I am not a phycisist, so please forgive my ignorance. This is related to my posts and this.
I am trying to understand what is meant by the term "Nothing" in physics or Quantum Field Theory (QFT) since it seems to me that this term is not used in the way we understand it in everyday language.
So QFT seems to suggest (in a nutshell) that "things pop out of nothing".
But from wiki I see the following quote:
"According to quantum theory, the vacuum contains neither matter nor energy, but it does contain fluctuations, transitions between something and nothing in which potential existence can be transformed into real existence by the addition of energy.(Energy and matter are equivalent, since all matter ultimately consists of packets of energy.) Thus, the vacuum's totally empty space is actually a seething turmoil of creation and annihilation, which to the ordinary world appears calm because the scale of fluctuations in the vacuum is tiny and the fluctuations tend to cancel each other out.
So what is "Nothing" in QFT? If this quote is correct, I can interpret it only as follows:
The "Nothing" is not in the way used in everyday speech but is composed of "transitions" i.e. something that is "about to become"
Is this correct? If yes, why is this defined as "Nothing"? Something that is "about to become" is not nothing but there is something prerequisite.
In very lame terms: Einstein was born a non-physicist but became a physicist, so if this is a correct analogy, then there
- there is something underlying that was non-something that became something
- A non-something came into something because something else (not nothing) permitted it to become. E.g. Einstein's talent (or Mozart's) would have been lost had he been born in Africa or in a country with no educational facilities. So he would not become a physicist (but the required talent would be present but not come into reality)
Could someone please help me understand this (perhaps trivial to you) concept?