The nature of space-time is a conceptual model that connects the three dimensions (space) with the most likely candidate for the fourth dimension, time.
According to the best current physical theories, space and time explain the unusual relativistic effects resulting from the interaction of two different types of particles such as electrons and protons. In Albert Einstein‘s theory of relativity at the end of the 19th century, the famous physicist helped to develop ideas about space-time.
Since this pioneering work, scientists have had a number of different theories to explain physical phenomena: Isaac Newton‘s physical laws describing the motion of massive objects, while James Clerk Maxwell‘s electromagnetic model explains the properties of light.
Experiments conducted at the end of the 19th century suggested that light is special, but measurements showed that it always moves at roughly the same speed, no matter what.
The French physicist and mathematician Henri Poincare speculated in 1898 that the speed of light could be an insurmountable limit. At about the same time, other researchers assumed that objects change in size and mass depending on their velocity.
Einstein summarized this idea in his special theory of relativity in 1905, in which he postulated that the speed of light was constant. For this to be true, space-time had to merge into a single scaffold that had conspired to keep it the same for all observers.
Einstein’s special theory of relativity postulated that the speed of light is constant, because light always travels at the same speed. Because space – time is relative and depends on the speed of the observers. A person in a super-fast rocket can be measured in time, even though it is traveling slower, while an object is shorter than a person traveling much slower.
More fundamentally, the speed of light is more fundamental than any other object in space – time, like a rocket or a person in a spaceship.
The idea came from the German mathematician Hermann Minkowski, who said at a colloquium in 1908: “From now on, space and time are doomed to disappear into mere shadows, and only a kind of union of the two will preserve independent reality.
Einstein did not come to the conclusion that space-time is a single fabric of space and time. The latter describes the dynamics of subatomic particles as a field and serves as the basis for the theory of quantum mechanics, the study of matter and energy. It is still known as “Minkowski space-time” and is described by the terms “time,” “space – space” and “time.”
When people talk about space – time – they often describe it as a kind of rubber cloth. Massive objects like the Earth and the Sun create curved curves in space and time that bend them. These curves limit the way everything in the universe moves, because all objects must follow a trail of distorted curvature.
He also realized through the development of his general theory of relativity that gravitational forces are due to the curvatures of the structure of space-time and that they are the result of gravitational interactions between objects and their gravitational fields.
In 2011, a NASA mission called Gravity Probe B (GP-B) measured the shape of space – time swirls around Earth – and found they closely matched Einstein’s predictions. The movement of gravity is actually a movement in the rotation and rotation of space and time.
So much is hard for most people to process, but it is actually very important – and not just for the sake of science.
The ceiling is two-dimensional, while space – time is four-dimensional – is like a layer of rubber. This sheet represents the difference between the two dimensions of space and time and the space between them. We can break up this analogy so that we can discuss space / time as if it were four-dimensional. Even for physicists, the complex equations are difficult to explain.
Astrophysicist Paul Sutter writes: “Einstein built a beautiful machine, but he did not leave a manual. For starters, the general theory of relativity is so complex that when someone discovers the solution to an equation, it is named after him and becomes a legend.
The easiest way to understand the fabric of space – time – is to imagine a curved rubber plate that directs how everything moves in the universe. The analogy is quite correct, because space and time have four dimensions, while the rubber sheets have only two.
In fact, the curves in space and time can be bent in different directions, just like the shapes of the human body and the wheels of a car.
Quantum mechanics is based on the idea that the tiny bits that make up the universe are discreet and quantified. It explains the properties of subatomic particles with extreme precision, but scientists know that their model is incomplete because relativity still does not fully correspond to quantum mechanics, which explains all known physical phenomena but does not take into account the force of gravity.
Despite all this complexity, relativity remains the most accurate method of explaining the physical phenomenon known to us.
Photons, the particles that make up light, are small chunks of light that come together in different packages. Theorists speculate that space-time itself flows in quantified chunks, thus helping to bridge relativity and quantum mechanics.
Researchers from the European Space Agency have proposed a mission that would fly around our planet and take images of distant, powerful explosions known as cosmic rays that could reveal the proximity of space and time. If successful, the mission could help solve some of physics’ biggest mysteries and could be launched as part of the International Space Station (ISS) in the near future.
Visit our Science & Tech Library >>>
Visit our Science & Tech Store >>>