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A Walk Through the Fourth Dimension

May 30, 2014

Doing all this thinking and research on the Five Points has me wishing I could see the area not just in one time, but several times.
If I could go back, or maybe restore parts of the past, which would I choose? Perhaps the 1890’s in the last days of the 24 Baxter distillery building. Or maybe before the bowling alley was added, like in Riis’ photo, and then we could pick up from there and fix the whole area up. (I could picture a Fairway looking good in the building, and why not go far enough back so the main Old Brewery would be apart of it as well). Maybe even earlier, when it was all the little gable houses, or maybe leave the Collect Pond in place and build around it. Lower Manhattan would then resemble a Florida city like Orlando, with the downtown lakes.
But it would also be nice in the last days of the neighborhood, like that last new Mission building photo, when it probably resembled the Village across town with all the turn of the century larger tenements (including the ones that replaced the distillery).

Don’t even get me started on Norfolk. Downtown looks nice now with the Tide, MacArthur Mall, and Waterside Dr., the suburban looking new Huntersville, but old Main St. looked interesting as well, and the old Huntersville could have been fixed up into a nice looking old neighborhood.

With the actual timeline laid out as the fourth space dimension, we could have them all, at the same time!
(Remember, “time” and “space” are both media of displacement of objects and events; just that time is the direction of entropy, where one event causes the next, while space is a random access connection between objects relative to one another in multiple dimensions; i.e. you can go back and forth between points and measure the displacement with a fixed ruler).

So it has me thinking what it would be like if we could walk back through passed time as the fourth dimension.

When we talk about the “fourth” dimension, first, we number specifically the other three. Whichever dimension you are in, you must start with “back and forth”. You have to be able to look “ahead” into your dimension. So what we call “depth” is actually the first dimension.
The next fixed dimension for those anchored to a gravitational body is “up/down” or height.
So “left/right” or width is the “third” dimension; a sort of “extra” degree of freedom we have.

So if a Flatlander on a board could rotate to look out into our dimension, only his “depth” direction would change. (It would match ours, as we look at him at a perpendicular angle to his entire space).
Up and down would still be the same.

So likewise, if we could rotate into the fourth dimension, only our back and forth would change, and both up and down and left and right would be the same. (Rotation about a plane rather than just a line). If we didn’t move off of the hyperplane, one 2D slice of us would still be in the same slot, and one 2D slice of the rest of the universe to the right, left, above and below us (looking like a 1D line in each of these directions), would still be in those same positions from our perspective. By themselves, they wouldn’t be visible, because we would see them as having no thickness.

Now, if we were to lay out the timelike world line of the universe as a fourth spatial dimension we could walk through to reach other times, then as we look through the new dimension (“ahead” or “forth” of depth becomes the past), the 2D slice of the universe would smear out into the distance. Sort of like the older versions of Windows, when a window or application hangs, and you try to move it, its borders (or graphics, even text, etc) sweep out this 2D field of endless copies of itself.
Each “copy” of the image piled onto the next represents each instance of time.

Old hung windows give us an idea of what time “smeared out” into a 4th spatial dimension might be like

Perhaps now it would be visible, though it would still be hard to make out what you’re looking at, since it’s just a smeared out 1D image for each direction. You would just see smeared out colors.
If you were in a room, it would become an endless tunnel. If you were outside between two walls or other large objects, it would look like you were in an endless ditch, with the sky above you, and whatever clouds were right overhead stretched out.
You would lose the ability to see into 3D objects (as you would have if you were looking at them from hyperspace and they had no hyperthickness) because the swept out surfaces would cut off your vision just as if you were still in 3D. The extended boundaries would now be able to enclose 4-space, at least in the immediate area.

If you then began walking into the direction representing the past, you would eventually see the smeared out surfaces around you end; when you reach the distance representing the time they were formed or at least moved there.
That would be the only place where you could look around the surface and see inside of the objects.

All of this is assuming we are still 3D, with 3D vision projected onto 2D retinas. If we were 4D, with 3D retinas, then each 2D slice of the universe stacked into the distance would still have the third dimension attached to it. This would be aligned in the new dimension.
So of the four dimensions visible, height and width would still be the same, depth would still be “past”, and now the fourth dimension would be what was originally depth; meaning the direction you rotated out of to turn toward the past.
As you walked, you would still pass each 2D slice for each instant of time, and for each one, you would also see the distance that was in “front” of you in this space regress. It wouldn’t be directly approaching or receding; you’d only be “passing” it, like the other dimensions.

