Saturday, September 29, 2007

20 things you didn't know about Nothing

Nothing means no thing, not anything, something that has no existence. Nothing is commonly understood as the lack or absence of anything at all.

Colloquially, the term is often used to indicate the lack of anything relevant or significant, or to describe a particularly unimpressive thing, event, or object.

Here are just a few:

1  There is vastly more nothing than something. Roughly 74 percent of the universe is “nothing,” or what physicists call dark energy; 22 percent is dark matter, particles we cannot see. Only 4 percent is baryonic matter, the stuff we call something.

8  Black holes are not holes or voids; they are the exact opposite of nothing, being the densest concentration of mass known in the universe.

10  Any number divided by zero is . . . nothing, not even zero. The equation is mathematically impossible.

16  Current theories suggest that the universe was created out of a state of vacuum energy, that is, nothing.

17  But to a physicist there is no such thing as nothing. Empty space is instead filled with pairs of particles and antiparticles, called virtual particles, that quickly form and then, in accordance with the law of energy conservation, annihilate each other in about 10-25 second.

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