Is Space a real physical thing?
This post comes from an answer I gave on Quora.
The question on Quora was, If space is expanding, elastic, pliable, and can be dragged, then what's it made of? It can't be just void, can it? Is it made of dark matter or something else?
I answer the question by pointing out the flaws in mainstream physics concerning the concept of space. I then prove that space is a real physical object.
Wow, everyone has chimed in on this one. It is an important question. The person asking the questions above is really making an argument for the idea that space must be made of something. The person making the assertion via the barrage of leading questions is on to something.
Victor Toth has responded with the typical mainstream physics response. We can always count on him to provide an answer that perfectly matches mainstream theory (using the QM Theoretical paradigm). This of course allows Victor to garner many coveted upvotes. I like his answers because he does give the mainstream answer. So if I want to understand the mainstream point of view he provides that for us. Now unfortunately for Victor and mainstream physics it is my strong belief that when it comes to answering foundational questions. Victor and mainstream physics fails to provide a correct answer to the question of what space is. If mainstream physics actually new what space is, whether it is a real thing or not they would have solved the Unified field theory. Which they have not done. They have tried at least 28 times to solve the mystery by attempting to unify gravity with the other forces. They have failed 28 times.
Let us examine Victor’s and mainstream sciences series of incorrect statements.
“He says space is not expanding”. Mainstream science has to say this because they many of them believe that space isn’t a thing. Only real things can expand or contract. In reality in the Theory of Super Relativity space can both expand and contract.
Victor also say’s “Space is not a thing” and that means he is saying main stream science is saying that space is not a thing. On the other hand there are many physicists mathematicians and philosophers that believe in Quantum Field Theory and String Theory. These theories fill space with hidden particle fields that some how magically exist independently of the other particle fields. They all apparently exist as separate dimensions. These false doctrines really call back to multiple forms of “ether” theories. The mainstream is saying space is a void not made of anything yet that nothingness is filled with all these other hidden dimensions and particle fields. Well if that is really true then space can’t be a void. A void or nothing cannot be a container for real things. So mainstream physics contradicts itself.
Victor and mainstream physics also says “space is not elastic”. Well that certainly disagrees with a host of the best physicists that ever lived. The list is impressive. Einstein, Lorentz, Maxwell, Faraday, and Newton just to name a few who all believed in an ether. The Lorentz model of the quasi-elastic solid in my opinion is the correct model. This would mean that space is a thing that is stationary but can be bent. An example is the gravitational field which should be thought of as contraction of the quasi-elastic solid. Einstein confirms this in his 1920 Leiden speech. I have given the quote many times it is even in this thread see Brent Harrington’s answer for Einstein’s quote. So the correct answer is that space is elastic and therefore, its topology can be bent.
Victor also says that space is not pliable. Wrong again. Pliable is just a repetition of saying space cannot be bent. I just proved above that it can be bent. Once again though mainstream physics has to say that as only a real thing in an objective reality can be bent. An empty void does not exist and so cannot be bent. Mainstream science has painted themselves into a corner.
Victor and mainstream science also say “space cannot be dragged”. Yet another antiquated incorrect statement. Frame dragging is a predicted phenomenon in general relativity, whereby a rotating mass drags the surrounding spacetime around with it. After almost 20 years of patient monitoring, an international team of astronomers has witnessed the dragging of space-time around a rapidly-rotating exotic star known as a white dwarf. There is solid evidence that space can be dragged. This is in direct contradiction to Victor’s statement. The physicists continue to maintain that the gravitational field that exists in space is not really made of anything. It is an independent reality that only exists when matter is present. This is poorly contrived double speak.
Einstein believed that in order to unify the forces of nature which in his time were just electromagnetism and gravity we would have to prove that electromagnetism and gravity emerge as aspects of a single fundamental field. This is almost the correct model. The new Super Relativity model redefines the forces of nature to 3 different fundamental fields. These fields are three different aspects (or deformations of space). The electrostatic field which is a twist of space. Maximum twist is 180 degrees. The magnetic field which is a torsional reaction to moving charge. Space rotates as the charge moves within space. Finally the last deformation of space is the gravitational field. This happens as the result of unbalanced charges moving in an accelerated motion. This type of motion causes a contraction of space which is manifested as a gravitational field.
Finally Victor repeats himself by saying, “space is not made of anything.” There is actually no evidence that can be found to substantiate this claim. All the evidence that space is made of something has been available for over 2 centuries. The most obvious evidence in favor of space being made of something comes from the great physicists of the past. If space were truly made of nothing a completely empty void it would not have any physically measurable properties. Space does have two directly measurable properties. Space has two measurable properties. Those properties are permittivity and permeability.
Space also has been verified to be a solid and not a liquid or gas. This is demonstrated by the fact that electromagnetic objects that travel within space are all transverse waves. Transverse waves primarily if not exclusively exist within solids. It has also been proven that space is made of something because space also possesses a physical density which enables space to have a measurable distance. If space were truly equal to nothing then space would not have any measurable values for permittivity or permeability. The only possible values for permittivity and permeability would be zero. This is not what we see when we measure those values in a vacuum.
Additional evidence that proves space is a something comes from the fact that it takes a finite interval of time for light to travel within space. If space were truly made of nothing then that would mean that space would have no real physical distance. In that case light would travel infinitely fast. We do not see this as something that occurs. Light travels at a very constant value when traveling within outer space. The evidence just keeps piling up in favor of space being made of something.
Then there is the mystery of inertia. Physicists would explain inertia by saying, inertia does not need explaining, it simply "is." This is yet another incomplete and bad interpretation of reality. Inertia must be the result of an interaction between space and massive objects that move within space. When a rocket ship in deep space accelerates the occupants will feel the inertial resistance to the acceleration. The only thing that the rocket and the occupants within the rocket are interacting with is the space they are accelerating within. Therefore for in order for inertia to be felt and experienced would require that space has to be a real physical object. This real physical object is the only thing that the physical objects in motion can be interacting with as they accelerate within it.
In every case the sensible argument does not come from mainstream physics. Evidence and proof that space is a real physical object is overwhelming in favor of the old school paradigm of classical physics. According to my theory space is a real physical object.
The trouble in the mainstream world of physics today is that they have become much too busy chasing the rabbit down the hole. Theoretical physics has become particle centric and physicists can no longer see the forest (space and how it relates to the unified field theory) for all the trees (the particles). Feynman once said and I am paraphrasing here, “If you want to model reality, you better use Quantum Mechanics.” Nothing could be more incorrect than that statement.
Scientists can use quantum mechanics with perfect confidence. But it’s a black box. We can set up a physical situation, and make predictions about what will happen next that are verified to spectacular accuracy. What they don’t do is claim to understand quantum mechanics. Physicists don’t understand their own theory any better than a typical smartphone user understands what’s going on inside the device.
So if mainstream science is saying that space is not a thing I am not buying it and neither should anyone else.
So the OP implication is correct space is definitely made of something.