Category Archives: P-Space

Force, Substance & Spacetime


Reference: Disturbance Theory


According to the postulates of disturbance theory, the universe is a continuum of substance that exists in emptiness. The external characteristics of substance are extension (space) and persistence (time). In emptiness there is neither substance, nor space nor time.

The presence of substance is felt through force to which our perceptions react in terms of touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste. But we are limited in the level of force that we can perceive directly. We then use other tools to perceive indirectly.

When Newton saw force acting between two material objects he explained it in terms of gravity of the masses and the distance between them. But he puzzled about how that force passed from one object to another. He wrote to his friend Richard Bentley:

“That gravity should be innate, inherent, and essential to matter, so that one body may act upon another at a distance, through a vacuum, without the mediation of anything else, by and through which their action and force may be conveyed from one to another, is to me so great an absurdity that I believe no man who has in philosophical matters a competent faculty of thinking, can ever fall into it. Gravity must be caused by an agent, acting constantly according to certain laws; but whether this agent be material or immaterial I have left to the consideration of my readers.”

This gravitational force could be computed without considering any substance filling that space in between. Science continued to develop in this way. It simply treated the space between the objects mathematically according to the Newton’s laws.

Newton’s scientific framework came to be known as “action at a distance” compared to the postulated framework of “continuum of substance”.


Lines of Force

Starting at the beginning of 19th century, extensive experimental work was done on electricity and magnetism. At the forefront of this work was Michael Faraday. When conducting these experiments, Faraday could see the effects propagating through the intervening space.

In a letter dated Jan 25 1844, “Electric Conduction and the Nature of Matter”, Faraday expressed that matter seemed to extend itself as “force” to fill the space in an atom, such that there was no empty space. This conclusion came from his observations of electric conduction through different materials. Thus, Faraday saw atoms as centers of force from which lines of force originated, and on which they terminated as well.

Faraday theorized space to consist of electromagnetic lines of force.


Light and Aether

It was supposed that light required a medium to travel, and that medium was aether.

In a letter dated April 15, 1846, “Thoughts on Ray Vibration”, Faraday proposed that the vibrations, which were assumed to account for radiation and radiant phenomena, might be seen as occurring in the lines of force which connect particles. In other words, light, radiation or radiant phenomena were part of the force content of space.

Faraday theorized radiant phenomena, such as, light, to constitute the mysterious aether that filled the space.


Force and Substance

Newton associated force with acceleration of matter in space. Work was the displacement caused by this force. Energy was the capacity for doing this work.

Faraday saw force as the cause of physical action, and not just the tendency of the body to pass from one place to another. Thus, force formed the very essence of substance for Faraday.  In this sense, it also formed the “inertia” described by Newton as “inner force”.

“The vis insita, or innate force of matter, is a power of resisting by which every body, as much as in it lies, endeavours to preserve its present state, whether it be of rest or of moving uniformly forward in a straight line.”

In a lecture dated February 27, 1857, “On the conservation of Force”, Faraday proposed that all force was conserved. Non-conservation of force implied that the phenomenon was not being viewed completely.  In a later addendum, Faraday clarified force as, “the source or sources of all possible changes amongst the particles or materials of the universe.”  To Faraday, changes implied force. But changes also implied substance.

Faraday saw force as the fundamental substance.


Further Research

When we look at spacetime from the viewpoint of the postulates we find that,

Spacetime is the external characteristic of substance. The internal characteristic is force.

Matter is not the only substance; for example, there is definitely a substance that appears as “empty space”. We shall now examine this substance.


A Look at Spacetime

Observing space through a telescope

Reference: Disturbance Theory


Wikipedia article on Spacetime states,

In physics, spacetime is any mathematical model that fuses the three dimensions of space and the one dimension of time into a single four-dimensional continuum. Spacetime diagrams can be used to visualize relativistic effects such as why different observers perceive where and when events occur.

So, spacetime is being perceived as a mathematical abstraction rather than as something real. But spacetime is something real as well.


