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Thread: Box of Nothing

  1. #1 Box of Nothing 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    If something can come from nothing then might our universe hold pockets of nothingness today? Nothing being the absence of anything you can think of. That being said, might a barrier of some sort exist that separates something from nothing as if the two, the yin and yang of the creation business, do not mix?

    Disclaimer: The questions posed do not reflect the current beliefs, opinions or views of the thread starter.


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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    I think that even nothing is something. Just because you can't see atoms doesn't mean they don't exist and they, as well as other particles, exist everywhere. The Big Bang was created, they think, by particles somewhere colliding with each other and making it happen.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    I think that even nothing is something. Just because you can't see atoms doesn't mean they don't exist and they, as well as other particles, exist everywhere. The Big Bang was created, they think, by particles somewhere colliding with each other and making it happen.
    If you are referring to the possibility of a 'Nothing Particle" then wouldn't that be something.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    I think perhaps the problem here would be that to be truely nothing then we would have to be unaware of it's existence and it wouldn't be able to to have any possible interaction with anything we did know of, so for all intensive purposes it would be akin to not actually existing at all.

    The issue is with the volume it would take up, what happens to light or time travelling through this nothingness, anyway we can think around it, it still has an effect and thus becomes something. The very concept of nothingness is problematic within the confines of our universe, at best we could probably suggest an absence of anything we are able to quantify but again this in of itself still would not bring us to a true nothingness.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    The issue is with the volume it would take up, what happens to light or time travelling through this nothingness,
    For the moment let's say no light, time or anything you can think of can travel through nothingness.

    Can a container (box, bag, sphere, whatever) actually hold nothing, absolutely nothing between its inner boundaries?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    The issue is with the volume it would take up, what happens to light or time travelling through this nothingness,
    For the moment let's say no light, time or anything you can think of can travel through nothingness.

    Can a container (box, bag, sphere, whatever) actually hold nothing, absolutely nothing between its inner boundaries?
    Ok I'm with you here but!, the problem is still the volume of the nothingness. Lets say that nothing can travel through it, that's fine and solves the problem of needing to be something to allow passage of light ect.., but then we have the problem of what is it that is preventing the light from countinueing on in it's current direction. It is forming a barrier of sorts by preventing such passage and thus then the barrier 'is' something. We can't get away from the fact that it is still just an absence of something, a hole in space, rather than a true nothingness.

    In order to have a true nothingness it would be required to not actually occupy any amount of volume.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    In order to have a true nothingness it would be required to not actually occupy any amount of volume.
    Do we need to think 3D? Probably a bad comparison but.......Does a surface image of my shadow have volume?

    Edit: Just a thought...should anything existing outside of our 3D universe be considered as nothing for us? However, I realize you need 3 dimensions to calculate volume from our perspective
    Last edited by zinjanthropos; October 5th, 2014 at 12:08 PM.
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    [QUOTE=zinjanthropos;598940]
    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    In order to have a true nothingness it would be required to not actually occupy any amount of volume.
    Do we need to think 3D? Probably a bad comparison but.......Does a surface image of my shadow have volume?
    No the surface image of a shadow would have a 2D area, rather than the volume associated with an actual shadow. If we are thinking again about nothingness though however even a 2D area would present a problem. This is because it could still interact with things in our universe and then obviously these interactions would become quantifiable.

    Edit: Just a thought...should anything existing outside of our 3D universe be considered as nothing for us? However, I realize you need 3 dimensions to calculate volume from our perspective
    I would suggest that for all in intensive purposes this question is probably impossible to successfully answer presently. Possibly 'provisionally' we could postulate that there may well be nothingness beyond our observable universe, but really this is at best guess work without any hard evidence to support such a conclusion.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    For a 2D universe, can anything be contained within it?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    For a 2D universe, can anything be contained within it?
    Certainly it would seem conceivable that objects could exist within a 2 dimensional universe, even one would imagine 3 or 4 dimensional objects. If we ourselves were living in such a universe we would only see and experience such objects at their edges in 2 dimensions.

