kiwiz Posts: 2, Reputation: 1 New Member #1 Sep 30, 2008, 08:26 AM
What is empty space?
Please explain the concept of empty space. I don't get how there can be nothing and still have the place where there is nothing exist. For example, if you took outer space and took everything out of it, it would be empty. So how can it still be there if it is nothingness?
 jmbomm Posts: 8, Reputation: 3 New Member #2 Sep 30, 2008, 09:04 AM

It exists as a vacuum. If necessary, try to think of empty space as an area yet to be occupied by something else. Let's say you have a cookie, but there's a hole in the middle. Does the hole exist? Of course it does, you can see it right there. And so does the cookie. Now, picture the universe as the reverse, in a way. This time, there's a LOT of holes in the cookie, and not so much cookie bits, but the properties still apply.

Another way that -might- help you visualize it is to encapsle the entire concept of the universe and look at it as if it were the size of your fist. It's full of empty space as well as stars and planets. Why does it have empty space? Because nothing else occupies it and you can see that.

Yet another way, and probably the easiest, is to consider empty space as being just another gaseous element, like oxygen. That way, it's easy to realize how and why empty space fills the areas as it does.

Try not to understand the entire concept of empty space through any of these analogies, because it will only confuse you. In the end, empty space is just any measured distance that lacks a substance residing within it.
 BlakeCory Posts: 236, Reputation: 21 Full Member #3 Sep 30, 2008, 09:18 AM

Outer space has very low density and pressure. It has nearly no friction, allowing stars, planets and moons to move freely along their trajectories. But no vacuum is truly perfect, not even in space where there are still a few atoms per cubic centimeter.
 Capuchin Posts: 5,255, Reputation: 656 Uber Member #4 Oct 3, 2008, 12:05 PM
"Free space" or a perfect vacuum still has an energy associated with it called the vacuum energy. This means that a vacuum is not actually nothingness. If you truly had an area of space with nothing in it, that is with 0 energy, then energy would immediately flow from nonempty regions of space. So it's not really a stable configuration of energy, which is kind of what you were saying.
 kiwiz Posts: 2, Reputation: 1 New Member #5 Oct 3, 2008, 06:01 PM

Thank you for helping me understand empty space. I get this concept much better.
 bgaooo45 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1 New Member #6 Apr 22, 2010, 03:12 AM

Cookie example is interesting. When we look at cookie we say there is a hole. Now, after eating cookie the hole is no more. So, does this mean if we remove every thing from space, there is no space? Existence of space is relative?
 InfoJunkie4Life Posts: 1,294, Reputation: 79 Ultra Member #7 Apr 24, 2010, 06:27 AM

When you dig into physics it is a little more complicated.

Capuchin has got it closest. If you say that space just becomes less dense (matter wise) you still leave open space. For instance, lets say that you only have 3 atoms per cubic centimeter. Given the volume of those atoms versus the space associated, you are left with any given point in space of that density with only a 1 in a million chance of it actually having matter, the rest of the time it is empty.

Lets zoom to the sub-atomic level. What exist between the particles in an atom? All we are ever told is space. "An atom is 90% empty."

Einstein, Newton, Huygens, and others suggested an intergalactic medium we call Ether (or Aether) that fills all void, much like air fills and empty glass. Right now there are studies being done in efforts to detect millionths of billionths of gausses to prove there is remnant magnetic energy (from the big bang) that is left even in the most void parts of the universe. Raw magnetic energy that is present where there should be none; right now we don't even know what magnetism is. Scientist believe that photons are simply energy fluctuations between the electric and magnetic planes, but still have yet to explain how it works.

Given all these theories, we can make some sense of them. Say the ether (as Einstein and Newton would have it) is a type substance that isn't truly matter, however not purely energy either. It would be much smaller than even light particles/waves. It would be a medium for energy transport. It would allow the light to act as a wave and a particle all at once.

