1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is space warped, or is matter expanding?

  1. Aug 17, 2009 #1
    Why do physicists say that space is warped in with the presence of mass? Wasn't the whole concept of spacial coordinates supposed to make measuring distance easier? I think it would be easier to say that matter expands outwards in the presence of space.

    Also, because of the second law of thermodynamics, and since matter IS energy, would it not be logical to say that matter must continue to expand outwards until it touches other matter? Is this what we call gravity?

    BTW this isn't my idea, but I think it's an awesome idea but I need someone to verify the thinking is correct.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 18, 2009 #2
    Hi there,

    The idea of a bending space comes from light observation. It has been thought for very long that light travels in a straight line. Just need to point a laser, and see that it does travel straight.

    Thanks to relativity (this Einstein dude had something), we know now that light bends when passing near matter. Of course this is visible when light, coming from far away objects) passes near a very massive object (massive star). Therefore, trying to explain this, scientist came up with the idea of warped space.

    They imagine that light follows the Universe curvature. In a flat Universe, light would travel in a straight line. Putting some massive object in this flat universe bends its curvature, forcing light to follow it.

    As for the second part of your comment: matter is not energy and vice-versa. Matter can be transformed to energy. There is the duality principle. But one is not the other.
  4. Aug 18, 2009 #3
    But due to the second law of thermodynamics, matter should still expand, correct? It is trying to reach equilibrium.
  5. Aug 18, 2009 #4
    I'm not sure you get the ideas going around. It is space itself that is expanding, rather than matter expanding into empty void.
  6. Oct 5, 2009 #5
    What I'm trying to say is that it should be fundamentally the same, if matter is expanding or if space is warped. However, if matter is expanding, it is the expansion that causes gravity. When two particles grow at the same rate, the space between them decreases by a square root, the same as in Newton's gravity equations. This is what I am proposing.
  7. Oct 5, 2009 #6
    ...then what is matter? If quantum mechanics considers particle-wave duality, how would you describe the difference between matter and energy?
  8. Oct 5, 2009 #7


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Sorry, this is all just gibberish. Thread locked.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook