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Author Topic:   Nothing
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 31 (22988)
11-17-2002 12:48 PM


My subject is nothing. I don't understand it. I always think of "nothing" as empty space, but space as it turns out is something (what I don't know). What is on the "other side" of the universe? "Nothing" is the answer. This is incomprehensible to me.

An infinite universe makes more sense but does not fit with Big Bang Theory.


Replies to this message:
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forgiven
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 31 (23019)
11-17-2002 6:44 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by robinrohan
11-17-2002 12:48 PM


quote:
Originally posted by robinrohan:
My subject is nothing. I don't understand it. I always think of "nothing" as empty space, but space as it turns out is something (what I don't know). What is on the "other side" of the universe? "Nothing" is the answer. This is incomprehensible to me.

An infinite universe makes more sense but does not fit with Big Bang Theory.


yeah, it might be impossible to wrap a thought around the concept 'absence of something'... as for the universe being infinite, i think that doesn't depend at all on bb... unless make believe numbers are used (hawking et al), an actual infinite can't really exist in nature (as opposed to a potential infinite)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by robinrohan, posted 11-17-2002 12:48 PM robinrohan has not yet responded

  
Mike Holland
Member
Posts: 168
From: Sydney, NSW,Auistralia
Joined: 08-30-2002


Message 3 of 31 (23044)
11-18-2002 12:34 AM


Yes, Robin, I have the same problem. I cannot imagine infinite space, and I cannot imagine a limit to space.

But Forgiven has it slightly wrong. The BB is not an explosion in space, with an expanding border to the universe. This would be creationist Humphrey's theory, discussed in other forums. The BB view is expanding space with no limit, like the surface of an inflating balloon, with all points moving away from each other, and no border.

OK, so this involves imagining in ten dimensions or thereabouts. Just keep stretching your mind by imagining three impossible things every day before brewakfast.

Please don't ask whether the space in our bodies is also expanding, making us bigger (but maybe Joe Meert can answer that one - he usually has all the answers).

Mike.


Replies to this message:
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Rationalist
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 31 (23074)
11-18-2002 5:23 AM


Nothing is what keeps everything from being everywhere all the time.
  
forgiven
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 31 (23253)
11-19-2002 12:14 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Mike Holland
11-18-2002 12:34 AM


quote:
Originally posted by Mike Holland:
But Forgiven has it slightly wrong. The BB is not an explosion in space, with an expanding border to the universe. This would be creationist Humphrey's theory, discussed in other forums. The BB view is expanding space with no limit, like the surface of an inflating balloon, with all points moving away from each other, and no border.

Mike.


hi mike... i'm a little confused by the above... if we grant the singularity, then at the moment of the BIG bang, do not laws of thermodynamics operate? not arguing with you, asking you... i guess i can't quite grasp how an explosion *can't* result in an epicenter... if all parts are moving away from one another, from whence are they moving? thx


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David unfamous
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 31 (23254)
11-19-2002 12:27 PM


I would guess that the epicentre is at whichever point you are observing from at that time - that all 'parts' are moving away from you equally. And your friend standing a few million light years away would observe that same effect.

Just a guess.


  
Percy
Member
Posts: 18371
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 5.0


Message 7 of 31 (23256)
11-19-2002 12:38 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by forgiven
11-19-2002 12:14 PM


The balloon analogy is a good one. Rising raison bread is another good one, since the raisons in the bread all retreat from one another like galaxies in the universe.

But the more tightly you compare an analogy to the real thing the more likely the analogy is to break down. This is because the analogy is not the real thing at all, but just an aid to understanding that is effective because it is more familiar to us than the real thing in some important way.

In this case, the analogies of the balloon and the raison bread break down when you consider boundaries because the universe does not have hard boundaries. No matter where you go in our universe, all you will see is infinite space in all directions. There is no boundary that can be approached and discerned.

--Percy


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John
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 31 (23263)
11-19-2002 1:19 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Percy
11-19-2002 12:38 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Percipient:
In this case, the analogies of the balloon and the raison bread break down when you consider boundaries because the universe does not have hard boundaries.

