In classical physics, free space is a concept of electromagnetic theory, corresponding to a theoretically perfect vacuum and sometimes referred to as the vacuum of free space, or as classical vacuum, and is appropriately viewed as a reference medium.

The definitions of the ampere and meter SI units are based upon measurements corrected to refer to free space.

The concept of free space is an abstraction from nature, a baseline or reference state that is unattainable in practice - because any reasonable/practical volume of space always contains at least one atom, photon, electron, proton, neutron, or other elementary particle of matter. By analogy, "free space" has this unattainable nature similar to the absolute zero of temperature in thermodynamics and the ideal gas in physics and chemistry.

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