# How can space warp if it is a non-thing?

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by nicholas1M7, May 27, 2011.

1. ### nicholas1M7BannedBanned

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This recent article talks about a Gravity Probe B project which confirms that Einstein was not wrong to my bafflement:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/apr/15/spaceexploration.universe

3. ### nicholas1M7BannedBanned

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I see now that space can indeed be anything but flat and that massive objects do indeed warp space and control the geodesic after going through some of this article by professor Stephen Hawking:

http://www.hawking.org.uk/index.php/lectures/publiclectures/63

5. ### nicholas1M7BannedBanned

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We can now conclude that massive objects and space obviously interact but how?

7. ### OnlyMeValued Senior Member

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Einstein also had the same question and addressed it to some extent in a lecture at the University of Leyden, in 1920. A transcript of the address is available as a part of "Sidelights on Relativity".

Basically Einstein held that space must have some independent and intrinsic substance of its own. That substance being the basis for the interaction between space and the material objects (ponderable matter) within it.

8. ### RhaedasValued Senior Member

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Space is a thing. We just don't know what that thing is. When we say there's nothing there, we refer to there being no matter in a vacuum. But there's still space there, that we can model the behavior of. We just can't yet say what it is. That's one reason why we can define the actions of gravity but can't pinpoint what causes it, other than to say it's a property that all mass has.

9. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member

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I think we have reached the limits of everyday laymen's language here. Time to come up with a more precise, meaningful word than "thing."

We're in enough trouble because laymen use "theory" to mean something quite different from what it means in science. Let's not make that mistake again.

10. ### keith1Guest

mass and gravity have a relationship.

gravity and spacetime have a relationship.

A spinning gravitational mass drags upon spacetime.

11. ### SciWriterValued Senior Member

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Space always has something in it, if only the tiny vacuum fluctuations, but what is space by itself if it could be? Evidently not material, but still physical, its only quantity being volume. Seems absolute.

12. ### nicholas1M7BannedBanned

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Perhaps space only warps because matter moves!

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Attempting to define what space IS is a fool's errand - for now. We simply do not know enough yet to be able to do that. One thing is certain, though - it's not a thing. That's a term we reserve to describe something material.

So for now, we just wait...

14. ### AlphaNumericFully ionizedRegistered Senior Member

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If you were to cling to the quantum field theory notation that a field is actually the large scale effect of lots of particles then space-time is not a place where particles are, it is particles.

For instance, Maxwell (and a few people after him) realised you can write electromagnetism in terms of a 4-potential $A_{\mu}$. We now view this $A_{\mu}$ as the vector field associated to the photon particle. Likewise for fields for the strong and weak forces. In general relativity there's the field $g_{\mu\nu}$ which defines the metric. If this were to be quantised then you would have it being the large scale appearance of graviton particles.

This is precisely what happens in string theory. When you compute massless closed string modes you find a set of modes which take on all the properties of $g_{\mu\nu}$. The graviton is a large scale effect of string oscillations, just like all other particles. This would mean that space-time is actually some kind of seething mass of strings. This isn't an isolated concept either. The branes of string theory are often thought of as somehow 'solid' objects unto themselves but infact they should be viewed on a quantised level as massive tachyon condensates, formed of a huge number of strings in a single coherent state. Space-time is just a particular case of this, as there are examples of 'space filling branes'. Loop quantum gravity takes a similar approach but it uses spin foam networks and tries to start from them and build up. It's had considerably less success.

15. ### KennycRegistered Senior Member

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Space is nature's way of keeping everything from being one.

16. ### nicholas1M7BannedBanned

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Next thing you know someone might say something silly like space is consciousness.

17. ### KennycRegistered Senior Member

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Gawd I hope not. I think everyone else explained things pretty well above.

18. ### nicholas1M7BannedBanned

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Particular Alphanumeric's post that says space may not be empty but a foam of superstrings is really interesting. I'll investigate it further and read up on my shit.

19. ### nicholas1M7BannedBanned

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I particularly notice your genius in saying that space is also volume.

20. ### nicholas1M7BannedBanned

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What if space was a type of inconceivable matter?

21. ### nicholas1M7BannedBanned

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http://www.sacred-texts.com/nth/sotu/sotu08.htm

22. ### nicholas1M7BannedBanned

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Might space be a dimension wrapped up in an alternate dimension?

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