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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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 ...
5
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1answer
294 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 ...
15
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6answers
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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 ...
1
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0answers
126 views

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; ...
25
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5answers
3k views

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 ...
3
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3answers
574 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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3answers
364 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 ...
3
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2answers
320 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 ...
12
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2answers
662 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 ...
101
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6answers
42k views

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 ...
4
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2answers
243 views

Is the Assumption That Space-time Has to Be a Continuum Just a Matter of Mathematical Taste?

Is the assumption that space-time has to be a continuum just a matter of mathematical taste? Isn't there any physical significance associated with it?
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5answers
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Why is gravitation force always attractive?

Why is the gravitational force always attractive? Is there another way to explain this without the curvature of space time? PS: If the simple answer to this question is that mass makes space-time ...
2
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2answers
496 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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1answer
121 views

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 ...
2
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2answers
629 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 ...
14
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3answers
338 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 ...
42
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7answers
2k views

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. ...
3
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1answer
664 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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1answer
279 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 ...
4
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
3
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1answer
1k 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 ...
0
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1answer
199 views

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 ...
31
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2answers
4k views

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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2answers
427 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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1answer
162 views

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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7answers
2k views

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 ...
11
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2answers
840 views

Can a non-Euclidean space be descripted through an Euclidean space of higher dimension? So why use non-Euclidean?

If you draw a big triangle in Earth 2D surface you will have an approximated spherical triangle, this will be a non euclidean geometry. but from a 3D perspective, for example the same triangle from ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Invariant spacetime - distance - Circular Motion

I understand that the closer something travels to the speed of light, that time will stretch by a factor, and distance will compress by the same factor. My question is, if something travels in a ...
0
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1answer
456 views

When are we now? Time coordinate system [closed]

The Second and the metre are well defined. We have those units available. Of course units are meant to express measurement, tools to compare with precision, and interchange that information ...
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2answers
495 views

If the Big Bang theory suggests that the Universe is “expanding” then what is it expanding INTO? [duplicate]

I am a software engineer and not an astrophysicist but I want to know if anyone is working on sorting out what exists outside the universe? So what about outside spacetime? what is there? or shall I ...
11
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4answers
5k views

Why does Venus rotate the opposite direction as other planets?

Given: Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum. Reverse spinning with dense atmosphere (92 times > Earth & CO2 dominant sulphur based). Surface same degree of aging all over. Hypothetical large ...
5
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2answers
977 views

Space-like Killing vector of Robertson-Walker metric?

In the book "Kinetic theory in the expanding Universe" (J. Bernstein, 1988, Camb. Univ. Press), it was stated that "for nonstationary Robertson-Walker matrixes [sic] there is no spacelike ...
6
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5answers
1k views

How does the curvature of spacetime induce gravitational attraction?

I don't know how to ask this more clearly than in the title.
17
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6answers
2k views

Does the curvature of spacetime theory assume gravity?

Whenever I read about the curvature of spacetime as an explanation for gravity, I see pictures of a sheet (spacetime) with various masses indenting the sheet to form "gravity wells." Objects which are ...
7
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2answers
946 views

How do I develop an intuitive model of spacetime?

I am your nightmare poster - a layman trying to learn special relativity. (I'm also a refugee from stackoverflow.com: trust me, it's only going to get worse). Apologies in advance if my question is ...
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6answers
7k views

Does vacuum (empty space) exist? [closed]

Added: 5 times down vote for now! Down voter is this religion or physics, please try to explain your decision. I'm confused about this. In physics we know for a vacuum, but I think that there is a ...
0
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1answer
743 views

Light years in terms of actual time space [closed]

What actually is 1 light year? What is the equivalent time in Earth time space?
9
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5answers
2k views

Did spacetime start with the Big bang?

Did spacetime start with the Big Bang? I mean, was there any presence of this spacetime we are experiencing now before big bang? And could there be a presence/existence of any other space-time before ...
8
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3answers
634 views

Is anyone studying how the general topology of spacetime arises from more fundamental notions?

Stephen Wolfram in his book A New Kind of Science touches on a model of space itself based on automata theory. That it, he makes some suggestions about modelling not only the behaviour of matter ...
0
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1answer
911 views

What is the 4th dimension? [closed]

I have heard before that the 4th dimension is time, however, another theory makes a lot more sense to me. This is that the 4th dimension is the third dimension stacked on top of each other in a ...
6
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3answers
591 views

The Big Bang in an infinite universe

If the universe is spatially infinite (and assuming, if it makes a difference, that we don't have eternal inflation), what actually happened 13.7 billion years ago? Was the energy density infinite (or ...
4
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2answers
853 views

How could spacetime become discretised at the Planck scale?

I didn't have much luck getting a response to this question before so I have tried to reword and expand it a little: In early 2010 I attended this inaugural lecture by string theorist- Prof. ...
4
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1answer
309 views

What are the current (popular(ish)) approaches to modelling the quantum nature of spacetime at the Planck scale?

My guess at a list of them would be: spin foams, casual sets, non-commutative geometry, Machian theories, twistor theory or strings and membranes existing in some higher-dimensional geometry... ...
12
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7answers
3k views

Experimental evidence of a fourth spatial dimension?

As human beings, we observe the world in which we live in three dimensions. However, it is certainly theoretically possible that more dimensions exist. Is there any direct or indirect evidence ...
11
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4answers
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 ...
30
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9answers
16k views

How exactly does curved space-time describe the force of gravity?

I understand that people explain (in layman's terms at least) that the presence of mass "warps" space-time geometry, and this causes gravity. I have also of course heard the analogy of a blanket or ...
6
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2answers
1k views

What does “foliation” mean in the context of a “foliation of spacetime?”

I've seen foliation used in the context of "foliation of spacetime" here and elsewhere in papers and such. Generally defined in reference to a "sequence of spatial hypersurfaces." But I don't know ...
11
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6answers
4k views

What is our location relative to the Big Bang?

Given what we know about space, time and the movement of galaxies, have we or can we determine what our position is in relation to the projected location of the Big Bang? I've read some introductory ...
4
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3answers
4k views

Example of space-like intervals in spacetime

From wikipedia: When a space-like interval separates two events, not enough time passes between their occurrences for there to exist a causal relationship crossing the spatial distance ...
8
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2answers
2k views

What does it mean that the universe is “infinite”?

This question is about cosmology and general relativity. I understand the difference between the universe and the observable universe. What I am not really clear about is what is meant when I read ...