Is it possible to be right exactly adjacent without touching?

  1. stanwshura profile image73
    stanwshuraposted 5 years ago

    Is it possible to be right exactly adjacent without touching?

    Is it possible for two forms, be they matter or energy (people, ants, atoms, neutrons, light, radio waves, sound, black holes, quarks) to be so close that there is *no* space between them, yet they are not connected or in physical contact whatsoever?

  2. SidKemp profile image93
    SidKempposted 5 years ago

    The answer to this would depend on the model of reality that you are using.

    1) theoretical model - geometry - no. Two forms are either touching, or a distance separates them. If there is a distance, there are an infinite number of points in that distance.

    2) theoretical model - physics for ordinary matter (solids, liquids, gasses): Touching here means that there is contact at the molecular level, and that that contact allows an exchange of energy (such as supporting weight or allowing electrical conductivity). Because of the electrical attraction of molecules, being closely adjacent would lead to touching (contact). Interestingly, though, close contact, as we see it, also has a lot of space. Otherwise, a metal block on a metal table would fuse to the table. In fact, if we create super-smooth surfaces at the molecular level, adjacent objects will make contact, then bond.

    3) theoretical model - plasma physics. When a substance is in the plasma state, it is throwing off charged particles. As such, it has no clear boundary, and will make contact with anything adjacent to it.

    4) quantum mechanics - at the level of sub-atomic particles, the picture changes. "Location" is no longer definable in any usual sense. Objects have no definable single location, only a cloud of probably locations (and associated probable velocities). And there is a gap in space between one quantum state and another. When a particle shifts quantum state (say an electron absorbing a photon) it "jumps" from one quantum level to another without going through the intervening space. This jump cannot be explained in any ordinary universe model where space is contiguous and touching (contact) is possible. So, in quantum mechanics, each particle is discrete (in a separate space) or united (in contact) with another particle. But we can't say exactly where it is!

    5) electromagnetic waves and ocean waves. The notion of location does not apply exactly to waves of this form. But we do see the interactive effect of waves in the amplitude of the wave. These waves cross and yet do not affect one another.

    6) sound waves do merge and blend on contact.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)