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mylatestwhim

Can anyone explain 'Space Time' in simple terms?

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I am currently reading about the physics and theories of the universe and some of it is even sort of making sense (sort of) but something that I cant get my head around is 'Space Time'

Surely time is measured in units created by man and will remain constant wherever you are in the universe?

How can you bend or stretch time??

:)

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As you approach the speed of light, time slows down, at least from your perspective. Once you understand this it's easier to see the link between the two. At least if was for me :eek:

If, say, you managed to leave earth at just under the speed of light, in a huge circle taking a day for you to complete, when you arrived back on earth a day would have passed on earth, but it would only seem like a moment for you.

Haven't you seen Flight of the Navigator? :)

EDIT: Where I struggle to get my head round things is when I factor in the fact that speed is relative, so what is the speed relative to?? :icon_salut:

Edited by Revs

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Ok great - clearer now. 3 dimensional space and time are intrinsically linked. I have honestly got a head ache now right at the front of my brain.

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As you approach the speed of light, time slows down, at least from your perspective.

I'm not an expert but I think it is the other way round. As you approach the speed of light time appears unchanged from your perspective but a stationary observer would see your clocks running slow.

Gravity also slows time.

What Einstein discovered is that space and time are not constants as we tend to assume, but that the constant is in fact the speed of light. This had been proposed, but only as a mathematical 'game' before Einstein but it was he who had the courage to consider it a physical reality. For him space and time are interconnected and are meaningless in isolation from each other, other than in local circumstances.

Olly.

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I am currently reading about the physics and theories of the universe and some of it is even sort of making sense (sort of) but something that I cant get my head around is 'Space Time'

Surely time is measured in units created by man and will remain constant wherever you are in the universe?

How can you bend or stretch time??

:)

Imagine a flexible grid which consists of horizontal and vertical lines. This is the spacetime plane, as Einstein indroduces it in his theory. Massive objects which are accelerated to the speed of light curvate this grid. As the space lines are distorted, the time lines are also twisted. These oscillations are perceived as the stretched spacetime.

Excuse me for my English, but I am from Greece. :eek:

Edited by Tsaprazi Eleni

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I'm not an expert but I think it is the other way round. As you approach the speed of light time appears unchanged from your perspective but a stationary observer would see your clocks running slow.

That's what I meant. I worded it poorly :)

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Imagine a flexible grid which consists of horizontal and vertical lines. This is the spacetime plane, as Einstein indroduces it in his theory. Massive objects which are accelerated to the speed of light curvate this grid. As the space lines are distorted, the time lines are also twisted. These oscillations are perceived as the stretched spacetime.

Excuse me for my English, but I am from Greece. :)

Excellent description. Thankyou for posting!

Dont worry about your English it is 100% perfect!

My Greek is terrible :icon_salut:

PS welcome to the forum Tsaprazi. Please make yourself at home! :eek:

Edited by mylatestwhim

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That's what I meant. I worded it poorly :)

Easily done in the counter-intuitive world of cosmology!!

Olly

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I can thoroughly recommend 'Why Does E=MC2' by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw.

Although a 'popular' science book, it does require careful reading (well, by me, anyway!), and has a large chapter devoted to the concept of Spacetime; at the end of it, I felt I had a pretty good handle on it.

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