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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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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548 views

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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416 views

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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678 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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7k views

Why does string theory require 9 dimensions of space and one dimension of time?

String theorists say that there are many more dimensions out there, but they are too small to be detected. However, I do not understand why there are ten dimensions and not just any other number? ...
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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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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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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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371 views

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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450 views

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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353 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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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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320 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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136 views

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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725 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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248 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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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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83 views

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 ...
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253 views

If space is “expanding” in itself - why then is there redshift?

The "kid's" way of understanding the expanding universe is that: "space" is totally "ordinary", and all the galaxies are expanding through it (like an explosion). Of course, that's wrong. The usual ...
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64 views

Is there a proof that space expanding produces observers at all points that see what we see?

I know that galaxies are moving away from us, and so can see that it's intuitive that if space was expanding, then the astronomical observations from Earth would be the same as at all other points in ...
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243 views

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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What spacelike, timelike and lightlike really mean?

Suppose we have two events $(x_1,y_1,z_1,t_1)$ and $(x_2,y_2,z_2,t_2)$, then we can define $$\Delta s^2 = -(c\Delta t)^2 + \Delta x^2 + \Delta y^2 + \Delta z^2$$ which is called the spacetime ...
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420 views

Do clocks really measure time?

Each time I listen to this quote from The man from Earth, I'm absolutely intrigued: Dan: Time... you can't see it, you can hear it, you can't weigh it, you can't... measure it in a laboratory. It ...
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144 views

Lorentz transformation paradox

I got to solve a simple exercise about special relativity when I kinda came to the conclusion it doesn't stroke with my intuition. The homework-problem The problem was about two people Sam and ...
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904 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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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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454 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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870 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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6k views

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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211 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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226 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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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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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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456 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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766 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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134 views

If spacetime is discrete: what would space expansion mean? [closed]

How is space expansion explained in physical theories where spacetime is quantized? Discrete spacetime is claimed in some candidate theories of quantum gravity like loop quantum gravity and algebraic ...
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141 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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Is time quantized? Is there a fundamental time unit that cannot be divided? [duplicate]

Is the present just a sharp line between the past and the future with no time at all, or is the present a short frozen unit of time? Could time be quantized into a fundamental units? Like Planck ...
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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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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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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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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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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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774 views

Nature of spacetime 4-vector and tangent space?

An entry level confusion about spacetime. I understand that a 4-vector describes a point or event in spacetime. But I've also read (Bertschinger, 1999) that re spacetime "we are discussing tangent ...
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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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407 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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567 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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628 views

Why do people put exponentials there

In his book, Sean Carroll, says p. 194 chapter 5: To impose spherical symmetry, we begin b writing the metric of Minkowski space in polar coordinates $x^{\mu}=(t,r, \theta, \phi)$: $$ ...
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4-vectors in special relativity and spacetime interval

In one of my vector mechanics lectures, the lecturer said the the space time interval was the dot product of the four position vector. But then he proceeded to show it was this: $s^2$ = $\Delta r^2$ - ...