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Posts posted by pantheory

  1. BJC,


    .....I would think any answer to "where does space end?" must consider conditions prior to the Big Bang. If the inflationary model is considered then vacuum energy existed prior to the Big Bang which implies space but no time (whatever time is!!)


    Vacuum energy has a constant energy density - does this imply a constant space field. Would this field be infinite? Does infinity even have a meaning when discussing a constant static energy field? ....

    There is no consensus concerning the standard BB model whether space existed before the BB. I like your wording by stating that the Inflation model "implies" that it did. Many do believe that space existed first. Also many believe that the field (ZPF) existed before a BB. I think the point in question involves the definition of space, which brings up philosophical questions. Such a question would be: what would be the meaning of space and time in the absence of all other facets of reality. Einstein, I think, explained his answer to this question based upon two quotes of his which can be joined together concerning his response to the general question:


    "..... if all the matter (and field) in the universe were removed....(what would happen)? (His response): "..... my theory proves that space and time would disappear along with matter" (and field)

    Einstein said "... there exists no space empty of field."

  2. between3and26characterslon,

    My understanding of the big bang model is that matter did not exist until some time after TBB. If the theory says that space existed before matter existed then it-(the theory) implies space can exist independent of matter

    The general consensus of the BB model is what you have stated: matter did not exist before the BB. I think the general BB consensus is that space and energy preceded the creation of matter. I agree that the consensus of theorists believe that space can exist separate from matter.


    I think the question now being discussed is whether space can exist separate from the Zero Point Field. In this question I don't think there is a consensus among theorists but according to the Einstein quotes presented here and my own postings and logic presented, is that space has no meaning in the absence of everything else within its boundaries. Accordingly whether space is considered to be finite or infinite or whether space is bounded (the OP question) might be solely based upon the definition of space that is being used. The definition which I adhere to is this: Space is a distance, area, or volume bounded by two or more points within the Zero Point Field (ZPF). Einstein said that space does not exist in the absence of field.


    There may be no consensus concerning a generally accepted definition of "space" by theorists but the most common definition that I find considers space to be a boundless, unending continuum defined something like this one: Space is conceived in three dimensions although in modern physics time is usually added to space as part of a boundless four-dimensional continuum known as spacetime.

  3. Hi BJC,

    If you please, could either of you clarify some of your terms?


    matter, field: You seem to use matter in the conventional "particle" sense and refer to a "field" as separate entity. In GR and in QM matter has a field formulation so i am unsure as to how, or even why, you are separating matter and field. I would think we only need particle type matter to measure time and space but this technological constraint should have no bearing on the extent of space.

    When I use the word field, also believing Einstein was referring to the same or similar idea/ entity. I'm referring to the Zero Point Field (ZPF) and believe Einstein in most of his writings/ references that had no other references or clarifications. In physics the Zero Point Field (ZPF) is presently known to have the following characteristics:




    The ZPF is known to contain energy (ZPE) and produce virtual particles as well as containing known particles such as neutrinos, photons of countless frequencies. Also there may be one or more presently unknown, undiscovered theoretical particles within it such as dark matter, gravitons, Higgs particles, quantum foam, etc. etc. as well as theoretical energy such as dark energy, plus almost countless other presently theorized but yet unknown physical particles as well as known energies. So bottom line is that when most physicists talk about the background field they are usually talking about a real rather than a theoretical entity which is called the ZPF. The ZPF is often referred to as the new aether including its totally known as well as theoretical contents. Whether it is the same type of aether theorized more than a hundred years ago is still a matter of debate, contrary to public opinion and the education of most of today's physicists.


    As far as matter is concerned, I refer to known matter in conventional theoretical form and theory. I think it is still unknown as far as the true underlying structures of atomic particles, for instance, whether being conventional round-like structures, string-like structures, or some other form.


    Hope you continue to ask questions:) I am a theorist in cosmology but this is a science forum so that anything said in this and other science forums must provide sources and also explain when mentioning/ discussing hypothesis/ theory other than mainstream. The above several paragraphs gives reference to maybe 20 or more alternative mainstream hypothesis as well as some non-mainstream hypothesis.


    As to my own theory/ opinions, I believe field and matter are entirely different entities which are generally unrelated. Matter accordingly creates two kinds of waves in the ZPF, one is EM radiation and another is de Broglie waves.

