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B Can space-time rip?

  1. Apr 4, 2016 #1
    If so, what causes it to rip? Does it "heal"? What would a rip look like to us? What is the tension threshold at which spacetime rips? What are the units of this "tension"?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 4, 2016 #2


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  4. Apr 4, 2016 #3


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    I'm not so sure. I suppose it depends what you mean by ripped. If ripped = infinitely depressed, then I think the answer to this would be yes, as that's a black hole, a "depression" in space time that when light travels along a path through that singularity, it never comes out, presumably because it never reaches the "bottom" of the "depression". At least that's been my interpretation. With this in mind, a singularity would be indistinguishable from a rip. However, I don't think you can talk about "holes" in space-time, as that's pretty meaningless. (There's a region of ??? where space-time doesn't exist, so either a region of space, where time doesn't exist, or a region of time where space doesn't exist, or a region of something where neither exists. Doesn't seem to make much sense.)
  5. Apr 4, 2016 #4


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    I think that the singularity at the centre of a black hole is general relativity's way of telling you that it can't describe what's going on there. We need a theory of quantum gravity to describe it properly. So I would be a bit cautious about interpreting it literally as a hole in spacetime.
  6. Apr 4, 2016 #5


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    Not literally, but indistinguishable. If you can differentiate the two. This singularity behaves as a hole would behave, in that light just sort of "disappears", as one would expect to happen with a rip.
    Perhaps you are correct about the QG, but I think a proper description of the singularity (yet to come about) would suffice just as well. IMHO.
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