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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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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455 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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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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422 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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696 views

The nature of time, according to quantum field theory

I will try my best to ask the question that best fits something I have been pondering on for a few days. Are virtual particles really constantly popping in and out of existence? Or are they ...
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112 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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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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1k views

Is my interpretation of how a gravitational wave is formed correct?

I'm sure many here are familiar with the following image showing the 2D representation of how the fabric of spacetime is warped by the presence of mass:- Can this fabric be interpreted as an ...
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780 views

If something is not moving in space, is it moving on the time axis at the speed of light? [duplicate]

I heard this theory yesterday: If something is not moving in space, then it is moving on the time axis at the speed of light. I realize that in essence there is no object which can be considered as ...
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246 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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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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349 views

Age of the universe and the singularity at the Big Bang

Using the standard model of cosmology we calculate the Hubble time to obtain an estimate of the age of the universe. This model assumes a beginning of time in the past. But that point is a true ...
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399 views

A sees B's clock running slow and B sees A's clock running slow? [duplicate]

This paradox is very common it seems, in which A sees B's clock running slow and B sees A's clock running slow. Here is the question a little more concretely. Let's say B flies by A's spaceship. If ...
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281 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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95 views

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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164 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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698 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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911 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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159 views

Why are orbits around black holes stable?

Black hole theory involves space (or space-time), itself, being sucked into the black-hole, with the event horizon marking the point at which space/space-time is moving faster than the speed of light. ...
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284 views

Is there an exact formal definition of the Universe?

I've read several articles about observable Universe, Universe and Hubble volume, including Wikipedia article and references on it, and I wondered: Is there a formal, rigorous definition in physics of ...
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125 views

Is a metric tensor field the same thing as $ds² = -dt² + dx²+ dy² + dz²$?

I am having trouble understanding the nature of the metric tensor field on spacetime manifolds. In particular, a Riemannian manifold $(M,g)$ is defined as a real smooth manifold $M$ equipped with an ...
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339 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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189 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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254 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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539 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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128 views

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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950 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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Commutation relations in QFT and the principle of locality

My question is, given two space-time points $x^{\mu}$ and $y^{\mu}$, if the events that occur at these points are simultaneous, i.e. $x^{0}=y^{0}$, are the two events necessarily space-like separated? ...
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556 views

Visualizing gravity in 3D

We've all seen the depiction of gravity bending space downwards, and so attracting objects into the dent it creates, cf. e.g. this and this Phys.SE posts. That's intuitive and makes a lot of sense, ...
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133 views

Is acceleration caused by curvature or space or time or both?

I'm trying to get a hold of the idea of gravity in general relativity and spacetime. I've seen plenty of demonstrations of the rubber mat analogy to describe gravity and spacetime curvature. Is this ...
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189 views

Why doesn't the number of space dimensions equal the number of time dimensions?

It seems as though symmetry is a driving force behind theoretical physics. With symmetry in mind, should we expect that the number of time dimensions should be the same as the number of spatial ...
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463 views

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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157 views

How can we justify dropping the absolute time hypothesis?

In some approaches to Special Relativity the theory is motivated talking about the Michelson-Morley experiment and how this relates to the postulate that the speed of light is the same in every ...
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178 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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146 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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700 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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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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104 views

Theories that predict the number of space-time dimensions

My impression in that most theories assume three spatial dimensions and one temporal dimension, though could in principle be formulated in others numbers of dimensions without inconsistencies. I know, ...
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93 views

Are there any restrictions on building the topology of spacetime out of the complement of open balls?

I assume that for a Lorentzian manifold (i.e. with Minkowski signature), the analog of an open ball is the interior of a light cone. My question is motivated by the observation that whereas any point ...
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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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215 views

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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1answer
144 views

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. ...
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322 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... ...
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Closed timelike curves in the region beyond the ring singularity in the maximal Kerr spacetime

The region beyond the ring singularity in the maximal Kerr spacetime is described as having closed timeline curves. Why and/or how is the question. Now if you look a Kruskal-Szkeres Diagram (or a ...
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How do we expect distance measurements to compare inside and outside the event horizon of a black hole?

I've read that as one approaches the event horizon of a black hole, time is dilated relative to time measured farther away from the event horizon (clocks tick slower near the event horizon). I've ...
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What exactly is charge? [duplicate]

If gravity is really the bending of space/time causing objects with mass to experience acceleration, is there a similar physical meaning to 'charge' besides 'a property of matter which causes it to ...
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504 views

What does it mean to “convert energy into time”?

In a recent article about creating electron-positron pairs by colliding photons in a laboratory, Andrei Seryi, director of the John Adams Institute at Oxford University, was quoted to said: It's ...