  4. snapback.pngStringJunky, on 19 June 2011 - 01:01 AM, said:


    I was trying to come up with a simple and broad definition of 'space'.


    This is my idea of the proper definition of space.

    I agree with those theorists who assert that both time and space were created from the beginning of the universe, and that there is no such thing as before that. In the same way the meaning of space could be defined as the volume that is occupied by the field (ZPF), which can include matter within its extension. Distance can be defined as a two dimensional extension of space which can be defined as a distance between points within a field which might include matter. This I think explains the question. Space extends as far as the field extends and not beyond. Similarly as Decarte proposed, space is an extension of matter, or you might say matter and field. Hypothetical space vacant of field or matter I believe is only imaginary or science fiction. At such a boundary space would end and the potential for extending space would begin.


  5. csmyth3025,


    (my quote)


    ....I don't perceive these quotes as necessarily conflicting since it is commonly believed today that the field (the ZPF) can and does exist in the absence of matter, but that matter does not exist in the absence of field, and accordingly space does not exist in the absence of both, which relates to the question of this thread...

    (your quote)

    I'm afraid I don't follow your logic: If "There exists no space empty of field" and there are fields which do not require matter in order to exist, why does the existence of space require both a field and matter?

    You are correct. Space accordingly does not require matter. The logic is that space requires something that has existence within its boundaries (between two or more points all of which must include at least field within its entire domain) to enable any meaning of its own existence. Space must accordingly contain field within it and may or may not also include matter within the same distance/ volume/ boundaries along with the field, for such a volume or distance to accordingly be considered space based upon my own model and I believe Einstein's according to his quotes. Accordingly hypothetical void-volumes that some might call space would be solely imaginary, non-existent, science-fiction volumes and distances.


    As far as I know, the big bang theory postulates that the universe started in a very hot and dense state and evolved from there. The theory postulates no initial conditions for the "beginning entity".


    People generally assume that this beginning entity must have occupied a finite amount of space and contained a finite amount of energy. That's just how they visualize the big bang and how the media usually depicts the so-called "big bang singularity".


    The big bang theory places no such restriction on the beginning entity. It could just as easily have been infinite. The inflationary epoch would have quickly expanded the "rest" of the universe beyond our cosmic horizon.

    As to the question of a beginning infinite entity, again the word infinite must be precisely defined. Most assert that theoretically a beginning BB entity that might have been infinitely small would have been at the same time infinite in density, whatever that or its implications might mean. No theorist, that I am aware of, consider that such an entity could have also been infinite in its extension or infinite concerning any other meaning of the word infinite. As far as I know all BB theorists believe that the beginning entity was, or soon became, of finite dimension, extension and potential. I know of no BB papers asserting otherwise. From a dimensionally finite beginning BB entity of limited potential, only a finite universe could ever result unless the concept of totally vacant space is given some hypothetical meaning such as "potential space" for instance which might be perceived as having infinite extension possibilities concerning the many infinite-expansion versions. Even in these models the universe would always be finite concerning its extension or any thing else, at any present or future time.

  6. csmyth3025,<br><br>Very relevant info and I think good Einstein quotes. Thanks for the edification Chris.<br><br>

    Einstein has sent mixed signals on the question of the role matter plays  in space-time. At one time he's said that space-time can't exist without  <b>matter</b> and (in 1952, at least) he's also said that "there exists no space <b>empty of field</b>"
    .<br>I don't perceive these quotes as necessarily conflicting since it is commonly believed today that the field (the ZPF) can and does exist in the absence of matter, but that matter does not exist in the absence of field, and accordingly space does not exist in the absence of both, which relates to the question of this thread.<br><br>
    ....It's important to note that the presence or absence of matter has no bearing on whether the universe is finite or infinite.
    <br>I think the question of whether the universe is finite or infinite is primarily based upon the definitions of the words "space" and "infinite" concerning a flat space/ universe. If space that is devoid of matter and field is believed to have existence rather than simply being non-existent, then the universe would be infinite by definition unless bounded by a "warped" geometry of space.   And conversely the universe must necessarily be finite if space does not exist outside the confines of matter and field, when starting from a finite beginning entity such as the BB model.   In theoretical physics (as far as I know :) ) something finite like a beginning entity, could not become something infinite through evolution excepting by a change in the geometry of space, or if totally empty vectors or infinite voids are considered distances or space respectively, by definition<br><br>regards,  Forrest
  7. Marqq and pantheory, you guys do realise that a theory is developed as a model of reality such that things can be explaned and predicted.


