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Is space plastic or elastic? 
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#1
Jan1612, 12:41 PM

P: 38

If gravity distorts spacetime, does spacetime return to equilibrium when the gravity mass is gone (let's say it vanished instantly)? If so, what happens to other satellite masses that are caught in the same gravity well?
Does spacetime just instantly slip out from under them? Or do the satellites get dragged along with it? 


#2
Jan1612, 01:50 PM

Sci Advisor
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#3
Jan2812, 01:33 PM

P: 20

Space is definetely elastic and flexible. If it wasn't the universe would have shattered into an infinite amount pieces a long time ago.



#4
Jan2812, 02:29 PM

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P: 9,364

Is space plastic or elastic?
Space is not a 'substance', so it has no properties such as elasticity. Gravity affects 'things' that pass through the gravitational field  like matter and photons  altering their path. Some would say the gravitational field IS the fabric of space. Some would even say that if gravity suddenly disappeared, so would space.
re: http://www.astronomycafe.net/gravity/gravity.html "Perhaps the most unusual thing about gravity we know about is that, unlike the other forces of nature, gravity is intimately related to space and time. In fact, space and time are viewed by physicists, and the mathematics of relativity theory, as qualities of the gravitational field of the cosmos that have no independent existence. Gravity does not exist like the frosting on a cake, embedded in some larger arena of space and time. Instead, the 'frosting' is everything, and matter is embedded and intimately and indivisibly connected to it. If you could turn off gravity, it is mathematically predicted that space and time would also vanish!" 


#5
Feb1612, 08:44 AM

P: 4

If spacetime is not a substance, where do virtual particles come from?



#6
Feb1612, 09:26 AM

P: 145

Sakharov ( 1967 ) suggested accounting for the effects of general relativity by introducing the concept of an "elasticity of space," analogous to the wellknown curvature of spacetime.



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