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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Proof that Energy Momentum Tensor of Scalar Field Theory satisfies Weak Energy Condition

It's a question on Sean Carroll's Spacetime and Geometry, where we are supposed to prove that the energy momentum tensor of scalar field theory satisfies Weak Energy Condition (WEC). The energy ...
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316 views

How can I vizualize and understand curved spaces in general relativity?

I'm taking a basic physics class and the teacher described space with a special table that has curves and black holes etc. He would throw a metal ball down onto it and the class would watch it circle ...
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4answers
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Reducing General Relativity to Special Relativity in limiting case

I understand that general relativity is applicable to gravitational fields and special relativity is applicable to case when there is no gravity. But is there a derivation on how to reduce General ...
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246 views

Is this alternate theory of gravity as cause instead of effect plausible?

I came across this video today on YouTube that presents an interesting alternate theory of Gravity and the "missing" matter in the Universe that Dark Matter/Energy theories try to account for. If I ...
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ALL “forces” as manifestations of properties of space-time

I apologize if this seems like a quack question, but I need some insights by those who know much more than me in Physics. Anyway, the gravitational "force" (not really a force) is a manifestation of ...
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239 views

Plausible explanations for 3 local space dimensions

Every now and then I see accounts of models that claim to explain why we experience only 3 space dimensions (locally, i.e. within cosmic horizons and outside black hole horizons). One such of course ...
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247 views

The structure of space-time

I came across this paper recently called The Small Scale Structure of Spacetime and the following idea occured to me: To uninformed humans the universe appears Euclidean but we know from GR that on a ...
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4answers
856 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 ...
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2answers
86 views

Resources for current thought on time/spacetime?

Are any of the big-name physicists associated with the time in the same way that Hawking and Penrose are associated with black holes? I'm interested in some good books that focus on the topic.
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Does Spacetime have a “This Side Up” arrow? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does the curvature of spacetime theory assume gravity? Forgive my naivete as I am not schooled in Physics or Mathematics. I was watching NOVA's "The Fabric of the ...
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3answers
567 views

Does (it make sense to say that ) the universe has a center?

I was reading this page: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/oct/23/brian-cox-jeff-forshaw-answers and I found this sentence by Brian Cox: That seems to imply that everything is flying away ...
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550 views

Defining a Riemannian manifold - made easy?

In the context of GTR spacetime, I'm trying to get the basic idea of a Riemannian manifold clear in my mind. Apologies for the longwindedness. Question 1. Is this a reasonable, simplified summary of ...
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568 views

Does the Opera result hint to a discrete spacetime?

Could the Opera result be interpreted as some kind of hint to a discrete spacetime that is only seen for high enough energy neutrinos? I think I've read (some time ago) something like this in a ...
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2answers
626 views

Can an “absolute” frame of reference be determined by measuring the compression of light?

General relativity tells us that there is no absolute frame of reference (actually, it tells us that all frames are relative, which is close but not the same as there is no absolute frame). Special ...
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What is the extent of the universe?

Is there any realistic, understandable, provable (even in some extent) explanation/model for the extent of the universe? What is its shape? and Why? I mean physical explanations not philosophical ...
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1answer
205 views

Spacetime assumptions at OPERA

I would like to know what are the assumptions about the spacetime metric between the neutrinos emiter and detector, I mean, perhaps (just a stab in the dark) could be a mistake to asume the metric of ...
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2answers
892 views

Does space have to be filled with charged particles to carry electromagnetic waves?

I'm a newbie here so have mercy. I'm studying electromagnetic waves. This is the propagation of energy via the vibration of charged particles, as I understand it. A charged particle could be like ...
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3answers
244 views

Is there a single metric for a given system?

Let imagine a tunnel that connect two distant places at the globe (eastern-western or north-south) There are a lot of posible "distances" or metrics, defined by maps, routes, "as the crow flies", ...
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108 views

Confusion with infinity and time [closed]

I have some confusion between with resolving the following situation. I know that no measurable quantity can have a value of infinity. For example, I just wrote something out, but clearly this ...
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1answer
235 views

Can a vortex be self-sustaining? [closed]

Can vortices be self-sustaining? I suppose vortices in water are not self sustaining, since they need constant supply of water at speed i.e. kinetic energy. But is the same case applicable to space ...
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1answer
404 views

Orientability of spacetime

In many theoretical setups it is implicitly assumed that the underlying manifold (i.e. spacetime) is orientable. Then our analysis depends on this implicit assumption. For example, Stokes' theorem ...
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401 views

Can a black hole be formed by radiation?

I'm trying to find out if black holes could be created by focusing enough light into a small enough volume. So far I have found (any or all may be incorrect): Maxwell's equations are linear, ...
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1answer
227 views

How to bend 3d space embededd in a 4d enviornment? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Calculating position in space assuming general relativity I recently started to program a 4 dimensional visualization program. I have the 4 dimension space perspectively ...
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2answers
594 views

Why is time special?

In Special Relativity, the spacetime interval between two events is $s^2 = -(c{\Delta}t)^2+({\Delta}x)^2+({\Delta}y)^2+({\Delta}z)^2$ giving the Minkowski metric $\eta_{\mu\nu}=\text{diag}(-1, 1, 1, ...
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463 views

Getting back out of an Alcubierre warp bubble

Does the theory on paper provide a way for hypothetical travelers to get back out of the bubble that has gotten them close to their distant destination by compressing all the space in front of them ...
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1answer
270 views

What does scalar phi represent in spacetime?