    In the case of string theory, I realise the math is horrendous, but its there for a reason. String theory attempts to unite the fundamental forces of the universe. GR and the 4 dimensions of space/time are sufficient for gravity. Five dimensions are sufficient for gravity and electomagnetism ( see Kaluza-Klein and Planck size rolled up dimensions ). To explain the weak and strong nuclear forces, another five, six or possibly up to 21 more dimensions are needed, all rolled up at Planck lengths. It would seem to me that to explain the chirality or handedness of the weak force we need an odd number of spatial dimensions so 10 and 26 total ( including time ) seem to work but eleven doesn't. However, current string theory is pushing towards 11 dimensions, so I'm probably wrong.


    So... just saying your theory is simpler doesn't cut it. What is your theory trying to accomplish ? It certainly doesn't seem to be trying to unite forces. As to making valid predictions please tell us what predictions, if any, your 'theory' might make so that it may be tested. If it doesn't make any, its on even more precarious footing than string theory which also doesn't make any predictions , but it at least manages fundamental force unification.

    My opinion is that strings are the right configuration concerning the foundations of matter, but extra dimensions are not needed and nothing needs to be unified, again -- in my opinion. The reason is that my own model does not adhere to the primal, a priori idea of fundamental forces. Einstein proposed, for instance, that gravity was not a force but instead was caused by the warping of space. Even though I do not adhere to the warped-space idea (one reason is that space appears to be flat) but I do believe that gravity is not a force as Einstein proposed. But in the same way I also believe that none of the other "fundamental pulling forces" are really forces either, but instead can be explained by mechanical mechanisms via string theory. Therefore accordingly reality would be simpler and no forces would need unification since there would be generally nothing fundamental to unify.


    This section being the science forum, I realize that the model that I just mentioned or any version of string theory in general, would be contrary to the standard model of particle physics. Although I think there may be some evidence and much logic and predictions which might support this "simple universe, theory of everything" model, the elaboration of the details probably belongs in the Speculation Forum. I will start such a thread there if anyone would be interested. Marqq are you there :) ? or others :) ?


    But yes you are correct, conventional String Theory is an attempt to create a General Unified theory/ model unifying the so-called fundamental forces. But on the other hand if I am right, no new math (other than a Minkowsky type string theory explaining elementary particles) would be needed concerning unification of forces because there would be no fundamental forces to unify and the universe would be a far simpler place. On a separate matter I think both QM and GR need to be modified (or replaced) to better understand reality and as a result realize why these models were not compatible. I think the key is related to the "hidden variables" idea supported by Einstein and related papers today that relate to hidden variables such as dark matter, Higg's particles, gravitons, quantum foam, ZPF anomalies, etc. etc. But of course more evidential support will probably be needed to have such proposals more seriously considered.

  8. csmyth3025,


    To those who haven't studied physics and mathematics there are a lot of science concepts that don't seem to "make sense" or are "too complex to understand". This doesn't make them wrong.


    I agree totally, and can even say that many who even know the present interpretations still think some of it does not make logical sense, like myself for instance. I am well educated on such matters. The examples you gave I believe I understand the logic, the why's and reasoning, but some interpretations that I am aware of I think seem illogical and I believe are just wrong -- but maybe that's just me. Mathematics has its own logic like Quantum Mechanics, for instance, but that does not necessarily mean that all the verbal interpretations/ explanations of Quantum Theory (QT) are correct, does it? As theories go the verbiage of QT seems like the least logical of all well known theories today, yet few doubt (including me) that the mathematics of QM is the best thing going to predict behaviors or interactions concerning particles in the quantum world.


    Because a theory is not logical does not mean that it should be dismissed in some way, only that the explanations of it should be looked at using a more critical approach, in my opinion.



    Do you have a reference for that quote?


    My references:

    http://www.sciencefo...430#entry612430 :) the O.P.




    Einstein's resolution, last quote.

  9. csmyth3025,

    "People before me believed that if all the matter in the universe were removed, only space and time would exist. My theory proves that space and time would disappear along with matter" Einstein.