Also think what it must be like to be in the act of rotating. As only your “forward” is changing, you see objects appear to get further away, as you’re looking at them further along the new dimension (past or future). They appear to reach the horizon, and then you see the other two dimensions form the “tunnel” or “trench” as mentioned, as you’re looking only at their history, totally parallel 0° in the new dimension.

So this is what 4D existence would be like. I use time, because it gives us something familiar to “fill” the new dimension with, so we could get the idea of what vision and motion through it is like.

The remaining problem with experiencing free motion through time as 4D like that is that 3D would not look the same. It would become an infinitely “thin” membrane in the new visual matrix, so we would always see the hyperspace “around” it. And then, the near impossibility of aligning ourselves perfectly with one particular “brane” of an instant; let alone staying there.
(I always say it’s just as difficult to visualize true 2D vision as it is for 4D!)
The eyes would have to have some mechanism to shut out the extra dimension, and the both the body and the fabric of space would have to have something to anchor one to a particular instant.

  1. On my regular space, I had come up with an idea that the inertial frame of reference for the speed of light generates an additional dimension, as the dimension you’re heading in collapses to zero. In that “proper time”, light would still not be at rest, but rather still pass you at the same speed. So whatever direction that is, must be something beyond our dimensions.

    It seems the consensus in math was that this was undefined. Now, on these sites:

    Time is not frozen from light’s perspective, because light does not have a perspective.
    In the limit that its speed approaches the speed of light in vacuum, its space shortens completely down to zero width and its time slows down to a dead stop. Some people interpret this mathematical limit to mean that light, which obviously moves at the speed of light, experiences no time because time is frozen. But this interpretation is wrong. This limiting behavior simply tells us that there is no valid reference frame at the speed of light. A reference frame that has exactly zero spatial width and exactly zero time elapsing is simply a reference frame that does not exist. If an entity is zero in every way we try to describe it, how can we possibly say that the entity exists in any meaningful way? We can’t. Space and time simply don’t exist at and beyond the speed of light in vacuum.

    A photon cannot be said to have its own inertial reference frame, because inertial reference are defined to be a family of coordinate systems that satisfy the two fundamental postulates of SR, one of which is that light moves at c in all frames. [the other, that The laws of physics are the same in all inertial reference frames]. You could construct a coordinate system where the photon was at rest, but since this coordinate system wouldn’t be an inertial frame there’d be no reason to expect equations that are specific to inertial frames, like the time dilation equation, would still give correct predictions in this frame.

    Another point is that if I’m moving at some very large fraction of c relative to the galaxy, not only do I measure the galaxy to be highly compressed in the direction I’m going, but I also see clocks on either end of the galaxy as wildly out-of-sync due to the relativity of simultaneity…if the galaxy is 100,000 light years long in its own frame, and I’m moving at speed v relative to it, then two clocks at either end of the galaxy which are synchronized in the galaxy’s frame will be out of sync by (100,000 ly)*(v)/c^2 in my frame. So, in the limit as v approaches c, clocks on either end of the galaxy are out-of-sync by 100,000 years, so at the same moment that it’s 2014 A.D. on the leading edge, it’s 102,014 A.D. on the trailing edge. And yet in the limit as v approaches c, the distance between clocks along the direction of motion is compressed to zero. So in the limit, perhaps you could say that the photon’s entire history is traversed instantly, since it’s going zero distance and all the different clock-readings it passes are squashed together on this zero-length path.

    However, I think there would be aspects of this limit that wouldn’t really be well-defined, in that they would depend on the details of what are the series of cases that you are using to construct the limit. For example, consider a particle A moving at some v < c, and a photon B moving at c. In the limit as v approaches c, both A and B are moving at c, and B is still moving at c in the frame of A. On the other hand, consider two particles moving at the same speed v, at rest relative to one another. In the limit as v approaches c, both A and B are moving at c, and B is at rest in the frame of A. So, the question of what velocity A would measure B to have "in the limit" would depend on which type of limit you used, even though in both cases they both have a velocity of c in the limit.

    “This answer hits upon the facet I like: That a photon never moves. From its perspective there was no spatial distance along its path, and it took no time to get from one end to the other. Like it is a point in a higher dimension.”

    What if a system of interacting, massless particles was conscious, and could make observations? The argument given in the preceding paragraph proves that this isn’t possible, but let’s be more explicit. There are two possibilities. The velocity V of the system’s center of mass either moves at c, or it doesn’t. If V=c, then all the particles are moving along parallel lines, and therefore they aren’t interacting, can’t perform computations, and can’t be conscious. (This is also consistent with the fact that the proper time s of a particle moving at c is constant, ds=0.) If V is less than c, then the observer’s frame of reference isn’t moving at c. Either way, we don’t get an observer moving at c.