Forgiven,

I didn't see this stated elswhere and I think it is important.

Consider the balloon analogy. Imagine a balloon shrunk down to a dot like a tiny rubber ball (yes, the analogy breaks here, but what comes next is the important part) Now, imagine that the rubber ball/balloon is inflated from the inside. Anyone standing on the SURFACE would see everything move away, giving the illusion that the observer is at the center. It doesn't matter where you stand, you get the same effect. Nor is there any epicenter on the SURFACE of the balloon, any more than there is a center of a spherical surface.

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by forgiven, posted 11-19-2002 3:10 PM John has responded

  
forgiven
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 31 (23272)
11-19-2002 3:10 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by John
11-19-2002 1:19 PM


quote:
Originally posted by John:
Forgiven,

I didn't see this stated elswhere and I think it is important.

Consider the balloon analogy. Imagine a balloon shrunk down to a dot like a tiny rubber ball (yes, the analogy breaks here, but what comes next is the important part) Now, imagine that the rubber ball/balloon is inflated from the inside. Anyone standing on the SURFACE would see everything move away, giving the illusion that the observer is at the center. It doesn't matter where you stand, you get the same effect. Nor is there any epicenter on the SURFACE of the balloon, any more than there is a center of a spherical surface.


ok thx, i understand that i think... here's where i lose it... let me use a different analogy, not cause i think the balloon one is faulty but cause my mind sees it differently

take a stick of dynamite encased in a tube of some sort... now imagine you drop it from an airplane.. it drops, oh 30, 40 feet and explodes... if a little bitty teensy weensy person was on the outside of the tube, yes i see that he'd see everything moving away from him, relative to his position... same for any number of little bitty teensy weensy people... but does this (relative) movement common to each mean there wasn't an epicenter? my mind is having trouble understanding how the exact location of the explosion can't be considered the center *of* that explosion... hope that makes sense


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 Message 8 by John, posted 11-19-2002 1:19 PM John has responded

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 Message 10 by John, posted 11-19-2002 3:27 PM forgiven has responded

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 31 (23274)
11-19-2002 3:27 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by forgiven
11-19-2002 3:10 PM


quote:
Originally posted by forgiven:
but does this (relative) movement common to each mean there wasn't an epicenter? my mind is having trouble understanding how the exact location of the explosion can't be considered the center *of* that explosion... hope that makes sense

Yeah, it does make sense. It is a very difficult thing to visualize.

The problem with this analogy, and the problem with all of the analogies we've discussed, is that they all involve the expansion of something (the balloon, the shrapnel) within space. This isn't the same thing as the expansion of space itself. We have no real reference within our experience with which to compare this, it can be modelled mathematically though. The math is the meat and potatoes, the analogies are just the fluff to make it look pretty on the diner table.

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by forgiven, posted 11-19-2002 3:10 PM forgiven has responded

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forgiven
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 31 (23290)
11-19-2002 6:42 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by John
11-19-2002 3:27 PM


^^^ whew... i doubt if this'll ever make sense to me, it seems so anti-intuitive... even if i think of the singularity occupying a non-point in non-time, containing all that is, i can't understand how once it explodes (or whatever) that non-point fails to become a *real* point of reference for all time
This message is a reply to:
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 Message 12 by joz, posted 11-19-2002 8:07 PM forgiven has not yet responded

  
joz
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 31 (23297)
11-19-2002 8:07 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by forgiven
11-19-2002 6:42 PM


quote:
Originally posted by forgiven:
^^^ whew... i doubt if this'll ever make sense to me, it seems so anti-intuitive... even if i think of the singularity occupying a non-point in non-time, containing all that is, i can't understand how once it explodes (or whatever) that non-point fails to become a *real* point of reference for all time

Because the non point contained every point in the protouniverse and can`t therefore be a point in the universe?

[This message has been edited by joz, 11-19-2002]


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 Message 13 by Mike Holland, posted 11-20-2002 6:48 AM joz has not yet responded

  
Mike Holland
Member
Posts: 168
From: Sydney, NSW,Auistralia
Joined: 08-30-2002


Message 13 of 31 (23345)
11-20-2002 6:48 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by joz
11-19-2002 8:07 PM


Nice reply Joz. I think that is the perfect answer.