    Carl Sagan, from his Cosmos series, gives a fine explanation of just how a 4 dimensional object might exist in our 3 dimensional universe. He gives a great example using a 2 dimensional representation. If indeed this is actually possible it would certainly give some validation that existence of objects in a 2D universe could very well be viable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    For a 2D universe, can anything be contained within it?
    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/201
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Even if I believed I had a box of nothing, the box would still contain a 2D universe (the inside surfaces of the box), would it not?. I'm searching for the right words here so I'm sorry if I can't make myself clear.

    Just a thought and I hope somebody knows.......If I were to expand either length or width then both the 2D area and the 3D volume of the box would increase. For our 3D universe, concerning the expansion of space, are all 3 dimensions expanding at same time or rate?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Even if I believed I had a box of nothing, the box would still contain a 2D universe (the inside surfaces of the box), would it not?. I'm searching for the right words here so I'm sorry if I can't make myself clear.
    Ok if I'm understanding correctly what you are asking then I would say yes, if we imagine the box's internal surface area each side would be flat, i.e 2D, but with each surface connected it would it would be self contained, so you could in theory think of it as a 2 dimensional universe.

    Just a thought and I hope somebody knows.......If I were to expand either length or width then both the 2D area and the 3D volume of the box would increase. For our 3D universe, concerning the expansion of space, are all 3 dimensions expanding at same time or rate?
    There doesn't seem to be any logical reason to suppose that expansion would occur at a different rate for any one of the three dimensions over the others so I would speculatively say yes it does expand across all 3 dimensions identically.
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    Forum Sophomore Karsus's Avatar
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    Does this box have a lid, and can I poke the nothing?
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  16. #15  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karsus View Post
    Does this box have a lid, and can I poke the nothing?
    My toilet has a lid and if you want to go poking around in there then be my guest.

    Seriously, does it matter if it has a lid? Other than containing a 2D universe on its inner sides, a dark one at best, who's to say there's anything in the box? Can't open it in a 3D world and expect to find nothing, can you? I would imagine it would take just one particle to fall off the 2D wall to change the nothing to something.
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    Okay, all this is just silly. Before we go any further, is "space" "something" or is it "nothing"?
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  18. #17  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    Okay, all this is just silly. Before we go any further, is "space" "something" or is it "nothing"?
    May be related but that's why this thread is in philosophy. Don't think that I would come right out and proclaim that a box of nothing can happen do you?

    A space with nothing in it, no light, no rays, no matter, whatever...is it nothing? Eventually this question would have to come up in this type of thread. Why don't we start answering by asking whether something can exist without a space to occupy. Personally it doesn't appear so but if if there's proof of such a thing then I can change my mind real quick.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    If something can come from nothing then might our universe hold pockets of nothingness today? Nothing being the absence of anything you can think of. That being said, might a barrier of some sort exist that separates something from nothing as if the two, the yin and yang of the creation business, do not mix?

    Disclaimer: The questions posed do not reflect the current beliefs, opinions or views of the thread starter.
    You see many cultures have also studied this question. many new age spiritualists speak of the void. buddhists speak of states of nothingness.

    when you are in a reality, or state that is nothingness, your reality is nothingness. void existence. your consciousness in this state does not perceive reality any longer as existing. you experience void. you may retain your awareness in these states however of your past now inactive reality. or you can silence your mind, or aspects of your mind, to reform it. you see where there is nothing anything may be. it is not yet formed and thus has no history. if you can see into your world as void, or nothignness, not yet formed, then you can experience instant manifestation of reality around you manifestating on, or in, the void. upon studying this one can see that with awareness of reality existing then one enters that state, but with awareness of reality not yet formed, or as being an unformed potential that may ve formed in specific controlled ways, then one enters into that state. It is a state of awareness. you need to be able to focus your attention onto reality as being void, not existing, in order to see this state. Your reality is your reality. Some see that underneath all reality is also the void. just as 1 comes after 0. the space for all things to exist must be also empty of all things existing. this is so that one thing may exist, and something else may exist differently, or contradictory to another. infinity does not remain in one finite possibility. in fact all things exist and do not exist. when something is living, it is sustaining that life and form. just as building sustains its structure. yet when the life dies, the life it was becomes nothing, and released now is the essence of that one life. just as when you take down a building you now have a new space for something else. nothingness, death, and negative energy all provide potential to be released. free of reality you have nothingness now, a blank canvass upon which to paint.