    Chris, all of my statements above are related to the above quote by Einstein. Since there is no consensus in cosmology today concerning one definition of space, my opinion accordingly is that space ends where both matter and field end and its definition should not include the possibility of infinite space if neither matter nor field (ZPF) are believed to be infinite in quantity. The idea is that space without matter or field within it, would be meaningless or you might call it undefined -- such as a quantity divided by zero.


    Our last postings crossed paths during my amendment, adding and changing a few sentences. Sorry about that :)

  10. Hi. I'm a new member so if i have completely misunderstood this then please don't laugh at me. :P


    I was having a discussion on another forum about the likelihood of life on other planets, and i thought about applying the poisson distribution to workout the highest probability that only 1 planet would have life on it (i.e us). I had to assume the mean was 1 and it came out at 36.7879%. Now this only shows the probability of only 1 planet forming with life, prior to knowing that 1 planet has formed with life, but it would at least show that if we are alone, it is a pretty big coincidence because even having an average designed to make it as unlikely as possible, it is still almost a third of a chance.


    Can someone please explain whether this is correct or explain where i have gone wrong?


    No John, the use of statistics for this reason is wrong. The reason is that there is no "normal distribution" involved which is the basis for normal curve or Poisson statistics. The exo-planets that we have detected so far are generally too large and/ or too close to its star to support life as we know it. Although we might be on the verge of discovering such planets thought to be within the so called Goodilocks zone (habitable zone). Also there are no statistics at all concerning other water planets so there could seemingly be no basis to assess the likelihood that water planets will produce life of any kind other than it happened once in our case. Statistics in general are based upon population information and it will probably be millennia before we could use statistics in this way (if ever). Right now a modified Drake Equation seemingly might be the best means to estimate probabilities of exo-planetary life in general.

  11. csmyth3025,


    I made a few addendums to my last post which you were not able to read since your posting was made before my amendments. I do not think my changes would have effected your response, only that you can now look at my comments concerning an infinity of space which was the primary change and addendum.


    Chris, I generally agree with your comments but think that definitions of words are very important, not only for discussions of concepts involving those words like this thread for instance, but to have more clear mental images of reality in general from at least one perspective. One related question that arises I think is this: Is reality relatively simple or is it mind boggling? If one always accepts the idea that reality is mind boggling then I think they will not be be able to ask the proper internal questions that might enable a better understanding of reality, which for most people I believe is an ongoing task.


    (your quote)


    "...If one defines space to include volumes outside the confines of that which we will ever be able to observe and beyond the effects of which we will ever be able to detect, what would be the value or meaning of such a definition that's unrelated to any knowledge we can possibly have?"


    I'm not suggesting that a definition of space should include or exclude theoretical volumes of space outside of what will ever be observable, I'm proposing the exclusion of what some propose as an infinite volume, from definitions of space. I'm discussing a definition of space that might answer the primary question of this thread, where does space end. Your question in quotes I think is a valid one but it seems to me like you are saying something like: what difference does it make how the universe started or any other question in cosmology that we could never know? We have evidence of things through observation and our nature as humans is to try to figure it all out so that we can better understand reality. A great number of intelligent people don't care about things that we could never know. What difference does it make exactly how old the universe is or how far it extends, as in your example. My contention and hope is that if one has the understands concerning the definitions of the words space and time as I have explained them, then I think their understandings of reality in general will improve. In this case without new discoveries in the cosmos, I think that by better definitions alone, understandings of reality can improve. Of course it is always better to make clear your meanings concerning words that one is using in conversation that could be ambiguous. Such words need to be clarified for meaningful conversation anyway -- and "where does space end" is after all the question/ subject of this thread :)


    Most realize that there is no mainstream consensus concerning an answer to this question "where does space end," so this is my take concerning what I think is a preferable answer.

  12. Margg,


    "Well, to start with, it's a lot less complicated. I realize that also means my idea is much less developed, but I believe that even upon development, it would end up far less complicated (and thus, in my opinion, more likely). I don't see any need for more than 3 dimensions (as is apparently required by the frightening mathematics involved with string theory), and I can't bring myself to accept that anything actually exists in 1, 2 or 4+ dimensions.


