A region of space devoid of any fluid molecules resulting in a zero pressure in ideal cases. In practice, even space has a small but finite number of molecules. In QFT, it signifies the ground state devoid of excitations/particles.

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66
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7answers
15k views

What is the speed of sound in space?

Given that space is not a perfect vacuum, what is the speed of sound therein? Google was not very helpful in this regard, as the only answer I found was 300 km/s, from Astronomy Cafe, which is not a ...
0
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4answers
374 views

Can this container withstand a vacuum? [closed]

I am putting together a piece of equipment that will involve a vacuum pump pulling up to 10 Torr / 13 Mbar.  I need to use a container for liquid within the equipment and have found a stainless steel ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is it impossible to have a perfect vacuum?

In another question someone mentioned that it couldn't happen. Why not? For example I asked about the speed an object would have to move at sea level to create a vacuum behind it; in the comments ...
4
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1answer
986 views

How fast would an object have to move to create a vacuum behind it?

When an object moves, I assume that the air above it, instead of remaining at the same general height, is pulled downward as it is passed in order to fill the low-pressure area behind the object where ...
7
votes
4answers
14k views

How do electromagnetic waves travel in a vacuum?

This is perhaps a total newbie question, and I will try to formulate it the best I can, so here it goes. How does an electromagnetic wave travel through for example, the vacumm of space? I usually ...
1
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2answers
262 views

Could a really tall tube suck garbage in to space?

When I was around 10 years old, I had this idea that was supposed to solve our waste problems; I imagined having tubes miles high that would stretch in to space. Every tube would have a door at the ...
0
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4answers
243 views

What happens when I place an object of certain temperature in space ? Does it loose its entire heat energy?

Can i obtain absolute zero temperature this way? And let's assume there is no cosmic microwave background and also assume that there is a way to shield the object from any heat source, such as the ...
1
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2answers
889 views

Does spacetime have a “mass” value? or What is “Spacetime” made out of?

When measuring the MASS within the Universe, does "space" or "spacetime" have a value? I only ask, because when speaking of expansion, space is expanding. Could it be possible, to reverse the ...
0
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2answers
69 views

Can energy be “subtracted” from vacuum?

It probably sounds absurd, but I heard such expressions as "subtracting a particle from vacuum", or from squeezed vacuum, in the context of quantum experiments, or quantum optics, (not black holes). ...
0
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3answers
322 views

Can you stop an electron in vacuum?

If we shoot an electron in vacuum tube, then stop it with electromagnetic field, and switch off the field, what will happen with electron? Will it continue its movement? If there is a gravitational ...
12
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4answers
13k views

Why is space a vacuum? [duplicate]

Why is space a vacuum ? Why is space free from air molecules ? I heard that even space has a small but finite number of molecules. If so, won't there be a drag in space?
2
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2answers
118 views

Can the vacuum energy be made finite with quantized space

From what I know the reason we have infinite vacuum energy is because according to Quantum Field Theory at every point in space we have something analogous to a harmonic oscillator but since the Zero ...
5
votes
1answer
114 views

Which assumption is less plausible, “action at a distance”, or that “virtual particles” can exist for a short time?

It is understood that virtual particle appear in Feynman diagrams as a tool of calculus. And it is understood that they are problematic about their mass, and cannot be detected (is that sure indeed?). ...
2
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0answers
175 views

Help with derivation of the Casimir Effect?

I am at the very last part of a relatively long derivation of the Casimir effect, and I just don't understand the final step D: So far, I have derived the ground state energy to be $$\langle 0| ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

Why is the storage ring of a synchrotron a vacuum?

Why is the storage ring of a synchrotron a vacuum? I know that when the accelerated particles get to the storage ring they lose energy, releasing synchrotron radiation, but how does the vacuum make ...
1
vote
3answers
307 views

How does air in a water balloon act in space?

I was making an analogy with gravity and water and it went like this. When air is trapped in water as a bubble, water is pushing towards the inside and like Newton's law equal and negative forces ...
0
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0answers
300 views

Thermal conductivity in vacuum

It is my assumption that material objects preserve/gain heat via: 1) material contact (air or other touching material/object) and/or 2) absorbing radiation / electromagnetic waves So, imagine that ...
1
vote
2answers
163 views

Moving frames - a blow on “virtual particles”?

