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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Minkowski spacetime: Is there a signature (+,+,+,+)?

In history there was an attempt to reach (+, +, +, +) by replacing "ct" with "ict", still employed today in form of the "Wick rotation". Wick rotation supposes that time is imaginary. I wonder if ...
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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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4answers
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Can spacetime exist in the absence of matter and energy?

I'm pretty sure Ernst Mach would have said that spacetime cannot exist without matter in it. But I'm also pretty sure that a black hole can be described as a self-sustaining gravitational field, ...
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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 ...
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7answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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Do we live in a world with 4 or more dimension?

A NOVA show have told the audience that we are live in 3 dimensional world, the world we lived in is compose by 3 element: the energy, matter, space. By the time Einstein have invented the ...
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4answers
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Is space “real”, or is it some sort of accepted postulate?

sorry for this very naive (layman) question. What is space? It seems to be every where in the equations of physics (as some sort of postulate or hidden hypothesis). We also have a direct experience ...
4
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2answers
396 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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0answers
67 views

If two ends were a certain “length” apart were they therefore at rest (or at least rigid) to each other? [closed]

Considering the definition of the SI unit of "length" [1] and [2 (" method a.")] I'm missing any requirements about the two "ends" of the required "path travelled by light" being "at rest to each ...
2
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2answers
146 views

How much faster would a Clock without gravity run?

Pardon the misleading title. It is to my understanding that moving/heavy clocks run slow. The Earth itself is under gravitational influence from many sources, and is moving. Is there a way to know ...
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0answers
74 views

Twin Paradox Without Acceleration

So I've been doing a lot of reading about the twin paradox and have encountered several different explanations that strive to resolve it. First off let me start by saying general relativity is not an ...
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1answer
269 views

Multiverse theory and infinite individuals

I read an article about possibility of existence of multiverse and came up with a conflicting view with one of the sentences written in the article which goes as follows: "If space-time goes on ...
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3answers
308 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 ...
5
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1answer
988 views

Is the universe finite and discrete?

Is the universe finite, both in the sense of being a closed spacetime manifold, as viewed from the macro level, but also in the sense of being fully discrete and finite in all of its intricate quantum ...
4
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3answers
237 views

How does relativity explain gravity, without assuming gravity [duplicate]

I have seen the "objects pull down on space-time" explanations, but they assume a "pull down" force themselves. Could anyone explain the space-time explanation without assuming gravity in the first ...
4
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1answer
403 views

How much time has passed for Voyager I since it left the Earth, 34 years ago?

34 years have passed since Voyager I took off and it's just crossing the solar system, being approximately at 16.4 light-hours away. How much time have passed for itself, though?
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3answers
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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 ...
4
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4answers
1k views

Measuring the speed of light and defining the metre - absolute or relative?

If the metre is now defined as the distance light travels in vacuum in 1⁄299,792,458th of a second and the speed of light is accepted to be ...
3
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2answers
145 views

Can a curvature in time (and not space) cause acceleration?

I realize that the curvature of space-time causes acceleration (gravity). Is it possible to have a curvature only of space, or a curvature only of time? If so, would a curvature only of space, or a ...
3
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1answer
85 views

Is force the unique possible relation between particles? [closed]

Is force the unique possible relation between particles? It was requested to further specify my question. The followings paragraphs contain some of my thoughts and confusions. Historical ...
3
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2answers
292 views

Is spacetime all that exists?

Someone claiming to have studied physics is telling me that spacetime is all that exists and that this fact is the basis of modern physics. When I said matter/energy also exists in its various forms, ...
3
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1answer
546 views

Is the Portal feasible in real life?

Firstly, I assume prior knowledge/experience with the game Portal. Should it be possible that two openings (circles/unidentified-constructions) would work as interchangeable gates? With one opening ...
2
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1answer
120 views

Can the vanishing of the Riemann tensor be determined from causal relations?

Given a Lorentzian manifold and metric tensor, "$( M, g )$", the corresponding causal relations between its elements (events) may be derived; i.e. for every pair (in general) of distinct events in set ...
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2answers
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What are the factors affecting the spacetime curvature?

Large masses in space as stars and planets cause a curvature in the spacetime fabric. What are the factors that affect this curvature? Is it only mass? And can we conclude these factors using Tensors? ...
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2answers
124 views

How can space expand?