    The strings in string theory are said to be lines which, as far as I know, have no thickness, and occupy space only through exceptionally indescribable modes of vibration. These strings apparently have their own spacial dimensions, bending left and right forward and back, combining and dividing, all while only being singular universal building blocks. Even my VERY limited understanding of it seems overly complicated and fantastical to me. I wonder how a string, as described, can bend without joints?......."


    (your quote above)


    My own theory concerning the structure of matter is similar to yours. String-like strands of elementary particles (in my case) in 3 dimensions which form loops and spin as fermions. Nothing complicated also, except the math and even that is much less complicated than the 11 or more dimensions of conventional string theory. The width dimension of zero for conventional string theory is also meaningless I think. The math of string theory requires that the width of zero is used but actually the width could theoretically be many times smaller than a plank length which is pretty small. This would enable the use of zero in the calcs. Use any search engine on my screen name pantheory and you will see my theories.


    As to how far space extends, I believe would be easy for most people to understand the answer once a "better explanation" of space is explained. To explain this definition and understanding of space, is that space only extends to the extent that matter exists, within the same confines, and not beyond. If one defines space to include volumes outside the confines of matter in the universe (considering there is only one universe), what would be the value or meaning of such a definition that was unrelated to matter? seemingly None! It would be a meaningless volume and concept outside the confines of matter and field, just like a definition or description of time that would include time separate from the physical existence of matter and field. An example of such a sterile definition of time might include intervals during which nothing at all could change or happen except for hypothetical time changes within the interval. The key words that I think should define time is accordingly "an interval of change" in physical reality and the key words that define space is "an interval of extension," within a physical reality. Such a space or time interval requires at least two reference points. Both time and space also require a standard for comparison to enable a numerically value to them. Such length standards for distances which we presently use are the meter, the light year, cubic parsecs, etc. (for space), and for time the second, the year, etc. Although we use the phrases of "a point in time" or "a point in space," a single point cannot explain either word. Both time and space accordingly require matter at two or more observable or theorized points at their extremities to give meanings to all facets of concerning explanations of an interval including a numerical value, or a useful identification concerning what particular interval you are referring to.


    For the same reasons time or space as a continuum in all possible directions which would be too broad of a definition of "present reality" since it would include infinity vectors (in one or more directions), which are non-intervals which accordingly could confuse understandings of space or time. These vectors might only point the direction toward possible future extensions of space or the probable single vector extension of time.

  13. Photons are particles in a field around the earth, moving with the earth thru space, enclosed in the sun's ether & rotating round the sun yearly.

    Responsible for gravity inertia. Electrostatic & magnetic forces are distortions in the ether at right angles to each other, light being oscillations between them.

    Satisfies Michelson-Morley & Sagnac experiments. Relativity works if the inertial frame is aligned with the ether.


    I think your general ideas are correct. In the long search for dark matter they may discover the aether for real, which I believe is the cause of mass and gravity, will provide an explanation for magnetism, for all EM radiation, de broglie waves, GR, Qauntum theory, double slit experiment, etc. etc.

  14. Humans no doubt have intelligence, and sometimes we even create little micro worlds in a little dish. If this is possible that we could recreate life in a dish is it not possible that life on earth could have been created by an intelligent form? Im not saying intelligent design is how it is and evolution is wrong, im just saying its a possiblitity!


    I think it is one of the possible but highly improbable beginnings of life, human life, intelligence, etc .; I think 1 in a million would be giving this possibility to much credence.

  15. DO you have a website?

    Mine is www.structrureofexistence.com


    I just took a quick look at your site. Cool! Mine is pantheory.com It appears that we both have a book in cosmology and plenty of related ideas. I'll read more of your site as time permits,


    Regards, Forrest

  16. Md65536,


    "I don't have a firm handle on curvature but I think curvature due to mass approaches 0 (flat) as distance approaches infinity, but it is still non-zero at any arbitrary distance???"


    Yeah, that sounds right to me according to the warped space model, that matter warps the space surrounding it and is the cause of gravity.


    " ... there is an intrinsic limit to distance based on time (concerning gravity). A mass cannot have any effect on anything outside its light cone."


    (parenthesis added)


    This is also valid but indirectly there is a gravitational effect of everything on everything else. The idea is that although it is outside your light cone now, for instance, it does and did effect its neighbors, which effected its neighbors, and so on, all the way back to you. If something is outside your light cone but could somehow disappear, then according to GR it could never effect you because its effects could not travel faster than the speed of light.


