A Pop-fly to Left Field of Space

I was thinking on AI and how it may be used demonstrate the principles of evolution, and how it would work. Now, I’m not in any kind of field that deals with this, but I think modern computers could be the key to understanding, and answering question about the nature of our existence. I don’t know about everyone else, but I write things out when I think through them as if I was explaining it to someone. Doing this helps because I thnk of the questions someone might ask me if we were talking about it. This helps me to think through things. I know someone would point out that, to be fair, if we were going to create an analgous scenario for athesitic naturalsim’s explanation of life, we couldn’t begin with an AI; we would need to begin with nothing.

We couldn’t begin with a computer. We couldn’t even begin with an empty room with filled with all the required parts for a computer. We would have to begin with litteraly nothing. Matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed, but moved is no problem. But space? I know the popular interpretation of nothing is a vacum. But a vacum is still in space. It seems to me that it would be impossible to remove space from an area, at least as far as I know. But can it be destoryed? I hear the popular level explanantion of theories given by theoretical physicists about warp drive, and worm holes, where space is stretched, bent, or folded over on itself. This has always caused me to ask what is space?

Space has a deflection strength; as I understand it, it is 10 to the 20th power greater than steel. Gravity is the warping of space. If I asked what is the composition of steel that gives it such strength, you could say it is a particular lattice arrangement of certain types of atoms. What if I asked, what is the composition of space that gives it such strength? Certainly it is not a lattice of atoms. But, if it can be deflected, if it can be warped by matter, it has to be something. I did that thing that scholars hate to hear, probably as much as the family Doctor hates to hear it when his patient comes in for a visit, I googled it.

To be exact, I googled my first thought, can space be destoryed? Quora was the first thing that popped up, and someone there said, yes it can. But his explanation had to do with true and false vacums. I called B.S. on it. I obviously am not a physicist. I understand things at a popular level. So, an explanation of what space is made of would have to be a simple one. But, as I have heard, if you cannot explain it to a kid, you don’t understand it yourself. If anyone can explain it in a “what is space made of for dummies” kind of way. I would like to hear it. I have googled this question before, and I couldn’t find an answer. I could find articles talking about the question, but no articles talking about the answer.


@Cris_DeLoach, great to see you here! Welcome.

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I don’t know about AI per se but we use computers to understand evolution all the time!

It seems you are more thinking of abiogenesis though. Is that right?

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Thanks for the invite.

What is space? This question keeps coming to mind, but every time I ask it, I come away without an answer. This time I may not have been very clear. The question may have been hid in my explanation of why I was asking it. My question has nothing directly to do with life or its genesis. I just want to know what space is? I was looking at the LIGO when I saw the deflection strength of the fabric of space. I can find all kinds of info, but none that answer what exactly that fabric is. Quantum particles seem to spring out of space, but I don’t think space is a quantum lattice. I haven’t found anything that says it is. I wouldn’t understand an answer given in a professional peer reviewed paper, one that isn’t on a popular level, but I would try if that is the only type of answer I can get.

Good question for the @physicists.

I do that all the time.

Not nothing - there was energy - LOTS of energy. I have that from physicist Ethan Segal, who replied when I asked a similar question.

I’ve seen the term “quantum foam”, but that’s not a helpful explanation.

There is energy in space, and one source I read described this as being counter-balanced by time. ALSO not a helpful explanation, but if you wonder where all the energy comes from, then I think the Cosmologists have an equation for that. :grinning:

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You must write a lot!


That’s not exactly true as the conservation of energy is not inherently part of Einstein’s Field Equations. It also is violated as the universe expands photons lose energy to apparently nothing. Maybe there could be some kind of broader structure to which they are losing energy to but we essentially write our equations as if it’s ok for this to happen. I.e. see:


That’s the basic explanation I get, which doesn’t feel much like an explanation. If there were lots of energy, it had to be somewhere, so space was already a thing. And energy the same. If you are asking for the origin of things and it begins with those things as the explanation for those things, it is less than satisfying. I may be asking too much, but it’s hard to accept an explanation that walks in a circle leaving you with the same question. But, that isn’t the question I’m asking right now.

