outer space is vacuum

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ridgemao

Senior Member
Chinese - Mandarin
Hello, everyone:

This is a passage from wordpress.com: Writing Assesment Question - Topic: Sound Waves
Earlier research states that waves need a medium to travel. But we know that the outer space is vacuum but still electromagnetic waves travel smoothly.

Is it correct to use "vacuum" as an adjective above? Or should the author say "outer space is a vacuum" ?

Thank you.
 
  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    And not accurate. "Near-vacuum" would be more accurate (but check with the more scientific members of this forum first).
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    "Outer space is a near-vacuum" , "a" can not be neglected, am I right?

    Thank you again.
    From a language point of view that is correct.

    Wiki puts a fine point on the scientific aspect:

    Outer space has very low density and pressure, and is the closest physical approximation of a perfect vacuum. But no vacuum is truly perfect, not even in interstellar space, where there are still a few hydrogen atoms per cubic meter.[5]

    Vacuum - Wikipedia
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    The site you linked to in the OP is a 5-years-old demonstration website which somebody has posted at wordpress.com (introetjaychakra.wordpress.com), presumably to demonstrate a website template. The three posts all contain errors. May I suggest that you try looking at real websites rather than at one that merely demonstrating a low-quality template created by someone whose native language is not English?
     

    ridgemao

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Mandarin
    May I suggest that you try looking at real websites rather than at one that merely demonstrating a low-quality template created by someone whose native language is not English?
    Thank you for your advice.

    Before posting this question, I did doubt that the phrase “outer space is vacuum” is wrong, but I wanted to ask this to make sure my doubt is correct. Actually I searched this phrase on BBC and other newspaper websites but I could not find any match.
    I know I should describe a context to ask about a specific phrase, it is not easy for me to describe a context all by myself, so I tend to find this phrase on google.

    Even if a phrase has little google hit, it can still be correct(One member of this forum suggested me not to judge the correctness by the number of google hits), not to mention the phrase has more google hits but only comes from informal websites.

    This is the reason I cited the phrase from informal websites, I think at least the context is clearer than the way I describe it.

    If it is still not proper to do this, please let me know so I can change my way of posting questions.

    Thank you.
     
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