    "That spacetime warps (consistent with SR and GR) is a fact of reality that I accept."


    The warping of space (space-time) is unrelated to SR which says nothing about this. It is strictly a GR proposal. But of course the concept does not violate SR.


    "...I don't think that all these beliefs are mutually consistent, and I'm missing some understanding of the meaning or implications of curvature..."


    As to the meaning of flat space: it is what we see in the everyday world. It's the way other animals see the world. It is simply a three dimensional structure of reality which is the natural way that it appears to be to the unaided eye. It was the reality of physics up until Einstein proposed it differently. Remember, there is no evidence of any kind that I know of, that space is curved.


    There is evidential support that gravity works in a non-linear fashion, not strictly according to the inverse square law of Newton. As to curved space: In Riemann geometry which is the geometry of GR, two parallel lines can eventually cross. There is no forth dimension involved (other than time) so that it is a type of non-linear geometry which Riemann said did not apply to the natural world, yet Einstein found an application of it in the equations of GR, whether right or wrong. If space is entirely flat at the largest scales of the universe, then at least the warped space/ curved space idea of Einstein is wrong. All observations so far seem to indicate that at least the observable universe appears to be flat.

  17. gillian,


    Even if clusters are huge gravity wells and that escaping light from them are bent, does not mean that intelligent space craft would have to follow this course. Like from Earth to orbit the most efficient way to orbit to save fuel is to follow a circular path into orbit. If fuel was not a concern you would just go straight up and away :) like sci-fi UFO's. Some day I believe we won't waste the time with circular paths to orbit or to go out and about :)

  18. Montanman


    I understand that in general a theory describes how something or a system works.


    Theories may be correct or incorrect. They may accurately reflect the reality

    or they may simply be ideas and not facts ( unsubstantiated ideas in some cases).


    Many people think that evolutionary theory is all fact. I do not agree with this.

    Many of it's ideas are unsubstantiated. For example I have been told

    ( by Ophiolite here ) that speciation has been observed but I have not yet

    seen the evidence ( I have some research links on this I am looking at now).

    There are other evolutionary ideas I am also not sure about.


    Natural selection as far as I can see works fine and is demonstrated

    today ( and past observations ) in the wild/nature.


    When I have seen more hard evidence I may change my mind in a number of



    On that last point you made above I agree that I was just stating the obvious.


    Thanks again for your help.


    Of course some consider that speciation is still debatable. It is at the heart of evolution just following natural selection. I suggest you read as much as you wish on the subject. As for myself I have seen lots of great examples/ evidence for it but don't wish to spend the time to find the links at this time. Hopefully, for your questions sake, others will do so. If not later I might look for the examples that I aware of.


    There is lots of evidence that some of the animals within the same genus can bread together, lions and tigers, whales and dolphins, horses and donkeys, etc. One of the definitions of speciation, with lots of exceptions like the ones given, are that animals in different species no longer can bread together. In the cases given, some of the off-spring are fertile and some are not. It is not a point to be argued IMHO unless you are educated concerning "examples" of natural selection and speciation which would require at least several days of investigation on the net IMO.


    Obviously there are no "certain" examples that are beyond argument, but it's easy to draw logical conclusions from the evidence that speciation exists IMHO. The problem is that it usually takes millions of years to occur and is more rare concerning members of an evolving species when both species are alive. Realize that speciation does not necessary mean that the species that started the speciation has died off although that usually is the case. Speciation is also not thought to always be linear or based upon natural selection. An example would be a virus or bacteria getting into the DNA of a living animal and its embryos. It could in one step modify the offspring to the extent that it would not be better adapted but might be equally adapted. This "new species" might prefer breading with each other and may not be able to bread with members of its original species. There are many man-made examples of creating divergent individuals using foreign DNA.

  19. Md65536,



    ".....It seems that if space is flat (infinite) and homogeneous and isotropic then an abstract definition of distance would match a real definition of distance?


    Then, even if we couldn't measure distance in nothing without putting something into it, we could extrapolate it. This relies on the assumption that spacetime curvature is homogeneous to an infinite distance in any direction, which kinda implies that infinite distance is defined. I'm confusing myself now, but there must be something in this statement. Matter causes spacetime curvature at a distance. That curvature can be measured or extrapolated. Or is spacetime curvature the same as distance, and could be argued to have no meaning except between given reference points?


