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I have been told space and time are illusions. What does that mean?

  1. Nov 22, 2011 #1
    Hello there,

    Some time ago, I saw a talk by a nobel prize winner. He quoted two other scientists, one was Witten, the other I cannot remember.

    Since that day I have imagined that it must be correct. Why? Because relativity predicts singularities are nonphysical nonsense. Yet, we can observe black holes exists, and most people in the world seems to believe in the Big Bang.

    Can someone please explain this to me in layman terms, or near layman terms why time and space is believed to be illusions. I am a hobby-physicist, but not professional.

    Thank you for your time.

    Kind regards,
    Marius Jonsson
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 22, 2011 #2
    Why oh why didnt I take the BLUE pill?
  4. Nov 22, 2011 #3


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    Gold Member

    Space and time are not illusions, they're dimensions. They create a coordinate system that gives a unique identifier for each possible location in space-time.

    Perhaps our perception of the passage of time is a biological illusion, or the perception of an infinite unbounded universe is an illusion but neither space nor time are illusions.
  5. Nov 25, 2011 #4

    Claude Bile

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    Science Advisor

    Lesson #1 when attempting to communicate science;

    Your definitions must be clear and unambiguous. Do not assume that we automatically know what you are talking about.

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