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Are virtual particles created within existing space-time, or do they create new space-time for them to occupy?

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Space-time is not something that can be created or destroyed. Vacuum fluctuations take place in framework of the space-time - so virtual particles are created within space-time

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Maybe this is a question of semantics, but doesn't the expansion of space and the fact that distance is uniformly increasing between galaxies imply that something is being created in between them? –  Michael May 10 at 3:25
    
in my understanding not necessarily. the "distance" betweens "reference points" can stretch without being filled out - but it's highly speculative... –  troyaner Jun 23 at 10:16
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