The present book relates the history of views, the development of ideas, often ones that are still in the making.
In this post we will see a book about nothing! The curios title of the book is Something Called Nothing – Physical Vacuum: What Is It? by R. Podolny.
About the book:
What does emptiness consist of? On the face of it, this question seems senseless. Emptiness is called emptiness precisely because it consists of noting. But this is not exactly so. Absolute emptiness “exists” only theoretically. Real empty space, however, is not a simple void. It is a physical vacuum, a complex intermixture of spontaneously appearing and immediately vanishing fields. The deeper we penetrate into the region of ultrasmall scales, the more complex and rich properties of does this void – the vacuum – become.
If we descend farther and farther down, distances represented by decimal with 32 zeroes following the decimal point (10^-33 cm, a quantity difficult even to conceive), we shall find something entirely fantastic. Space resembles a sponge or a foamlike structure. It is a vacuum foam, undulating, continuously changing its shape and consisting of self-closing spatial bubbles.
All of this is vividly and fascinating dealt with in this book by Soviet science writer Roman Podolny. Historical events and analogies, “crazy” hypotheses and rigorous conclusions of theoreticians, interviews with well known physicists, all this you will find in Something Called Nothing.
The book was translated from the Russian by Nicholas Weinstein, and was first published by Mir Publishers in 1986.
PDF | OCR | Cover | 600 dpi | Bookmarked | Paginated | 18.6 MB (16.2 MB Zipped) | 220 pages
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To the Reader 9
DOES THE VOID EXIST? 15
THE FIFTH “ELEMENT” 27
In Place of Emptiness 27
The Genealogy of the Ether 28
An Answer to All Problems 31
Grandeur and Fall of the Ether 51
NOTHING AND SOMETHING 66
Above the Dirac Sea 66
An Ocean Beyond the Ocean 72
Simplicity of the Complex and the Complexity of the Simple 79
All the Powers of the World 88
Variable Vacuum 116
Laws and Forbiddances 122
Mathematics for Physics 127
The Fruitbearing Void 136
Beyond the Power of Even Vacuum 150
Around and About the Neutrino 151
A Physics Laboratory in the Ocean Depths 154
Amazed by Our Own Achievements 161
What Ether and Vacuum Have in Common and Differ in 169
NOTHING AND EVERYTHING 172
Beyond the Sea of Dirac or Everything is Nothing 174
Canvas and Paints 184
Is Everything Vacuum? 190
Notes on the Margin of Our Picture of the World 198
On the Brink of Remarkable Discoveries 206
In Place of a Conclusion 212