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I'm trying to find something Einstein (I think) said about time...It was something like..

"If you removed every particle from space and were left with only one pocket watch (clock, timepiece?), time would still exist and the watch would be ticking?"

That is not exactly it so I can't find it in google. Do you know of anything he said similar to that?

It is not this one...

“It was formerly believed that if all material things disappeared, time and space would be left. According to the relativity theory, however, time and space disappear together with the things.”

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closed as off topic by David Z Sep 10 '11 at 2:39

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Are you looking for an understanding of what he might have said, or do you just want to find the quote itself? In the latter case, this is not the place to ask. –  David Z May 31 '11 at 21:37
    
@David: should this post be closed? It seems pretty clear that he's quote-mining, and the answer is does not seem particularly helpful either. –  Niel de Beaudrap Sep 10 '11 at 1:43
    
@Niel: yeah, I probably should have closed this when it first came up. (I was hoping the OP would edit in response to my comment, I guess) Thanks for pointing it out. –  David Z Sep 10 '11 at 2:40
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1 Answer 1

Did you ever wondered why momentum (a dynamical quantity that involves mass and velocity) is conjugated to position and energy is conjugated to time? When you were taught in mathematics that space is tridimensional, did you ever wondered how empty space have to be tridimensional if it contains nothing! If empty space do not contains anything why not describe it by, let's say 10 dimensions. To answer your question you first must understand the difference between physical space and mathematical space. Mathematical space is abstract; it exists but just in our minds. To detect space and measure is properties you have to use signals. The propagation of those signals is what defines space. The paths taken by this signals can curve so the signals again are defining space. Without the signal there is no space. Matter also occupies space. But if you take matter away from space there is nothing left. So matter is not occupying space, matter is space! That is why you were taught in mathematics that space is tridimensional, because you professor was really thinking latter to put surfaces and volumes in this artificial construction that he called space. Space can curve but only in the presence of energy and mass. This means that you can't separate them you cannot separate time and space from matter and energy. You need time because you have to parameterize the trajectories of the signals that define space. There is no space nor there time if you take matter and energy away. They are linked as one and the same. If string theory, or it's latter incarnation M-Theory, is correct the world volume of p-branes is space and time as we know it, there is nothing outside matter and energy. So to answer your question if you remove every particle, you are removing space and time because they are the same!

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Actually, it was just a comment about the quote, not and answer. –  Ernesto Ulloa Jun 19 '12 at 12:31
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