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I What is distance?

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  1. Dec 23, 2017 #1
    I have taken physics to Modern so I understand the basics of time and distance dialation. I don't understand what is distance is. It is always given by reference to something else, or tied together like in space time. The closest I've gotten to something I can understand, and answers my question partially is http://blog.stephenwolfram.com/2015/12/what-is-spacetime-really/
    Is the blog on the right path? Am I even asking the right question regarding distance? Most of what I've found looks at space time and it's behavior.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 23, 2017 #2

    Nugatory

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    Staff: Mentor

    That Wolfram piece is interesting but far too speculative to discuss seriously here (and please note the Physics Forums rule that requires that new theories have been published in a an appropriate peer-reviewed journal before discussion here).

    Einstein once said that "Time is what a clock measures", and a similar definition works for distance: Distance is the physical quantity that a meter stick measures.

    And also relativity of simultaneity? Just checking, as not mentioning it is like leaving off one of the legs of a three-legged stool.
     
  4. Dec 23, 2017 #3

    Nugatory

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    Staff: Mentor

    This thread is closed, although threads with more specific questions about how the science works here will be welcome, And as always, if you believe that there is something to add to the discussion here, please PM any mentor so that we can reopen it for your contribution.
     
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