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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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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338 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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845 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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437 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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866 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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242 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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271 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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290 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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494 views

How do Doppler Effect and Time Dilation differ?

Above, I have drawn a diagram showing Doppler Effect (here we are using space-time but in a non-relativistic sense. Time and distance are the same for A and B). Edit: I am adding a relativistic ...
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283 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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488 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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1k 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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83 views

What does the Higgs boson have to do with the uncertainty principle and quantum oscillations?

I was looking in New Scientist the other day when I saw something to do with the Higgs boson, energy levels, entropy, space/time, quantum oscillations and many other things. It was in a feature to do ...
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206 views

Why is $S^1\times\mathbb{R}^{n-1}$ the topology of $AdS_n$?

Anti-de Sitter $AdS_n$ may be defined by the quadric $$-(x^0)^2-(x^1)^2+\vec{x}^2=-\alpha^2\tag{1}$$ embedded in ${\mathbb{R}^{2,n-1}}$, where I write ${\vec{x}^2}$ as the squared norm ${|\vec{x}|^2}$ ...
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108 views

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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304 views

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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917 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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389 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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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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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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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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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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Surely space-time Curvature does not explain gravity, it just describe its effects?

In special relativity co-moving objects see the other's 4-velocity as being only temporal. When they move relative to each other they see the other's 4-velocity has rotated so that it points less in ...
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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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483 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 ...
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241 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 ...
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Aside from experimental evidence, is there any reason to model space as Euclidean?

Obviously experiment is the end-all-be-all of any science, but I'm curious if there's any a priori reason to model space as Euclidean three-space (from a pre-relativity viewpoint, of course; I'm ...
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118 views

Difficulty in understading a part of the book “A Brief History of Time”?

Sorry if the question is not upto the standard of the site but i really can't understand what the following para says. I am reading the book "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking and in the ...
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799 views

What are some approaches to discrete space-time used in modern physics?

This thought gave rise to some new questions in my mind. What are the consequences for: How would it affect duality i.e. particle, wave property of photons? How does this statement affect the ...
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488 views

The order of seeing event in different spacetimes

Assume this question: Three events A, B, C are seen by observer O to occur in the order ABC. Another observer O$^\prime$ sees the events to occur in the order CBA. Is it possible that a third ...
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130 views

Non-stationary spacetime

What is an example for a spacetime that is non-stationary that is considered as a description of something in nature? So far all the spacetimes I encounted have always been stationary ...
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222 views

What Does it Mean for an Extra Dimension to Have Size?

Recently I watched this presentation by Brian Greene on string theory. In it he describes how the reason we don't observe the extra dimensions required by string theory could be because they are very ...
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733 views

Are all points in the universe connected?

Is it true that every point in the universe is connected or could be so theoretically? If so how is this mediated? Is it through the quantum nature of the fabric of space or is it through the ...
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370 views

Questions about angular momentum and 3-dimensional(3D) space?

Q1: As we know, in classical mechanics(CM), according to Noether's theorem, there is always one conserved quantity corresponding to one particular symmetry. Now consider a classical system in a $n$ ...
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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 ...
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335 views

Is it possible to derive Lorentz transformation equation without Einstein's postulates?

Overview Einstein's proof for the Lorentz transformation is given here: From $O$'s view point, $x^2+y^2+z^2 = (ct)^2$. Form $O'$'s view point, $x'^2+y'^2+z'^2 = (ct')^2$. We find that Einstein ...
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Could fast vibrations cause us to travel forward in time

Assuming it's possible to vibrate a human at near light speed without harming him, would a few minutes of this from his point of view be much longer from a stationary observer's point of view? In ...
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287 views

Regarding time dilation and particle entanglement

I have a question regarding time dilation and particle entanglement. As I have read a few forums and questions here, I am aware both aspects do not contradict each other. Still, a question that I am ...
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171 views

Behavior of black holes in higher- and lower-dimensional space-times

The behavior of black holes in 3+1 dimensional space-time as our own is rather well known: formation, event-horizon size, mass, spin, radiation etc. However, my question is what would black holes ...
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641 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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135 views

How does Spacetime Curvature increase the velocity of particles falling towards the earth?

Two particles fall side by side, towards the earth. The horizontal distance between them is 10m. As they advance nearer and nearer to the earth's surface, the horizontal distance decreases, from 10m ...
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125 views

Curvature of spacetime: pincushion distortion?

This may be an elementary question, but if gravity causes a curvature in spacetime, then why isn't everything distorted when looking down on earth, or up at the moon? Shouldn't there be a pincushion ...
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377 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 ...
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How should one interpret the de Sitter slicings?

When 'constructing' the usual de Sitter space in $\mathcal{M^5}$ by invoking the contraint $-X^{2}_{0} +X^{2}_{1} +X^{2}_{2} +X^{2}_{3} + X^{2}_{4} = \alpha^2$ we quickly see that we end up with a ...
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634 views

Does the expansion of the universe soon after the Big Bang affect the amount of time that light takes to reach us?

If faster than light travel is impossible, how is it that light emitted from matter so close together in the time soon after the Big Bang is only now just reaching us? I would assume that there would ...
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432 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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Does the curvature of space-time cause objects to look smaller than they really are?

What's the difference between looking at a star from a black hole and looking at it from empty space? My guess is that the curvature of space-time distorts the wavelength of light thus changing the ...
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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 ...
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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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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. ...