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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
2answers
164 views

Can a curvature in time (and not space) cause acceleration?

I realize that the curvature of space-time causes acceleration (gravity). Is it possible to have a curvature only of space, or a curvature only of time? If so, would a curvature only of space, or a ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

Is the concept of space-time curvature a recursive one? [duplicate]

A way some people explain (or try to explain) how gravity works is using space-time curvature: an object with high mass distorts the surrounding space-time plane like a bowling ball distorts a sheet ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

Is force the unique possible relation between particles? [closed]

Is force the unique possible relation between particles? It was requested to further specify my question. The followings paragraphs contain some of my thoughts and confusions. Historical ...
3
votes
1answer
129 views

How to determine the order of indications of a clock?

Given the description of a clock $\mathcal A$, as (1) a set $A$ of all (more than 2) distinct indications of this clock, in no particular order (where the individual indications contained in set ...
3
votes
1answer
178 views

Proper time along path in Minkowski Space

Consider the path $x^\mu(u)$ in Minkowski space; such that: $$t = \frac{a}{c} \sinh(u) , \quad x = a \cosh(u) ,\quad y = 0 ,\quad z = 0 $$ where $a$ is a positive constant and $u$ is a parameter ...
3
votes
2answers
285 views

Restriction of a Lagrangian

I'm wondering if anyone could help me with the following questions. Let $M$ be the Minkowski spacetime, given $f\in C^{\infty}(M) ; f(m)=x^{0}(m)$, with $\{x^{\mu}\}$ being a global Cartesian ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
736 views

Why does the universe exhibit three large-scale spatial dimensions? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is 3+1 spacetime as privileged as is claimed? Regardless of your favorite theory of how many dimensions the universe has in total, the universe seems to have a deep ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

An issue about the compactness and the existence of CTCs

There is a well known fact that a compact spacetime necessarily contains a closed timelike curve (CTC). Proof can be found in several books on GR (e.g. Hawking, Ellis, Proposition 6.4.2), and in ...
3
votes
1answer
509 views

Problem with convergent geodesics at 2D sphere

There is a chapter on general relativity in the book Spacetime Physics Introduction To Special Relativity by Taylor and Wheeler, which qualitatively explains how attractive gravitational force can be ...
3
votes
1answer
204 views

How would an observer perceive movement on a train that's travelling near the speed of light?

Person A is on Earth and a train (or whatever you want to imagine) travels past him at near the speed of light. How would person A perceive movement on the ship? If time is slowed on the ship from the ...
3
votes
1answer
220 views

Hamiltonians and Lagrangians, Euclidean and Hyperbolic: Are they related?

The Lagrangian of a system is the difference between its kinetic energy $T$ and potential energy $V$, and is relativistically invariant: $L = T - V$ The Hamiltonian of the same system is the sum ...
3
votes
0answers
61 views

What Would Negative Mass Do To Spacetime?

It's known that positive mass bends space-time to create a curvature. But if something had negative mass what would it do? Make it flat or like a crest?
3
votes
1answer
115 views

Is it possible that the universe in its entirety is discrete rather than continuous? [duplicate]

Since electric charge is comprised of discrete units and and mass is formed by discrete units is it possible that space-time itself is discrete as well?
3
votes
2answers
111 views

Why doesn't everything expand when the universe expands? [duplicate]

Everybody has been taught at one point, "oh the universe expands, but that doesn't mean that everything is expanding uniformly, since that means we can't detect the expansion, but only that huge ...
3
votes
0answers
120 views

Spacetime and uncertainty principle

I only have limited knowledge of relativity and quantumphysics but as far as I know, the uncertainty principle relates the uncertainty of space and momentum of a particle. Einstein however, explained ...
3
votes
0answers
255 views

Is it mathematically possible or topologically allowable for cutouts, or cavities, to exist in a 3-manifold?

A few weeks back, I posted a related question, Could metric expansion create holes, or cavities in the fabric of spacetime?, asking if metric stretching could create cutouts in the spacetime manifold. ...
3
votes
1answer
96 views

Does inflation predict a multiverse?

Does inflation necessarily predict a multiverse? Or is it the case that "It all depends on the properties of the initial field responsible for inflation, about which we can only speculate"?
3
votes
1answer
197 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
617 views

Does (it make sense to say that ) the universe has a center?

I was reading this page: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/oct/23/brian-cox-jeff-forshaw-answers and I found this sentence by Brian Cox: That seems to imply that everything is flying away ...
2
votes
3answers
120 views

Expansion of the Universe regarding Time and lightspeed

According to our current understanding, the universe is expanding... it is often said that every galaxy is moving away from us (I'm assuming that isn't true for galaxies in our local group), and it's ...
2
votes
3answers
315 views

How to distinguish 4D and 3D vectors in handwriting?

Usually vectors are denoted with bold font in printbooks and with arrows above in handwriting. In Thorn's e al. Gravitation, 4D vectors are denoted with bold and 3D vectors with bold italic. How to ...
2
votes
4answers
545 views

Reducing General Relativity to Special Relativity in limiting case

I understand that general relativity is applicable to gravitational fields and special relativity is applicable to case when there is no gravity. But is there a derivation on how to reduce General ...
2
votes
2answers
735 views

Can Flow of time become still?

According to theory of time dilation, flow of time slows down significantly at the speed of light.Is there any conditions practically or theoretically when flow of time is reduced to zero means it ...
2
votes
2answers
588 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
268 views

Can an object be infinitely small?

