Gravity Probe B and Our 4-Dimensional World: Does Time Stand Still?

In summary, the Gravity Probe B results provided by NASA from 2011 are consistent with general relativity to a low level of accuracy and do not provide evidence for or against the concept of a 4-dimensional everyday world or block time. The block universe is a philosophical concept that has been debated extensively.
  • #1
Descartz2000
139
1
Do the Gravity Probe B results provided by NASA from 2011 support and lean in favor of a 4-dimensional everyday world? The world you and I live in. Do the results argue for block time?
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
Descartz2000 said:
Do the Gravity Probe B results provided by NASA from 2011 support and lean in favor of a 4-dimensional everyday world? The world you and I live in. Do the results argue for block time?
The results are consistent with GR to a rather low level of accuracy. I think that is about all you can say.
 
  • #3
There's a great anecdote from a Tom Stoppard play:

George: Meeting a friend in a corridor, Wittgenstein said: 'Tell me, why do people always say it was natural for men to assume that the sun went round the Earth rather than that the Earth was rotating?' His friend said, 'Well, obviously, because it just looks as if the sun is going round the earth.' To which the philosopher replied, 'Well, what would it have looked like if it had looked as if the Earth was rotating?'

Descartz2000 said:
Do the Gravity Probe B results provided by NASA from 2011 support and lean in favor of a 4-dimensional everyday world? The world you and I live in.

To make your question meaningful, you'd have to define what you thought the world would be like if it was *not* four-dimensional. Newtonian mechanics can be described in terms of a 4-dimensional world.

Descartz2000 said:
Do the results argue for block time?
The block universe is a philosophical idea, not a testable scientific theory. The block universe picture has been discussed many, many times on PF, e.g., https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=643851 .
 
Last edited:

Related to Gravity Probe B and Our 4-Dimensional World: Does Time Stand Still?

1. What is Gravity Probe B and its purpose?

Gravity Probe B (GP-B) is a NASA mission that was launched in 2004 to test Einstein's theory of general relativity. Its purpose is to measure the effects of gravity on space-time and confirm whether time and space are affected by the presence of massive objects, as predicted by Einstein's theory.

2. How does Gravity Probe B measure the effects of gravity on space-time?

GP-B uses four ultra-precise gyroscopes to measure the tiny changes in the spin of a gyroscope as it orbits the Earth. These changes in spin are caused by the warping of space-time around the Earth, which is predicted by the theory of general relativity.

3. What is meant by "our 4-dimensional world" in relation to Gravity Probe B?

Our 4-dimensional world refers to the three dimensions of space and one dimension of time that we experience in our everyday lives. However, according to Einstein's theory of general relativity, space and time are interconnected and should be thought of as a single 4-dimensional entity called space-time.

4. Does time really stand still in the presence of massive objects?

According to the theory of general relativity, time does not stand still in the presence of massive objects, but it does appear to slow down. This is due to the warping of space-time caused by the massive object. The closer you are to the massive object, the slower time will appear to pass.

5. What have the results from Gravity Probe B revealed so far?

The results from Gravity Probe B have confirmed Einstein's theory of general relativity with a high degree of accuracy. They have also provided evidence for the existence of frame-dragging, which is the effect of a massive object rotating and dragging space-time along with it. These results have furthered our understanding of the relationship between gravity and space-time in our 4-dimensional world.

Similar threads

  • Special and General Relativity
Replies
8
Views
1K
  • Special and General Relativity
2
Replies
48
Views
3K
  • Special and General Relativity
Replies
27
Views
4K
Replies
90
Views
6K
  • Beyond the Standard Models
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Special and General Relativity
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • Beyond the Standard Models
Replies
0
Views
1K
  • Special and General Relativity
Replies
24
Views
2K
  • Special and General Relativity
2
Replies
36
Views
8K
  • Special and General Relativity
2
Replies
62
Views
5K
Back
Top