Is physical space a physical object?
How is empty space physical?
Wikipedia says space is physical.
- Dr. ZorroLv 78 years agoFavorite Answer
Empty space is physical because space has physical properties. Space can bend and can even sustain waves ( gravity waves).
Moreover, " empty space" is an arena where many particles jump in and out of existence ( quantum mechanical fluctuations) and so the classical meaning of emptyness looses meaning in the quantum world. Also that effect is measurable and therefore physical! If you have two neutral conducting plates parallel with a small gap in between, the quantum fluctuations in the space will cause an attraction of the plates. This is the Casimir effect.
- oldprofLv 78 years ago
Space is not just distance between things. Space itself is a thing. It can be and is bent, just like most physical things. In fact, in one instance, bent space is called a gravity lens because it focuses light just like a glass lens.
Space can expand and contract, just like some physical things (e.g., a balloon). Hubble's famous red shift, for example, shows that our universe is expanding and at an increasing rate of expansion. Space has to be something to do that.
In other words...it is physical.
As many of the others have indicated, deep space is not empty. It is filled to the brim with fields of all kinds. That means it's teeming with messenger particles that make up those fields. The gravity field is probably the best known of these fields. It pervades the universe.
But there is also the Higgs Field, made up of the Higgs Boson that gives many sub atomic particles the characteristics we attribute to mass. The Higgs Field also pervades the universe as it's responsible for all the mass in our universe. And then there is the electro-magnetic field, which is made up of photons over a wide interval of energy levels.
No, space is hardly empty. Space is a big physical jar that contains a lot of stuff.