There is a polemic about whether virtual particles EXIST, or are only a tool for making our calculi easier. Here is a doubt about their existence, and on the other hand, an argument in support of ...
3
votes
3answers
725 views

The virtual particles are only a fictive tool in equations? DO they exist or DON'T? And if they exist, why do we call them VIRTUAL?

There is no "action at a distance" in nature. Attraction of a piece of iron by a magnet, attraction between distant electric charges of opposite sign, have to be mediated by something. The virtual ...
1
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2answers
168 views

If the vacuum is not “emptiness” why the speed of the electromagnetic wave is independent of the frame of reference?

If the vacuum were "emptiness" it were easy to accept that there is no "preferred frame of coordinates" and the light velocity is the same in any inertial frame of coordinates. But the vacuum is an ...
3
votes
1answer
184 views

Inexplicable Results in a Vacuum Experiment

We've been doing the following experiment in our Physics Lab course and are coming up with some strange results which we're at a loss to explain. The purpose of the experiment is to determine the ...
9
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1answer
943 views

What is the difference between quantum fluctuations and thermal fluctuations?

Start with a simple scalar field Lagrangian $\mathcal{L}(\phi)$ at zero temperature $T = 0$, which has a hidden symmetry and spontaneously break it. By the standard procedure a field $\phi$ is ...
12
votes
3answers
381 views

Are vacuum fluctuations really happening all the time?

In popular physics articles and even some physics classes I've been to, the vacuum of space is described as being constantly full of quantum fluctuations. Supposedly, all sorts of ...
3
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0answers
217 views

Is everything made of space? [closed]

I had been studying quantum field theory for a while now, and how there had been many efforts in physics to finally create a "Theory of Everything" (TOE). But while I was learning about all this, I ...
1
vote
1answer
525 views

Different density objects falling on Earth's atmosphere?

So I finally understood why 2 objects with different masses, free falling from the same distance reach Earth's surface at the same time (due to the objects Inertia). Now when the objects fall in the ...
2
votes
3answers
209 views

What is the physical meaning of $a_{\vec{p}} \! \mid \! 0 \rangle$

$a^\dagger_{\vec{p}} \! \mid \! 0 \rangle = \mid \! p \rangle$ is interpreted as a creation of a particle with momentum $p$ from the vacuum. $a_{\vec{p}} \! \mid \! p \rangle = \mid \! 0 \rangle$ is ...
3
votes
2answers
611 views

masslessness of Goldstone boson, Effective action, and functional-integral measure

I have difficulty in understanding the path-integral formalism of SSB, and that of Effective Action. Let's say a complex scalar field theory has the global $U(1)$ SSB, $$L(\phi)=(\partial^\mu ...
1
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2answers
290 views

Vacuum to vacuum transition amplitude using functional integral

The vacuum to vacuum transition amplitude for a free particle with source $J$ is given by $$Z_0[J]=\int D\phi \mathrm{exp}\{-i\int [\frac{1}{2}\phi(\square +m^2-i\epsilon)\phi-\phi J]d^4x\}$$ Let ...
0
votes
1answer
423 views

2 vacuum pumps in parallel [closed]

I have a problem with a vacuum pump that cannot generate enough vacuum to grip an uneven item. There is a spare vacuum pump in parallel which I will turn on and run at the same time to try and get ...
5
votes
1answer
227 views

How fast until you feel wind in space? [duplicate]

I couldn't find this question asked anywhere else, so I thought I would ask it here: does anyone know how fast you would have to be traveling in space to feel 'wind' from the particles in front of ...
3
votes
0answers
227 views

How would water drain out of a sealed pipe?

While hiking through the Grand Canyon, I started wondering. Say we have a pipe for the purpose of transporting water across a canyon, with the bottom submerged in a pool of water. Like the blue line ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

Could false vacuums potentially describe, in part, the Big Bang?

