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Matter and space-time mutually exclusive?

  1. Jul 11, 2006 #1
    Sorry, but I just want to know where I can learn more about this idea. ie. Where matter is, space-time is not. (I know it's a bad way to state the idea because space-time isn't within another space of some kind.)

    What I'm trying to explain is the idea that elementary particles are "voids" of space-time. Of course, I can't just focus on particles themselves, because they are waves too. So, particles are described with delta functions, and from the arrangement of those, we can get a wave function. Perhaps the delta function is the point of singularity, and the wave function is the warped spacetime that leads to the singularity, but due to the uncertainty principle, the location of the singularity can't be fully known, so imagine it being "not fully there" within some radius, and the wave function shows the "dent" or "warp" in space that it produces. Much like a black hole, the singularity is probably at the center of the warped space.

    With the equivalence principle, you can say that space-time resists accelerations of particles, but not velocities (not too sure on this). So if you say that a particle is a "void" of space-time, it is the properties of space-time being "punctured" and connected to itself somewhere else which looks as if there is a particle there which has mass (because mass resists accelerations).

    I hope I've elaborated enough, and I know this must've been thought of before and probably refuted. I'm just wondering if anyone has any info on the subject; if the idea has a name or something.

    The main thing I mean to express is the idea that maybe matter isn't something that "exists within space-time" but instead, there is no space-time "inside" a particle, and space-time contains nothing at all, but is just a dynamic and self-interacting medium. Imagine a sphere, now put a hole through it, (the hole is represented by a surface cutting through the middle and connecting to the outter surface), this merely changes the original surface to a different configuration, and you can reshaped it into a donut. (I wish I could put this in topological language but I haven't taken a topology class). Now think of this as a "flatlander". Go up a spacial dimension and you can poke a hole through this 4-D space which would be like a "volume" connecting the previous volume to itself. In this instance, when viewed from a "flatlander" inside (a 3-d creature), he/she would see two seperate "points", one with a vector field flowing in, and one with a vector field flowing out. Now suppose that there are is a discrete spectrum of allowed "punctures" or "holes" in this 4-d space (I'm only speaking of space here, not time just yet), and then somehow you get a discrete spectrum of elementary particles from this.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 11, 2006 #2


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    Maybe it's just because of the copious amounts of beer that I've consumed tonight, but that whole post doesn't make a lot of sense to me. How do you come to think of a particle as a 'void' in space-time rather than a probablility wave function within that space-time?
  4. Jul 12, 2006 #3


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    It is very confusingly expressed, but I guess that the OP is referring to an all-geometrical view where what we see as different "particles" and/or fields are just special geometrical/topological features of a manifold. This is a serious idea, that goes back at least to Descartes if I'm not mistaking (with his vortex theory), but also Einstein played with the idea as well as others, more recently.

    The problem with such vague statements is that the reader is tempted to fit his own view on it (as I'm maybe doing here !) and that everybody sees everybody agree on the statements, while thinking about totally different things (hehe, we should bring in Rovelli now :biggrin: )
  5. Jul 12, 2006 #4


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    Why do you scientists side step these questions, it seems to me that no progress has been made since 1901 in explaining our universe, if one looks at the BTSM forum it it is obvious that they are grasping at any straws, i have great respect for scientists that are working towards a reachable end, but as reguards a deep understanding of our universe is concerned it seems if you can spout mostly meaningless mathmatics you are one of the in crowd, and if you need to refute this visit the arxives.
  6. Jul 12, 2006 #5
    Jonny: I'm a layman who's interested in physics rather than a physicist. So I can't tell you anything definitive. But from what I've picked up, it's like vanesch says, there's been a lot of thought about topology and geometry, and it's still ongoing. And again from what I've picked up, the thrust of this is that particles are postulated to be warps, twists, kinks, creases, and knots in spacetime, not voids.
  7. Jul 12, 2006 #6
    hmm... ok. I think you're right. This is the kind of thing I'm talking about. I can't really explain it because I can't think it through very far. I can't think of how E&M fields could be arranged while under the influence of a gravity potential (the warp of space leading to the singularity). What is the Rovelli thing?

    don't read this next part unless you want to know more of what I'm thinking, I assure you it's mainly just me wandering around aimlessly.

    I was thinking that maybe there could be something similar to the shrodinger equation that you can use on a 4-manifold (is that the right terminology?) which would give you a discrete spectrum of configurations in 3-space depending on how energetic the field is. I was thinking of somehow getting the result of E&M field configurations which wrap around and within themselves, so you get a "ball" of field energy. Depending on the types of configurations, you'd have zero charge, negative, or positive, and just take the ammount of energy for each config and divide by c^2 to get the mass of it. I was thinking that maybe you'd have to think of space as "flowing" into a matter singularity, and flowing out of an anti-matter singularity, because every "void" is really just a "puncture" in the 4-manifold, thus rendering two seemingly distinct particles in 3-space. One matter, the other anti-matter. Then I started thinking of neutron decay, and I figured that happens when a puncture splits into two punctures, and each carries with it a different configuration of the E&M fields which were previously in superposition. And so I was thinking of protons as the superposition of three configurations (quarks) which are more stable than the configurations within a neutron. Ultimately, I want to describe all forces with just topology and E&M fields. So, it goes without saying that I can't get very far with this thought.
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