Starts With A Bang — December 22, 2022
The 4 fundamental meanings of “nothing” in science
- All the things that surround and compose us didn’t always exist. But describing their origin depends on what ‘nothing’ means.
- Most of us, when we talk about nothing, refer to a state where the thing we’re referring to doesn’t yet exist.
- But absolute nothingness, where space, time, and/or the laws of physics don’t exist, is only a philosophical construct, without physical meaning. Does the Universe truly create something from nothing?
- That depends on what your definition of nothing is, and which of the four definitions you’re using.
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In the context of physics, this creates a problem: we cannot make any sense of this sort of nothingness. We’d be compelled to assume that there is such a thing as a state that can exist outside of space and time, and that spacetime itself, as well as the rules that govern all of the physical entities we know of, can then emerge from this hypothesized, idealized state.
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Here’s a head scratcher. If it doesn’t give you pause, then I guess I am just going down the rabbit hole.
Four different definitions of “nothingness” are puzzling.
At best, we’ll never know “the answer”.