I Don’t Have a Topic for My Research Paper, So I’m Writing about Nothing

2813 Words 12 Pages
What is nothing? Though at first, the response may seem like little more than a play on words, the simple answer is this: Nothing is not. No word such as anything or everything can be added at the end of the statement to further clarify the crucial concept, which is non-existence: the dictionary definition of nothing. In actuality, though, although the denotation of "nothing" insists on absolute absence and void, in today’s society "nothing" is actually quite present, masquerading as something indeed.

Of course, there are concepts in existence that accurately represent our limited understanding of nothing. One such concept is zero. In a simple counting sense, when one, two, or eight hundred items could be present, but there aren’t any
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In all other cases, zero’s effect is both prominent and apparent (Reid 9).

A truer mathematical representation of nothing is the empty set, a venture in to the complicated realm of set theory. In college algebra level mathematics, numbers are grouped into sets that can then be compared to each other. For example, if {A}={-1, 3,4,5} and {B}={-1,0,1,2,3}, the intersection (3 ) of these two sets is {-1,3}, the set of the units they share. However, if two sets are compared with 3 , the intersection notation, but have no elements in common between them, their intersection is {Û }, the empty set. If a third set is introduced, {C}={0,2,6,8}, and compared to set A, it can be determined that {A}3 {C} ={Û }. No number or variable can be found in both sets, so the set is empty. Truly, there is nothing in it.

Nothing can also be accurately found in science. A vacuum, space without matter in it, has many scientific applications although its existence remains only theory. Intergalactic space is often called a vacuum, but it is not a perfect one. Air at sea level contains 30? 1018 (30 billion billion) molecules per cubic centimeter, and the best synthetic vacuum contains less than 100,000 molecules per cubic centimeter. It is estimated that intergalactic space contains an average of less than one molecule per cubic meter. So, though theoretically a vacuum contains nothing, humanity lacks knowledge of any genuine vacuums.

Nothing can also be…