is any form of actual stuff like "aether", it is arbitrary to assert that "aether exists in this location".

Mr. Odden, I have thought about this, your response, and I simply can't see how you're not in fact reifying "nothing" even by way of a vacuum. You say that nothing, no thing(s?), exists between non-adjacent entities in a vacuum. Then what is between them? If there's nothing between them (in that vacuum), then what's between them is the question that keeps coming to me.

If you say that there's only a vacuum between them, then unless the vacuum is something, and is existentially full (no voids or "nothingness"), then the vacuum is "nothingness" reified, or so it seems to me from what you've said. (In my own view, a vacuum is like an empty pocket. If I say that there's nothing in it, that "nothing" refers to things that I know are not there, even though my hand may be inside my pocket feeling for keys that I thought were there. And, there's air in there, likely lints as well.)

If there's nothing between those two entities, then how is that not reifying "nothing"?

Or, are you saying, epistemologically, that since we don't know the nature of what is there between those two non-adjacent entities in a vacuum, then we have no grounds to assume that anything is there? Seems to me that metaphysics properly asserts that there is something there between them even if we don't yet know what it is. In other words, we do know that it, whatever it is, is.

I can't remember where it was that Dr. Peikoff made that point that Mr. Miovas earlier made, but it always made sense to me. If there's literally nothing between two things, then they are adjacent, touching.

What am I missing from your point?

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You say that nothing, no thing(s?), exists between non-adjacent entities in a vacuum. Then what is between them?
Very briefly, I urge to re-read what I said in previous posts, bearing in mind my answer. The notion "between" is meaningless when there is no thing. Thus when you have non-adjacent A and B and no intervening thing, there is nothing between them, and no aether. (I understand that in my last post at the start I slipped and used "between" in the computational sense that one can compute a class of imaginable things using knowledge of actual relations between A, B and other objects, when speaking of a vacuum). When I say no thing exists between the objects, no thing exists between the objects, but the objects do not have to touch. Does that make the distinction clear enough for you?
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My observation from reading this forums is that there is confusion and debate because we have not taken the time to carefully and rigorously define what we are talking about. "Words have a specific meaning" -Frisco.

There have been some efforts to put forth explicit and rigorous definitions, but let me make the humble suggestion that it should be the actual focus of our efforts. We are, I think, trying to fly before we can even crawl. If you and I cannot agree on the definition of X, and my theory is about X, then we cannot rightly discuss my theory!

First and foremost, for a definition to be Objective it must be based on reason, i.e. based on observations and the integrations of these observations. This is the fundamental philosophical underpinning of our understanding and our science that Rand laid out.

For science we not only need a definition with a basis in observation (reason), we need one that does not depend on any individual opinion. A definition isn't scientific because Einstein, Newton, Rand, or I say so. A definition is scientific if it can be used consistently (which, incidentally, also means non-circular by extension). Therefore, if a definition is posed that the proponent can use consistently it is a valid scientific definition (by definition). The definition of a scientific definition (consistency) can, itself, be used consistently. Any attempt to argue against it is futile since inconsistency is essentially a violation of identity, which itself is axiomatic.

Essentially we have applied the axiom of identity in formulating our scientific premises (which the definitions are part of). In this way we remove personal bias/preference from science. If the definition is used consistently in the theory it is scientific, if not it is unscientific. Simple, straightforward, rational, and reasonable.

A few very basic words that are (detrimentally) taken for granted in physics (the discipline of science I think we wish to discuss) discussions are: physics/physical, object, concept, exist. I'll put forth the working definitions I use (as a practicing scientist and budding objectivist) to get us started. If there are objections we should debate these points first. We cannot meaningfully debate physics without agreeing on such rudimentary points.

Object: (syn. physical) That which has shape, i.e. has a boundary, i.e. is finite. Objects are visualized.

Concept: A word invoking 2 or more objects. Concepts are understood, not visualized, they do not have shape by definition.

