Main Question or Discussion Point
What exactly is spacetime?And how can u curve nothing if ur curving space?
Spacetime is simply a mathematical construct. The spacetime that most people talk about is the 3+1 dimensional spacetime consisting of 3 spacial dimensions, and one temporal dimension.Could you please explain how?
Einstein realized that an observer in freefall does not feel his/her own weight.How do we come to space-time to curve.I mean what makes space time curve due to mass?
Space-time coordinates define an event. A space-time diagram presents two perpendicular axes on which we measure one space coordinate whereas on the other we measure the product between c and the time coordinate. A point on such a diagram defines an event whereas a curve on this diagram represent a world line. Space-time by itself says nothing. Is there more to say?
I would say that space-time coordinates locate or label an event... not define it. A point in space-time represents an event, just as a causal curve represents a worldline. (Of course, to define "causal", one needs at least a [conformal] metric structure.)Space-time coordinates define an event. A space-time diagram presents two perpendicular axes on which we measure one space coordinate whereas on the other we measure the product between c and the time coordinate. A point on such a diagram defines an event whereas a curve on this diagram represent a world line. Space-time by itself says nothing. Is there more to say?robphy said:
I have to agree. A space-time diagram is nothing more mysterious, ultimately, than a graph of position vs time, just like one sees in elementary physics.My comment [and the bracketed subcomment] is to dispel the public [mis]conception of the mysteriousness of spacetime (and spacetime diagrams) by pointing out that the simplest example is right there in the introductory textbooks. Certainly the emphasis of spacetime [with its then newly uncovered light cone structure] (by Minkowski) and spacetime curvature (later, by Einstein) adds complications to the position-vs-time graph [with its flat, degenerate Galilean metric]. Nevertheless, the basic ideas are already there in the intro textbooks.
I think it is important to put this more strongly: "why" questions like "why does the presence of mass curve spacetime?" or "why not an inverse cube law in Newton's theory of gravitation?" have in a sense not been part of the physical discourse since Newton's insight that what really matters in studying a given physical phenomenon is obtaining a theory which is self-consistent and which provides models which allows us to mathematically describe the phenomenon in a manner which yields testable predictions. If the predictions of the theory, upon testing, agree with experimental evidence, then, following Popper, we say it has not yet been falsified. Or less dramatically, if a theory passes many such tests, we say it is successful.Observation supports the claim that spacetime is curved by the oresence of mass, but no explanation as to "how" or "why" has been found.