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

4
votes
4answers
210 views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
201 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
904 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
240 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. ...
4
votes
3answers
140 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
390 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
325 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

How energy curves spacetime?

We know through General Relativity (GR) that matter curves spacetime (ST) like a "ball curves a trampoline" but then how energy curves spacetime? Is it just like matter curvature of ST?
4
votes
4answers
825 views

Are the principles of space-time homogeneity and Isotropy independent of one another?

Einstein in deriving the Lorentz transformations, used the principles of space-time homogeneity and Isotropy. Does space-time isotropy follow from space-time homogeneity or are they completely ...
4
votes
2answers
133 views

Is the surface of a heavy sphere bigger than $4 \pi r^2$ due to general relativity?

I am unfortunately not familiar with the mathematics behind general relativity. However, on a heavy planet (say a sphere) gravity will bend space-time in a way that an object initially in rest, will ...
4
votes
1answer
222 views

How far can something travel in a straight line?

Suppose you have an object some distance from you and moving at a velocity different to the Hubble velocity you'd expect at that point. How does the motion of this object change with time? Does it ...
4
votes
1answer
627 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 $n$ ...
4
votes
2answers
135 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
76 views

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)?
4
votes
3answers
234 views

Is there proof gravity bends space or is it just the most convenient explanation?

I have read this sentence in an article: The theory [of general relativity] holds that gravity is geometry: particles are deflected when they pass near a massive object not because they feel a ...
4
votes
3answers
167 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
255 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
765 views

Does time dilation correct for the Doppler effect?

Knowing that a body in motion experiences time dilation, "also" knowing when two objects travel at a great speed away from one an other, both observers experience the others clock as moving slower ...
4
votes
2answers
896 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Proof that Energy Momentum Tensor of Scalar Field Theory satisfies Weak Energy Condition

It's a question on Sean Carroll's Spacetime and Geometry, where we are supposed to prove that the energy momentum tensor of scalar field theory satisfies Weak Energy Condition (WEC). The energy ...
4
votes
3answers
119 views

Can space and time separately be curved?

How can I imagine curved time, if it is not a part of four dimensional spacetime? Similarly for space. What are the measurable, observable consequences of these two phenomena in a laboratory or in ...
4
votes
5answers
192 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
198 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
205 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
154 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
832 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?
4
votes
3answers
433 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
184 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
65 views

The twin paradox and positively curved space

I'm reading about the twin paradox in special relativity - if there are two identical twins, one of whom who sets off in a high speed rocket to a planet, and then heads back, will find the twin who ...
4
votes
2answers
146 views

What are the photon/electron consequences of matter in a gravitational time dilation?

So I saw the movie Interstellar, and it got me thinking. I won't even mention all the plot holes, but I wanted to ask about a planet orbiting a black hole. I always thought you had to travel near the ...
4
votes
1answer
127 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, ...
4
votes
2answers
149 views

Why isn't the Heisenberg uncertainty principle stated in terms of spacetime?

As I understand it, there are two "versions" of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle: Position-Momentum uncertainty \begin{equation} \sigma_x \sigma_p \geq \frac{\hbar}{2} \end{equation} where ...
4
votes
2answers
269 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
104 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
219 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
147 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

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. ...
4
votes
1answer
344 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... ...
4
votes
1answer
84 views

Since space expands (and can theoretically contract) faster than light, does that mean that in a big crunch information could travel FTL?

Layperson here. In a theoretical big crunch with space contracting faster than the speed of light, would information be travelling faster than speed of light? Because the points A and B themselves ...
4
votes
3answers
177 views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
118 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
197 views

Thought experiment: Tethered galaxies - to the extreme [duplicate]

If two rocks were tied together with a tight, absurdly long, non-elastic rope, and placed on planets at either end of Earth's observable universe - or beyond - What would happen? Is the structural ...
4
votes
3answers
311 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
663 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
155 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
78 views

What determines time flow? (arrow of time) [closed]

I've been reading up on the arrow of time and there is one thing that is being omitted from every explanation that I've found: time flow. I am rewording this question to make it clearer. From the ...
4
votes
0answers
141 views

Can space move? [closed]

I have some questions; I hope you don't mind: $\bullet$ If the space between two distance galaxies is increasing, then is the volumes of space in which the galaxies find themselves also moving apart? ...
4
votes
0answers
65 views

Question about $\alpha-$plane in twistor theory

In twistor theory, given the complexified Minkowski space $CM$ and the projective twistor space $PT$, an $\alpha-$plane is defined as the correspondence in $CM$ wit a point $Z \in PT$. But I found ...