I read somewhere that the earth has to be smaller than 1 cm to become a black hole, according to Schwarzschild. Since big bang came from a singularity, I am wondering, is there any minimum volume for ...
2
votes
3answers
3k 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? ...
2
votes
1answer
895 views

$\pi$ and the Curvature of Space

If one draws a circle on a sphere and measures the ratio of the diameter to the circumference, that value varies depending on the diameter of the circle compared to the diameter of the sphere it is ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

How can the Big Bang singularity exist in spacetime if it has zero volume? [closed]

How can the Big Bang singularity exist if it has zero volume? I tried googling to find the answer - no help. Can someone give a general idea how can the big bang singularity exist even if it has zero ...
2
votes
2answers
161 views

How can space expand?

How can space expand when it is only a perception of the separation between at least 2 objects. Isn't saying "space expands" implying it has properties?
2
votes
1answer
422 views

Does time expand with space? (or contract)

Einstein's big revelation was that time and space are inseparable components of the same fabric. Physical observation tells us that distant galaxies are moving away from us at an accelerated rate, and ...
2
votes
2answers
222 views

Proper time for an accelerating object

As far as I have read so far, proper time is the time measured on the clock of an inertial frame moving uniformly with respect to another inertial frame. The concept and the mathematical expression ...
2
votes
2answers
229 views

Do we live in an integer dimension?

I have read that there exist non-integer fractal dimensions and the images generated from these dimensions look organic and they seem to provide a new way of describing the world around us, which ...
2
votes
5answers
2k views

Why are objects at rest in motion through spacetime at the speed of light?

I read that an object at rest has such a stupendous amount of energy, $E=mc^2$ because it's effectively in motion through space-time at the speed of light and it's traveling through the time dimension ...
2
votes
2answers
960 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
116 views

How can space be euclidean when light bends?

I have read people arguing that tridimensional space sections of space time continuum (whatever its number of dimensions) appears to be euclidean from empirical evidence. I cannot reconcile it with my ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

Creating a 3-D object from 2-D objects

I'm reading a book, 'Warped Passges' by Lisa Randall. In it she mentions how we can envision higher dimensions by explaning how higher dimension ojects can be created from lower dimension objects. So ...
2
votes
2answers
116 views

How is time distributed through space?

I was greatly confused when I saw video saying that if two wormholes were separated by time instead of distance, it would allow time travel. My question is what did they mean by this statement? What ...
2
votes
2answers
121 views

Deriving formula for time dilation

Last week in class we derived the formula for time dilation using light clocks and got $$t=\gamma t_0\quad \gamma=\left(1+\left(\frac vc\right)^2\right)^{-1/2}$$ So far so good. However, after class I ...
2
votes
1answer
141 views

Pseudo-Riemannian Manifolds with multiple temporal dimensions

Consider a Pseudo-Riemannian Manifold with signature $$ (\underbrace{+,\cdots,+}_p,\underbrace{-,\cdots,-}_q) $$ For any positive integers $p$ and $q$. Can this kind of manifold contain closed ...
2
votes
6answers
313 views

Curvature of Spacetime

I have been exploring for some time both the Special and General Relativity, hoping to glean at least a conceptual grasp of their basic tenets. In reading the book "Gravitation" by Misner, Thorne and ...
2
votes
1answer
152 views

When it is said that the Higgs field is a scalar, do they mean Lorentz scalar?

We often hear that Higgs boson is a scalar boson, and that Higgs field is a scalar field. I was always thinking that this means "4-scalar". In other words, it is space-time invariant, .i.e. it's ...
2
votes
1answer
460 views

Planck time & length

Why is Planck time the shortest possible duration ever? It's defined as the duration needed by light to travel Planck's length, but surely, give me any number, I can give you a lower number than that? ...
2
votes
2answers
205 views

Curved space or curved spacetime?

As I understand it, you can have time + flat space = curved spacetime. So, when one is trying to emphasise that there is a curvature to the space, is it more technically correct to say curved space ...
2
votes
1answer
413 views

Orientability of spacetime

In many theoretical setups it is implicitly assumed that the underlying manifold (i.e. spacetime) is orientable. Then our analysis depends on this implicit assumption. For example, Stokes' theorem ...
2
votes
2answers
113 views

If two events separated by a spacetime interval of zero, can they both be said to be happening “now”?

Can the concept of c be validly expressed as "the rate at which an event propagates through space"? There was a television program last year featuring Prof Brian Cox. The presenter asked him "Is it ...
2
votes
1answer
143 views

If Space is continuous, why can't we go below Planck Length?

I am not talking about any other attributes of particles, vacuum etc ruling out Uncertainty Principle thing. If talking about pure Space (which is continuous, not discrete, cf. e.g. this Phys.SE ...
2
votes
2answers
178 views

What is the meaning of space-time curvature?

What is the difference between the Space-time curvature and Space curvature?
2
votes
2answers
150 views

How much faster would a Clock without gravity run?

Pardon the misleading title. It is to my understanding that moving/heavy clocks run slow. The Earth itself is under gravitational influence from many sources, and is moving. Is there a way to know ...
2
votes
3answers
214 views

Why are black holes special?

A black hole is where it's mass is great enough that light can't escape at a radius above the surface of the mass? I've been told that strange things happen inside the event horizon such as ...