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    Much ado about something
    Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 @ 20:42:45 MST by vlad

    Science From WonderQuest with April Holladay: What is Vacuum, such as in Space, is there vacuum between the atoms of water molecules? Is Vacuum a squishable-stretchable thing? oooo, this fascinates me. Andre, Vancouver, Canada

    A look at 'vacuum energy.' The animation shows the inside of a proton where a quark and an anti-quark pop into existence, causing a hole in the vacuum-field fluctuations. (Three quarks make up a proton. Protons and electrons make up atoms; atoms make up molecules.)

    The two spheres represent the quark and anti-quark. The tube between them depicts the hole. Animation courtesy of Derek B. Leinweber, CSSM, University of Adelaide, copyright, used with permission.

    A perfect vacuum. Ah, for the good old days of Aristotle and Newton, when we simply thought of a perfect vacuum as a volume of completely empty space, containing nothing. Such a volume would have zero pressure.

    Nonsense, Plato said. There can never be nothing.

    Now we know Plato was right, but for reasons that don't make intuitive sense. Consider an electron. It's both a particle and a wave. Since it has wave-like properties, its position is smeared out. According to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, we can never know both the electron's exact position and momentum at the same time. But that means any small volume of space could have particles within it, which means no volume of space can ever be a perfect vacuum, for certain...

    Full article: http://www.wonderquest.com/vacuum.htm



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    "Much ado about something" | Login/Create an Account | 2 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Much ado about something (Score: 1)
    by malc on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 @ 00:22:07 MST
    (User Info | Send a Message) http://web.ukonline.co.uk/mripley
    And if a photon were to travel through this vacuum wouldn't its path collide with these fluctuations and thus affects its speed.  So that the speed of light is a function of the density of the vacuum.  Now it also seems reasonable to assume that the density of the fluctuations is not homogenous.  I would hazard a guess that the fluctuations are greater where there is more matter.  That being so then the speed of light would be faster between solar systems and even faster between galaxies. This kind of buggers up all assessments about the size of the universe and thus there is no need to invent a mysterious invisible undetectable dark matter.


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