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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How to prove that a spacetime is maximally symmetric?

In Carroll's book on general relativity, I found the following remark: In two dimensions, finding that $R$ is a constant suffices to prove that the space is maximally symmetric [...] In higher ...
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190 views

Rigorous definition of frame of reference

I'm looking for a mathematical definition of frame of reference. Most of the textbooks I have seen take it for granted and they just refer to some set of spacetime coordinates. A more mathematical ...
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286 views

Energy balance of closed timelike curves in Gödel's universe

I recently read Palle Yourgrau's book "A World Without Time" about Gödel's contribution to the nature of time in general relativity. Gödel published his discovery of closed timelike curves in 1949. ...
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96 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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209 views

Our Universe Can't be Looped? [duplicate]

With reference to the Twin-Paradox (I am new with this), now information of who has actually aged comes from the fact that one of the twins felt some acceleration. So if universe was like a loop, and ...
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705 views

What's the difference between space and time?

I'm having a hard time understanding how changing space means changing time. In books I've read people are saying "space and time" or "space-time" but never explain what the difference is between the ...
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247 views

Can we show that time is orthogonal to space?

It's easy to show that the time we measure is "in a different direction" from the space directions we measure. However, it's not immediately obvious to me that these directions are orthogonal. How do ...
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474 views

Hamiltonian and the space-time structure

I'm reading Arnold's "Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics" but I failed to find rigorous development for the allowed forms of Hamiltonian. Space-time structure dictates the form of ...
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475 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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226 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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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 ...
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336 views

Can special relativity distort the relative order in which events occur?

Pretend you are throwing darts at a dart board. You throw dart $d_1$ at time $t_1$. After you throw your first dart, you throw your second dart $d_2$ at time $t_2$. Given that $t_2 > t_1$ in a ...
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735 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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239 views

Is my grandmother alive for some alien who is located on some place and is moving with some speed?

(I am science fiction writer. I had a goal in my novel to argue that time travel to past will not be available even in future. I asked here how to argue that. I collected answers and analyzed them and ...
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856 views

Is space infinitely divisible?

As a child I remember hearing the popular paradox presented by Zeno proposing that Achilles could never catch a tortoise in a race since he would have to traverse the infinite space between himself ...
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318 views

Do objects with mass “suck in” spacetime?

I don't really understand the general theory of relativity (GTR) really deeply, but according to my understanding, the GTR say that gravitation is caused by the curvature of spacetime by objects with ...
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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 ...
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203 views

A Game Of The Number Of Space-Time Dimensions

Holger Bech Nielsen, one of the founders of string theory, has apparently just played some sort of game between different potential dimensions for space-time and reached the conclusion that D4 wins in ...
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155 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 ...
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162 views

If a fundamental theory exibits e.g. a mirror symmetry, in what sense it the underlying geometry real?

Are the more recently discovered symmetries in string theory such that the theories based on mirroring geometries are absolutely the same from an observable point of view? I have mirror symmetry ...
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285 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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412 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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372 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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353 views

Do spacelike junctions in the Thin-Shell Formalism imply energy nonconservation and counterintuitive wormholes?

The Thin Shell Formalism (MTW 1973 p.551ff) is used to properly paste together different vacuum solutions to the Einstein equations. At the junction of the two solutions is a hypersurface of matter – ...
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118 views

Could dark energy make a large black hole less black?

Theoretically, if a black hole grew to a huge scale such that the effect of dark energy was large, could the black hole become 'normal' space again (i.e. no horizon or singularity)? What I'm trying ...
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409 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 ...
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784 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 ...
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460 views

How to prove that we are living in a 3D world?

Is there any scientific experiment that can lead us to conclude we live in 3 dimensions without the premise of the conception of limited dimensions? Thank you all who helped in the improvement of ...
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297 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 ...
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765 views

Why are there 4 Dimensions and 4 Fundamental Forces?

Is it a coincidence that there are four fundamental forces and four spacetime dimensions ? Does a universe with three spacetime dimension contain four fundamental forces? Can magnetism be realized in ...
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392 views

Why is space-time four dimensional?

Wikipedia says, "In special relativity, four-momentum is the generalization of the classical three-dimensional momentum to four-dimensional space-time. Momentum is a vector in three dimensions; ...
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796 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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211 views

Does velocity or acceleration cause time dilation?

What causes time dilation? Acceleration or velocity? I've seen multiple comments on this forum that assert velocity is the cause, but that doesn't seem right to me. You can't have velocity without ...
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187 views

Why does one of the extra dimensions of F-Theory have to be a temporal dimension?

F-Theory, as I understand it, is a realisation of Type IIB String Theory as a 12-dimensional theory in such a way that the $SL(2,\mathbb Z)$ symmetry becomes natural because Type IIB String Theory is ...
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189 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, ...
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256 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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279 views

What really is Spacetime?

What is a good definition on Space, Time and the most specific topic "Spacetime"? Because someone told me that spacetime is the foundation of the entire universe? And also, Is it possible to create ...
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244 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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430 views

Does gravitational redshift imply gravitation time dilation?

The EEP is used to justify that if an observer on the ground shoots a beam of light towards a tower, then when the light reaches the tower, it will be red shifted. This is because of what happens in ...
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842 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 ...
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Which causal structures are absent from any “nice” patch of Minkowski space?

Which "causal separation structures" (or "interval structures") can not be found among the events in "any nice patch ($P$) of Minkowski space"?, where "causal separation structure" ($s$) should be ...
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Why does the homogeneity of the universe require inflation?

They say inflation must have occured because the universe is very homogeneous. Otherwise, how could one part of the universe reach the same temperature as another when the distance between the parts ...
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854 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 ...
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71 views

What coordinate system is used to describe planets positions in the universe?

How are planets positions described in the space and in respect to what? For example is Sun the origo and right now at this moment Earth has [coord_X, coord_Y, coord_Z]? or maybe [lng, lat]? ...
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344 views

Does the current acceleration of universe imply that our universe is open?

Does the current acceleration of universe imply that our universe is open? If the universe is closed, from the Friedmann's equation, the acceleration of universe wouldn't be possible, would it be? (Of ...
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987 views

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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3k 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 ...
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473 views

What distinguishes time from space in Quantum Field Theory?

Consider the following expression for a general QFT action: $$ S ~=~ \int_0^t\mathrm dt~L ~=~\int_0^t\mathrm dt\int_\mathbb {R^3}\mathrm d^3x~\mathcal L ~=~\int\mathrm d^4x~\mathcal L.$$ Here we ...
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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 ...
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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 ...