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Space and matter

Dear all,

As always, please take a break first and have some tea before reading this blog, Sirs.

I like to think about the empty vacuum space.  If we are floating in the free weightless vacuum space wearing some appropriate surviving suit and if we wave our hand, then we feel no reaction force to our hand.  And however strongly we stare at the space itself, we cannot see anything.  There seems to be nothing in the vacuum.

Thus the physical space is but a nothing, a perfect void.  But I am doubting whether the space is really completely nothing  or not.

When we were junior school pupil, we all learned the Archimedes principle.  The principle says that when an object is immersed in a water, then the object will feel a floating force which is proportional to its occupying volume in the water.

The Archimedes principle induces me to imagine that the similar effect might be occuring when an object or matter such as an electron or a proton exists in a space.  That is, if a matter exists in a space, then it will exclude a portion of the "empty space" which is equal to the mattere's volume.  This "fact" leads me to suspect that there might be something, some effect around the matter, much like the Archimedes force.

I like to imagine the physical property and structure of the space, of the complete empty void space if it really happens to possess such a property or a structure.

What would your imagination about the space be like, Sirs?

Thank you for your time


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3 Replies
New Contributor

Re: Space and matter

You're right, nothing is in fact, something.  How do we know this?  Although it may be over my head, I chalk it up to the latest developments in quantum physics.  There are particles/matter that me have yet to quantify and some that we have in fact quantified.  Think of the latest discovery of the Higgs boson.  What was once "nothing" turns out to be something-the Higgs.  I'm sure there are more discoveries to come.  For more insight check out the episode of Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman titled "What is nothing."



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New Contributor

Re: Space and matter

Friendly Warning:  I also recommend to drink that tea or whatever to get the thinking cap on. I am not the best writer, still this is easily doable with high reading comprehension not more punctuation. Enjoy 😃

Comment directed at the Archimedes principle relationship you mentioned:

For a long time human consideration of air pressure has been given a pass by nature.   Something like 10,000 kg per square meter is pushed down on our heads as we go fishing or problem solve a broken car, yet knowing this is not required for much of our past or future intellectual development.  With that, there may be worthwhile consideration only reasoning, from an excess of knowledge, will allow us to perceive what it is our instruments and senses today cannot observe.  An analogy: Effects we feel from air pressure like headaches may have some observable things in the cosmos like dark matter formations or accelerated universal expansion.

I have my own ideas on hyper elongated light waves and multiple mass incursions outside visible range of known universe, but that is for another time. Still who else has taken the time to consider "big bangs" ( what I call mass incursions) 600 billion light years away?

Something else to consider:

How we define what is, and what can be, will be built every time into an incomplete model of truth for any of our purposes. A challenging misconception I learned in college. Even 1+1=2 is a oversimplified breakdown of anything anywhere within our existence. Despite how adamant some people are in clinging to math being their saviour from uncertainty, as being a tool of pure truth. Even though not so much publicly stated you can see arguments between scientific philosophies and I wont hide that I am on the side of the dreamers.

I am not trying to be poetic.  I think it is necessary to stress how a scientist needs to respect how the neural interconnections of the mind, through experiences and born ability, build patterns that you and I then must undo to gain expertise on how particles behave. As well as respect our needs to articulate a reason for doing so. Perception is what you are arguing and that is what I am trying to enhance the philosophical discussions there of.

My main point:

Often descriptions like "energy" and "emptiness" are misleading accounts of physical reality. Even if they serve empirical usage in an equation relative to one of those 'models of truth'.  Now for my main point.  To try and answer your question I start by asking another.  What allows us to move?  I had to introduce with "energy", but to my point I will never mention that word again.

How you see we take up space is best explored first not by mesmerizing arguments of dimensionality, but simply attempting to recognize that something allows particles to move and something allows particles to stack as they do ( space ) and with light it may be neither of these and holds a place in third and forth considerations on how particles interact and can change. 

After 20 years of asking the question " what allows us to move?" my confidence in both education and sanity is secure. Even if in need of continuous Doubt =P. 

In existence  there can be argued a 'substance' comprising the "empty vacuum". Dictating our universe's perceived version of particle behaviour. Ideas in my opinion must be listed, so we can engineer rather than day dream how to preform our next era of experimentation. In my imagination I have come to see a neglect of scientific method on the very act of preforming the scientific method.   So far as I have found my notion of characteristic auditing is rare if not unique to how I mean it to include more than what already has facts to support. 

Conclusion on how to proceed:

Conceptual building blocks may start as analogy or thought experiment, but descriptive potential (new terms) in language often does. So some brave souls must follow through into intelligent application of abstract ideas. Sometimes people must also counter the dependency on a word re-translated over and over. As it may be confusing perception using the assumption that something being a coefficient means it can be statically verified.

Our universe may be made up of invisible conditions that mocks the limitations of our machines that rely on magnetism. Further discovery may need a piece wise method of manipulation on particles we only begun to observe. Scientist have acknowledged the possibility of where aspects of what we see may have fundamental substance we can never observer. Yet admitting a limitation and challenging it fully are two very different exercises of wisdom. 

The worst thing anyone can do is say all we have to work with is what we observe.  That is a foolish insecurity. As our imaginations, however wrong, is our greatest source for making discovery.

Thank you for your time reading my blurb of thoughts. Also I deliver coffee to offices, so if anyone can help me network to being more useful I would be grateful!

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New Contributor II

Re: Space and matter

In a philosophy of science course that I teach, we note that meaning of the term "space" changed with time. When Aristotle's idea of motion was the accepted "model," only two points in space were important, the point at which motion began and the point at which it stopped. When Newton's "model" became the accepted way of thinking, we had to worry about more than those two points; we had to start thinking of space in terms of a three-dimensional grid through which something moved. When relativistic mechanics was proposed, we had to assume that space could be curved. The Archimedean approach works if we place mass into something, like water. But relativistic ideas of space are fundamentally different. There isn't a "something" into which the particle is immersed.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to meet Neil Armstrong when he visited Purdue for the dedication of a building named after him. (He was a Purdue alumni.) Because I was paid during my graduate work by a NASA fellowship, I had to confirm a couple of stories I had heard in the late 1960's. I asked him whether it was true that he asked the NASA engineers whether they used Newtonian or relativistic mechanics to calculate the path of Apollo 11. He confirmed that he had. I asked whether it was true that NASA used Newtonian mechanics to calculate the path in case they had to use the on-board computer. He confirmed that they did. I asked whether it was true that he was told that he was the "relativistic correction." He confirmed this as well. They told him they would get him close and he had a "stick" to move the capsule to a good landing space. I asked him whether the story about the on-board computer was correct. He said it was. Fortunately they didn't use the onboard computer because someone had programmed it with the wrong sign of the gravitational constant.

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