Physics: The study of objects, particularly objects that exist (exist defined later).

The definition of "object" expresses one of the simplest and most self-evident observations, that something has shape. To be a thing is to have shape. This is the distinction between "something" and "nothing". Something has a particular shape that we visualize. "Nothing" is a concept that we understand, we cannot visualize "nothing" because it is not an object, it does not have shape. So now anytime we are trying to discuss what we propose is "something" (like space) and are asking if it is really "something" we simply have to answer the question "Does it have shape?". If it does it's something by definition. If it doesn't then it's a concept. The "trial by fire" when someone claims that X is something, an object, is for them to present it, or present a model of it. If they cannot they are bluffing, trying to make you think their theory has to do with physics and, by extension, existence. So the next time someone claims a 0D no size "point particle" is something, just ask them to draw it! Such abstractions have nothing to do with physics or with existence.

Concepts are reciprocal. Up is the opposite of down, hot is the opposite of cold, etc. Objects are not, sheep is not the opposite of "no sheep". An object is itself. It has a single distinguishing feature, shape.

So, we can visualize the shape "heart" because it is an object. However we cannot visualize "love" because it is a concept. We understand love, but it does not have shape and so does not qualify as an object.

Exist: Shape and location

Location: The separation of of an object from every other object

Length: Extent of an object in a direction

The definition of exist (and location) is expressing the observation that, not only do we observe something (finite), we observe something there, or there, or here, etc. This computer is located in front of me, my head is on my neck. Every something that exists is at a location wrt to every other something that exists. Location expresses the static concept we understand by the ubiquitous observation that there is more than one object in the universe, i.e. there is more than a single shape that exists. If there were only a single object it would not have location (by definition) and would not exist by definition. To be something somewhere (to exist) is to have a shape that is distinct and separate from every other object that exists.

Length (or width or height) expresses the static concept that objects have different extents (shapes) depending on how you look at them.

Does everyone consider the "shape" definition of "something" (object), the "shape+location" definition of exist, and the "relationship between 2 or more objects" definition of concept acceptable for the purposes of our *physics* discussion?

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Does everyone consider the "shape" definition of "something" (object), the "shape+location" definition of exist, and the "relationship between 2 or more objects" definition of concept acceptable for the purposes of our *physics* discussion?

No, because it is not a physics discussion, it is a metaphysical discussion. Even though concepts don't have a physical size, they still exist. Now, when it comes to what is that particular stuff in-between material particles, OK, that is a physics discussion, but as to whether or not there is something there is a metaphysical discussion -- the fundamental aspects of existence is that it is a full plenum where there are no spaces between anything; reality is packed to the brim with that which exists because nothing is not anything and to assign it a place -- i.e. there is nothing here ----> <----- is to say that the nothing can take up space or have a position or have any other attribute of an existent, when it doesn't.

The nil does not exist; there is no nothing; a nothing existing is a direct contradiction.

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The correct way to phrase the observation about non-adjacent entities in a vacuum is that "It is not the case that there exists any entity which is between a and b". That does not reify "nothing", it denies that a thing exists. It also does not require the reification of space. Without substantive proof that there is any form of actual stuff like "aether", it is arbitrary to assert that "aether exists in this location".

Now, when it comes to what is that particular stuff in-between material particles, OK, that is a physics discussion, but as to whether or not there is something there is a metaphysical discussion -- the fundamental aspects of existence is that it is a full plenum where there are no spaces between anything; reality is packed to the brim with that which exists because nothing is not anything and to assign it a place -- i.e. there is nothing here ----> <----- is to say that the nothing can take up space or have a position or have any other attribute of an existent, when it doesn't.

It appears that we have a serious difference of opinion, with David Odden asserting the emptiness of portions of the universe until there is proof otherwise, and Thomas Miovas denying the possibility of any emptiness in the entire universe. I look forward to the discussion to follow.

