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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Quantum Scales and the Flatness of Space-time

I know that on the smallest scales, general relativity predicts that space-time is flat. But I've also read that space-time can be described as a sort of "quantum foam" for distances smaller than the ...
3
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1answer
128 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 ...
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1answer
39 views

What can currently be deduced about empty hyperspace?

Michio Kaku's explanation of universes in hyperspace in this youtube video gives a metaphor of our universe being the surface of a hyperspace bubble that's currently becoming larger. He also says ...
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241 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 ...
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6answers
801 views

Proving that interval preserving transformations are linear

In almost all proofs I've seen of the Lorentz transformations one starts on the assumption that the required transformations are linear. I'm wondering if there is a way to prove the linearity: Prove ...
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2answers
40 views

Is there a “forwards” and “backwards” in one dimension?

Take a displacement in three dimensions and reduce the number of dimensions by one. The original displacement loses one degree of freedom; giving it two parameters to specify a magnitude and an ...
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How did the gravity of the particles/objects behave at the edge of the expanding universe moments after big bang?

During a very short time after the big bang, the universe must have had an edge of space-time which is very close to all the matter in the universe. The particles which are close to or on the edge ...
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7answers
2k views

Is 3+1 spacetime as privileged as is claimed?

I've often heard the argument that having 3 spatial dimensions is very special. Such arguments are invariably based on certain assumptions that do not appear to be justifiable at all, at least to me. ...
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3answers
230 views

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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3answers
809 views

A Sphere of Black Holes

Imagine a sphere of black holes surrounding a piece of space. Will this piece be separated from the rest of normal spacetime (at least for some time, till these black holes finally attracted ...
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2answers
492 views

Spacetime around a Black Hole

If we consider the sun, then space-time is curve around it. My question is that what is the kind of curvature of space and time around the black hole. Is that space and time more curved around the ...
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1answer
187 views

Questions about MTW's “thousand” tests of the Einstein principle

In Misner, Thorne, Wheeler (henceforth written as "MTW"), "Gravitation", Box 16.4, there's an experimental setup construction (or method) presented by which "Each geodesic clock is constructed and ...
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1answer
96 views

How exactly and WHY does matter affect space-time? [closed]

According to general relativity, inertial mass and gravitational mass are the same, and all accelerated reference frames (such as a uniformly rotating reference frame with its proper time dilation) ...
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1answer
48 views

Is there an absolute center of mass exist in the universe? [duplicate]

By the "absolute center of mass" I mean the center of all the matter that exists in a given moment. My friend asserted that today and it intrigued us very much but since we only have a CS degree and ...
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3answers
568 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 ...
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0answers
75 views

Wick rotation and special relativity

CMIIW, but as I understand it, Wick rotation replaces the Minkowski basis (t,x,y,z) with the Euclidean basis (it,x,y,z). Suppose that $t_2=t_1 \cosh \beta+x_1 \sinh \beta$ and $x_2=t_1 \sinh \beta+x_1 ...
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1answer
32 views

If a point r lies in the boundary of the chronological future of another point p, why does the chronological future of r belong to that of p?

I am studying the global causality of the spacetime. Here, I come across a problem. Suppose a point $r\in \partial I^+(p)$. $I^+(p)$ is the chronological future of a different point $p$ in ...
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2answers
315 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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7answers
5k views

How does velocity cause time dilation?

I've been trying to learn about the speed of light and time dilation, but I'm at an impasse. The presented facts say that if I travel around the solar system at 50% the speed of light and then come ...
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1answer
69 views

The universe appears to have a lower bound in the time dimension, why not an upper bound?

The Big Bang looks like a lower bound to the "size" of the universe in the time dimension. Could it also have an upper bound, some furthest point in time from the Big Bang?
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1answer
113 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 ...
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0answers
39 views

In an Evolving Block Universe, does the growth rate of the universe give the value of C

In an Evolving Block Universe (http://arxiv.org/abs/0912.0808, http://arxiv.org/abs/1407.7243) the future does not exist. The present moment is the bounding edge of the universe in the time dimension. ...
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2answers
131 views

The Alcubierre drive and closed timelike curves

Under what conditions would it be possible to create closed timelike curves, assuming an Alcubierre drive could exist? Would it be possible to have the latter without the former? See here for ...
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4answers
594 views

Can physics get rid of the continuum?

