Space is the boundless, three-dimensional extent in which objects and events occur and have relative position and direction. Physical space is often conceived in three linear dimensions, although modern physicists usually consider it, with time, to be part of a boundless four-dimensional continuum known as spacetime. In mathematics, "spaces" are examined with different numbers of dimensions and with different underlying structures. The concept of space is considered to be of fundamental importance to an understanding of the physical universe. However, disagreement continues between philosophers over whether it is itself an entity, a relationship between entities, or part of a conceptual framework.
Debates concerning the nature, essence and the mode of existence of space date back to antiquity; namely, to treatises like the Timaeus of Plato, or Socrates in his reflections on what the Greeks called khora (i.e. "space"), or in the Physics of Aristotle (Book IV, Delta) in the definition of topos (i.e. place), or even in the later "geometrical conception of place" as "space qua extension" in the Discourse on Place (Qawl fi al-Makan) of the 11th century Arab polymath Alhazen. Many of these classical philosophical questions were discussed in the Renaissance and then reformulated in the 17th century, particularly during the early development of classical mechanics. In Isaac Newton's view, space was absolute—in the sense that it existed permanently and independently of whether there were any matter in the space. Other natural philosophers, notably Gottfried Leibniz, thought instead that space was a collection of relations between objects, given by their distance and direction from one another. In the 18th century, the philosopher and theologian George Berkeley attempted to refute the "visibility of spatial depth" in his Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision. Later, the metaphysician Immanuel Kant said neither space nor time can be empirically perceived, they are elements of a systematic framework that humans use to structure all experiences. Kant referred to "space" in his Critique of Pure Reason as being: a subjective "pure a priori form of intuition", hence it is an unavoidable contribution of our human faculties.
In the 19th and 20th centuries mathematicians began to examine non-Euclidean geometries, in which space can be said to be curved, rather than flat. According to Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity, space around gravitational fields deviates from Euclidean space. Experimental tests of general relativity have confirmed that non-Euclidean space provides a better model for the shape of space.
Other articles related to "space":
... Rohrabacher was chairman of the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics from 1997 to January 2005 and has been active on space-related issues ... In 2000, Space.com described Rohrabacher as "a strident advocate for supremacy in space, a philosophy shaped along a winding road from libertarian activist to White House speech writer ...
... "Ordeal in Space" is a science fiction short story by Robert A ... Father, Strong to Save, dedicated "to those who venture into space," in the story ... Man Who Sold the Moon" "Delilah and the Space Rigger" "Space Jockey" "Requiem" "The Long Watch" "Gentlemen, Be Seated!" "The Black Pits of Luna" "It's Great ...
... Beam Piper's Space Viking, Larry Niven's Known Space, Jerry Pournelle's CoDominium, Poul Anderson's Polesotechnic League and several other works of science fiction literature ... journey between various star systems and engage in activities such as exploration, ground and space battles, and interstellar trading ... Traveller was intended to be a system for playing generic space opera-themed science fiction adventures in much the same sense that Dungeons Dragons was a system intended for generic fantasy ...
... The Soviet space program, founded by Sergey Korolev, was especially successful ... On 4 October 1957 Soviet Union launched the first space satellite Sputnik ... Gagarin became the first human to travel into space in the Soviet spaceship Vostok 1 ...
... Psychologists first began to study the way space is perceived in the middle of the 19th century ... Psychologists analyzing the perception of space are concerned with how recognition of an object's physical appearance or its interactions are perceived, see, for example ... self preservation as well as simply one's idea of personal space ...
Famous quotes containing the word space:
“The merit of those who fill a space in the worlds history, who are borne forward, as it were, by the weight of thousands whom they lead, shed a perfume less sweet than do the sacrifices of private virtue.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“No being exists or can exist which is not related to space in some way. God is everywhere, created minds are somewhere, and body is in the space that it occupies; and whatever is neither everywhere nor anywhere does not exist. And hence it follows that space is an effect arising from the first existence of being, because when any being is postulated, space is postulated.”
—Isaac Newton (16421727)
“I would have broke mine eye-strings, cracked them, but
To look upon him, till the diminution
Of space had pointed him sharp as my needle;
Nay, followed him till he had melted from
The smallness of a gnat to air, and then
Have turned mine eye and wept.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)