John Link

Edited by John Link
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Didn't Einstein answer this- Time and Space are a related entity. The placement of things in space, relationship is determined in terms of NOW, or of when, past or future. Nothing is static.-distance, that is created by space/time that allows for things to exist separate from each other. There has to be space for things to exist in, there has to be a time reference. Otherwise you have what was before the purported big bang. Singularity.

I am new here and have not read every post so I am unaware if this has been discussed previously. As I write this it occurs to me that the big bang can not have a place in an objective universe. Existence has always existed, time can have no beginning or end. Is this correct within objectivism?

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As I write this it occurs to me that the big bang can not have a place in an objective universe. Existence has always existed, time can have no beginning or end.
I don't believe that (most / many / any) theoretical physicists claim that existence was created by the Big Bang; rather, they hold that the conditions that characterize the universe as we know it came into existence with the Big Bang. The conflict is between Objectivism and popular misunderstandings of the Big Bang.
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No, because it is not a physics discussion, it is a metaphysical discussion. Even though concepts don't have a physical size, they still exist. Now, when it comes to what is that particular stuff in-between material particles, OK, that is a physics discussion, but as to whether or not there is something there is a metaphysical discussion -- the fundamental aspects of existence is that it is a full plenum where there are no spaces between anything; reality is packed to the brim with that which exists because nothing is not anything and to assign it a place -- i.e. there is nothing here ----> <----- is to say that the nothing can take up space or have a position or have any other attribute of an existent, when it doesn't.

The nil does not exist; there is no nothing; a nothing existing is a direct contradiction.

Concepts exist, but not apart from the entities that have shape and location. Concepts such as love, distance, etc. do not have shape but rather refer to a relationship between shapes with location. Not all concepts exist, a concept only exists if you are referring to a specific relationship between objects/entities (shapes with location). Therefore all concepts that exist can also be illustrated/visualized.

Of course there is no space between things because space is not a thing in the first place. There is either an object/entity between two objects or there isn't. If someone claims there is something between A and B then they can point to a model of this something. Whether they call it space, gobbly goo, or chilli peppers is irrelevant.

So no, of course "nothing" does not exist because it does not have shape (and by extension can't have location). There is something everywhere (at every location) because thing/shape/object precedes location. Something cannot have location without first there being something.

This conclusion follows directly from the definitions, which you seem to understand when you say that "nothing" can't "take up space". What you mean is that nothing does not have shape. "Taking up space" implies that space is a medium (an entity with shape) that can be displaced or that something else can be within. I can have a heart in a box or a fish can displace water, but I can't have love in a box and a fish can't displace space. A pool of water has shape, a boundary, space does not. Space is the antithesis of object/entity, the conceptual opposite of "shape". Additionally "displacement" is dynamic, it implies that the entity has to perform an action such as move in order for it to exist. Shape, however, is static. The object/entity exists all on its own, whether it moves or not, whether I look at it or not.

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I don't believe that (most / many / any) theoretical physicists claim that existence was created by the Big Bang; rather, they hold that the conditions that characterize the universe as we know it came into existence with the Big Bang. The conflict is between Objectivism and popular misunderstandings of the Big Bang.

From its orbit around Earth, the Goddard Space Flight Center's Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) captured this edge-on view of our Milky Way galaxy in infrared light, a form of radiation that humans cannot see but can feel in the form of heat, as part of its mission to test the "Big Bang" theory of the creation of the universe. The theory, first proposed in 1927 by Belgian cosmologist Georges Lematre, holds that the universe began as an incredibly dense "primeval atom" that exploded with tremendous force, unleashing matter and space at the speeds of light. NASA set out to prove the theory with the help of COBE.

http://www.nasaimages.org/luna/servlet/det...f-the-Milky-Way

David can you post where I can find a single source for Lematre NOT claiming that the "universe began" with the bb? Im asking because Ive never seen a single instance of what you claim [bB = presnt order of universe vs beginning of universe], and Im sure you have a good reason for asserting this. Where did you aquire the info that Im missing?