    In the special relativity, as explained by Einstein, there are two possibilities. Either the speed of any particle is limited at all or not. Now if the speed is not limited, the Galilean theory pops out. But as we already know, that does not properly explain the transformation of velocities from one to another reference frame accurately when dealing with high velocities. So only other case is that the velocity is limited, if so what is it?? It comes out that this velocity is precisely the velocity of light.

    So, any particle which is mass less travels at the speed c, which is why the speed of light is also c.

    “The speed of light c which we are talking about is not a property unique to light. It’s just that the velocity c is the speed of causality as explained in the YouTube channel PBS space-time(By the way, it’s a cool channel, do check it out). So anything with no mass travels with the speed of causality which is c.”

    There is no way to explain this without explaining relativity first. In Galilean universe (the “classical” physics, which is what most people intuitively assume and think about), light speed cannot be explained. Indeed, the Maxwell equations which is describe how light works, were the first clue that our understanding of space-time was flawed.

    Velocity (as in, distance traveled, divided by time taken, measured both by the same person) is limited because the nature of our universe is such, that space and time are geometrically connected, similar to saying “why the largest possible angle in triangle is 180 degrees” or “why there’s no north at the north pole”. Forces cause acceleration and change momentum, but at large velocities, increasing momentum doesn’t change the velocity all that much anymore.

    how come the light speed isn’t infinite? Because if it were, our universe would be much different in ways you’d most certainly notice. For wave equation to make sense, the wave speed has to be finite, so the fact that electromagnetic waves exist (Maxwell equations hold) proves it must be finite. If not, we’d have no induction, no radio, no interference…. it’s quite natural for us to assume that changes in the environment take time to get noticed somewhere else, so much, that people struggled for a long time how gravity and such work (forces at a distance were problematic, and only resolved when we realized there are fields that carry this information through space). In that respect, finite speed of light made some things easier to understand. Instantaneous action at a distance would break a lot of physics.

    “c in our universe happens to be finite and has to be measured to see how much is it in our universe… although, quite a lot of phenomena would severely break down if it were infinite. For one, there would be no wave optics. No Maxwell equations. There is a large gap between large but finite, and truly infinite.”

    The basic question is, “how do we measure that something is this fast at all?” which is, “we measure the distance something goes, we measure the time it took to travel there, we divide the two.”

    How do we know how far it traveled? Well, we use these things called “rulers.” But how do we know that those rulers maintain a constant length, rather than getting larger or smaller? At some point in practice we normal experimenters just trust them…
    So the questions stop being about why the speed of light is what it is, and start being about us: why are we 1-2 meters high and why is our reaction time 0.1-0.2 seconds long? The ratios of these numbers then dictate how fast the speed of light is relative to the speeds we’re prepared for. We chose our units based on these speeds and times that we’re prepared for, and the speed of light doesn’t care about that, but we do.

    So it turns out that when we get down to it we cannot detect these unit variations in isolation but only by combining them all together into unit-less numbers that we call “dimensionless.” (The study of units and how they interact with physical quantities is called “dimensional analysis”, doesn’t have anything to do with the “dimensions” of our 4D-spacetime or “other dimensions” in sci-fi.)

    The important dimensionless constant for how big we are is called the “fine-structure constant.” It is a smidge less than 1/137.036, and essentially says how strong the electromagnetic force is. And if you ask me, “why is it the way it is, so that atoms are possible and molecules have the size that they have and we are the relative size we are compared to light over the time-frames that atoms vibrate?” and all of those questions, I can firmly tell you nobody knows. People have been trying to find a mystical understanding of this number ever since they discovered that it was approximately 1/137, and were not stopped when they discovered that it was actually closer to 1/137.036, but those mystical understandings have never led to scientific theories with testable predictions which we could then confirm with actual evidence. We simply don’t know.

    This one asks “would an object moving with the speed of light not be at the same time at every place if all distances become zero? If so, why is ‘light’ not everywhere, but still has a definite velocity and direction?”

