Isaac Newton - Richard Morris - Jim Al-Khalili TV - Rene Descartes - Francois Rabelais - Proverbs - James Burke TV - Theodore Roosevelt - Heinz R Pagels -
What is there in places empty of matter? and Whence is it that the sun and planets gravitate toward one another without dense matter between them? Whence is it that Nature doth nothing in vain? and Whence arises all that order and beauty which we see in the world? To what end are comets? and Whence is it that planets move all one and the same way in orbs concentrick, while comets move all manner of ways in orbs very excentrick? and What hinders the fixed stars from falling upon one another? Isaac Newton, Opticks, Query XXVIII
In modern physics, there is no such thing as nothing. Even in a perfect vacuum, pairs of virtual particles are constantly being created and destroyed. The existence of these particles is no mathematical fiction. Though they cannot be directly observed, the effects they create are quite real. The assumption that they exist leads to predictions that have been confirmed by experiment to a high degree of accuracy. Richard Morris
Emptiness makes up almost the entire universe. Jim Al-Khalili, Everything & Nothing: Nothing, BBC 2011
It’s about Reality at the very furthest reaches of human perception. ibid.
To Aristotle the concept of nothingness was deeply disturbing. It seemed to present all sorts of problems and paradoxes. He came to believe Nature would for ever fight against the creation of true nothingness. As he put it, Nature abhors a vacuum. ibid.
A vacuum is Nature’s default state. ibid.
The teeming seething activity of the vacuum of nothing, and the quantum fluctuations with it were the seeds – seeds which grew into the universe we see today. ibid.
It is contrary to reason to say that there is a vacuum or space in which there is absolutely nothing. Rene Descartes
Nature abhors a vacuum. François Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel
Back in the seventeenth century the vacuum rapidly became a hot-shot experimental tool. James Burke: Connections s2e5: Something For Nothing, BBC 1994
The American people abhor a vacuum. Theodore Roosevelt
Theoretical and experimental physicists are now studying nothing at all – the vacuum. But that nothingness contains all of being. Heinz R Pagels