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I Time component in physics

  1. Jul 28, 2018 #1

    Delta2

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    Are there any theories in physics that allow for a time component of the various vector quantities besides the x,y,z components? For example the velocity of a particle to have a time component ##v_t## besides the x,y,z components ##v_x,v_y,v_z##
     
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  3. Jul 28, 2018 #2

    Dale

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  4. Jul 28, 2018 #3

    Delta2

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    I knew about this but this is not quite what I was thinking.. For example we put the energy together with the momentum as a 4-vector for reasons that suit our computations and equations to be expressed in a compact and elegant form. I mean i just view Energy as just the 4th component of the energy-momentum 4-vector. OR is there some deep conceptual reason that you called the energy the time component of the energy momentum vector?

    I expected the time component to be defined in some sort of very special way...
     
  5. Jul 28, 2018 #4

    Dale

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    I don’t see the difference with this and what you said previously

    The time component is just the one with the opposite sign in the signature.
     
  6. Jul 28, 2018 #5

    PeroK

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    You can't transform 3-momentum between frames. To put it crudely, the "energy" in one frame is made up of some of the energy and some of the momentum, as measured in another frame. That's pretty deep.
     
  7. Jul 28, 2018 #6

    Delta2

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    Huh? Excuse me I don't understand. I guess deep special humour hehe?
    Ok fine, that's an interesting property, the ability to transform 4-momentum between different frames. I was expecting that you would tell me that conservation of the 3-momentum relates to the translational spatial symmetry, while conservation of energy relates to time symmetry, that's another deep reason I can think of.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
  8. Jul 28, 2018 #7

    Dale

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    Yes, that is true too.

    Sorry, I mistakenly assumed since you knew about four-vectors you also knew about signatures. I am not sure now what you know and what you don’t, so please forgive me if I under or over explain.

    In relativity everything stems from the metric. In an inertial frame (and in units where c=1) the metric can be written ##ds^2=-dt^2+dx^2+dy^2+dz^2##. As you can see, there are three terms with a + sign and one term with a - sign, so this metric has a (-+++) signature. The only thing that distinguishes time from space is that there is only one time component and the signature is opposite.
     
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