    I likewise also wondered then how if the frame of reference doesn’t exist, then how could the wave be able to vibrate in space, and also change direction and even speed if refracted, reflected, or passing through different mediums. A photon going from the sun to the end of the universe, and another one bouncing off of the moon, or arriving on earth, and bouncing around through the sky, and off a mirror and several walls before entering our eye all experience the same zero time and space! But this was essentially treating light as a particle only.
    This site makes a point I alluded to on the other page, about how waves transmit through different things (like the image of something moving across a pixel screen, where the elements are not actually moving, but simply transmitting across a medium).

    The mechanism of energy transport through a medium involves the absorption and reemission of the wave energy by the atoms of the material. When an electromagnetic wave impinges upon the atoms of a material, the energy of that wave is absorbed. The absorption of energy causes the electrons within the atoms to undergo vibrations. After a short period of vibrational motion, the vibrating electrons create a new electromagnetic wave with the same frequency as the first electromagnetic wave. While these vibrations occur for only a very short time, they delay the motion of the wave through the medium. Once the energy of the electromagnetic wave is reemitted by an atom, it travels through a small region of space between atoms. Once it reaches the next atom, the electromagnetic wave is absorbed, transformed into electron vibrations and then reemitted as an electromagnetic wave. While the electromagnetic wave will travel at a speed of c (3 x 108 m/s) through the vacuum of interatomic space, the absorption and reemission process causes the net speed of the electromagnetic wave to be less than c.

    Were there an infinite value for the speed of light, light itself would not exist at all. Mathematically, the wave equation that describes light as an electromagnetic wave would lose its time-dependence.
    In physical terms, an electromagnetic wave arises due to the finite time it takes for news of the change of location of an accelerated charge to arrive at a distant point
    . Think of an electric charge as being like a hedgehog with flexible rubber spikes going out to infinity in all directions. These spikes represent the electric field lines, the lines along which a test charge would move.
    If the charge is jerked, the segments of the spikes close to the charge will move, but those farther out will still point in their original directions. The result is that each spike will get a kink that moves out to infinity. This kink relays the news that the charge has moved to the distant parts of the spikes and corresponds to an electromagnetic wave. If the wave moves infinitely fast, it is as if it were not there at all; the spikes are infinitely stiff and the news gets out to everywhere without any seeming kinks. In other words, there would be no electromagnetic wave, and thus no light.

    I think this may answer the question for me, of why “infinite speed” as the technical “proper time” of light doesn’t match up with an infinite speed in coordinate time, and what has made 186,282 miles per second the top speed, which is incredibly slow given the size of the universe.
    “One should think of the speed of light as ‘infinite speed’. A common misconception is thinking the speed of light is just like any other finite speed. The speed of light is only finite from the perspective of the outside observer; from the perspective of a photon, it’s infinite. If you move at exactly the speed of light you could go anywhere, no matter how far, in exactly zero seconds.”

    There are some things that behave differently when investigated from an “approaching light speed” way of thinking and the “being at light speed” way of thinking. In this case there’s no difference. When something travels at the speed of light it really doesn’t experience any time.

    On the flip side of that coin, it also doesn’t experience any distance. The time and location of its emission and the time and location of its absorption are the same from a photon’s perspective.

    This may not make sense, and it’s a little mind bending, but consider this:

    Movement isn’t dependent on the time experienced by the moving thing, it’s dependent on your time.

    Here on Earth we feel like there’s such a thing as “non-relative movement”, since we all agree (very naturally) on the same reference frame: the (local) surface of the Earth. That is, you probably frequently refer to yourself as moving, while you rarely think of the Earth as moving.

    The point is: everything always thinks of itself as stationary (you don’t move with respect to yourself), and movement is a property assigned to other things based on each observer’s reference frame. So light may not experience either time or distance itself, but to move, all it needs to do is get from one point in your spacetime to another point in your spacetime.

    If light can be slowed down by passing through matter, matter consists of strings in a particular vibrational pattern, according to string theory. But then spacetime consists of strings also. We’re accustomed to thinking of space as “nothing” (especially given terms like “vacuum” and “void”), but it really is “something”. In other words, a “vacuum” is not totally a vacuum; space itself is a kind of “fabric” (after all) according to this theory! Perhaps it’s simply the spacetime strings themselves that limit how fast anything can be propagated/transmitted through them, just like the strings comprising matter reduce the speed further.