The Reality of Spacetime

Material objects have extension in three dimensions. We call these extensions length, width and height for an object, such as, a box. Such extensions in three dimensions are the characteristic of space.  The material object and its spatial dimensions are also persisting. Such persistence is the characteristic of time.

For a material object, the characteristics of space and time appear together. So, such characteristics may be called spacetime.

All material objects are four-dimensional “spacetime” entities.

But are these characteristics present in the absence of material objects?


“Empty” Space

There is space inside an empty box. But this space does not define the property of some visible material. Let’s say this box is filled with air. Can this space be defined as the spacetime characteristics of a material substance, such as, air? What happens to this space when we remove the box?

Air exists close to earth only. Beyond earth there is less and less material even as atoms of air, but space seems to acquire much greater extent. This raises doubt about spacetime being the characteristics of material objects or substance.

How can there be “spacetime” empty of matter?


The Mystery of Aether

Spacetime appears as the characteristics of matter. Descartes said that there is no such thing as empty space because space represents the extensions of substance. Then space, which is empty of matter, must provide the characteristics of some other substance.

Ancients speculated upon such substance, and called it “aether”. Newton speculated on the existence of aether in the Third Book of Opticks (1718):

“Doth not this aethereal medium in passing out of water, glass, crystal, and other compact and dense bodies in empty spaces, grow denser and denser by degrees, and by that means refract the rays of light not in a point, but by bending them gradually in curve lines?”

But no such substance could be found. What then is the spacetime empty of matter?

Is spacetime (empty of matter) something mathematical only?


Further Research

We shall examine the reality of spacetime from the viewpoint of The Postulates.


Obsolete: 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.



Time and Period


Reference: Disturbance Theory


Time is the property of endurance of a substance. In the absence of substance there is no endurance or time. The EMPTINESS (referenced earlier) is devoid of substance, and, therefore, it is also devoid of time.

Time is essentially the manifestation of change, which could be ephemeral or enduring. It could be a change in physical extensions perceived objectively; or it could be a change in mental abstractions experienced subjectively. The former is represented by the clock time; and the latter is simply felt inwardly.

We limit our considerations of time to changes in physical extensions perceived objectively.

We now consider physical substance broadly to be field, with matter as a special instance. The field is made up of cycles. The changes in frequencies of these cycles provide varying endurance or time. The duration of a single cycle is called a PERIOD.

The duration of field is made up of period of its cycles.

The period and wavelength of a cycle are closely related. If cycle is represented by a turn of a screw then period is the duration of that turn and wavelength is the advance made by the screw during that turn. The wavelength and period are proportional to each other.

The period is proportional to the wavelength of the cycle.

The ratio of wavelength to period is now considered a universal constant. This constant is ‘c’, known popularly as the speed of light. Like the Planck’s constant ‘h’, the ratio ‘c’ also remains constant for a cycle regardless of its frequency. Therefore, as frequency increase and cycles become denser, and both wavelength and period shrink as one.

As the period shrinks with increasing frequency the endurance of cycles increases.

Like the wavelength, period is also infinitesimal for matter and appears to be unchanging and absolute. It determines the character of time as absolute in relation to material objects. This is the clock time of Newton.

The infinitely enduring characteristic of matter represents the absolute time of Newton.

Space and time appear to be absolute and independent at the level of matter because their characteristics do not appear to vary. They do not appear to be related to each other by the universal constant ‘c’. We associate ‘c’ with the speed of light, which is unaffected by the usual speed of matter.

Newtonian mechanics works perfectly well at the level of matter, where cycles of field are infinitesimal in wavelength and period.

But when we consider “speeds closer to the speed of light”, we are actually considering phenomena that are closer to much smaller frequency and inertia of light. In this domain the cycles of field are finite in wavelength and period. They can be seen as dependent on each other by the proportionality constant ‘c’.

Relativistic mechanics comes into play for the field where cycles are not dense enough to have infinitesimal wavelength and period.

Relativistic addition replaces the vector addition of Newtonian mechanics where quantities being added are far apart in their velocity or frequency by many orders of magnitude. Einstein’s mathematical derivation of time dilation can now be understood better in terms of varying period of the field.

