Why is there something in the universe instead of nothing?…

7 May


“The Principles of Nature and Grace, Based on Reason” (1714):

“…now we…make use of the great…principle that nothing takes place without a sufficient reason; in other words, that nothing occurs for which it would be impossible for someone who has enough knowledge of things to give a reason adequate to determine why the thing is as it is and not otherwise. This principle having been stated, the first question which we have a right to ask will be, ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’…. Further, assuming that things must exist, it must be possible to give a reason why they should exist as they do and not otherwise.”

We all know that Leibniz attributes the final reason for things to God. But, God, an entity that possibly exists but we don’t grasp the entire meaning, is not sufficient reason for a scientific explanation for why there’s a lack of something, why there is large “holes” in space, called the bootes void. These holes are not completely empty, some contain a few random galaxies, but the vast majority don’t have stars, galaxies, planets, or any kind of visible matter. Curiously enough, our Milky Way galaxy (member of the Local Group), is locates at the edge of one of these voids, which is called the “local void.”

But there is this bigger void, approximately 25 million light years in diameter, covering about 0.27% of the entire diameter of the known universe. With only 60 galaxies, instead f the average 10,000 galaxies, nobody knows for sure why they exist. However, several “explanations” were advanced, one of them is akin to a science-fiction novel. Maybe they exist due to the existence of a highly advanced civilization , a Type 3 civilization, that have created a dynasphere around stars [1] and is actually extracting a huge amount of energy to run their power plants {1}.


Among other scientific explanations is the “inflation theory” [2] suggesting that in the first fractions of a second after the universe come into existence by the big bang, matter was not equally distributed in spacetime due to cosmic fluctuations, and this resulted in voids. These are mapped in the cosmic microwave background radiation, the left-over thermal radiation after the big bang and also known by the big bang “afterglow”, cooled by the expansion of the Universe to just 2.725 degree above the absolute zero, appearing not as visible light, but in the form of short-wavelength  radio waves (principally microwaves) {2}.


The cosmic microwave background radiation with the biggest voids observed. Image credit: ESA Planck collaboration.

Whatever these voids represent, they are among the most mysterious facts of our universe.



[1] – Freeman Dyson, Search for Artificial Stellar Sources of Infrared Radiation, Science, Vol. 131, June 3, 1960, pp. 1667-1668.

[2] – Ian G. Moss, quantum theory, black holes and inflation (John wiley & Sons, New York, 1996)


{1} – http://mkaku.org/home/articles/the-physics-of-extraterrestrial-civilizations/

{2} – http://www.ctc.cam.ac.uk/outreach/origins/inflation_zero.php


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