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Space/Time warp with velocity

  1. Apr 28, 2005 #1
    I’m trying to think of an easier way to describe how space and time will warp with velocity. This is only an analogy and since I’m not a physicist or mathematician I don’t have the ability to compare the resulting equations to Einstein’s theory. I am not trying to disprove or refute anyone’s theories; I’m simply trying to understand how the warping occurs.

    Space and time as we perceive it is defined by the atom. If you can get electrons in atoms to orbit closer to their nucleus, then space will be warped. And if you can get electrons to orbit at a slower rate, then time will be warped. Now if you were to plot the orbit of an electron as the atom travels through space it would look like a spiral or better yet a spring. As the atom increases in velocity you can imagine the spring getting stretched out. Two things happen as you stretch a spring. First the diameter gets smaller; therefore objects become smaller. Secondly the spring begins to unwind; therefore less time will pass.

    Is this a totally crackpot analogy or is there some validity to it? And granted, this doesn’t cover why mass also warps space and time. Let me know what you think.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 30, 2005 #2
    How do you know that?Can you find a simple evidence for your theory?
  4. Apr 30, 2005 #3
    If its any help, I didnt get it, but thats me.

    The spring and spacetime apparently have no analogy among them. The diameter of a spring gets smaller when you stretch it?
  5. Apr 30, 2005 #4


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    My vote? Total crackpot analogy.
  6. Dec 4, 2007 #5
    Electrons do not "orbit" the nucleus of an atom like the planets orbit the sun. They are very strange particles that exhibit not only particle-like characteristics, but wave-like characteristics, so I don't think your analagy is valid in that aspect. If you were to change your analagy from an atom to maybe a star orbited by a planet, the analgy would make more sense.

    Using a planet, it seems to me that if the planet moved faster, there would be more cycles per time creating more rings in the spring per length of time, causing the spring to appear to compress not stretch.

    Let me know if this makes sense to you, or if you feel this is wrong and why.

    A good analagy I saw was in Einstein's light clock mind experiment. This clock is made up of two mirrors and a photon. Each second, the photon reflects off the mirror, moving back to the other mirror, repeating this cycle to make a clock.

    When the clock is stationary relative to you, it appears to "tick" once per second, its path straight up and down. If it moves relative to you, the path of the photon would no longer appear to be straight up and down, but at an angle:
    At rest, the path:

    In motion, the path
    (The dashes are merely place holders and have no meaning.)
    Becasue the photon now has to "travel more distance" from bottom to top and back again(remember this is all relative to you as the observer), the photon appears to require "more time" to tick the two seconds.

    If you can, i suggest you watch The Mechanical Universe... and Beyond Disk 10 Part 42: The Lorentz Transformation. It is old and low quality effects, but it gets the point across and will give you a better understanding of this. It shows what I just tried to explain.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2007
  7. Dec 4, 2007 #6


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    Before you even start to "apply" your knowledge of electrons in atoms to think about the warping of space and time, it is strongly suggested that you first study a bit of quantum mechanics and see how an atomic orbital is described.

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