As a consequence of the Lorentz transformations, time and space transform into each other when changing reference frame. This calls for a unified description: Minkowski spacetime.

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What is the link between the metric signature of spacetime and fundamental field equations?

The signature of Minkowski spacetime is 2, as is explained here: metric signature explanation. The signature is related to the form the fundamental equations take, but I'm not totally clear on the ...
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1answer
142 views

Could light travel more slowly than the “universal speed limit”? Could this imply quantization of spacetime?

One description of relativistic effects that I've heard/read goes something like this: Everything moves through spacetime at a constant speed. An object's direction of travel through spacetime can ...
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477 views

Is there any uncertainty between mass and proper length or time?

I was trying to naively draw a parallel between special relativity and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. I try to understand uncertainty principle as a consequence of 4-position and 4-momentum ...
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1answer
98 views

What is the age of universe? [closed]

As we know at the time of big bang as mentioned by the scientist the universe expanded faster than the speed of light. So does it mean that at that time all the particles present travelled in the time ...
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1answer
130 views

Finite amount of matter and space

(Please bear with me.) If the universe included multi-universes, and black holes transferred matter between them, AND yet there was a large, but FINITE amount of matter and space, How would that ...
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3answers
483 views

Is spacetime moving in general relativity?

Is spacetime moving in general relativity? If not, how does spacetime retain its past, while moving toward future?
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1answer
382 views

What happens to string theory if spacetime is doomed?

What is expected to happen with string theory, if physics is reformulated according the lines hinted at by the twistor-uprising business discussed in this question and its answers for example and ...
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1answer
94 views

How much energy is needed to curve the space so the Sun will come 1 meter closer to our planet? [closed]

How much energy/work will it take if our planet is: 5.9736×1024 kg or 3.0×10−6 Suns to move Sun and Earth 1 meter closer ...
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2answers
169 views

Why can certain functions be absorbed into the Schwarzschild metric, while others can't?

Another question about the Schwarzschild solution of General Relativity: In the derivation (shown below) of the Schwarzschild metric from the vacuum Einstein Equation, at the step marked "HERE," we ...
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1answer
507 views

How do photons experience time? [duplicate]

I know that as velocity approaches the speed of light the time dilation shoots to infinity as shown below. 1)So I want to know how time is perceived from the point of view of the photon? 2)Since ...
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1answer
124 views

How would time duration and space distance change when we move in the speed of light? [closed]

It is possible to figure out how time duration and space distance change when we are close to the speed of light - but I am not sure what happens to them if we travel in the speed of light.
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2answers
215 views

about the 1D singularity of black hole

I saw some responses here saying that the singularity into the black hole is one dimension object so my question is : is it possible that the singularity is simply a merger of the 4 dimensions of the ...
10
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1answer
628 views

Is spacetime flat inside a spherical shell?

In a perfectly symmetrical spherical hollow shell, there is a null net gravitational force according to Newton, since in his theory the force is exactly inversely proportional to the square of the ...
3
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1answer
221 views

Negative energy and large-scale spacetime structure

I was reading an essay from Stephen Hawking's on the Space and Time warps and I was trying to make sense on some statements referring to the Casimir effect such as: The energy density of empty ...
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9answers
573 views

How to explain (pedagogically) why there is 4 spacetime dimensions while we see only the 3 spatial dimesions?

I have been asked this question by a student, but I was able and in the same time incapable to give a good answer for this without equations, so do you have ideas how one can explain this in a simple ...
2
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0answers
98 views

Car parking special-relavity puzzle

Hi I read the following puzzle from an old text book long time ago. However it doesn't provide the answer. So what is the solution? Let's suppose a car is going to park to a garage and the garage is ...
3
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5answers
1k views
4
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3answers
537 views

Why do clocks measure arc-length?

Apologies in advance for the long question. My understanding is that in GR, massive observers move along timelike curves $x^\mu(\lambda)$, and if an observer moves from point $x^\mu(\lambda_a)$ to ...
5
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4answers
955 views

Alternate layman's metaphors for illustrating curved space-time

The metaphor of a surface (typically a pool table or a trampoline) distorted by a massive object is commonly used as a metaphor for illustrating gravitationally induced space-time curvature. But as ...
5
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3answers
323 views

Setting up a local-coordinate system in space-time using only a single clock and light beams

I have a question to ask about the operationalist view of space-time. I am a mathematician who happens to be interested in physics, so if anyone thinks that my question is a silly or vague one, please ...
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2answers
104 views

Why does isotropy principle require existence of inertial transformation when axes are reversed?

Assuming one spatial and one termporal dimension, let's assume an intertial transformation $A(v)$ as follows: $$ \begin{pmatrix} t' \\ x' \\ \end{pmatrix} = A(v) \begin{pmatrix} t \\ x \\ ...
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1answer
138 views

Does spacetime have momentum?

In what sense can it be said that spacetime possesses momentum? Can an experiment be envisaged to test this question?
3
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1answer
133 views

An issue about the compactness and the existence of CTCs

There is a well known fact that a compact spacetime necessarily contains a closed timelike curve (CTC). Proof can be found in several books on GR (e.g. Hawking, Ellis, Proposition 6.4.2), and in ...
18
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3answers
965 views

Can light exists in $2+1$ or $1+1$ spacetime dimensions?

Spacetime of special relativity is frequently illustrated with its spatial part reduced to one or two spatial dimension (with light sector or cone, respectively). Taken literally, is it possible for ...
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2answers
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How can mass affect spacetime?

