Emptiness

The outer layers of this collapsed star are being blown into space, briefly outshining its parent galaxy. Known as Supernova Remnant Cassiopeia A, the event began only 340 years ago, and is photographed by the Hubble telescope.

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Another expression of what it feels like to be in an empty space is being performed by the artist Marina Abramovic. Her show is at London’s Serpentine Gallery from June 11 to August 25. Called 512 Hours, the artist is present in the otherwise empty space of the gallery. The gallery is bare, but for its fixed staff lockers, visitors and security guards.

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As with the supernova there is no plan. What will happen?

The gallery publicity explains “On arrival, visitors will both literally and metaphorically leave their baggage behind in order to enter the exhibition: bags, jackets, electronic equipment, watches and cameras may not accompany them.

“The public will become the performing body, participating in the delivery of an unprecedented moment in the history of performance art.

“Marina Abramović is a pioneer of performance as an art form, using her own body as subject and object, she has pushed the physical and mental limits of her being.”

For the New Physics there is another kind of low energy which has only recently been recognised within an empty space. Fundamental particles called Higg’s Boson appear to have mass while the symmetries controlling their interactions should require them to be massless. Their weak force also have a much shorter range than electro-magnetic forces.

250px-Elementary_particle_interactions.svg     200px-Light_dispersion_of_a_mercury-vapor_lamp_with_a_flint_glass_prism_IPNr°0125 A prism disperses photons differently.