See a photon is believed (one theory) to be a fluctuation between electric and magnetic energy. The energy in it transfers from one to the other. So as the electric field rises the magnetic field suppresses, and they jitter back and forth in a cyclical manner. While the magnetic wave like action would cause detectable disturbances (Electromagnetic light) that acts like waves, its physical size and movement would be possible as the energy is transferred to a different form that doesn't interfere with the ether. The ether would be undetectable because its affects would be present on everything, including the detection equipment.
 s864007 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1 New Member #8 Sep 23, 2010, 03:11 AM
I like to distinguish physics points of view of Empty space from Mathematic's one. In real universe empty space means vacuum(or ether in past) .and vacuum is not totally zero in every thing ,vacuum has also some properties .For a definite total mass in universe ,it has a very complicated interaction with it's surrounding vacuum,so if we were able to bring out all those masses in our universe and put it some where else consequently we brought out also it's vacuum (it's empty space),as a conclusion there doesn't remain any empty space from physics point's of view .but what will remain there is a mathematical empty space and I name it Zero Space(ZS).
Within ZS no definite frame does exist ,you cannot point out for a particular point, zero has the same value as 1 or infinity has.so it's a really rigid body of numbers with no definite orientation.
 strtarthbr Posts: 1, Reputation: 1 New Member #9 Sep 29, 2010, 09:33 PM
Some scientists believe that there are tiny particles that make up empty space that are so tiny that they may never be detected, and they may not even have a mass or gravity either.
 Hurkle Posts: 1, Reputation: 1 New Member #10 Dec 24, 2011, 10:59 AM
To understand the nature of empty space, one first have to define what one means by empty. When one asks about 'empty' space, one may be asking a meaningless question!
 gammy666 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1 New Member #11 Jan 10, 2012, 07:02 PM
If zero gravity has the amount of mass to lift a liquid or a solid object,it must be something.Plus this zero gravity fills outer space.If it is full of gas etc. that is an element/elements right there!But even if everything in outer space was taken away(plus toxic and gas) it would be as full as an over flowing cup!Example:is the air a (thing)yes!It is made of tiny particles we cannot see.I bet you are wondering:'If the stuff we breathe is tiny particles (enough to surround us,then why don't we choke on it?The answer to that is that there are many many different particles.If we took the air away there would still be many particles all around us,same thing with space.That is my theory of outer space.
 rashidrahim Posts: 1, Reputation: 1 New Member #12 Apr 18, 2012, 06:20 PM
An empty space is like an empty mind where nothing else exist but an awareness that it is there and you cannot deny its existence because it is there, ever present like your TV screen that holds the ever changing images of forms of light particles appearing on it. The space is essential for the energy to freely be. Someone mention that you may remove energy from space but where are you going to send this energy to? Another space? Once you create a void, there is imbalance of energy in space and that will create a shift, a motion of energy and who knows what formation might take place to stabilize the situation. It is the space that holds the energy and space is the characteristic of energy itself. Energy and space is one and you cannot divide nor separate it. It is and will always be.
 bigtexan2 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1 New Member #13 Jun 29, 2012, 02:49 PM
I think this may be an old concept. It seems that now is believed that space is not empty, i.e. that it contains something known as particles. Some refer to the fabric of space. It was stretched out in the beginning. It is not visible to the eye, as atoms and quarks are not visible, but the electric fields that exist are none the less there. Maybe it is like the ocean with floating objects in it. At any rate, it is mind-boggling!
 slazar Posts: 1, Reputation: 1 New Member #14 Oct 17, 2012, 02:40 PM
I think the main question is not if the space is empty but if is really there
Remember Einstein theory that states that that for a moving object time passes at a different rate than the observer of the movement

I'm just thinking what if that is the basic condition for time to exist is movement (if movement can alter time then it can be considered in a way time motion)and actually we are the ones in the moving train(moving at speed of light),
That will explain a lot of things think about it

Gravity will make sense all of a sudden(think of it as inertia in the train)
Time will make sense(I haven't seen anyone asking why time passes except when we are late at smth )
Empty space will make sense (is actually not empty but filled with particles moving at a different speed in time)
Black holes will make sense (once an object reaches a critical mass will start to slow down )-- think you have a small cap of coffee on a table in the train it will stay put in motion , now think about a cargo crate that is put in the train without being secured -- it will slip of the train eventually
Anyway I don't know much about physics but I just felt I should express these ideas
The interesting thing is that there is some research done regarding particles that are moving faster than light (ion radiation affecting astronauts-- but those radiation have smth special like they are not part of our space) so there is actually a reper to take in raport to which the speed of every particle we know including us is higher than light that will explain also why we can't accelerate a particle in our know space to the spee of light -- it will slip of the train (increase in mass)and eventually colapse leaving behind a black hole (which is nothing else but a point in space where particles are losing too much speed -- my opinion)-- the cargo sliping from the train will take with it also the coffe cup that is sitting on it
 herperderper Posts: 1, Reputation: 1 New Member #15 Nov 18, 2012, 07:58 AM
Space, devoid of what we know as matter, is a 4th dimensional fabric consisting of space-time, various fields (which we know barely anything about, an example being the higgs field [see higgs boson]) as well as things like the barely understood dark matter (which makes about 25% of the universe) and the even less understood dark energy (about 70% of the universe)* you've asked quite the question

*yes, all normal matter combined is only about 5% of the universe

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