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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Emergence of space from quantum mechanics

Once talking to a visiting professor at my institute, I heard about some simple model that captures the emergence of space coordinates as the eigenvalues of some infinite-dimensional quantum ...
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What manifold is spacetime?

In General Relativity, spacetime is a $4$-dimensional manifold with one Lorentzian metric tensor defined on it. In the Special Relativity case what manifold is spacetime is quite clear: it is ...
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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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345 views

Sewing together flat spacetime pieces = flat spacetime?

I'm trying to imagine the geometry "operations" here: Angular deficit and Conical spacetime of cosmic string If we sew flat spacetime pieces together, what is the requirement for the sewing to not ...
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373 views

How is it that distortions in space can be measured as distances? [duplicate]

Imagine yourself and anything you're able to perceive to be drawn onto a rubber band. Any means of determining distances would be affected by the stretching/contracting of the rubber band. The ...
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“Warp-drive” thought experiment

Why wouldn't this "warp-drive" work? Assuming we can build a flywheel that can survive near light speed and have an onboard power storage or beamed energy that can spin it up to that speed and back ...
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Does expanding space cost energy?

Does the cosmic inflation reduce the energy density (inversely) proportional to the volume, or does the inflation "cost" energy? Is space itself "something" created at the expense of energy?
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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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244 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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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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186 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 in ...
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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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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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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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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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412 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 ...
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Charged versus rotating black holes as different kinds of wormholes

I've heard that a maximally extended charged black hole can be a traversable wormhole to the same universe whereas a maximally extended uncharged rotating black hole can only be a wormhole to ...
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Is it reasonable to visualise an additional dimension of time as a part of 4th dimensional spacetime

[EDIT] In the spirit of asking a "good question", this question is considerably more refined that the one I decided to blurt out earlier thanks to a little additional research and nudges from comments....
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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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How does the curvature of spacetime induce gravitational attraction?

I don't know how to ask this more clearly than in the title.
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Gravity is curved geometry: A fact of nature or model-dependent interpretation?

We are regularly taught in high-schools and universities that, according to General Relativity (GR), gravity is nothing but a manifestation of space-time curvature (which, in its turn, is caused by ...
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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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Does a moving object curve space-time as its velocity increases?

We always hear how gravity bends space-time; why shouldn't velocity? Consider a spaceship traveling through space at a reasonable fraction of the speed of light. If this spaceship, according to ...
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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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If the size of universe doubled

My question is silly formulated, but I want to know if there is some sensible physical question buried in it: Suppose an exact copy of our universe is made, but where spatial distances and sizes are ...
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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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Expansion of the Universe, will light from some galaxies never reach us?

Is it true that the light from some galaxies will never reach us? The explanation for that is that the Universe expanding faster than the speed of light. But, if the speed of light is constant in ...
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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, 1)...
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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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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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Is there a geometric interpretation of the spacetime interval?

In Euclidean space, the invariant $s^2 = x^2+ y^2+ z^2$ is equal to the length square of the position vector $r$. This is easily understood and can be represented geometrically in a graph. On the ...
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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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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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What are the technical obstructions that prevent scale relativity from being a viable theory of quantum-gravity? [closed]

This post has been imported on physicsoverflow, see here. The astrophysicist Laurent Nottale develops since 1984 the scale relativity, which aims to unify quantum physics and relativity theory, ...
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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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Better explanation of the common general relativity illustration (stretched sheet of fabric)

I've seen many science popularisation documentaries and read few books (obviously not being scientist myself). I am able to process and understand basic ideas behind most of these. However for general ...
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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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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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Spacetime diagram of a collapse of a rotating star

There is a well-known "standard" spacetime diagram (Kruskal and Penrose) for the collapse of a spherically symmetric star to a Schwarzschild black hole (for example here, or here in EF), which stands ...
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Are the implications of an infinite universe necessarily so unsettling

I have often heard it said (by professional cosmologists) that if the universe is infinite, then there necessarily exist infinitely many copies of me repeated throughout. The reasoning seems to be ...
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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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Does space have to be filled with charged particles to carry electromagnetic waves?

I'm a newbie here so have mercy. I'm studying electromagnetic waves. This is the propagation of energy via the vibration of charged particles, as I understand it. A charged particle could be like ...
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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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How to measure Torsion and Non-metricity?

In General Relativity, we most often work with the Levi-Civita connection (metric and torsion-free). What kind of experiment can we make to be sure that our physical space-time indeed is torsion-free ...
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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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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 (Schwartzschild,...
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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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Did our Universe experience a curvature dominated phase?

So, my question is simple: did our Universe experience a curvature dominated phase? Or, rather, could our Universe have experienced a curvature dominated phase? This seems quite shruggish, at first ...
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Is space expanding equally in every direction?

Does space expand equally in every direction, so that it draws a perfect sphere or is expansion asymmetric, so it creates "bubbles" (when seen from the outside)?
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Why quantum fluctuation existed before big bang?

I read somewhere that quantum fluctuation can give rise to a big bang and thus the creation of a universe which we know today, where do these quantum fluctuations come from if space is only created ...