What is space?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by kaneda, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. kaneda Actual Cynic Registered Senior Member

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    The Victorians thought space was made of a material which they called the aether. This was later disproved. In the 1940's on the radio, following ideas of the time, Superman fought against strong currents in space and fifties SF had storms in space.

    More recently, many considered space a vacuum with few atomic particles per cubic centimeter, through which EMR and gravity travels. But the Big Bang idea changed all that. We are told that space is a "something" which can ignore the light speed limit and expand very much faster. It is no longer just the space between matter but exists on it's own and has outstripped the matter and energy expansion of the universe.

    If it is "something", where does all the new space come from? Or can it miraculously expand forever without changing it's structure/density/whatever, and so remain exactly the same?

    Even more amazing. Space was always considered to be 100% transparent to all forms of energy and EMR but now we find it is (maybe) 100% opaque to dark energy which acts on it like infra-red radiation on a gas, causing it to expand into ever larger areas.

    Even stranger, space which many laymen thought of as "nothing" because it is a vacuum, drags along entire galaxies as it expands, so we are told.

    What is space?
     
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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    The Final Frontier!

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  5. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    The distance between two objects.
     
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  7. Harro Registered Senior Member

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    Good question.

    I think of space as infinite in area and time.
    I think of space a not expanding but has all ways existed.
    I think of space as energy/information and the interplay of it's fluctuating density.
    I think of the near vacuum as being the opposite of the near singularity, which neither can reach infinite nothing or infinite density.
     
  8. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

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    It's the area between my ears.
     
  9. draqon Banned Banned

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    relation between objects of the universe. Lack of those objects is space.

    However if you really think about it...is there space that is actually devoid of everything? Even vacuum has neutrinos flowing through it and other quantum particles and perhaps gravity particles (but LHC will tell us if they actually exist), in addition to various forms of energy. So there is no true space, or true emptiness and void.

    huh? Thats not true.
     
  10. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Space is simply the area in which things exist. If there is an aether or expanding curved whatever, that's not space. Space is the area in which it exists.
     
  11. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Space is what I have left in my bank account!
     
  12. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    Space is the expanding energy of the universe.
    It has a charge.
     
  13. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    There is energy in space. Space is not energy.
     
  14. Steve100 O͓͍̯̬̯̙͈̟̥̳̩͒̆̿ͬ̑̀̓̿͋ͬ ̙̳ͅ ̫̪̳͔O Valued Senior Member

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    I am no physicist, but my understanding is that space is just another construct of the human mind, much like time.
     
  15. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    Universe is the energy, so even "empty" space is energy.
    Its charge is called the cosmological constant.
     
  16. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Saying space is energy is saying area is energy.
    Absurd
     
  17. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    Well, in our universe it is.
     
  18. MarcAC Curious Registered Senior Member

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    Excellent post.

    What about the quantum foam of virtual particles with zero point energy? Or the dimensions curled up in superstrings?

    As space expands, the quantum foam must necessarily be generated so that the fluctuations can stay below a certain size (area/volume) largely dictated by the Planck length. So is quantum foam the source of dark energy?

    Of course, where the hell is the foam coming from? Probably being fed by an energy field from a dimension orthogonal to this one... So in comes string theory.

    Just goes to show that we shouldn't laugh too much at the flat earth and ether guys from asunder, cause the clear answer to your question is: we don't know.

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  19. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    You mean you don't know. Speak for yourself.
     
  20. Roman Banned Banned

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    What if there's a concrete wall inbetween? Is that wall now space?
     
  21. superluminal . Registered Senior Member

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    If (Q) says it is, then it is. Don't argue, just obey.
     
  22. Roman Banned Banned

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  23. superluminal . Registered Senior Member

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    Mayan or Aztec?
     

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