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Space without time?

  1. Feb 2, 2008 #1
    I have a question,why is time and space inseperable,that is,why can't one exist without the other?

    Oh and I have another question,would a photon be able to exist without space?
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 2, 2008 #2
    Space & time are bound together so tightly, that the higher the velocity of a particle relative to any inertial frame, the slower time passes. No, a photon would not exist without space. Space is a prerequisite for observation and experiment...ergo, the question is meaningless.
  4. Feb 2, 2008 #3
    So what would happen if I took time away from space? (I am ignoring matter right now)
    If the answer is space would cease to exist I'd like to know why,I'm sorry I should of been more clear.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2008
  5. Feb 2, 2008 #4
    There have been ideas of this kind...Read (I haven't read it):
    "The End of Time" by J. Barbour.

    I don't see how this would work though.

    "If the answer is space would cease to exist I'd like to know why,I'm sorry I should of been more clear."

    Could you clarify your question...
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2008
  6. Feb 2, 2008 #5
    Well I read in alot of places time cannot exist without space and space cannot exist without time. If this is true why? Anyone?
  7. Feb 2, 2008 #6
    I don't think time or space by itself has any physical/measurable consequences that can be predicted by mathematical models created by human beings. They can exist separately only mathematically.
  8. Feb 2, 2008 #7
    Ok they can only exist seperatly mathematically and not physically, --->why?<----
  9. Feb 2, 2008 #8
    Thanks for your replies btw
  10. Feb 2, 2008 #9
    It is important that you realise how important experimental confirmation of any mathematical notion is in physics/science. Experiment and observation hold the final word to truth in science. I could come up with an infinite number of mathematical ideas. (eg. time without space; space without time..being but two cases) The only ideas that survive are those that agree with experiment. If you claimed that all you needed is time to model the orbits of the planets, you would have a hard time finding experiments to confirm your idea. If you claimed that all you need is space to model nuclear decay rates, you will be stuck once again. Modelling nuclear decay rates while a planet orbits the sun has been done experimentally, but not without space AND time.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2008
  11. Feb 2, 2008 #10
    Good point,but where observation and experimentation are absent,we can use logic and reason. Einstein could never observe space and time being relative,mathametics was used. The problem is that mathametics cannot always be applied to reality,so how was he certain that time and space were as one and inseperable? Anyways thats not my question,basicaly this is how I'd like my question answered if possiable by anyone.

    Can space exist without time?
    (Yes or no) (Then Why)

    Thanks for your time.
  12. Feb 3, 2008 #11
    The "photon filled universe" may be something that exists without time, BUT, the proton has never been observed to decay...so this idea has no foundation, yet.
  13. Feb 3, 2008 #12
    from a photon's "perspective" the universe is still a singularity. The photon can't be said to experience any space either.
  14. Feb 3, 2008 #13


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    I would like to remind everyone involved to two very important points:

    1. Please review the https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=5374". There appears to be a propensity here to make unverified speculation. Please note that unless what you are posting is based on established physics or on peer-reviewed publication, then you are making a personal theory or an unverified speculation. This is not allowed on here outside of the IR forum.

    2. If you do not stick with physics issues, but meander into esoteric and unverifiable qualities, then this will be moved out of the physics subforums and into philosophy. So the fate and quality of discussion of this thread depend on you.

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  15. Feb 3, 2008 #14
    Hi ZapperZ,

    Could you point out what was said that motivated your post?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2017
  16. Feb 3, 2008 #15


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    This can't be answered as it stands because as we say in Dublin "you're startin' from the wrong place".

    Space cannot be defined except in relation to matter. Space means separation and location and only matter has these properties. So you have to have matter to have space. If nothing ever changed then there would be no time and no motion and we would not be having this conversation.

    See the introduction to 'Space, Time, Matter' by Herman Weyl (1918).
  17. Feb 3, 2008 #16


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    No, because the posts have been deleted.

    If you see your posts still around, then they are fine.

  18. Feb 3, 2008 #17
    Ok well I read a little more,mostly einstein's stuff. From what I read space and time are interwoven with eachother,inseperable. That makes sense because space is not nothing,it is something with a structure,and if it exists it needs a time in which it exists. There is still debate though wether space time can exist without matter, I think it can.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2008
  19. Feb 3, 2008 #18


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    It's amazing what one can learn in 10 minutes reading.

    Don't assign physical reality to mathematical constructs.

    This is meta-physics. Discussions about 'existence' belong in the philosophy forum.

    Your original questions are of no practical significance. Time is change, if there is no change there is no time. If there is no matter there is no space, despite any snippets of GR you might have read.
  20. Feb 3, 2008 #19
    How will you test your theory?
  21. Feb 3, 2008 #20
    Hello all.

    I feel that problems, questions etc of this sort have been approached by many brilliant minds over the centuries and are not likely ever to be answered to the satisfaction of everybody. However my reading of philosophy is limited in time to pre twentieth century and even then is limited in its depth. If the original poster's questions do now have a widely accepted resolution i would like to hear these resolutions.


  22. Feb 3, 2008 #21
    I don't know maybe I typed something that contradicts your line of reason,and for your information I've spent much more then 10 minutes reading. None the less, space and time are interwoven. Like you said no change equals no time,and if you do not have time you cannot transverse through an area/space,because traveling would require time to flow. Hence why einstein/aristotle said space,movement, and time are inseperable. Space is meaningless without time.
  23. Feb 3, 2008 #22
    Oh and by the way,I would take "snippets of GR" over what you have to say anyways mentz,so there is no point in contradicting it when trying to explain something to me.
  24. Feb 3, 2008 #23


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    Movement requires matter. Try defining movement without a frame of reference.

    I doubt if you'd be able to spot anything like a contradiction of GR, so I'll not take offence at this. I really don't know why you are so miffed. I read your post about the apple before you deleted it and replaced it with an ill informed piece of nonsense.
    Why did you do that - you started the argument after a perfectly polite reply from me.
  25. Feb 3, 2008 #24
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