    “Infinite speed” would only be possible in the hypothetical “primeval realm” the strings are imbedded in, which is not even space, but has been compared to “matrices”. A matrix, if I’m understanding it correctly, would be like a game of chess written out move by move, where you identify the piece you’re moving, it’s direction and thus the square it will land on (which all have names/numbers), without actually moving pieces across a board. That eliminates the spatial aspect of it. Now, if you also write the chess steps out of sequential order (and perhaps organize them another way, like alphabetically), that would undo the time element.
    Already, this would match what I described for the hypothetical photon perspective above, where every photon emitted travels different distances and trajectories but since [coordinate] space and time for them are zero, then it’s like all that could be done in their perspective is define a coordinate representing their path, and then it’s instantaneously there. Think of the sun or any other light source with every point at every instance of time marked with a space-time coordinate the light emitted from that point in space and time will end up (which is pretty much already predetermined from that perspective), and it instantly is there. That is basically the “frame of reference” of light. (And also represents the hypothetical “lightlike infinity” marking the diagonal borders of the Penrose diagram).

    The speed of light is not an inherent property of light (especially since it can slow down and even stop!) but rather of the spacetime strings themselves. As mentioned above, it’s the maximum speed of causality, which is basically the effect one string’s energetic (vibrational) state can have on another. As the PBS “Space Time” video “The Speed of Light is NOT About Light” puts it, it’s the fastest speed any two parts of the universe can “talk to each other“. Seen this way, it now makes sense why this would be finite (limited in how fast information can be propagated across these elemental nodes of spacetime. There’s also this notion string theorists talk about, regarding particles far away being “connected” somehow, so that instantaneous events occur between them. I never yet fully understood this, but it obviously is not describing information transmitted across regular space).

    So I came up with a hypothetical (not practical) idea of what must happen to the environment around an observer at the speed of light. I did say there that it essentially is zero, from our perspective. But for one thing, since coordinate time also collapses to zero from the light perspective, you would also need another dimension of time this is occurring in (which I had forgotten about).

    It seems like the only “frame of reference” for a photon would be the direction and the final end point and time, not as an actual distance or duration (since that’s all collapsed into nothingness at that speed), but rather simply plotted in the form of a matrix. It seem the fundamental constant is itself a form of this “primeval realm”. (And it’s the same thing as there being a cosmic limit to size, beyond which, space breaks down into the primeval realm).

  2. Thinking about this more; here’s how I think the speed of c works:

    I liked how the video I referenced above put it in terms of, that locations in spacetime “communicate with each other” (communication is “instant” [and all locations compacted into one point] in “c” proper time, but not coordinate time. So spacetime “addressing” is itself not determined by proper space and time, and is probably more “matrix”-like, like the sub-Planck “primeval realm”).

    So we should then go all the way down to the fundamental units of space and time; the lengths below which reality breaks down:

    Planck length=10-35m
    Planck time=10-43s
    c=10-35m per 10-43s

    Each superstring represents one point in space and time. You may have heard that “we can’t ‘drop anchor’ in the universe” and define a definite point in space”; but that’s when plotting by the three coordinates of space only, and leaving time variable. That’s what you can’t do. That then is what you have to take into account relativity, and ask which frame of reference you’re looking at.

    A string has no “world line”; it only can be plotted in one “instance” of Planck time. When one instance passes, then it is essentially “replaced” by another string. The location of that string in space of course is determined by the relative frame of reference of the one observing it.

    “Speed” is only a determinant of relative change of position in space between two observers. So if you could take all of space, in one instant of time for a particular frame of reference, then two objects will have a definite number of strings between them. If they’re a meter apart, then there will be 100 decillion strings between them, which is 1035. Motion is determined when if in the next instant of time, that number increases or decreases. You can’t determine which object is at “rest” or not, and you may even have differing views of the measured “distance” between them, but there will be a different number of strings, representing a changing distance, as each instant of time passes.
    (Even though an increasing number of strings inbetween each string cannot be determined in each passing “instance” from within the spacetime continuum, but is implied in the time it would take to make a trip back and forth between the observers at c.)

    Matter and force “particles” may simply be vibrations passing from one string to the next. Each passing instance of time represents a “move” (think chess/checkers) which could be to an adjacent string in time, or in space, but with a limitation.

    So c is perhaps created by two rules:
    1) Motion (change of relative string position) can only occur over time (a vibration can only occupy one string per vertical row i.e. space dimension). If time (vertical on the Minkowski diagram) is not traversed, the object is frozen in time and can’t move.
    2) Strings in cannot be jumped over. Motion of vibrations must always pass through adjacent strings.

    Either case would then make any trajectory of y<x impossible. That would mean all FTL travel (even if more than 0° to the horizontal on the diagram) would actually have a segment of technical infinite speed; being more than one point of space at a time. For a vertical line, you can move through time without moving through space (that is, in your own frame of reference), but then this again is not defined, as other frames of reference will see you as moving.

