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Matter and Space

  1. Nov 3, 2007 #1
    My question is quite simple really. What happens to space when matter comes into it's vicinity? How is it, that matter can occupy one area of space, and then move into another area?

    Is it practical to think of space as "surrounding" and object like a liquid does a solid object?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 4, 2007 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    It may be a simple question, but the answer(s) are not so simple. As with most things in science there is not a single answer, but rather a wide variety of answers that are useful in different circumstances. Newton's ideas on the subject are quite useful in some circumstances, Mach and Einstein's ideas are more accurate in other circumstances.

    Personally I think space is just geometry, e.g. two point masses have a geometrical relation with each other which is known as distance, space is that geometrical relationship
  4. Nov 6, 2007 #3
    Perhaps space is nothing more than geometry, but that doesn't account for the general theory of relativity, which states gravity warps space.
  5. Nov 7, 2007 #4
    Your thinking resembles the idea of ether matter from the beginning of 20 century. As I was told, this kind of ether matter fills the whole universe, thus light, forces etc... can propagate through the space.
  6. Nov 7, 2007 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    Sure it does. Near matter the geometry of the universe is simply curved: triangles have more than 180º, initially parallel lines eventually intersect, etc.
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