I've just read about something I had never of before, false vacuums. After reading a couple descriptions of what a drop (or rather, a vacuum metastability event) would imply, I thought of the Big ...
2
votes
1answer
530 views

How do you isolate a single photon?

How do scientists/researchers isolate a single photon (for single photon sources)? How do they know they have isolated it? Is it really totally "isolated"? What is the photon isolated in? Sorry if ...
4
votes
1answer
738 views

What exactly happens to an exposed human body in space?

I know that space is a vacuum, has no air, and is very, very cold. From what I have seen in movies and TV shows when a space suit is exposed the oxygen will escape like a visible gas and the person ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is normal ordering a valid operation?

Why is normal ordering even a valid operation in the first place? I mean it can give us some nice results, but why can we do the ordering for the operators like that? Is its definition motivated by ...
0
votes
0answers
111 views

Work to Create a Vacuum

I'm trying to determine the amount of work required (in Joules) to create a vacuum of a certain pressure in a tube. A pneumatic cylinder will be used to remove the air from the tube to create the ...
0
votes
3answers
69 views

Expansion of atoms

If an atom is the smallest particle in the universe, does that mean that the spaces in between the atoms in water when being heated (expansion) are vacuum?
2
votes
1answer
87 views

What happens to the energy?

if we make a bell ring in a vacuum room for 5 mins. And then open the door, will be able to hear the sound? If no sounds vibrations are emitted to the environment what happens to the energy that ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Do all liquids boil in a vacuum?

Water boils at positive temperatures when put into a vacuum. Is this the case with all liquids, e.g. mercury?
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Is there an equivalent to wetness for air?

I was wondering if there was something equivalent to the property of being wet with water, but with air instead. For example, if I drop water on my shirt, I'll notice by its appearance and feel that ...
6
votes
5answers
461 views

Can “vacuum be brought” from outer space?

Instead of creating vacuum in chambers on earth, why can't vacuum be brought from outer space in chambers? Outer space pressure ranges from $10^{-6}$torr to $10^{-17}$torr very very low. Is it ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Do we breathe air by creating a vacuum?

How do we suck air into our lungs, are we generating a vacuum?
3
votes
1answer
237 views

Does supercavitation create vacuum?

While reading the amazing things that the mantis shrimp can do, such as moving two of their limbs so quickly that the water around them 'supercavitates', a friend of mine told me that those limbs were ...
2
votes
2answers
191 views

How “unnatural” is the universe? [closed]

Looking to read up on the impact the discovery of Higgs boson has on the String Theory I came upon these two paragraphs in an article about the Higgs boson Nobel Prize: One possibility has been ...
9
votes
1answer
551 views

How do instantons cause vacuum decay?

From what I read about on instantons (Zee, QFT in a Nutshell, pg 309-310), an instanton is a vacuum solution that maps $S^3 \rightarrow S^3$ (the boundary of Euclideanized spacetime), which comes from ...
7
votes
2answers
644 views

What is “Energy” of a vacuum in the context of quantum theory?

I'm not a physicist or cosmologist, so I hope I am asking the right question with the right words here. My question regards the word "energy" as it pertains to quantum vacuum states, and to concepts ...
4
votes
2answers
195 views

Why should energy have a lower bound but not an upper bound?

This question seems to be naive, but I really want some intuitive way of understanding the reason. Neglecting some trivial explanations, I have only one idea about this: the vacua state. Consider ...
0
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1answer
456 views

How do objects outside a spacecraft fall “around” the earth?

Now I get what microgravity is, how spacecrafts (even moon) fall around the earth to keep up themselves in their orbits and other related concepts after reading ...
5
votes
1answer
62 views

Vacuums and free space

Do physicists use the terms "vacuum," "quantum vacuum," and "free space" synonymously? For example, I have read that based on conservation arguments, the spontaneous splitting of a photon into an ...
1
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2answers
1k views

What is space made of?

General Relativity posits that matter curves spacetime, such that geodesics point towards the object in question, hence, gravity. Now, how does matter do this? What is spacetime "made of", anyway, ...