As an aside the BB is a failed theory for other reasons aside from the ex nihilo philisophical veto here discussed. Despite the popular "confirmations" one hears all the time. But this is another story.

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NASA propaganda web pages are not peer-reviewed scientific statements and they are not written by by theoretical physicists staking their professional reputations on what they say. I have no knowledge of what Lemaître published, and you will notice that I did not mention Monsignor Lemaître specifically. If you want an easy but non-authoritative reference, consult the wiki: focus on statements like "the universe has expanded from a primordial hot and dense initial condition", "the Big Bang theory cannot and does not provide any explanation for such an initial condition".

If you want to show that credible theoretical physicists do by and large actually say "The Big Bang created the universe", you can surely find probative and unambiguous quotes. The metaphor "birth" of the universe refers to "the beginning of current conditions", in no way implying creation ex nihilo.

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You seem to be saying that if one object is here and another is over there that our concept of "in-between" is just epistemological rather than the conceptualization of something real.

You misread my post. An object in between to other objects is in fact in between the two other objects. I said that the "in-between-ness" in between two objects is a part of epistemology, but, unlike the two objects, this "in-between-ness" is not itself a real thing.

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You misread my post. An object in between to other objects is in fact in between the two other objects. I said that the "in-between-ness" in between two objects is a part of epistemology, but, unlike the two objects, this "in-between-ness" is not itself a real thing.

Well, if you are trying to say that "in-between" is a concept, then I agree. The "in-betweenness" is not a physical object, it is a concept denoting the relationship between one thing and two other things. But I wasn't trying to say that "in-betweenness" is a real physical object in reality, but rather that there is no nothing, so therefore there is something in-between two things separated by a spatial distance.

This goes back to the original question. If one considers the term "space" to mean a three dimensional relationship, then space, too, is a concept and not the real physical thing that takes up a certain volume -- i.e. there is a lot of space in a large room does not mean the room is filled with a stuff that we call space. In that sense, I agree that space is a concept rather than a physical thing.

But the question is: If one has a vacuum as understood by science today -- i.e. no particles such as electrons, protons, and neutrons, and no fields like electric fields, gravitational fields, and magnetic fields -- is that volume completely empty with nothing in it? I say no, that even though there are no detectable particles or fields, there is still something in there, because there is no nothing. And I don't mean that there may be particles (as currently understood by science) that are in there and are not detectable at this time. I say this because I think they will find that this stuff, whatever it is, has properties different from ordinary matter. Now they may classify it as some different type of material, but it is not going to have mass in the ordinary sense and it won't have bulk in the ordinary sense (it may not clump together into larger objects).

In fact, I would go so far as saying whatever this stuff is makes all fields possible, or rather if scientists looked for the fundamental cause of fields, then this is the stuff they will find. But the term "field" really refers to the forces acting on a point mass unit in a certain volume, so "field", too, is a concept. The question is, what is the thing or the stuff that is there that gives rise to what we now refer to as fields? At this level, it is a physics question, but philosophy says that there is something there because there is no nil.

Added on edit: By the way, I'm not saying this stuff is what is currently being referred to as "dark matter" or even "dark energy" because I have read reports that these concepts may not even be necessary to account for what scientists are saying those concepts are needed for -- i.e. plasma cosmologist claim they can account for these observations without the necessity of having either dark matter or dark energy.

Edited by Thomas M. Miovas Jr.
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even though there are no detectable particles or fields, there is still something in there.

This is a claim to super-natural knowledge, knowledge which is not derived ultimately from detection.

because there is no nothing

The claim "that a nothing exists" is not the inverse of the claim "that where no object exists, no object exists."

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I think some in here don't quite understand the word "nothing".

Nothing: Etymologically it comes from merging "no" with "thing". By this I mean at one time people would say "There is no thing here" or "There isn't something here". Over time the pause between no and thing became so small that it was written as a single word.