    Without figuring out the meaning of nothingness or space, I would guess that the calculable effect of spacetime curvature caused by mass would allow for a definition of distance, and this curvature is defined within the light cone of that mass......"


    (your quotes above)


    IMHO you are definitely thinking logically concerning these quotes.


    your quotes: "...I'm confusing myself now..." ..."I've talked myself in circles.."


    The problem you are confronting I believe is. If space is totally flat (or spacetime if you prefer) then it does not warp; there is is a contradiction. Einstein proposed that space "warps" (bends) but based upon the Hubble space telescope, space appears to be flat. Most of those who continue to adhere to the warped space concept believe that in the grand scheme and outside the observable universe, that there is a curve (a small angle of warp) to the universe that we presently cannot observe. This is required by General Relativity (GR) based upon Einstein's explanation for using Riemann geometry in his equations. It could also be that his equations are right or partly right but that space does not warp or bend.


    You also mentioned gravity waves. Of course it has not been proven that gravity waves exist but there is evidence that they might, and a Nobel Prize given for the evidence to suggest them. If they exist then, the question becomes, "what do they do." Some think that they are the cause of gravity but in GR, gravity is caused by warped space. Others including myself believe that gravity waves are simply waves produced by very massive objects and are unrelated to gravitational effects. They are more like De Broglie waves IMO.


    So my point is that if you take warped space out of your thinking then it will make more sense to you IMO, at least as far as this thread is concerned. Another point concerns your idea of infinite space. If space is defined by matter as in the BB model or other finite universe models and Einstein (according to his quote in the O.P.), then space is not infinite by definition.


    You could define space as: that which is confined within some arbitrary co-ordinates ie it's observer-dependent.


    If something has the potential to be occupied and therefore measured, it exists. Nothing, by it's very definition, can't be measured as it doesn't exist but it's one of those words that has a meaning very much dependent on context. For the sake of discussive clarity I don't think Space and Nothing should be seen as synonymous...they are two totally different concepts...one exists and the other doesn't.


    To summarise:


    Space is that which is not occupied and Nothing is that idea which suggests an absent of all things. IMO.


    I agree.

  20. You are on to something. I think your thinking is correct.


    I just made a posting in the "What is space" thread started in 94. What I said there is what I will say here to you and I think not different from what you assert. Space can properly be defined as the volume that matter occupies. Linear space can be defined as the distance between matter, where matter is the yardstick. As Rene Descartes put it, space is an extension of matter.


    "People before me believed that if all the matter in the universe were removed, only space and time would exist. My theory proves that space and time would disappear along with matter" Einstein. Einstein had a lot of great quotes and this is one of them. What would be the meaning of space or time without matter. Space requires extension and time is simply an interval of change in matter. Any other meanings for either seemingly would make no sense.

  21. Howdy all,


    I'm from California and have spent a lifetime studying physics and cosmology. I am an alternative theorist and have written a book and technical papers concerning alternative cosmology and related theoretical physics. The model that I propose is now more than 50 years old. I have broad interests in science along with many other subjects. I enjoy a good discussion on the net but in my experience arguments on the net do not bear fruit :) .


    I am not married but have adult children ages 30 to 34. I am of retirement age but have several on-going businesses. One is in construction, another is in stem cell research. I have been a science teacher in science and technology. I am always looking for science minded readers who would read and criticize my theoretical/ cosmology book or related new technical papers.


    I like to make friends so give me a holler. Presently my friends run the gammut of ages form early twenties to 85 for my best friend.


    best regards, Forrest

  22. Wow, this is a long, old thread but a very good question. Where does space end? I think it comes down to the definition of space and there is no consensus concerning a definition. I agree with those Big Bang theorists who assert that both time and space were created from the beginning of the universe, and there is no such thing as before that. In the same way the meaning of space could be defined as the volume that matter occupies concerning its volume, or two dimensional space could be defined as the distances between matter. This I think explains the question. Space extends as far as matter extends. As Decarte proposed, space is an extension of matter.


    Beyond this meaning I believe philosophy begins. Such a question would be: what would be the meaning of space outside the bounds of all matter and field, or similarly what would be the meaning of time if nothing existed that could change?

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