But I also have this problem of imagining an expanding universe without picturing it expanding into empty space. I think we must stop thinking of it as an explosion or bang. Just think of an extremely small and dense universe getting bigger.

The balloon analogy 'assumes' tht space curves right around on itself, so that if you look far enough, you will see the back of your head (except that it wasn't there billions of years ago when the light left it - make sense of that one!).

Because the universe has no centre, there is no overall gravitational field, because stars and galaxies are pulling in every direction, all cancelling out. But there is still gravitational potential.

If the universe had a boundary, then there would be a gravitational field pulling towards the centre. At the centre all the pull in opposite directions would cancel, so there would be no field. The field would increase away from the centre, reaching a maximum at the boundary of the universe, and then falling away with the inverse square law beyond that (assuming a uniform density within the universe). If the universe were small enough (less that a million years old, or thereabouts) then the field would be strong enough to create an event horizon, and the universe could never have expanded beyond this horizon. There would just be a black hole. A big problem for Humphrey's theory. Within an event horizon time points inwards towards the centre. There is no other future.

Mike.


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forgiven
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 31 (23352)
11-20-2002 8:50 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by Mike Holland
11-20-2002 6:48 AM


ok, i'm a little less fuzzy on it, but you gotta admit it still seems anti-intuitive... almost as if we have to deny what we know from our senses... here's a hypothetical, see if it makes sense

assume for the sake of argument that God exists... let's give him some of the attributes most christians (and even non-christians) think he has, such as omnipotence... given what you've all said about the singularity, it struck me that one thing it could be that i've never heard before is, a thought God had...

the universe and all it contains at one time was a thought in the mind of God... this would fit in with joz's non-occupation of a non-point in non-time and also with mike's point of time (in an event horizon) pointing inward reference

God, because of this incomprehensible power he possesses, can give "life" (as it were), can cause to be that which isn't, simply by willing it.. so could the singularity itself be the early stages of God's planning of the universe?

inside this singularity, which has no boundary either (it can't else that very property would be transmitted to its culmination), what we know to be true now was made true thru the plans and workings of God... when and only when he was ready, he gave his thought freedom to express itself, and express itself it did

that would mean that whatever was *inside* the singularity (this thought, or even thoughts) wasn't always the same, it may have changed as God rejected this plan, accepted that, rejected this final universe, accepted that one, etc... but there came a "time" (lack of better word) when he was ready, when he examined for the last time his thoughts and declared to himself "it is good"... and the universe sprang forth

the physical aspects given impetus, given motion, by the very will of God

oh well, it seems to fit, given the premise of an all powerful God... i can actually think of only one other theory i've ever read that can even come close to this, and that's the one that says there is an actual (not potential) infinity, and the singularity from which our universe came was itself a part of one etc etc ad infintum... i don't think that can stand up on philosophical or physical grounds


This message is a reply to:
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 Message 15 by John, posted 11-20-2002 9:31 AM forgiven has responded

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 31 (23359)
11-20-2002 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by forgiven
11-20-2002 8:50 AM


quote:
Originally posted by forgiven:
ok, i'm a little less fuzzy on it, but you gotta admit it still seems anti-intuitive...

Can't argue with that.

quote:
almost as if we have to deny what we know from our senses...

We do to some extent. Our senses function in three dimensional space plus time. Outside of that framework things just seem wierd.

quote:
it struck me that one thing it could be that i've never heard before is, a thought God had...

This is not an uncommon idea among, for example, Jewish Kabbalists.

quote:
oh well, it seems to fit, given the premise of an all powerful God...

Yeah, it does fit, but proving that it is actually the case is the trick.

quote:
i can actually think of only one other theory i've ever read that can even come close to this

Bishop Berkely believed something similar. The closest similarity can be found among the Kabbalists, though.

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


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 Message 14 by forgiven, posted 11-20-2002 8:50 AM forgiven has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by forgiven, posted 11-20-2002 12:42 PM John has responded

  
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