    So the universe having a "maximum [finite] speed" is tied to it having a minimum [nonzero] length and a minimum duration.
    Of course, this is in coordinate time, which is simply a frame of reference where a number of observers all relatively agree on a common frame of reference. Proper time, you can accelerate faster than 186,000 miles per second, and then you’ll also find that you can have lengths and time smaller than the Planck units, as both space and time shrink toward zero. C then would be the hypothetical “infinite speed”, in which you would travel any length in no time. This would also make all lengths basically infinitesimal.

    On our graph, if for every “move” you must always advance at least one instance of time and stop at every point in space you cross, then the y=x trajectory of coordinate time basically amounts to y=0x in proper time. One string over and one “up” is for all purposes the next one “over” as if you weren’t going up. More than one string over is something that doesn’t exist in your frame of reference for to communicate with that point would amount to being two places at the same time.

    So really, outside of the light cone; the so-called “elsewhere” really doesn’t exist to us. We can think of the sun “right now”; eight minutes before the light it emits at that time reaches us, but that is really assuming that it’s still there, and nothing has happened to it since the rays we are receiving now left it. What we’re calling “right now” on the sun or anywhere else in “elsewhere” is really future to us. Then, after the eight minutes pass and we see the light from it still coming to us, we can then think back to eight minutes in [what has then become] our past, when we know the emission occurred, and project this back as what was “right then”. Our “light cone” at that time has expanded past that distance, and the information received is now present. This is why Rudy Rucker says “elsewhere” is really like a “smeared out ‘now'” (Fourth Dimension, p. 157).

    Every point in space-time; every string, can be thought of as existing in its own universe, where it’s the only thing that exists. The other strings in space (which are all outside of the light cone) don’t exist. Even within the light cone, the past array of strings is gone, and the future array of strings hasn’t occurred yet. Each string has an expanding field of strings it can influence in the future, and a contracting field that could have influenced it.
    To move along that boundary is to remain in a frame of reference where you’re always “next to” coordinates that do not exist from the vantage point of the starting string. So there’s no “ahead” of you in space (it appears as if you’ve reached infinity), and therefore, since you’re moving also no ahead of you in time (since it takes infinite time to travel infinite space).

    Also, we can see by comparing frame of reference grids how the translation back to coordinate time (where both the observer and the relativistic traveler agree that all spacetime coordinates have been passed by the traveler; nothing skipped over, or no different path seen by either) is what compressed the dimensions of an increasingly accelerated proper time. At c, the length and time collapses onto the world line itself, which is the 45° hypotenuse of the triangles formed by the coordinate time bisected square representing one Planck length. So the proper Planck length and time fold down to ½√2 and thus not zero itself, but the parallel coordinates have all collapsed onto the world line as well

  3. Still trying to come up with a better understanding of why the proper space and time of c is 0.
    I guess you can think of each string as transmitting the vibrational information, having ten dimensions, one being uni-directional, in which it receives its information from one direction, and passes it on in the other (time). Its length is measured as 10-43 seconds. Nine dimensions will be bi-directional, in which it can receive and transmit in either direction, or, depending on what event the string is apart of, even send the information back the other way (space). They are measured 10-35 meters. Six of the dimensions are where the unification of the fundamental forces occur via different vibrations, and there are no other strings to pass information along to in them. The remaining three are the ones through which the other strings lie. On a “macro” scale, of “coordinate” spacetime, we then see these as “large” space dimensions with random access coordinates containing much matter, energy and “events”.

    The overall “matrix” must contain the addressing of the strings; i.e. which one will have the information passed to it by the other (depending on the direction). Each particular string receives a vibration from another string, in the previous Planck time unit, and in one of the space directions. So this information packet would include the basic energy, mass, spin, charge and direction. The E=MC² determines where it will go next, with the velocity tied up in the e/m equation “c” is basically the spacetime dimensions of the string itself. the energy/mass equation will determine how fast the information is passed through. If it’s an energy packet with a mass of zero, it will pass through with the minimum amount of time the string can pass information through, based on its length. It still won’t be able to communicate with the “next” string in the same instant.
    We determine speed by back and forth communication between points we are getting closer to or further from. We observe light coming from basically behind or beside us going to the objects at those locations, then bouncing off and returning to us; and thus see them getting bigger or smaller, and this is as time passes. Light passed over to us from an earlier string (the point where it was emitted or reflected by the object), which itself came from an even earlier string in a different direction; all passing through multiple strings in multiple time units tells us where we are in relation to the object. At c itself, this is impossible; while light can still come at us from ahead, it can’t have come from behind or beside us in order to be reflected back to begin with. So the only other location you can transmit to is the one in the next instant in the direction you are heading in (which doesn’t exist yet for the duration of the string, so it can’t transmit anything “back” to you).
    This makes it seem instant; and once you reach that one, it will be the same instantaneous transmission beyond that point. And so it will seem you have reached the end of space and time.

