To noth or not to noth - is that the question?

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Absolute Zero

"Absolute zero is an ideal and unattainably perfect state of coldness - the ultimate in cool" Michael de Podesta, Nothing (2013: 165)


Nothing: from absolute zero to cosmic oblivion - amazing insights into nothingness New Scientist (Profile Books, 2013)

Friday, 31 May 2013


None, Oblivion, This, Hole, I, Nought, Gone, Nil, Empty, Soul, Space

Monday, 22 October 2012


Metaphysics WHY and Wherefore set out one day To hunt for a wild Negation. They agreed to meet at a cool retreat On the Point of Interrogation. But the night was dark and they missed their mark, And, driven well-nigh to distraction, They lost their ways in a murky maze Of utter abstruse abstraction. Then they took a boat and were soon afloat On a Sea of Speculation, But the sea grew rough, and their boat, though tough, Was split into an Equation. As they floundered about in the Waves of Doubt Rose a fearful Hypothesis, Who gibbered with glee as they sank in the sea, And the last they saw was this: On a rock-bound Reef of Unbelief There sat the wild Negation; Then they sank once more and were washed ashore At the Point of Interrogation. Oliver Herford

Friday, 13 January 2012

How do you get something from nothing?

How do you get a universe (space-time, mass/momentum & laws of physics) - or a multiverse - out of nothing? Lawrence Krauss, in "A Universe From Nothing: why there is something rather than nothing" [Free Press 2011] argues that both the very existence and the accelerating expansion of the universe is most likely powered by "nothing".

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Dark Things and Nothing

Fully 70% of the matter density in the universe appears to be in the form of dark energy. Twenty-six percent is dark matter. Only 4% is ordinary matter. So less than 1 part in 20 is made out of matter we have observed experimentally or described in the standard model of particle physics. Of the other 96%, apart from the properties just mentioned, we know absolutely nothing.

Lee Smolin (2006). The Trouble with Physics [p. 16].

Einstein on Emptiness

In Einstein's theory of the universe, the 12 field equations include a cosmological constant (Λ) that corresponds to an energy density of empty space. Depending on its sign, the cosmological constant can either slow (negative Λ) or accelerate (positive Λ) the expansion of the universe. Recent research on supernovae has detected a large amount of "dark energy" that is accelerating the universe's expansion. It is unlikely that this dark energy corresponds to a positive Λ, although alternative theories cannot be ruled out as yet. Russian physicist Zel'dovich suggested that Λ is a measure of the zero-point energy associated with virtual particles of quantum field theory, a pervasive vacuum energy that exists everywhere, even in empty space.

Monday, 9 January 2012


Can nothingness have any meaning without thingness (world and/or consciousness)?

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


"We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone". Orson Welles.

Thursday, 13 October 2011


The essential nature of reality is sunyata [the void, emptiness] - Nagarjuna

The Quality of Nothingness

"Quality [romantic quality] and its manifestations [classic quality] are in their nature the same. It is given different names [subjects and objects] when it becomes classically manifest. Romantic quality and classic quality together may be called the 'mystic'.
Reaching from mystery into deeper mystery, it is the gate to the secret of all life. Quality is all-pervading. And its use is inexhaustible! Fathomless! Like the fountainhead of all things...
Yet crystal clear like water it seems to remain. I do not know whose son it is. An image of what existed before God ... Continuously, continuously it seems to remain. Draw upon it and it serves you with ease ... Looked at but cannot be seen ... listened to but cannot be heard ... grasped at but cannot be touched ... these three elude all our inquiries and hence blend and become one.
Not by its rising is there light, not by its sinking is there darkness. Unceasing, continuous, it cannot be defined, and reverts again into the realm of nothingness. That is why it is called the form of the formless: the image of nothingness.
That is why it is called elusive. Meet it and you do not see its face. Follow it and you do not see its back. He who holds fast to the quality of old is able to know the primeval beginnings which are the continuity of quality".

...Before Phaedrus could stop it, the sudden accumulated mass of awareness began to grow and grow into an avalanche of thought and awareness out of control ... until there was nothing left to stand. No more anything.

'Tao Te Ching' by Lao Tzu (400 BC) - as interpreted by Robert Pirsig in 'Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values' (Bodley Head UK, 1974, ch.20)

Friday, 3 June 2011

Rango: existentialist animated-movie of the year

Who am I? I'm nobody. Rango the Lizard (Johnny Depp) [1.22]
Sometimes you gotta dig deep to find what you're looking for. Spirit of the West [1.24]
I don't even know who I am ... They used to call you the Man With No Name. Rango [1.25]
These days they've got a name for just about everything ... Doesn't matter what they call you, its the deeds that make the man ... You came a long way to find something which isn't here ... No man can walk out on his own story. Spirit of the West [1.26]
Did you just see that? Rango [1.26]
We see what we need to see. Beautiful, isn't it? Roadkill
Yeah. Rango
Pretty soon, no-one will believe you even existed. Rattlesnake Jake [1.39].

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Cheryl Cole Gets Her Head Straight by Going to Nowhere

A source said: "She can't wait to get as far away from all this attention as possible and was eyeing up destinations in the middle of nowhere. Cheryl is ... concentrating on getting her head straight."

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Nothingness has shaped everything

"Nothingness has shaped everything ... what we once thought of as the void now seems to hold within it the deepest mysteries of the entire universe ... There is a profound connection between the nothingness from which we originated and the infinite in which we are engulfed"
BBC-TV series: "Everything and Nothing", episode 2 (April 2011)

Monday, 18 April 2011

Nothingness as fast-deal loan-shark

"In the vacuum. little packets of energy [quantum fluctuations] appear and disappear very quickly ... Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle tells us that you can borrow energy from nothing so long as you pay it back quickly enough"
Professor Carlos Frenk, University of Durham (UK) - on BBC TV series "Everything and Nothing", episode 2, April 2011

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Matter is almost totally empty space

Matter is actually 99.9999999999999 per cent empty space.
In other words, an atom (which has a radius of 10 to the power of -10 metres) contains almost all of its mass in the positively-charged nucleus (which has a radius of 10 to the power of -15 metres), while the rest of the atom outside the nucleus is empty of mass. The only contents of this 'empty space' are the negatively-charged point-like electrons.