Trying to understand one-forms and vectors via Schutz's A First Course In General Relativity. His example uses a spacetime diagram, a scalar field phi, a curve (worldline) parametrized using proper ...
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Proving that interval preserving transformations are linear

In almost all proofs I've seen of the Lorentz transformations one starts on the assumption that the required transformations are linear. I'm wondering if there is a way to prove the linearity: Prove ...
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Einstein's postulates <==> Minkowski space. In layman's terms [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Einstein's postulates <==> Minkowski space. (In layman's terms) In the spirit of Einstein's arguments using flashes of light, moving trains and mirrors; ...
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Einstein's postulates $\leftrightarrow$ Minkowski space for a Layman

What's the cleanest/quickest way to go between Einstein's postulates [1] of Relativity: Physical laws are the same in all inertial reference frames. Constant speed of light: "... light is always ...
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3answers
488 views

Rotations in space-time

In Landau's Classical Theory of Fields, one finds the statement: Every rotation in the four-dimensional space can be resolved into six rotations, in the planes $xy,zy,xz,tx,ty,tz$ (just as every ...
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287 views

Could we enable ourselves to send messages to and receive messages from the future?

Based on John Isaacks' question, "If you view the Earth from far enough away can you observe its past?" and the responses, it appears that we could use mirrors to see into the past. Using Vintage's ...
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2answers
298 views

How is the complexification of spacetime justified?

As always the caveat is that I am a mathematician with very little knowledge of physics. I've started my quest for knowledge in this field, but am very very far from having a good grasp. General ...
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2answers
580 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 ...
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6answers
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If you view the Earth from far enough away can you observe its past?

From my understanding of light, you are always looking into the past based on how much time it takes the light to reach you from what you are observing. For example when you see a star burn out, if ...
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2answers
196 views

Is the assumption of space time to be a continuum is just a matter of mathematical taste?

Is the assumption of space time to be a continuum is just a matter of mathematical taste ? Isn't there any physical significance associated with it.
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Why is gravitation force always attractive?

Why is the gravitation force always attractive? Is there a way to explain this other than the curvature of space time? PS: If the simple answer to this question is that mass makes space-time curve ...
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2answers
446 views

Does spacetime really exist in quantum gravity?

If there are no localized observables in quantum gravity, does spacetime really exist, or might spacetime really be an illusion?
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the search for calabicles

Pop-sci ST books say, "At every point of space, there is a Calabi-Yau space..." or similar. But uncertainty p. and noncommgeom say, no points in space, only planckons (not my coinage). Is 'point of ...
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2answers
575 views

Nature of spacetime 4-vector and tangent space?

An entry level confusion about spacetime. I understand that a 4-vector describes a point or event in spacetime. But I've also read (Bertschinger, 1999) that re spacetime "we are discussing tangent ...
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251 views

What is meant when it is said that the universe is homogeneous and isotropic?

It is sometimes said that the universe is homogeneous and isotropic. What is meant by each of these descriptions? Are they mutually exclusive, or does one require the other? And what implications rise ...
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Is 3+1 spacetime as privileged as is claimed?

I've often heard the argument that having 3 spatial dimensions is very special. Such arguments are invariably based on certain assumptions that do not appear to be justifiable at all, at least to me. ...
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1answer
586 views

Universe Expansion as an absolute time reference

Why we call "constant" to the Hubble constant?, if the universe were really expanding then the Hubble "constant" should change, being variable, smaller and smaller..with "time". Other example/view ...
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258 views

future light cones and light paths

I understand that an event, in a four dimensional space-time, produces a light cone. As time increases the cones gets larger on either side of the event (past and future). For example the if the sun ...
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Gravitational time dilation at the earth's center

I would like to know what happens with time dilation (relative to surface) at earth's center . There is a way to calculate it? Is time going faster at center of earth? I've made other questions ...
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1answer
926 views

Voyager local time dilation (caused by gravity)

Voyager I, as an example, taking account gravity and setting aside effects of speed as cause of time dilation. If it is very far away from earth and sun, so then there must be a difference in the ...
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Is relativistic motion equivalent to fluctuating gravitational fields?

The theory of relativity makes very precise predictions about how an object's motion through space-time affects the passage of time for both the object and observers in other frames of reference. I ...
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2answers
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Does the Planck scale imply that spacetime is discrete?

On a quantum scale the smallest unit is the Planck scale, which is a discrete measure. There several question that come to mind: Does that mean that particles can only live in a discrete grid-like ...
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425 views

Space-time hospitality

Are there any reasons to assume that organic processes cannot arise in relatively flat spacetime environments?.. An argument for the existence of a critial value or window ..
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Does the recent Gravity Probe - B mission mean both the mass of an object and the spin of an object affect time?

I'm a non-engineer interested in the recent GP-B mission results: http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/06/nasa-concludes-gravity-probe-b-space-time-experiment-proves-e/#disqus_thread Is it correct that ...
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Does Quantum Mechanics assume space and time are continuous?

I was confused when I was listening to a Quantum Mechanics lecture online. Are space and time assumed to be continuous or discrete in Quantum Mechanics? I can see the question is vague, but this is ...