Space

Overview

**Space**is the boundless, three-dimensional extent in which objects

Physical body

In physics, a physical body or physical object is a collection of masses, taken to be one...

and events occur and have relative position and direction. Physical space is often conceived in three linear

Linear

In mathematics, a linear map or function f is a function which satisfies the following two properties:* Additivity : f = f + f...

dimension

Dimension

In physics and mathematics, the dimension of a space or object is informally defined as the minimum number of coordinates needed to specify any point within it. Thus a line has a dimension of one because only one coordinate is needed to specify a point on it...

s, although modern physicists

Physics

Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

usually consider it, with time

Time

Time is a part of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change such as the motions of objects....

, to be part of a boundless four-dimensional continuum

Continuum (theory)

Continuum theories or models explain variation as involving a gradual quantitative transition without abrupt changes or discontinuities. It can be contrasted with 'categorical' models which propose qualitatively different states.-In physics:...

known as spacetime

Spacetime

In physics, spacetime is any mathematical model that combines space and time into a single continuum. Spacetime is usually interpreted with space as being three-dimensional and time playing the role of a fourth dimension that is of a different sort from the spatial dimensions...

. In mathematics

Mathematics

Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

one examines "spaces" 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

Universe

The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space. Definitions and usage vary and similar terms include the cosmos, the world and nature...

although disagreement continues between philosophers over whether it is itself an entity, a relationship between entities, or part of a conceptual framework

Conceptual framework

A conceptual framework is used in research to outline possible courses of action or to present a preferred approach to an idea or thought. For example, the philosopher Isaiah Berlin used the "hedgehogs" versus "foxes" approach; a "hedgehog" might approach the world in terms of a single organizing...

.

Debates concerning the nature, essence and the mode of existence of space date back to antiquity; namely, to treatises like the

*Timaeus*of Plato

Plato

Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

, or Socrates

Socrates

Socrates was a classical Greek Athenian philosopher. Credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, he is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of later classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon, and the plays of his contemporary ...

in his reflections on what the Greeks called

*khora*

(i.e.

Khora

Khôra is a philosophical term described by Plato in Timaeus as a receptacle, a space, or an interval. It is neither being nor nonbeing but an interval between in which the "forms" were originally held...