So, translated:

Nothing = No thing = No object

So when you say "There is nothing there" you're saying "There is no object there".

Some seem confused about this when they say things like "Let's say we evacuated a box of all atoms, etc. Would there be nothing in the box?" The answer is that, of course there is nothing in the box, i.e. there is no object in the box. This is a tautology!

Premise: There are no objects in the box (A situation one might define as "perfect vacuum")

Question: Is nothing in the box i.e. is there no object in the box?

Answer: Read the premise.

The concept "space" refers to our understanding of the ubiquitous observation that objects have distinct shapes, distinct from each other. Without the concept "space" to refer to this distinction we lose the identity if individual entities like people, couches, etc.

So, space is not an object. It makes no sense to ask "of what does it consist?". This question, translated, means "What objects/entities comprise space?" Well, what objects/entities comprise any concept? Does it make any sense to ask what love, music, or distance is comprised of? Is music built out of the atoms that strike your ear drum?

Asking what space consists of is reification of space. Again, these kinds of questions are answered very simply, quickly, and easily by simply asking "Does X have shape? If so what does it look like?". If you can't visualize it, it's not a thing and can't logically serve as the noun of a sentence nor can it be qualified by adjectives like straight, warped, or curved. Neither can it perform actions such as running, jumping, or playing; nor can it have an action performed on it, concepts cannot be stretched, warped, or immolated.

In casual conversation we often break these rules. Indeed expressing ourselves would be exceedingly lengthy and difficult if these rules were followed perfectly every time. The purpose of this logical arrangement is not so everyone gets bogged down in semantics, it's for when we reach an apparent contradiction or other difficulty understanding some statement or question. When we reach a conceptual wall in our understanding the first thing we should do is start carefully defining what's an object and what's a concept. This has always guided my thinking to a satisfying conclusion, it has not failed me yet.

In general, it's okay to use concepts as convenient shorthand terms for a complicated idea, and refer to it as if it were an object. It's okay as long as we all know what we're talking about, in particular that we all know what relationship(s) of shapes with location is/are being referred to with this concept.

For instance, I may say "the wave collided with the atom". This is semantically and logically absurd, technically, because a wave is not an object and cannot perform an action. However if I have carefully defined the action "wave" in terms of entities (wish shape) then I can communicate my point clearly without having to reiterate my definition of the concept "wave" over and over. If one is unclear they can simply take the word "wave" in the sentence and replace it with the definition I gave of "wave" that is semantically and logically sound, i.e. refers to entities and their causative effects.

So, to recap. If you're unsure about "X" the first thing to ask yourself is "Is X an object or a concept? Does it have shape?" If you think it's an object, then the trial by fire "test" is to visualize and/or draw it. If you can't, then it can't possibly be a thing, but is rather a concept. *Anything* with shape is visualizable, although it may not be seeable. If you can't visualize it, it's not a thing, and you can't talk about its qualities (adjectives), its actions (verbs) nor, by extension, the qualities of its actions (adverbs). At this point you must dig deeper and figure out what relationship(s) among entities gives rise to this concept. Now you can talk about these *entities'* qualities (adjectives), actions (verbs), and the nature of their actions (adverbs). In this way you can understand the concept more clearly, with the entities themselves as causal primaries.

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Thomas,

So what you're saying is simply that there is some entity that we cannot directly see/detect. I think this is correct.

Moreover, I think it's obvious. Nobody's ever seen light, for instance. Of course they haven't, light is the mechanism by which we see. If people had ever "seen" light then Einstein wouldn't have lamented "These days every Tom, Dick, and Harry thinks they know what a photon is. They don't."

Nobody knows the structure of light. Inquiry to this effect as far as modern science is concerned consisted of Newton's corpuscle and Huygens "water waves". In the former case we have billiards streaming from a source and in the latter we have some undulation of a fluid-like medium. Physics never moved beyond these two models.