Almost every physical equation I can think of (even though I don't actually feel comfortable beyond the scope of classical mechanics and macroscopic thermodynamics, as that's enough for dealing with ...
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0answers
68 views

Minkowski to Euclidean

When dealing with solutions to Einstein's equations given by a 4d metric with signature $(-,+,+,+)$, we're able to move to Euclidean space using some transformation so that our signature is now ...
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1answer
48 views

The equivalence of two worlds related by T-duality

T-duality in string theory relates a world containing open and closed strings with a D$p$-brane with a compact dimension with radius $R$ with a dual world with a D$(p-1)$-brane with a radius ...
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1answer
37 views

Coordinates of the extra dimensions

If we live in more than three spatial dimensions, is it not right to conclude that all matter observable to us shares almost the same coordinates of extra dimensions. Or is it just that ordinary ...
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3answers
81 views

Finding the mass of pure matter [closed]

How would I find the mass of "pure" matter, that is, non-quantized matter, for a given volume?Let's say I have a volume equal to 1 meter squared, and I completely filled it up with matter - that is, ...
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1answer
73 views

Why is it more convenient to consider space or time as a continuum?

I often find that phisicists and cosmologists make use of Planck's units. I have read propositions that sound like "...at the level of Planck's units many law of physics break down" ...
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1answer
148 views

A two-dimensional event horizon?

Today, I came across an article which says that the Universe began with the collapse of a 4-dimensional [spatial] Universe. Well, I don't know if there's any way to confirm these like it is with all ...
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4answers
486 views

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 ...
8
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4answers
1k views

Minkowski spacetime: Is there a signature (+,+,+,+)?

In history there was an attempt to reach (+, +, +, +) by replacing "ct" with "ict", still employed today in form of the "Wick rotation". Wick rotation supposes that time is imaginary. I wonder if ...
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1answer
88 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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7answers
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Experimental evidence of a fourth spatial dimension?

As human beings, we observe the world in which we live in three dimensions. However, it is certainly theoretically possible that more dimensions exist. Is there any direct or indirect evidence ...
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34 views

Can you explain the rationale of FLRW cosmology and the expansion of space? [duplicate]

I have read here and there about Friedman equations and that they interpret/simplify GR cosmology. The main idea is that mass curves spacetime, then there are the stress/energy tensor and the density ...
7
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2answers
913 views

What's the difference between space and time?

I'm having a hard time understanding how changing space means changing time. In books I've read people are saying "space and time" or "space-time" but never explain what the difference is between the ...
2
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0answers
35 views

Examples of manifolds (not) being: flat, homogeneous and isotropic

I am looking for (at least) one example of the following manifolds: Flat, homogeneous and isotropic Curved, homogeneous and isotropic Flat, non-homogeneous and isotropic Flat, homogeneous and ...
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1answer
80 views

What is the difference between matter & spacetime? [duplicate]

If the universe is expanding why doesn't the matter in it expand proportionally making it seem as if the universe is static? Alternatively, as spacetime expands why does it not just slide past matter ...
7
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2answers
99 views

What are the linear maps which preserve the time-like cone?

I'm looking at the set of time-like vectors: $\mathcal{T}_+ = \{ x \in \mathbb{R}^4 \mbox{ s.t. } x^T \eta x \geq 0 \:, x^0\geq 0\} $, where $\eta = \mbox{diag}(1, -1, -1, -1)$. I want to be able to ...
2
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1answer
197 views

Can the compactified dimensions of M-Theory/String Theory become uncurled?

Is it possible for the curled dimensions described in superstring theories to become uncurled and open up. I have read that the big bang could have been the uncurling over 3 dimensions through ...
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2answers
88 views

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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1answer
82 views

Why point mass leaves it's own gravitational well? [closed]

I suppose that point mass has its own gravitational well. Why this point mass is still attracted by other gravitational waves. I expect that this point mass is surrounded by "gravitational hills". Why ...
2
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2answers
108 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 ...
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2answers
98 views

Does the universe have an edge/boundary/barrier? If yes, what is at the edge? [duplicate]

My question related kind of to asking what the shape of the universe is. Say a hypothetical alien civilization built an faster-than-light spaceship. If they keep flying would they end up where they ...
2
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2answers
104 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 ...
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0answers
40 views

Compactification and off-diagonal terms of the metric tensor

In standard 3+1 dimensional spacetime, the metric tensor is of order 4 and had ten independent coefficients, hence there are 6 terms off the diagonal in the corresponding $4\times 4$ real symmetric ...
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5answers
355 views

Why Light and Observers have different laws of physics [closed]

Special relativity states: The speed of light in a vacuum is always $c$, regardless of the velocity of the observer. The laws of physics are the same for all observers in uniform motion. These two ...
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0answers
25 views

Could space itself be made out of particles? [duplicate]

Are there any theories out there that discuss the idea that space itself could be made out of particles?
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1answer
91 views

Is there an absolute minimum scale to the universe? If so, why?

Based on my rather circumscribed understanding of modern physics, one of the key insights of quantum mechanics over previous scientific theories is the prediction that there exists an absolute limit ...
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33 views

Special relativity allows arbitrarily low travel times between two locations [duplicate]

I wish I had a good way of illustrating this, but anyway, doesn't the following travel strategy allow you to get anywhere in arbitrarily little time? You're at rest at the origin of space-time, and ...