The Problem of “Empty Space”

Empty space

Reference: Disturbance Theory


We measure the gap between objects by estimating the sum of extensions of material objects that will fill that gap. We suppose space to be rigid like matter. Mathematically, we think of unbounded space. But this “unbounded space” is a mental visualization of a rigid box of infinite dimensions. Thus the concept of space derives from the observation of extensions of substance.

We have been visualizing substance as rigid matter. This consideration changes with the discovery of electromagnetic field as a more basic substance. Empty space is then the observation of extensions of  invisible electromagnetic field. This field was not known to Descartes when, based on the consistency of philosophic ideas, he boldly asserted that there is no empty space. If he were here today, he would have been highly satisfied with this evolution of substance.

Einstein’s concept of space [3] has mathematically postulated properties that are borrowed from matter as substance. We may instead borrow properties from electromagnetic field as more basic substance  to get accurate concept of space. However, this raises the question about the extensions of electromagnetic field. How is the electromagnetic field bounded?

Einstein notes,

The drawing of attention to the vacuum in a mercury barometer has certainly disarmed the last of the Cartesians. But it is not to be denied that, even at this primitive stage, something unsatisfactory clings to the concept of space, or to space thought of as an independent real thing.

A vacuum in a mercury barometer is not entirely empty. When there is no matter, there is electromagnetic field. However, this field is bounded by the glass of the barometer. What bounds the field when there is no matter? The answer to this question leads us to the concept of EMPTINESS. Objectivity lies in recognizing that beyond matter lies the field, and beyond field lies the emptiness of no substance.

“Empty space” is extension of the electromagnetic field, which is bounded by EMPTINESS of no substance.



True emptiness must be empty of “space” also. When we perceive space to be the extension of substance then there is no space in the absence of substance.  This argument brings consistency between physics and philosophy. However, there seems to be resistance to the idea of EMPTINESS in the scientific community. It is up to the scientific community now to critically reexamine the long held concept of space using the wisdom provided by philosophy.

EMPTINESS would be the absolute zero of substance; and this would mean, no frequency, no wavelength, no period, no inertia, no space, no time, and no energy. It is the ultimate reference point for substance and all its characteristics. Emptiness may be difficult to conceive because it implies no awareness as well.

EMPTINESS is the absence of substance and all its characteristics.



The universe of substance is bounded by emptiness of no substance.  The concept of emptiness lies in the domain of philosophy. But for physics, emptiness acts as a reference point from which the substance of the universe may be understood in its totality.

The above understanding leads to the following ideas.

“Empty space” is not really empty. There is electromagnetic field present.

There is no emptiness in an atom. The atom is filled with electromagnetic field and matter.



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  • vinaire  On December 28, 2017 at 6:38 AM

    In the past the concept of space was found to be inadequate only in the context of inertia. The problem with the concept of space has now definitely arisen in the context of atomic dimensions.

    From disturbance theory point of view, “empty space” represents the extensions of some invisible substance. The problem of space reduces to discovering and understanding that substance.

    The scientific community has yet to accept that “empty space” = field.


  • vinaire  On December 28, 2017 at 6:38 AM

    With the discovery of field it is possible to make Newton’s and Einstein’s physics consistent with philosophy. Descartes argued, “Space is identical with extension, but extension is connected with bodies; thus there is no space without bodies and hence no empty space.” We can say that “empty space” is actually the extension characteristics of the invisible field substance. Time is basically the “change” aspect of the substance. Space and time are not independent but related through substance.

    Substance has inertia. The reference point of zero inertia may be stated as “absence of substance” or “absence of field and matter”. This mean using a “field” of zero frequency as the reference. This is the reference point of EMPTINESS.

    The limitation of the theory of relativity is that it uses the basis of light that does not have infinite velocity, meaning it has appreciable inertia. This limitation can be corrected by using the reference point of Emptiness instead of light.


  • vinaire  On December 29, 2017 at 9:09 AM

    I have revised this essay extensively (12/26/2017).

    I have further clarified this paper (12/29/2017).


  • bacreator  On November 28, 2018 at 5:07 PM

    Were you aware Einstein was given a failing mark by his thesis advisor because he did not understand Weber’s and Gauss’ retarded field? Einstein never understood the problem. Paul Gerber did.

    The field is there. Space is not.


    • vinaire  On November 28, 2018 at 7:02 PM

      I am very mush aware that Einstein looked at space as an independent entity, and not as extension of substance. You may read this in my essays on space.


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