Space Bending: Questions & Answers

In summary: So the straight line paths followed by planets and light rays in the vicinity of a massive body (like the Sun) appear to us to be curved. This is what is meant by "space is bent" in this context.In summary, space bending refers to the alteration of the geometry of space from its usual flat state. This concept is part of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity and is better understood by first learning about Special Relativity. In this theory, objects moving near strong gravitational fields follow straight paths, but these paths appear curved to us due to the non-Euclidean nature of space.
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The UPC P
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There is something that confuses me when I read about space bending.

For something to bend it needs to be in space, because otherwise bending does not exist. For example, it makes no sense to talk about the bending of bytes because bytes are not really in space.

So how come that space can bend? Is space in another space? And if it is can that space bend too?
 
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When we say that "space is bent", we mean that the geometry of space is altered from "flat". Flat geometry is known as Euclidean Geometry and is the geometry you were taught in school. Geometry is: a branch of mathematics concerned with questions of shape, size, relative position of figures, and the properties of space. (Per wiki) When we talk about space bending we are really talking about how objects behave and move relative to one another within that space. The mathematical way of setting up a model and figuring this stuff out is to assign some sort of value at every location in space. This is what a "field" is. A magnetic or electric field is technically just assigning different values to every point in space that tells you the direction and magnitude of the force a charged or magnetic object would feel at that location. For gravity, this "field" is known as a metric tensor and is much more complicated than an electric or magnetic field.

There's quite a lot involved in describing gravitation and the "bending of space". The current theory that does this is Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. GR is very advanced and very difficult to work with and requires a considerable effort to understand. If you're interested in learning more, I highly suggest starting off with Special Relativity, learning it, and then moving on to GR. Special relativity is the low-energy, low-mass approximation of GR and is typically what people start off with before trying to wrap their heads around GR.
 
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Thanks for the explanation and advice. I understand what they mean now.
 
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To add a bit to Drakkith's correct explanation, things moving in space near strong gravitational fields DO travel in "straight lines" but these are straight lines (more formally called geodesics) in RIEMANN geometry, which when looked at from the point of view of Euclidean geometry appear "bent" or "curved"
 
  • #5


I can provide some clarification on the concept of space bending. First, it is important to understand that space is not a physical object that can be bent like a piece of metal or a sheet of paper. Space is a theoretical construct that describes the three-dimensional framework in which all objects exist.

When we talk about space bending, we are referring to the bending or warping of this framework due to the presence of massive objects, such as planets or stars. This is described by Einstein's theory of general relativity, which states that the presence of mass and energy causes the fabric of space-time to curve.

To answer your question, space is not in another space. It is the framework in which all objects exist. And yes, according to general relativity, space can also be affected by the bending of space-time caused by massive objects.

To better understand this concept, imagine a trampoline with a heavy object placed in the center. The trampoline represents space-time, and the heavy object represents a massive object. The trampoline will bend and warp due to the weight of the object, just as space-time is warped by the presence of massive objects.

I hope this helps to clarify any confusion about space bending. It is a complex concept, but it is an important aspect of our understanding of the universe.
 

1. What is space bending?

Space bending is a concept in theoretical physics that refers to the distortion of space and time caused by massive objects, such as planets and stars. This distortion is a result of the warping of the fabric of space-time by these massive objects, as described by Einstein's theory of general relativity.

2. How does space bending affect the movement of objects?

Space bending affects the movement of objects by altering the trajectory of their paths. The warping of space-time can cause objects to move along curved paths, much like a marble rolling on a curved surface. This is known as the curvature of space-time, and it is responsible for the motion of celestial bodies in our universe.

3. Can space bending be observed?

Yes, space bending can be observed through various phenomena, such as gravitational lensing, which is the bending of light by massive objects. This phenomenon has been observed and studied by astronomers and has provided evidence for the existence of space bending.

4. What is the significance of space bending in understanding the universe?

Space bending is crucial in understanding the fundamental workings of our universe. It helps explain how gravity works and how objects move in our universe. It also plays a significant role in understanding the behavior of black holes and the expansion of the universe.

5. Is space bending a proven concept?

While space bending is a widely accepted concept in the scientific community, it is still a theoretical concept that is yet to be fully proven. However, numerous experiments and observations have provided strong evidence for the existence of space bending, making it a key concept in modern physics.

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