Unfortunately the two hypotheses were irreconcilable. Experiments that one successfully explained the other one failed. The corpuscle/particle in particular failed so many tests in the 19th century that it was reduced to an anachronism. Then later the particle was resurrected to explain the photoelectric effect and "radiation pressure" to name a couple examples.

Today physics "resolves" the paradox by saying that light propagates as a wave but instantly converts into a particle "upon contact". They expect us to believe in such supernatural phenomena because they were not clever enough to brainstorm a new structure of light. The push for technological innovation meant the person/group with the right mathematical model got funded, not the guy brainstorming and daydreaming about physical structures that justify both behaviors. These days anyone doing physics by posing a structure instead of an equation is laughed off the podium, but it was not always so.

This much we know. Light cannot be a particle and cannot be a wave. One property, rectilinear propagation, is compelling. It seems that only some kind of continuous structure between two atoms can explain this kind of behavior. Additionally, light seems to propagate as some kind of torsion vis a vis Maxwellian "waves". It seems reasonable to posit that a 2 strand anti parallel rope interconnecting two atoms resembles this observation. It has a specific number of links per unit length (frequency). If the atom "reels in" integer numbers of links this explains "quantization".

I would posit that the structure Thomas is referring to is a 2 strand entwined anti parallel rope that physically connects every atom to every other atom. Even if we evacuate the chamber of all atoms we cannot get rid of these criss-crossing ropes between the walls of the chamber, the walls of the room, and every star.

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Nobody knows the structure of light. Inquiry to this effect as far as modern science is concerned consisted of Newton's corpuscle and Huygens "water waves". In the former case we have billiards streaming from a source and in the latter we have some undulation of a fluid-like medium. Physics never moved beyond these two models.

I think we would have to leave that up to physicists, since they would have to run experiments to find out what light or light interactions are comprised of. I wasn't trying to come up with a theory of light, but rather saying that there is no nothing -- as one responder put it succinctly: There is no emptiness anywhere in reality. The history of the nature of light and electromagnetic radiation is interesting. As you pointed out, neither theory of light fully explains what is going on. Some sort of actual waves seems to be involved, however, unless you can find some other way to conceptualize interference patterns.

I would speculate this: Whenever they find out what that in-between stuff is, it and its activities or changes will account for all sorts of phenomena that we don't have an explanation for right now; things like inertia, gravity, and what is currently referred to as fields. All of this possibly comes about due to the nature of the stuff in-between what are now referred to as particles or ordinary matter that we can easily detect with our senses. Inertia is easy to detect with our sense -- i.e. it is difficult to get something to change velocity -- but after one removes all the friction and air or water interactions (say in deep space) one still finds there is a resistance to getting something to move differently; and I think this could be translated into the energy needed to re-configure the stuff in-between. I actually think that is the real meaning behind E=mc^2, but that would require a scientific treatise to explain. In other words, if one writes it as m=E/c^2 then one can account for the resistance to change of motion as an energy interaction (the aether re-configuring).

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I think we would have to leave that up to physicists, since they would have to run experiments to find out what light or light interactions are comprised of.

It's interesting that, when I called this thread a physics discussion (Of what does space consist) I was "corrected". Now I'm told that finding out what "X" consists of IS a physics question. Which is it?

I wasn't trying to come up with a theory of light, but rather saying that there is no nothing

How about this for succinctly:

There is no nothing = There is no no object = There is an object

I think we all agree that yes, there is/are objects that exist. This statement is trivial.

Some sort of actual waves seems to be involved, however, unless you can find some other way to conceptualize interference patterns.

You're talking about the slit experiment, and the rope model I described explains that:

Slit experiment

I would speculate this: Whenever they find out what that in-between stuff is, it and its activities or changes will account for all sorts of phenomena that we don't have an explanation for right now; things like inertia, gravity, and what is currently referred to as fields. All of this possibly comes about due to the nature of the stuff in-between what are now referred to as particles or ordinary matter that we can easily detect with our senses.

