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My thoughts on Space-Time and Matter-Gravity

  1. Jun 14, 2005 #1
    Let me start by saying that I’m a novice when it comes to various theories in Physics and what I write below are my attempts to visualize the concepts behind what I learned. It’s more or less for my enjoyment in trying to understand Nature. Many concepts I present may be borrowed from existing theories and some, I hope, are original. If you read this, try to have an open mind and provide constructive criticism whenever possible.

    Ever since Einstein released his Theory of Relativity, the concept of Space-Time has intrigued many scientists as well as the lay-person like myself. He has elegantly tied Space and Time together and threw away the notion that Time is constant. Being a visual person (and not relying on Mathematics – been nearly 20 years since my college courses), some of these concepts were difficult to grasp. The fact that time-dilation (and length contraction) occurs when objects travel away from other "relative" objects and the fact that Gravity can cause the same effects are monumental shift in paradigm of our understanding of Nature. While realizing that common sense often fails in realm of Physics, my inclination towards visualization materialized as follows.

    The speed of light is a constant of Nature. Relatively speaking from an observer’s point of view, Space-Time changes for an object in motion according to constant speed of light. While realizing that an object (Matter) cannot travel at the speed of light, the time should stop if it did (as observed by other relative objects). It is also interesting to note that the length of the object should contract to zero. This suggests that Space and Time are one and the same thing, simply two different sides of the same coin. Throw into this mix the effects of Gravity on Space-Time where Gravity is equivalent to acceleration and objects experience the same effects as just described. This implies that Time and Dimensional effects on objects are relative to points of Space-Time.

    A recent development in the concept of Dark-Energy may be related to all this. As I understand it, Dark-Energy is a property of Space or Vacuum that exerts repelling force. It suggests that the expansion of the Universe will continue forever despite the Gravitational pull of matters (expansion won over contraction). So, what is this Dark-Energy? Could it be that Space-Time itself has property of expansion or growth caused by division of unit Space-Time (at a Plank level) much like cellular division? If one were to assume that this "growth" of Space-Time occurs at every point and that this happens at the speed of light, then it might be possible to explain many phenomenons in nature.

    First of all, this model may explain many properties light. Assuming that a photon is a packet of energy occupying a Plank Space-Time (if there is such thing), it’s not hard to imagine that the expansion due to growth of Space-Time itself at the speed of light is responsible for the speed constant. Doppler Effect (spectrum shift) of light can also be explained since relative difference in motion to the light source will mean experiencing different set of quantified Space-Time expansion. The fact that light travels at a constant "c" becomes a mere byproduct of Space-Time inflating at "c", so if a photon is "released," it merely partakes in the already ever-present Space-Time expansion (thus, no acceleration involved). If this were true, then there should be a limit to maximum level of light energy allowed based on Plank’s constant (probably postulated already). Also, Space-Time division/inflation/growth model forces only one direction of time (cannot go back in time unless the Space-Time division can be reversed).

    Consider the time-dilation of objects in motion. If objects A and B are at rest relative to each other, then they would experience the same (or very similar) effects of Space-Time inflation. Now, if the object B travels away from object A, B should encounter different set of Space-Time inflation/growth compared to A. The object B will experience what it thinks is a "normal" time flow, but the object A will observe B aging slowly because B is experiencing less Space-Time inflation/growth as is being experienced by object A. The same can be said of length-contraction.

    Now, we all know that Gravity can be thought of as being a distortion of Space-Time "fabric" caused by presence of Matter. This can be rewritten to say that Matter opposes or inhibits Space-Time division/inflation/growth. How this is possible is debatable, but perhaps one can think of Matter as being Energy confined in some sort of Hyperspace (there are after all 11 dimensions) that counters or inhibits Space-Time division at a fundamental level (again, Plank’s constant comes to mind). In any case, it’s easy to see the equivalence of Gravity and Acceleration as they pertain to how an object experiences the Space-Time division/inflation/growth. Accelerating object moves through Space-Time in a manner identical to an object in Gravitational Field experiencing the "manipulated" Space-Time. Gravity also "bends" light (geodesic path) due to this "manipulated" Space-Time division/inflation/growth since I am assuming that a photon’s motion is dictated by it.

    Another area of Physics where this Space-Time division/inflation/growth model might be of use is in explaining the Wave/Particle duality of light. The infamous Double-Slit Experiment suggests that light is of Wave nature due to interference patterns present even when individual photons are released. This Wave nature of light can easily be explained when if you assume that a process of "division" indeed takes place for Space-Time when photons are "carried" by this process. I won’t even venture to guess how these Space-Time units or cells interact with each other, but it’s not far-fetched to assume that some form of wave-like interference effects will be seen. As for the Particle nature of light, the assumption stated before that a photon is a bundle of Energy occupying a unit or cell of Space-Time demands this "quantified" particle behavior.

    What about the Singularity and the Black Hole? Now I’m venturing into some heavy duty stuff, but even here the Space-Time division/inflation/growth model fits in nicely. If there is enough density of Mass that counteracts the natural Space-Time division/inflation/growth, then Event Horizon will be formed around the Black Hole. In fact, it would appear that the definition of Black Hole becomes Mass occupying all the contiguous Plank Space-Time within the region of Event Horizon. Could it be that simple?

    One of the most interesting features of Quantum Mechanics is the Uncertainty Principle which pretty much says that the reality is based on probability (besides the thing about momentum and position cannot be known simultaneously). This is the most counter-intuitive fact in all of science, especially since we are so accustomed to Classic Mechanics’ cause-and-effect. Well, if you think about it, Space-Time division/inflation/growth can, in a way, contribute to reality being based on probability. While I can only guess about the interactions of Space-Time division/inflation/growth units with each other, it just has to introduce probability into the mix (IMHO).

    I got lot off my chest in this post. Thanks for listening.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 14, 2005 #2
    Physics101,

    Some interesting concepts you have there.
     
  4. Jun 15, 2005 #3
    It's always good to see how far one gets, but the dark energy???
     
  5. Jun 20, 2005 #4
    Tesla tapped into what I believe is now known as Zero Point Energy. Did you mean that? If so, it's the same thing that I believe is causing uniform swelling of space.
    Particle out, wave in.:)
     
  6. Jun 20, 2005 #5
    Expanding space-time as the new "ether"

    I'm sure the concept of expanding universe (space-time) being seen as the new "ether" is nothing new. In fact, I think it goes a long way in explaining various phenomenon. While the majority of scientists flat out reject the idea of "ether" when it comes to explaining the fundamental makeup of the universe (space-time), but I think it deserves another look.

    Just for a sake of argument, assume that space-time consists of a quantified point (i.e. at a Planks level) that is able to contain a quantum of energy. Doesn't this describe a Photon? Add to this assumption that this quantum space-time can grow (expand, divide, or both -- not sure at this point) at a rate that explains the constant speed of light. This would mean that the speed of light is merely the result of space-time expanding at a constant "c" with the quantum space-time serving as a sort of "ether." Furthermore, Matter can be seen as point(s) of space-time where energy is localized due to inability of space-time expansion at that particular point. I cannot say what causes this, but then again, all this is just a hypothesis.

    One more interesting concept arising out of this quantified space-time ether is that wave/particle duality is built in. The quantified space-time point itself serves as the particle nature while the expansion or division of such entity (if this is true) results in wave nature of things.

    Lacking advanced mathematics, I have no way of further refining this concept, but the so-called thought experiment seems to suggest that this concept has some legs. I'm sure others on this board had similar ideas and would love to hear more about it.
     
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