Nothingness has eluded humanity for a long time. Everywhere we look, we see a lot of empty space.
Intuitively, since very ancient times, we didn't think there was nothing in empty space. Because we breathe and feel something called air. And in the regions where it gets harder for us to breathe, they called it 'aether'.
In medieval times there was more information about what goes on high in the sky. So we kind of learned eventually what is in the air. But in a vacuum like space, there still must be something and they called it 'ether'.
In modern times we still thought there must be something in a vacuum, because we learned much more about the photon.
If electromagnetic-waves can reach us in so many forms, maybe there is still a different kind of stuff that is carrying that. It must have something to do with light.
So it was called 'luminiferous ether' and we started searching for it, but we could still not find anything.
In more recent times, after finding new ways to describe what goes on at very tiny levels (Quantum-electrodynamics or QED), it turns out there is something in empty space.
And some experiments kind of agree, so we finally found something where there is nothing. We unfortunately can't call it ether, as using that name had led to failure on several occasions since ancient times. We need to be very careful how to call it this time, because it is real.
So now we call it 'quantum fluctuations'. Sounds so modern, doesn't it?
We almost don't notice it, except for the random particles popping up out of nothing and than very rapidly disappearing again.
This stuff is also real, but let's be careful as to what to name them, before people start to try to make energy out of nothing again. We should come up with a name that makes them real and not real at the same time.
So we call them 'virtual particles'.
Also sounds so modern and legit.
This story shows us how, just because you know something exists, it doesn't mean you will find it where you think it is. And just because you name something differently, doesn't mean it may not be exactly the same thing.
Sometimes ideas seem like they amount to nothing and get forgotten. And at other times ideas seem so great that almost everyone wants to take that path until after a while, it seems that it actually amounts to nothing.
We may need to start to rethink old ideas, because some of them may be the key to understanding why we can't advance sometimes. When an experiment dismisses an idea too soon, it can result in a situation where such an idea gets avoided (intentionally or unintentionally) for a long time. Maybe the knowledge was too limited and the technology wasn't ready for it back then.
But not looking at it ever again may be a mistake. It is possible that if an old idea is combined with current knowledge and technology, the idea could turn out to be the missing piece that can lead to a new breakthrough.
Furthermore, we need to ignore the original meaning behind the naming of things. Sometimes it is based on knowledge mixed with beliefs at that moment in time.
(Of course, that it should be ignored is common sense, but it can still subconsciously influence decisions. The reason it is described here is to raise awareness, because raised awareness can be a way to suppress or reveal some subconscious decisions)
We do unfortunately need to name things in order to communicate them. It's creative, but not always accurate or helpful. Like when the name atom meaning indivisible was chosen and than it later turned out the atom was divisible. Or when helium was discovered via solar spectroscopy and was mistaken for a metal, because the spectral-line looked like that of sodium (a type of metal). A similar spectral-line might suggest that this may also be a metal (we didn't know yet how weird the quantum world is).
It would probably have been named 'helon' if they had known then that it is a noble gas. (I'm glad it wasn't known, as we're used to the name helium now.)
Expect more of this confusing naming in the future. And who gets there first gets to name it. It is inevitable and needs to be done.
Amazing what 'nothing' can do with the mind. When we think something is not supposed to be possible or is though of in a certain way, the naming tends to get very confusing for future generations.
This means that people will tend to avoid concepts, because the names insinuate that taking that path will either lead to a dead end, or can't be based on what is really happening.
Things like 'imaginary numbers' are real and can be useful if we don't think of them as imaginary. And giving some particles names like 'virtual particles' and 'quasiparticles' doesn't make them any less real. We just need to understand them better.
'Nothing' is also not really understood, because we don't want nothing and therefore we don't really think about it.
That is why 'zero' (0) is also not really understood as it represents something similar to nothing. So there are some things we still can't do with it, but to understand the whole picture, we will have to give it a proper place.
We need to stop seeing zero as nothing because nothing is still something.
And the same is true for 'infinity' (∞), but in an inverted way. We keep seeing infinity as inconceivable, because it goes on and on. Counting to infinity is unfeasible, so we tend to see infinity as impossible. As a result, most (if not every) scientist sees results with infinities as something that should be either recalculated or reformulated.
We need to stop seeing infinity as impossible because infinity is also still something.
To see the whole picture, we will have to team up with them all.
'Nothing' and 'infinity' seem so different, but they may in some ways be identical.
Maybe zero is infinity (0=♾).
And 'nothing' is 'everything'.
This was a Devoid side story. Welcome to the place where: anything is possible and possibility is anything!