Is the space "something"? Or does matter float in the middle of "nothing"? What can be discovered with a bucket, a rope and water?
In 1689, Newton wanted to prove that space was something. He called it "absolute space." He filled a bucket of water, tied it to a rope and hung it from a fixed bar. Imagine it as a children's swing. He twisted the rope to the fullest, and released it. The cube begins to spin, faster and faster.
For a few moments the water is still at rest. Tour with the cube but no with respect to Cube. It has no independent movement and its surface remains flat. But after a few moments, the movement of the cube is also transferred to the water. The water begins to spin, forms a whirlpool and its surface becomes concave. Why?
This is because the force of the spin pushes the water against the walls of the bucket. Like when the roller coaster takes a curve and we feel the thrust out. Finally, the cube stops, but the water continues concave and turning for a few more moments. When the water brakes, its surface becomes flat again.
Newton's reasoning was as follows. How can we distinguish that something moves? There is only one way to know, and this is to take as a reference something that does not move. The movement only exists with respect to something. The same happens with any spatial reference: there is no left without right, neither up without down, nor fast without slow…
Water does not move with respect to the cube. Your times do not match. When the bucket is already moving, the water is not yet And when the bucket has already stopped, the water keeps moving. And we know that it moves because its surface changes shape, feels the force of movement. So, with respect to what moves?
For Newton, water moves with respect to absolute space. If space were nothing, there would be no reference for movement and, therefore, there would be no movement. Absolute space is the absolute reference of movement. The proof that it is "something". And also, something in absolute rest.
All of Newton's laws of motion and gravitation are based on his idea of absolute space. Others like Huygens, Leibniz, Mach and Einstein deny it. Leibniz compares it to the alphabet.
The alphabet would be space and letters matter. Without letters, the alphabet is nothing, it does not exist. The movement is relative and only exists in relation to matter. If there were no matter in space, there would be no movement.
Einstein denied the absolute movement and rest. Everything is relative. It unified space and time. Space is no longer independent or immobile. So the question would be: what is the space time? We still have no definitive answer.
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