There is nothing there.

This article just purports to take you along to another linked article.

According to classical mechanics — from 400 year old knowledge of physics, space and time have been considered to be separate entities but not fundamental. Space and time were not considered fundamental quantities as these parameters did not have the mandate to change physical laws of nature. They were merely the tools of the mind or the more aptly the conscious mind. They help us visualize but not dictate what ought to happen.

Then came modern forms of classical mechanics called Relativity theory of Einstein, a 100 years ago, which says space and time are no more separate entities. They are still not fundamental. They don’t decide the form of the natural laws.

But soon afterwards came another branch of mechanics — mechanics is just study of nature and cause of motion, known as quantum mechanics or modern physics which threw a lot of objections to the nature of space and time. We are no more sure of the fundamental nature of space and time. They might be in some respects, fundamental.

Even by 1980 great scientists like Feynman were not sure exactly what space is (and time, they are now inseparable).

Does space (empty space or vacuum eg) weigh? We know there is no matter in it. But the energy calculated for empty space gives infinities. Feynman remarks “there is nothing there”.

But the tools of modern science has been far more penetrating to find out answers to fundamental questions. Our current knowledge predicts that space might weigh almost 70% of the total universe, although its so thinly spread out over the universe that we don’t observe anything.

Yes, that’s empty space; the one that Feynman brushed aside as “nothing”.

We still have a long way to go. But science never depends upon prophetic utterances like “its time which is fundamental, not space” but rather deeply ploughing fundamental human knowledge and prejudices. So there is hope. Look at the advancements that are merely possible because of science. No fairy-tales, no gospel dogmas.

The following article is by Nobel laureate in Physics Frank Wilczek talking about empty space, beginning with what the great Feynman thought (only ~30 years ago) to now. Science can change a great deal in 30 years of this CE, than humanity did in 500 years following AD 1.

How Feynman Diagrams Almost Saved Space



Categories: approach to understand Universe, author, Feynman, Ideas, manmohan dash, Particle Physics, Physics, status

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