Einstein’s “time dilation” relates to the period of cycle increasing.

The cycles repeat in continuous sequence. This sequence is also a characteristic of time. The continuity of sequence is maintained despite changes in frequency. The frequency changes show up as gradients in the field. The gradient of frequency may reverse but time is not seen as reversing because, relative to perception, the change is always occurring in a “forward” sequence.

We perceive the flow of time in the “forward” sequence only.

It must be emphasized that space and time exist as properties of field and matter. They do not exist in the absence of field and matter.

Matter does not “move in space”; instead, it moves in the field and inertia represents the resistance to this motion.

Field is not a “condition in space”; instead it determies the varying conditions of space and time.


Comments on Time – Wikipedia


Reference: Disturbance Theory


Time is the indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future. Time is a component quantity of various measurements used to sequence events, to compare the duration of events or the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change of quantities in material reality or in the conscious experience. Time is often referred to as a fourth dimension, along with three spatial dimensions.

Time is the experience of change. Such changes are from ephemeral to enduring. Continual changes have the characteristics of sequence. The sequence may reverse but from the viewpoint of experience the direction of change is always “forward”. Real time always refers to changes in physical extensions. Therefore, in the absence of matter and field there are no extensions and no time.

Time has long been an important subject of study in religion, philosophy, and science, but defining it in a manner applicable to all fields without circularity has consistently eluded scholars. Nevertheless, diverse fields such as business, industry, sports, the sciences, and the performing arts all incorporate some notion of time into their respective measuring systems.

Time has always been measured relative to changes in material aspects, whether in religion, philosophy, or science.

Two contrasting viewpoints on time divide prominent philosophers. One view is that time is part of the fundamental structure of the universe—a dimension independent of events, in which events occur in sequence. Isaac Newton subscribed to this realist view, and hence it is sometimes referred to as Newtonian time. The opposing view is that time does not refer to any kind of “container” that events and objects “move through”, nor to any entity that “flows”, but that it is instead part of a fundamental intellectual structure (together with space and number) within which humans sequence and compare events. This second view, in the tradition of Gottfried Leibniz and Immanuel Kant, holds that time is neither an event nor a thing, and thus is not itself measurable nor can it be travelled.

Newtonian time is measured objectively with respect to changes in matter. But Leibniz and Kant view time subjectively as an abstraction.

Time in physics is unambiguously operationally defined as “what a clock reads”. See Units of Time. Time is one of the seven fundamental physical quantities in both the International System of Units and International System of Quantities. Time is used to define other quantities—such as velocity—so defining time in terms of such quantities would result in circularity of definition. An operational definition of time, wherein one says that observing a certain number of repetitions of one or another standard cyclical event (such as the passage of a free-swinging pendulum) constitutes one standard unit such as the second, is highly useful in the conduct of both advanced experiments and everyday affairs of life. The operational definition leaves aside the question whether there is something called time, apart from the counting activity just mentioned, that flows and that can be measured. Investigations of a single continuum called spacetime bring questions about space into questions about time, questions that have their roots in the works of early students of natural philosophy.

The clock time is Newtonian time because a clock is made up of matter. When we consider field that underlies matter, the changes in the extension of the field appear as time, such that the extension and its change maintain a constant ratio ‘c’. In other words, the extensions of the field can change only at a certain rate determined by ‘c’. In abstract terms, neither space nor time can be considered independently of each other, as they occur in a fixed relationship.

Temporal measurement has occupied scientists and technologists, and was a prime motivation in navigation and astronomy. Periodic events and periodic motion have long served as standards for units of time. Examples include the apparent motion of the sun across the sky, the phases of the moon, the swing of a pendulum, and the beat of a heart. Currently, the international unit of time, the second, is defined by measuring the electronic transition frequency of caesium atoms. Time is also of significant social importance, having economic value (“time is money”) as well as personal value, due to an awareness of the limited time in each day and in human life spans.

The objectivity of time has improved with the discovery of the field. The subjectivity of time is felt very strongly as always.