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I'm not sure whether I'm asking the right question here. I am simply a physics admirer!

Alright. So my question is, is it possible to create nothing?

Lets say you take a cube serving only as a a shell. Then expanded the cube.

Or a balloon, the size of really really small. Then expanded the balloon using outside forces to pull on the exterior. Could it be possible to create a shell that harnesses... well.. nothing but space? No atoms inside other than the exterior? I mean nothing.

Can you create 0? A vacuum isn't what I'm asking here.

Of course trying to do this, in my eyes, would simply rip the exterior apart because there's nothing getting inside to fill in the gap. Any thoughts? (i've been watching too much Cosmos haha)

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1 Answer 1

You need to be careful to tell the difference between "nothing" and "empty space", as discussed at length in my answer here.

That is, I believe you are asking "can one create empty space" by your proposed method. In creating empty space, you are actually creating a good deal more than "nothing". Empty space is simply what we get when the quantum fields that make up our World are all in their ground state. That is, if you travel to deep, interstellar space where there are no atoms, no "particles" (i.e. none of the quantum oscillators making up the region are in anything but their ground state), the quantum oscillators are still present (I hesitate to say "there", because the concept of their localisation is complicated). These ground state quantum oscillators are what give the empty space its properties: it can be curved, for instance, in response to far off "matter/energy" following the Einstein field equations, and so can have quite different geometrical properties from flat space uninfluenced by gravity. The logical concept of "nothing" cannot be associated with any properties, otherwise, by definition, it would be "something", which is true of empty space.

As far as contemporary physics knows, one cannot create empty space.

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A giant hollow sphere. Take away all particles inside the sphere, leaving only the shell. Wouldn't this empty space be nothing? Like maybe a force as strong as a blackhole takes away everything inside the sphere I dont know. One way or another, can the center of the sphere ever be nothing? –  CoolQuestionsGuy May 20 at 4:50
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Yes, it would indeed be empty space: but in evacuating the sphere, you are simply driving the quantum field that filled it into the ground state. The quantum field is there all along and not created. So you need to think of evacuation simply as a special kind of changing of the quantum state of something that is there all the time. –  WetSavannaAnimal aka Rod Vance May 20 at 5:06
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Man physics is so cool! –  CoolQuestionsGuy May 20 at 5:07
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@CoolQuestionsGuy It is indeed! Notwithstanding the nastier aspects of human nature, I feel unbelievably blessed to ponder something so beautiful and interesting as the World around us. –  WetSavannaAnimal aka Rod Vance May 20 at 5:13

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