(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Definition of relativity's "interval"

Okay I have Kip Thorne's text in front of me that says the following:

If [tex](\Delta s)^2 > 0 [/tex] the events are calledspacelike

If [tex](\Delta s)^2 = 0 [/tex] the events are calledlightlike

If [tex](\Delta s)^2 < 0 [/tex] the events are calledtimelike

Then I have David W. Hogg's text in front of me that says:

If [tex](\Delta s)^2 > 0 [/tex] the events are calledtimelike

If [tex](\Delta s)^2 = 0 [/tex] the events are calledlightlike

If [tex](\Delta s)^2 < 0 [/tex] the events are calledspacelike

No joke. Which one's right? Understanding of this cursed interval wasjustdawning on me when I saw this. I was coming to the conclusion that [tex]\Delta s [/tex] is the distance light traveled in the frame of reference minus the distance between the events in that frame. I was thinking if this value is positive, light traveled farther than the distance between the events, thus there is a valid space-like interval.

If you don't mind could you also clear up what the sam heck this interval means?! I'm not sure I'm getting it.

TIA

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

# Definition of relativity's interval

Loading...

Similar Threads for Definition relativity's interval |
---|

A Oscillator travelling at speed of light since big bang ? |

I How does gravitational time dilation work? |

I Intuitive explanation for Riemann tensor definition |

B ¿Why does this definition define common time? |

I A question about the definition of vector field |

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**