    Otherwise, With mass, the information will be delayed in passing through, and from that frame of reference, there can be communication with multiple points of spacetime. However, as the velocity increases relative to other objects, then the number of points you can communicate with will decrease, and thus space and time will appear to shrink.

  4. Watching Brian Greene’s video on “the B-Theory of Time”, which is the one he describes as likening spacetime as “loaf of bread” sliced different by different observers, and people asked about free-will, I decided to comment:

    Since every event has a cause (including the neurological action that determines our perception and decisions), and also an effect, that is one way we can think of the future being set. It doesn’t seem like it because we can’t see every single factor that will come together to create a future event (including how we react to it), but it’s all out there now, coming together. If you view spacetime as a matrix of strings, embedded in a spaceless/timeless “primeval realm” Brian discusses in Elegant Universe, and each string, being one Planck length by one Planck time unit, and transmitting the vibrational information from one to the next (which as stated above, is what would limit c to a finite speed), then perhaps it’s our neurological processes advancing through the progression of the transfer of cause and effect that gives us our perception of the flow of time. Perhaps time can be defined as the dimension of the transfer of information (where space is simply the random access coordinates).

    Of course, the free-will debate is what crosses over to the religious world, and while this will not really be a problem for those Christians known as Calvinists, who deny free-will, at least as far as salvation (our decisions are set, but God still “holds us responsible” in condemning men for their sin), Arminians will see this as nullifying the whole concept of salvation.. However, I have learned, they should realize the Calvinist and ultimately Augustinian roots of their doctrine of salvation, and that they have simply reintroduced free-will because the notion of unconditional election and “reprobation” were too “hard” a doctrine. It’s true that that eliminates any semblance of “good news”, but the scriptural answer is to realize that the New Testament was written in a transition period between Law and complete Grace, which ended in their generation; and after which was “the Blessed Hope”.

    Also another point from the whole matrix idea, above, and why travelling along the borders of the light cone flattens space and time to zero, we must remember that you’re only traveling the light cone boundary (y=x) from the perspective of an observer. In light’s own frame of reference, as all frames of reference, it would still be moving along the y=0 axis, with the entire universe (both its coordinate space and time dimensions) moving the other way along the border of its own proper “light cone”. Relativistic distance (and its change through time) can be determined by the two frames of reference exchanging light rays, by one bouncing them off of the other, and watching the time difference. But at the c frame of reference, in order to bounce a photon off of any point in the receding universe, you would have to send it at the same point you cross paths with the universe, which is basically at your starting point, and the photon would pass through every point in the universe’s “here/now”, along the c “light cone” boundary”, and thus could “bounce back” from any point in the universe. That means all the universe’s points of space and time have collapsed into a single point, moving away from the c traveler along y=x.
    I had determined that the y axis in this case must represent a totally different space dimension, at which the photon is hypothetically at “rest”. Even if such a dimension is not extended, it would be the hypothetical “direction” in which light is failing to move.

    Speaking of “frames of reference” still pre-supposes the frames of reference should be different to begin with. It’s not showing how this non-zero string matrix creates a zero space and time frame of reference for the fastest trajectory.

    But it would lie in the energy/mass (and by extension, velocity) information being passed along. Items with energy but no mass are basically set to be passed along at infinite speed, for that instant on each string is all the time there is and thus the same thing happens in every other string in its path, which then are all passed through instantaneously. Therefore, they would see themselves moving through a zero length space in zero time. It’s in coordinate time, where we see all the space laid out one next to the other, and time “flowing” sequentially that the limitation of the non-zero strings kicks in, and so it takes time for it to cross from point to point.

    Should also keep in mind, that mass itself slows down time, even if it’s not moving relative to its surroundings. This is shown in gravitational fields, where it was proven in experiments that time moves slightly slower on the surface of earth than in space. So the extreme case is a black hole, where a lot of mass is compressed into an otherwise impossible space volume, ant time completely stops at the event horizon, from which you would witness the eternity of the universe flash in an instant.