In General Relativity Theory, mass can warp spacetime. However, in my view interaction only occurs between pieces of matter. Spacetime is not matter; how can it be affected by matter?
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1answer
111 views

Looking backwards in time at yourself

If a person on Earth today is looking at a star, say, 10 billion light years away, is it possible that some of the atoms he is looking at will eventually go on to make him?
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2answers
215 views

Curved space or curved spacetime?

As I understand it, you can have time + flat space = curved spacetime. So, when one is trying to emphasise that there is a curvature to the space, is it more technically correct to say curved space ...
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4answers
910 views

Does the “Andromeda Paradox” (Rietdijk–Putnam-Penrose) imply a completely deterministic universe?

Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rietdijk–Putnam_argument Abstract of 1966 Rietdijk paper: A proof is given that there does not exist an event, that is not already in the past for ...
4
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3answers
391 views

Could metric expansion create holes, or cavities in the fabric of spacetime?

Is it possible for metric expansion to create holes, or cavities in the fabric of spacetime? According to the Schwarzschild metric, the metric expansion of space around a black hole goes to infinity ...
2
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0answers
208 views

Higher dimensions

1) How we determine whether the higher dimensions are Unstable or Unpredictable? Or on the basis of what assumption we make this prediction? (Source of Image: Max Tegmark. See also this Wikipedia ...
4
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1answer
136 views

Limit on space-time dimension from susy

I read an argument saying that it would be impossible to write down a super-symmetric theory in more than 11 dimensions, this limit coming from the dimension of the Clifford algebra that goes as ...
3
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2answers
182 views

Element of area in 4-dimensional space-time

How would you proof that $$ \mathrm {Tr} (\mathbf{S\cdot \bar S })=0$$ where $\mathbf S$ is an element of area delimited for the 4-vectors $\mathbf u$ and $\mathbf v$ given by $$S^{\alpha \beta}\equiv ...
2
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3answers
554 views

Are the principles of space-time homogeneity and Isotropy independent of one another?

Einstein in deriving the Lorentz transformations, used the principles of space-time homogeneity and Isotropy. Does space-time isotropy follow from space-time homogeneity or are they completely ...
8
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1answer
97 views

Hamilton operator in absence of causal order?

I hope, this question isn't too broad or vague. In a recent paper, Ognyan Oreshkov et al. worked out a theory of quantum correlations in absence of any causal order, dropping the assumptions of a ...
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1answer
1k views

Calculating the speed of an object moving relative to another moving Object (Frame of reference) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to deduce the theorem of addition of velocities? Let's say that you are in a rocket speeding at 90% the speed of light away from Earth. Now fire a bullet inside the ...
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1answer
69 views

Are branes in 4D-spacetime moving, or are they static?

Given that a worldline, worldsheet, worldvolume, are representation in a 4D-spacetime of a point particle, a string or a brane, respectively, I was wondering if those objects necessarily have to be ...
9
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2answers
441 views

Some questions regarding $n+m$-dimensional spacetime [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Has the concept of non-integer $(n+m)$-dimensional spacetime ever been investigated by theoretical physicists? The following image: serves to aid the reader in ...
5
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2answers
366 views

Space-time geometry and metric

I am confused in one question in general relativity, why we can always express a space-time geometry only by metric. It means a metric, which is just about distance in tangent space, can tell us all ...
2
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2answers
369 views

What equations do I use to do basic time dilation problems?

I understand the concepts of relativity, but I don't know where to go to set up equations to do any actual calculations. For example, what equations would I use to find out the following: A ship ...
11
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2answers
624 views

Is spacetime simply connected?

As I've stated in a prior question of mine, I am a mathematician with very little knowledge of Physics, and I ask here things I'm curious about/things that will help me learn. This falls into the ...
9
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3answers
1k views

Can spacetime be non-orientable?

This question asks what constraints there are on the global topology of spacetime from the Einstein equations. It seems to me the quotient of any global solution can in turn be a global solution. In ...
3
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1answer
884 views

Why does the universe exhibit three large-scale spatial dimensions? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is 3+1 spacetime as privileged as is claimed? Regardless of your favorite theory of how many dimensions the universe has in total, the universe seems to have a deep ...
42
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5answers
3k views

Does Coulomb's Law, with Gauss's Law, imply the existence of only three spatial dimensions?

Coulomb's Law states that the fall-off of the strength of the electrostatic force is inversely proportional to the distance squared of the charges. Gauss's law implies that a the total flux through a ...
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1answer
721 views

What do scientists believe about existence in dimensions? [closed]

I couldn't really think of a suitable question title, I'm not sure if it's completely related or not. But this is as far as I know (well, I thought it all up last night and it seemed extremely ...
2
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2answers
507 views

What's the difference between two Hydrogen atoms?

If we are given two Hydrogen atoms, would the only difference between them would be their quantum state (Energy level or eigen value, and the corresponding Orbital or eigen state) and their location ...
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2answers
337 views

Special relativity, spacetime, velocity and units

We all know that space and time are the fundamental units, means no mathematical expression can express their relation to other variable fundamentally. But as we know that moving rod has a contracted ...
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1answer
267 views

Time Contraction

This is my first time posting on this site. I am a computer programmer that stumbled across a physics text book and have a question on special relativity. So firstly, I understand that there is no ...
4
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2answers
127 views

Real, non-constant scalar field with special properties in class of 4-dimensional spacetimes

David Deutsch (Oxford University) asked the following question which I think is an interesting one: In what class of 4-dimensional spacetimes does there exist a real, non-constant scalar field φ with ...
3
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1answer
538 views

Problem with convergent geodesics at 2D sphere

There is a chapter on general relativity in the book Spacetime Physics Introduction To Special Relativity by Taylor and Wheeler, which qualitatively explains how attractive gravitational force can be ...
2
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2answers
289 views