Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Space Time Continuum

  1. Mar 31, 2013 #1
    It is said that the space time continuum gives rise to space and time.

    So, is space time continuum a mixture of space and time or something totally different from space and time? Plz elaborate as per current scientific understanding only. No out and out philosophy please?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 31, 2013 #2


    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    "space time continuum" is a name for "space and time". I don't think it makes sense to say "it gives rise to space and time". Does 6 give rise to 2 and 3, as 2*3=6?
  4. Mar 31, 2013 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    Mathematically spacetime is a pseudo-Riemannian manifold. I am not sure what you are after for the rest of your question.
  5. Apr 1, 2013 #4
    In GR reality is completely described using a curved four dimensional surface. Time evolution is just a gauge choice.
  6. Apr 1, 2013 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Take two points that are separated only in space, i.e. two points that occur at the same time, in some specific reference frame.

    For simplicity, assume there's no gravity, so that we can use only SR and don't need to use GR.

    THen in some other reference frame, the two points that occured at the same time occur at different times, due to the relativity of simultaneity. So they are separated in both space and time.

    Thus we are led to the conclusion that space and time must intermix, somehow. One observer's purely spatial separation appears to be a separation in space and time to another observer.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook