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Spacetime or a vacuum can never be totally empty.

Discussion in 'Physical & Life Sciences' started by sjastro, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. stevevw

    stevevw inquisitive

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    Richard Dawkins know all about Lawrence Krauss's nothing that is really something.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2019
  2. AV1611VET

    AV1611VET IN GOD WE TRUST Supporter

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    But where did spacetime or a vacuum come from?

    "Empty" assumes a boundary, does it not?

    You can't start with spacetime or a vacuum, point out that it can never be totally empty, then claim there's no such thing as "ex nihilo".

    In addition, if it isn't totally empty, what's between the pieces and the boundary?
     
  3. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    Mathematically, when space approaches zero then energy becomes a higher probability in that location.
    So energy winks in and out of existence. According to the math all of space sparkles.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2022
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  4. sjastro

    sjastro Newbie

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    No.
     
  5. sjastro

    sjastro Newbie

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    When the Big Bang theory was formulated it exclusively used general relativity as a theory for gravity.
    General relativity is a highly successful theory but it is next to useless when applied at very small scales.

    Consider this thought experiment of taking a ball and shrinking it down.
    At some point it reaches a scale where the ball goes from being described by classical physics to quantum mechanics.
    This scale is reached when the ball reaches its Compton wavelength where the ball can be scattered by photons.
    Quantum mechanics tells us it is impossible for an object to shrink to a point with zero dimensions as this violates the Heisenberg uncertainty principle as a point cannot be measured with 100% precision.

    The same thought experiment can be applied to the universe by running it backwards in time.
    At some point in the past the universe was at the Planck length which is analogous to the Compton wavelength of the ball.
    At the Planck length the universe behaves quantum mechanically where general relativity does not apply and the Big Bang cannot have started from a zero point or a singularity, rather space-time at the Planck length scale must have existed and subject to quantum fluctuations.

    As explained in the post#1, even when space-time is devoid of matter, quantum field theory tells us this vacuum state is a field of the lowest energy state.
    This is supported by the Casimir effect which has been detected in laboratory vacuums.
    Hence a vacuum state can never be totally empty and the Big Bang could not have started from nothing.

    The major goal for scientists is to unify general relativity with quantum mechanics in the form of a quantum gravity theory which can explain gravity at the Planck scale.

    [​IMG]
    Below the Planck scale space-time exists where the energy density and temperatures are so high all the forces, gravity, electromagnetic, weak and strong forces are theorized to become unified.
     
  6. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    True, it's more complicated than that:
    Fermilab Today - Quantum foam
     
  7. sjastro

    sjastro Newbie

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    The link doesn't alter the fact your previous post was gibberish.
     
  8. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    So is the link, as it explains in the text.
     
  9. sjastro

    sjastro Newbie

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    If you are trying to convince me your post is an adequate summary of the Fermilab link I’m afraid not.
    Here is your post again for reference.

    What the Fermilab article is describing is space-time filled with an electromagnetic field that has a zero point energy which describes the energy of the vacuum.
    The presence of the quantum foam is scale dependent on the Planck length, not observable at macro scales, and has nothing to do probabilities.
    It’s like individual atoms being unobservable at macro scales.

    The energy of the vacuum is the expectation or mean value.
    Deviations from this expectation value or vacuum fluctuations produce the virtual particle/antiparticle pairs which pop in and out of existence according to the energy-time relationship of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle ΔE.Δt ≥ h/4ϖ
    It is the energy of these particle/antiparticle pairs the article is referring to.

    It is impossible to directly probe the Planck scale for evidence of quantum foam but physicists have been able to see the indirect effects of the quantum foam at macro scales as described in the article on the Casimir experiment.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2022
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  10. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    When people are critical of others, it reflects more as a personal indicator of insecurity than anything else.

    Why Are Some People So Critical? - Harvard Business Review

    hbr.org › 2014/03 › why-are-some-people-so-cri...[​IMG]

    Mar 6, 2014 — Harsh critics are often talented, intelligent, and productive people. Unfortunately, they have a flaw that compels them to disparage others.
     
  11. SelfSim

    SelfSim A non "-ist"

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    Huh?
    I've always found that when someone responds to something I've asserted as being so, with a succinct 'No', (especially given the topic in this case), there's usually something for me to learn. @sjastro even graciously spent time and went on to explain why what you said was misleading, in his post#89, (which I found to be interesting and informative).

    Why accuse him of some kind of personality flaw, instead of wrangling through the physics then retracting any misleading bits? I mean, the topic is very clearly unrelated to preserving someone's feelings/self-image anyway, no?
     
  12. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    Insightful.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2022
  13. sjastro

    sjastro Newbie

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    You are not fooling anyone trying to disguise this cheap shot or ad hom attack as a treatise on human behaviour.
     
  14. sjastro

    sjastro Newbie

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    Thanks for the post.
    I have been cast into the situation many times where there has been an asymmetry in the knowledge base where I am the novice.
    As you know I have had an on going discussion for more than two years now with the planetary scientist Randy Korotev over meteorites.
    Randy can be a difficult person to deal with and had a link which has since disappeared on how he deals with novices wasting his time.
    This broken link was referred to in the Wall Street Journal.
    Despite the issues I do respect his expertise and he has been very helpful over the years to the point I don't think I am wasting his time any more.
    It would be very easy to fub off Randy as having personality issues as an excuse for not accepting his knowledge.
     
  15. SelfSim

    SelfSim A non "-ist"

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    Yep .. sometimes we all have ta lower the ego level, in order to expand our (useful - scientific) knowledgebase, eh? (I include myself in that).
    This doesn't apply of course, when its obvious gobblydygook (ie: pseudoscience) though .. ;)
    Asymmetry?: Yeah .. its obvious Randy isn't the one writing to all those other people asking them questions about possible meteorites, eh(?)
     
  16. FrumiousBandersnatch

    FrumiousBandersnatch Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes it just means that the others in question are wrong.
     
  17. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    Not often.
     
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