    also, in regards with nothingness and everythingness, keep in mind the known and the unknown in your contemplating i recommend.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    Okay, all this is just silly. Before we go any further, is "space" "something" or is it "nothing"?
    I'm not sure if you are being serious but surely space is "something".
    We are told the Universe came into existence with time and not in time.
    The same applies to space in the sense the Universe came into existence with space and not into an already existing space. This suggests that a physical "thing" was "created" that did not exist before, at least, in the same form.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halliday View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    Okay, all this is just silly. Before we go any further, is "space" "something" or is it "nothing"?
    I'm not sure if you are being serious but surely space is "something".
    We are told the Universe came into existence with time and not in time.
    The same applies to space in the sense the Universe came into existence with space and not into an already existing space. This suggests that a physical "thing" was "created" that did not exist before, at least, in the same form.
    Most of this thread seemed a tad word salady to me, so I posed my question in an attempt to find some ground if it were there. Not that I had my own answer to this until this moment.

    Maxwell's equations contain non-zero constants that pertain to the permittivity and permeability of free space. Space can also be objectively measured, i.e. distance. It would seem that space would have to be something by virtue of having (a) property(ies). Hence "nothing" would be an absolute absence of property. So now, we have defined nothing as that which is without property.

    And hold off there please. I need to go do a little referencing, and I'll be back... sometime...
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  22. #21  
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    Well okay, I'm back. And it is obvious to me that I need to study more logic.
    Taking up from the premise that "nothing" is that which is without property. An equivalent statement is P(x):~P(x). Based on this I will tentatively guess that the idea of "nothing" is self contradictory and does not exist in any consistent universe of discourse. This is just a guess.
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  23. #22  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    From where I sit it appears the universe consists more of space than anything else. If so then is there a reason for that?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  24. #23  
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    There are ideas concerning empty space, loosely summarised here, Quantum foam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
    Things like virtual particles and vacuum fluctuations with a zero-point energy (words words words) which are clearly not nothing are proposed to exist, not just in, but because of empty space.
    So, the "nothing" inside your box has to be something different to empty space. Actually, calling it a something automatically prevents it from being a nothing... This is hard...

    Also, wouldn't the condition that nothing has no properties be a property of nothing in its own right, so all nothings defined by not having properties automatically fail the test by virtue of having the property that they have no properties?
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    From where I sit it appears the universe consists more of space than anything else. If so then is there a reason for that?
    Well, you would take space (as existent with attendant properties) and compare its properties with the properties of all the stuff that isn't space. Whatever you derive from that process might or might not be the answer to your question.
    Quote Originally Posted by Karsus
    Also, wouldn't the condition that nothing has no properties be a property of nothing in its own right, so all nothings defined by not having properties automatically fail the test by virtue of having the property that they have no properties?
    It depends on which axiomatic system is used.
    The following sorta illustrates the issue; Hilbert's second problem - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    This popped into my head just now....

    If nothing does occupy space, do we call it something
    or
    If something does not occupy space, do we call it nothing
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    This popped into my head just now....

    If nothing does occupy space, do we call it something
    or
    If something does not occupy space, do we call it nothing
    Anything that occupies space is by definition something and is not nothing.
    And for your second question it depends. In your model is it allowed or disallowed for, greater than one scalar value, to occupy the same point?
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  28. #27  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Occupy was not my first choice of words. My original thought was 'appears to occupy" but I'm not sure of that either. I'm tired and ready for bed. I'll sleep on it and see if anything profound turns up in a nightmare.....G'nite
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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