They lose energy, and maybe decay into something else, or maybe settle back into the fabric of space (whatever that is), but they are not destroyed.

Imagine if you worked for a large contractor and someone was trying to sell you on a mterial that they claim is immensely stronger, and more durable than steel; on top of that it can expand to whatever size you need without tearing, and its load bearing properties exceed all other materials without a crack (Dr. Who solved the crack in the universe). The more you hear about the material, the more you want to know what this material is made of.

It has physical properties, which makes me think it has to be a physical thing.

The more I hear about it, hear about what it does, hear about how it is affected by the things that exist in it, but without hearing what it actually is, the more I think Donald Hoffman might be right. No need to tell me that this sounds crazy: When playing a game, whether in VR or on regular monitors, space as Length, Width, & Depth, the space where things are, all exist, but only perceptually (Maybe this is why it’s so hard to determine, or explain what it is). It may be a question that leads to madness.

Thanks for the input, please let me know if you find the secrets to the universe.

Could dark energy be an antigravity property of space? (Like gravity is a property of mass, but way weaker.)

With my very limited understanding, I am going to try and explain what space is. All I need is for someone to tell me if I am correct, or still wrong and searching for an answer.

Just as light passes through glass, or xrays through just about anything, maybe space is an actual lattice of particles that barely interact with everything/anything else. In the search for what makes matter solid when it is 90% empty space (so they say), the higgs particle was found. As I understand it, it somehow has an effect on other particles, causing them to interact with each other, thus not allowing particles to pass by one another. Like Gandolf in the Lord of the Rings, you shall not pass.

Space is simply a sea of particles that have no Higgs counterpart to cause it to be solid with all the stuff that exists within it. Therefore, matter and the particles that make it are able to exist in it. If this is it, then it answers a substantial part of my question(s) about the nature of space. I don’t know if I am smart enough to ask the rest of it (them), but it is something like this. I have always wandered if the space within an atom is the same space that existed there at the atoms creation? Does the electron field trap the space in between it and the nucleus? Or, does space pass through the atom as it moves like air thorugh a net? Or, does space get expelled, which is why mass/matter warps space? How does mass effect space? Water is displaced by solid materials like the steel hul of a submarine. Air is also displaced in the same manner. Is space displaced in the same way? The worst part about having questions is the inability to answer them.

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Hmm, I think I’m thinking of it more a s a container for particles rather than being composed of particles.

I don’t think I would equate space with matter ( which can be trapped or expelled).There is probably a lot of empty space in an atom.

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After reading the Sean Carroll article @Pervaquark posted (very helpful!), I incorrectly stated it was a balance between space and time; I’m pretty sure it should have been space and gravity.

It is a physical thing, as I understand it, in the same sense that a magnetic field in a physical thing. Space is a field of energy.

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@Cris_DeLoach you are doing exactly what you should be doing; asking questions and expressing your understanding in your own words. These are hard concepts to grasp, and I don’t claim to understand them well myself. Talking to you about this is fun, because it’s a lot like those conversations we have with ourselves. :smiley:



Is there some reason we know that it is not an antigravity property of space?

According to GR, matter tells space how to curve, and curved space tells matter how to move. Wouldn’t that imply that space is not a substance (matter) the way they used to think space was “aether”? In addition to that, space is expanding, but it does not mean that space is thinning out (although overall objects are becoming more distant) or that space is growing like a substance, correct?


@Intjer Yes, that is my understanding.

I may be wrong about space being a field, but that was the best example that came to mind of something physical but not matter. I will inquire with Dr. Google.


[quote=“DaleCutler, post:15, topic:7819”

I tried to research that a bit. It’s not anti-gravity, but something else. What, exactly, is harder to say, but it may be a constant physical property of the universe.

Yes, I know, that’s not a useful answer. Here is Ethan Segal answering the same question:

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Two articles Worth’s considering:

  1. spacetime - What is space made of itself? - Physics Stack Exchange
  2. general relativity - How is Space-Time produced? - Physics Stack Exchange

Thanks for that, Dan!

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