How can space expand when it is only a perception of the separation between at least 2 objects. Isn't saying "space expands" implying it has properties?
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0answers
88 views

What is matter within the context of string theory? [closed]

I've been reading about string theory, and as I understand it, it proposes that matter is nothing more than vibrating membranes of space-time. Is this correct?
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1answer
338 views

Can electromagnetic radiation (i.e. photons) produce gravity? [duplicate]

I don't want to play with physical laws in a frivolous way. Assuming that the nature of matter and energy is the same, can a high density of highly energetic photons produce a gravity force? We do ...
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4answers
66 views

How can time dilation be symmetrical? [duplicate]

I recently posted a version of the twin paradox with a twist but here I'd like to propose a new thought experiment all together. Take two clocks, A & B, and place A 1 AU away from B. Once the ...
0
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1answer
62 views

A question about a relation between time-like world lines

Given any Lorentzian manifold containing three distinct time-like world lines $L$, $A$ and $B$ such that $L$ and $A$ have exactly one common coincidence event, $\mathcal{E}_{AL}$, $L$ and $B$ have ...
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1answer
895 views

Total Number of Dimensions in the Universe? [duplicate]

I have often heard that there are more than 4 (3 space and 1 time) dimensions of spacetime. What are the theories that say so, and how many does each predict? Has any experimental evidence been ...
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4answers
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Why would spacetime curvature cause gravity?

It is fine to say that for an object flying past a massive object, the spacetime is curved by the massive object, and so the object flying past follows the curved path of the geodesic, so it "appears" ...
18
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7answers
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What grounds the difference between space and time?

We experience space and time very differently. From the point of view of physics, what fundamentally grounds this difference? Dimensionality (the fact that there are three spatial dimensions but only ...
13
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9answers
550 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 ...
8
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6answers
510 views

More than one time dimension

We know that space-time dimensions are 3+1 macroscopically, but what if 2+2? Obviously it is tough to imagine two time dimensions, but mathematically we can always imagine as either having two ...
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3answers
267 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 ...
18
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3answers
843 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 ...
3
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1answer
480 views

Introductions to discrete space-time

It's comparatively easy (cum grano salis) to grasp the following concepts: Euclidean space-time (continous space and continuous time) classical mechanics (discretely distributed matter in continous ...
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9answers
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Is the flow of time regular?

Is the flow of time regular? How would we come to know if the our galaxy along with everything in it stops for a while(may be a century) w.r.t to the galaxies far beyond our reach. Is there a way to ...
8
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2answers
425 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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5answers
903 views

Naive visualization of space-time curvature

With only a limited knowledge of general relativity, I usually explain space-time curvature (to myself and others) thus: "If you throw a ball, it will move along a parabola. Initially its vertical ...
5
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2answers
584 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, ...
3
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1answer
117 views

How to determine the order of indications of a clock?

Given the description of a clock $\mathcal A$, as (1) a set $A$ of all (more than 2) distinct indications of this clock, in no particular order (where the individual indications contained in set ...
3
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1answer
183 views

Can universal continuity be experimentally falsified?

It is an unresolved question whether the universe is discrete or continuous in its intricate quantum level structure. See for example: Is the universe finite and discrete? How could spacetime become ...
3
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0answers
246 views

Is it mathematically possible or topologically allowable for cutouts, or cavities, to exist in a 3-manifold?

A few weeks back, I posted a related question, Could metric expansion create holes, or cavities in the fabric of spacetime?, asking if metric stretching could create cutouts in the spacetime manifold. ...
3
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3answers
567 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 ...
2
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3answers
237 views

In a very small static universe with only a particle, does it make sense to talk about time?

I am sorry if this question is silly; it′s just one of those things I wished I asked before leaving university. If there were a static universe only as big as the size of two particles, say ...
2
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4answers
486 views

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 ...
7
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2answers
788 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 ...
6
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1answer
161 views

Equilibrium for a rope hanging in a Schwarzschild spacetime

Update: Trimok and MBN helped me solve most of my confusion. However, there is still an extra term $-(2/r)T$ in the final result. Brown doesn't write this term, and it seems physically wrong. Update ...
5
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2answers
202 views

A thought experiment on vision and curved spacetime

What follows is a long self-made example to deal with my conceptual issues of visualizing curved spacetime. Imagine an observer floating somewhere in space. He feels no strain on his body, ...