Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Why Space (Distance) Is an Illusion

Abstract

In my previous article, Why Einstein's Physics Is Crap, I argued that spacetime physics is crackpottery for three reasons: a time dimension makes motion impossible; continuous structures lead to an infinite regress; and the relativity of motion and position leads to a self-referential universe. I concluded that Einstein's physics was crap and that the reason it has lasted for so long is that physicists are a bunch of gutless cowards who go along with the mainstream in order to safeguard their careers. In this article (which I adapted from an old essay), I continue my merciless attack on Einstein's physics by showing that the concept of space is illogical.

The Space Concept

Is there such a thing as a space in which we exist and move? Is space a collection of positions or points? Does matter occupy space? Ever since Newton legitimized the idea of space most physicists have believed in some sort of physical space existing separately from matter. To Newton, space was absolute. Einstein's revolution did not do away with the idea of an independent physical space but transformed it into the concept of spacetime.

The concept of a space existing separately from matter has not been without its detractors. Sir Isaac's nemesis, none other than the great German mathematician and philosopher Gottfried Leibniz, rejected the concept of space, absolute or otherwise. Leibniz wrote that "space is nothing else but an order of the existence of things, observed as existing together; and therefore the fiction of a material universe, moving forward in an empty space cannot be admitted." Leibniz apparently understood that the position of an object is not the property of an extrinsic space but an intrinsic property of the object. These properties, taken together, form an abstract order that he called space. I fully agree with Leibniz on this issue.

Why Is Space an Illusion?

The short answer it that the existence of space leads to an infinite regress. Over the years, I have found that almost everything that is fundamentally wrong with classical physics has to do with infinite regress. Note that physical space is defined as a collection of positions existing apart from particles. The idea is that, in order for any physical entity or property to exist, it must exist at a specific position in space. But if a position is a physical entity that exists, it too, must exist at a specific position. In other words, if space exists, where is it? One can posit a meta-space for space, and a meta-meta-space for the meta-space, but this quickly turns into an infinite regress. The only possible conclusion is that there is no such thing as space. It is an illusion of perception. That is, it is the way the brain organizes its sensory universe.

Consequences of Nonspatiality

There are other equally irrefutable proofs of the non-existence of space but the one above is sufficient. The most immediate consequence of nonspatiality is that all physical properties in the universe are absolute. The relative is abstract (in our minds) and is dependent on the absolute. The reason is that, since there is no space, all properties, including position, are intrinsic to (belong to) individual particles. They are absolute by virtue of being intrinsic. We've been told that absolute motion and position do not exist. The truth is that the relative is abstract and only the absolute exists.

By far, the most exciting consequence of nonspatiality is that it should be possible for a particle to move almost instantly from one position to any other without going through the intervening positions. Normally a particle moves by making a quantum jump, i.e., its intrinsic positional property changes from one discrete value to another. However, there is no reason to suppose that the positional property of a particle cannot change by amounts larger than the fundamental value. Note that this is not the same as moving faster than light. Superluminal motion only means that a quantum jump happens at a speed faster than c. This is not the case with long distance jumps because the particle does not travel through the distance between departure and destination positions.

What is even more exciting about this is that it opens up the future possibility of visiting other star systems and even other galaxies hundreds of light years away without having to go into stasis during the voyage. Closer to home, long distance jump technologies would revolutionize our way of life by eliminating conventional modes of transportation. Imagine waking up in New York City and having breakfast in Paris or Rome and lunch in Rio de Janeiro! What kind of world would we have?

See Also:

Why Einstein's Physics Is Crap
Nasty Little Truth About Spacetime Physics
Nothing Can Move in Spacetime
Physics: The Problem with Motion

12 comments:

Cleophas said...

So without a fabric or a space that matter exists within, how do you deal with gravity?

There have been no particles found that communicate it from particle to particle. Gravity very much seems to be a property of space, whatever space truly may be.

For the record I do agree with you that the *idea* (which is all it is) of space-time is flawed. It just works so good for the mathematics they use to predict things about matter that it makes them believe it actually exists.

I think until we can figure out exactly what gravity is we will not know what reality is!

Louis Savain said...

Cleophas,

If space does not exist, it is obvious that gravity could not possibly be a property of space. Einstein and his followers have no clue as to the nature of gravity. In my opinion, gravity is a non-local phenomenon, the result of violations of the conservation of energy principle. I don't believe that gravity is mediated by a particle like the proposed graviton.

Read my article on gravity if you're interested. However, before you can understand gravity, you must first understand why things move.

Conzar said...

What do you think about the "Teleportation" that Xian Min Jin and his group developed?
http://www.physorg.com/news193551675.html

Ali said...

As someone who has no real vested interest in any one scientific theory over another, just a curious layman, I have to say I'm interested in what you have to say, but you come off as such a douchebag that it's hard to take you seriously.

Just something to think about, man.

On the other hand, your blog is still pretty entertaining, so there you go.

Louis Savain said...

Ali wrote,

I have to say I'm interested in what you have to say, but you come off as such a douchebag that it's hard to take you seriously.

I choose my style carefully. It is important to me as a critic that I am not mistaken for a politically correct writer, i.e., for an ass kisser. I want to be seen for what I am, an honest but hostile critic who holds absolutely no respect for the scientific community in general and the physics community in particular. Yep, they can kiss my ass. LOL.

The reason for my attitude is that I cannot stand elitism. It is a sort of tribal superiority complex that inevitably leads to despotism, corruption, abuse. Elitism blinds a group of people to their own blatant stupidity. It's a sure fire way to eliminate the cross-pollination of ideas, choke the people's freedom of choice and retard societal, intellectual and economic progress.

POds said...

I'm not sure i agree or disagree with you. I certainly remember thinking once that, seeing as tho distance is can be expressed as a function of velocity & time, that space was really just an illusion and the driving force was actually time.

However i did a little google search and apparantly there were tests that did conclude that there was space. Not that i remember what they were.

All very interesting topics though!

OSContract said...

Where does space exist?
In time.
Time moves and space expands with time.
Where does time exist? in our perception, in other words a thought.
So a thought must have existed first in order to create time and thereby everything.

fddfkjlhdf said...

You said: "But if a position is a physical entity that exists ..."

Position is not a physical entity, but the property of a physical entity. Your whole argument fails on this simple observation.

A position does not exist in the physical universe, but in the way we model and talk about the physical universe. Just as the number 3 does not exist in the universe, but in how we observe and reason about the universe.

Louis Savain said...

fddfkjlhdf,

Do you realize that you're agreeing with me and you don't realize it? Read carefully, amigo. And think carefully.

Louise said...

Perhaps, we are not located in space. Maybe, space is located in us..or objects?

Louise said...

Perhaps space resides with in our consciousness to provide a form for matter? We might not be in space, but, space might be in us.

simon ruszczak said...

I have come to the conclusion there are 4 special dimensions not 3. The fourth is the (movement in)expansion/contraction of this universe that causes the emergent property of time. Everything is always moving, nothing can ever have the velocity of zero. This universe has two centres because it has 4 special dimensions, it is expanding from one centre and collapsing to the other (always).
At the moment this universe is matter, when it collapses and re-expands it will be an anti-matter universe, because all 4 special dimensions will have been turned inside out.
The universe appears to be expanding at an accelerating rate because the universe is collapsing to its other centre.
Zero and infinity don't exist, they are mathematical nonsense.
There are no multiverses because this universe is all of really (its everywhere), it has no outside.