UNDERSTANDING NOTHING – The structure of the vacuum

PROFESSOR NICK EVANS OF SOUTHAMPTON UNIVERSITY

Friday 18th February 2022

 

Nick gave us a short summary of the historical discovery of empty space.  It was considered nothing therefore did not need a symbol to represent it.  0 did not exist and the Greeks found that mathematics was difficult using Roman Numerals!!  When 0 emerged in India, it was finally recognised that nothing exists.

Light can pass through a vacuum, hence we see what is on the other side.

He followed that by introducing Relativity and now space-time emerges as a dynamic substance.

Finally he went on to explain that quantum theory fills the vacuum with particles that led us to the Higgs boson discovery.  He explained that gravity exists in a vacuum but science has failed to marry that with quantum theory and suggested there is much more to learn about nothing.

He answered quite a few questions on the subject, but some members found it difficult to put their questions into words.  Perhaps NOTHING is a concept we need to learn more about.

Marilyn Bentley

Chairperson