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The notion of empty space (like that of eventless time) proved repugnant to Parmenides and the Stoics, and much later, but for similar reasons, to Descartes. One reason for disliking the idea may be based on confusion about the allegedly paradoxical existence of nothing (for nothing is precisely what there is in empty space), others find it contrary to the plenitude of God that he should allow there to be nothing where he could have put something. Other problems arise from trying to conceive of the passage of force and information through a vacuum. In modern quantum mechanics, space is not empty, but seething with latent or virtual particles, ready to spring into being if various physical events occur. See also action at a distance, field.

Subjects: Philosophy.


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