The Nature of Space

Einstein views space as an independent physical reality that remains after all substance (field and matter) is removed. I question this supposition.

According to Descartes space is identical with the three-dimensional extent of a material object, and so there is no such thing as empty space. 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 the 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 the discovery of electromagnetic field.

The seemingly empty space that surrounds us then must be the extent of an invisible field at the lower end of the electromagnetic spectrum. This is so because as frequency approaches zero at the lower end of the spectrum, the wavelength approaches infinite proportions. This would be no different from the space we are accustomed to. The boundless three-dimensional extent around us is none other than an extremely low frequency field. Higher frequency fields and objects then have relative position and direction in this very low frequency field-space.

Space is a field of infinite dimensions that is approached at the lower end of the electromagnetic spectrum.

This field-space is not rigid like matter though we measure its extents as if by rigid material rods. We do this because our concept of space derives from the observation of extents of material objects.

Einstein’s space is purely mathematical whose properties are derived from material substances. We may get a more accurate concept of space by deriving its mathematical properties from those of low frequency field-space. Einstein’s thinking seem to have been moving in this direction because he 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.

When material substance is removed there still remains the invisible field-space, which we call “empty space”. But when the field-space is also removed, all we have left is true emptiness that is empty of all substance and its space. This condition of emptiness does not exist within this universe. It may be postulated to exist only beyond the universe and its space.

This argument brings consistency between physics and philosophy. We may say that emptiness is a theoretical concept of zero inertia, where inertia is a measure of the “content” of substance. On the other hand, space represents the “extent” of substance.

The electromagnetic spectrum may be looked upon as a gradual condensation of the field-space that ultimately forms the nucleus of an atom. Thus, there is a continuity of substance from space to mass through the electromagnetic field.


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