Inertia is easy to detect with our sense -- i.e. it is difficult to get something to change velocity -- but after one removes all the friction and air or water interactions (say in deep space) one still finds there is a resistance to getting something to move differently; and I think this could be translated into the energy needed to re-configure the stuff in-between.

I actually think that is the real meaning behind E=mc^2, but that would require a scientific treatise to explain. In other words, if one writes it as m=E/c^2 then one can account for the resistance to change of motion as an energy interaction (the aether re-configuring).

The physical meaning behind Einstein's famous equation is beyond the scope of this thread. From what you (and others) are saying I don't think people are wondering "of what does space consist?", they are wondering what physically connects entities such as atoms.

Edited by altonhare
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You're talking about the slit experiment, and the rope model I described explains that:

Slit experiment

Well, this is not primarily a physics thread, but the electromagnetic rope theory has no facts to back it up. That is, there is no evidence that there are these electromagnetic ropes. The guy presenting that theory brings up interesting points about current theory, but saying all atoms are interconnect by ropes doesn't solve the problems, and there is no evidence to support his theory. Besides, how are the particles supposed to be pumping energy into the system of threads as he indicates?

Added on edit: Besides, there is a glaring contradiction to the tension theory. For anything like a rope or rubber bands under tension, the further apart the two such tied together entities are moved the higher the tension gets -- i.e. the harder they pull together. This is quite the opposite of what is observed -- that gravity gets weaker when two things are pulled apart; likewise with magnetism, the further apart one pulls the magnets, the less attracted they are to each other. So, the tension idea is out, as it contradicts observation.

But getting back to the theme of this thread, I'm glad your realize there is no nothing :huh:

Edited by Thomas M. Miovas Jr.
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Space defined as the nothingness between the things that exist is incorrect.

Metaphysically, every entity is finite. This implies borders and boundaries. If the entity on one side of the border is real then there must be an existential quality to what lies beyond the border or else there could be no border. If no border can be defined then this also leads to the idea that there is no place where there is nothing.

Physically, subatomic particles have a property of extension through space that can only be measured as a probability to find the particle at different places. What appears to us as empty space is actually a place where the vast numbers of particles that exist in the universe all have an overlapping near-zero probability to be located. No matter how arbitrarily close to zero that probability may be measured at a particular location, so long as it is non-zero that location has an existential quality.

This is a restatement of the 'full plenum' idea.

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Thomas, is your avatar a picture of yourself, or of Brent Spiner, the actor who played Commander Data on Star Trek? Either way, I thought you might like to know that whenever I read your posts I always hear them in the voice of Data.

For anyone not familiar with Commander Data, look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_(Star_Trek)

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I guess I need to express something differently, the question of whether or not all of reality is a full plenum or has emptiness it it is a question of philosophy, the question as to what it is that is there (if not directly obvious to the senses) is a physics question. So, there is no emptiness, since that involves a contradiction in terminology and identifying the fact that only existents can have a place or a position or any other aspect of being.

So, to answer the opening question more completely, there is something there at each everywhere, but what it is -- its properties or composition or what actions or changes are open to it -- has not been clearly identified as yet.

Regarding the position of quantum mechanics stating that every particle has a non-zero probability of being anywhere; one ought not to confuse a potential with an actual, so saying each particle is spread out over all of space doesn't follow.

As to Brent Spiner as Data, "Star Trek: Next Generation" is one of my favorite programs and Brent Spiner is one of my favorite actors. Our resemblance stems from each of us coming our hair back and that we both have a prominent nose. And I suppose I can take it as a compliment that you hear the rational, clearly stated facts and reasoning of Data when you read my posts. Remarkably, some people read a condemning or rude tone to my replies, when I am just being factual. So, I guess both Data and myself are misunderstood as to our intent along those lines ;)

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