    So if you imagined a super giant, whose arm span was the distance from the sun to the Earth, and he could swing his arm across in a second. That’s over 480 times the speed of light. So he would have to have a much slower proper time, due to the presence of so much mass.

    The strings, don’t have a variable mass scale. They’re either “fermions”, with a half spin, indicating mass, or “bosons”, with a whole spin, indicating the massless energy of a “force” particle.

    Greater or lesser mass, then, is formed by the presence of more fermions, creating fields as they interact. This then will affect the resulting “coordinate” time field of the object they form. (It’s technically “proper” time, but as every observer sees itself at ‘rest’, their ‘proper’ time appears to be a universal “coordinate” time, especially as we’re breaking it down to a bunch of parts all sharing the same inertial frame of reference, which is basically, a localized “coordinate” frame).
    So bosons, such as photons, default to having zero “proper” time, and thus any distance of space they traverse in that zero time must also for all purposes be collapsed into zero length. The information the boson represents will still be passed from string to string in the coordinate time line, but their “proper” time and space will be zero. If the information interacts with certain fermions, representing material that can “show down” light, then the coordinate speed can be reduced.

    When it comes to matter moving at relativistic (less than, but closer to the speed of light), mass is said to “increase”, but in this case, it is not from the addition of fermions, but rather something called the “inertial” mass of the fermions themselves increasing:

    It is commonly known that, if you accelerate an object, its mass will increase; however, to understand why this phenomenon occurs, we mustn’t think of the object’s mass increasing. Instead, we should think of its energy.

    In physics, mass is just simply locked up energy. We call this type of mass, ‘inertial mass.’ Essentially, inertial mass is the amount of resistance that a physical object has to any change in its motion (this includes the resistance that a body has to acceleration or to directional changes). According to the theory of relativity, gravitational mass is always the same as inertial mass. However, when we speak of an objects mass increasing due to acceleration, we are really talking about its inertial mass increasing.

    So when we think of mass as energy, we can begin to understand why an object will increase its ‘mass’ as it speeds up. As an object increases in speed, so does the amount of energy that it has, this energy is what we refer to as ‘the increase in mass’ (just remember, this is inertial mass).

    I think, you can see it again, in terms of the transfer of energy across the strings, and that more energy is required to increase the number of strings between two objects; i.e. when one object is moving “away” from another, additional energy is required to transfer to not just the next string in time, but also to move over in one of the other degrees of freedom. Of course, both objects will see themselves as at “rest”, and having lower energy, and the other object as “moving”, and having more energy.
    So again, there is a maximum number of strings that can be added between objects in a given time, based on the amount of time it takes each string to pass along the information.


        Why would a flight from New York to Mumbai take you over Iceland?

        It’s not to avoid air currents, in this case. It’s because that’s actually a straight line. If you were to hover yourself from New York, heading north east without turning, you’d eventually find your path “bends” back south.

        Of course, this is one of the many notorious lies of the Mercator map projection. If you lay a string over a globe, you’ll see how this line works more clearly.

        But this is the point: a nonlinear “bending” of space-time, much like the non-flat bending of a globe, can make it so the shortest path between two points doesn’t appear to be straight.

        Space-time geometry is quite different from that of a globe, but the same principle applies. Instead of east-west and north-south, we have past-future and back-forth (well, we actually have three of those, but let’s not get carried away in this example).

        On a flat expanse of space-time, all objects move in straight lines at constant speeds (unless another force comes into play). This is because they are taking the “shortest” path between the time/location of the start of the path to the time/location at the end.

        But when you’re near gravity… space-time is “lengthened”. Much like how the latitude line at the equator is actually longer than the lines above and below it, it’s more a “burden” to move forward in time close to a source of gravity.

        So why do we fall into gravity?

        The same reason airline paths will “fall in” to the equator, just by moving in a straight line. It turns out, if you want to make a straight path to something on the other side of the same hemisphere, you have to start by moving away from the equator. It’s as if the equator has a mysterious gravity of its own. Likewise, if you want to be in the same location 10 seconds from now, you’re going to have to start by jumping away from the source of gravity; the straight line you make in space-time (geodesic in math terms) will send you falling back down.

        That’s how it works. Not through the misleading “dip in the rug” analogy, as some have noticed. It was Einstein’s stroke of genius to realize that what Newton discovered could be explained not through an extra force, but through the shape of space and time itself.

        This explains it well for me. When I first saw the embedding diagrams representing gravity fields (what he’s calling “the dip in the rug”), that made me understand warped space, and then I assumed an external gravity source, perhaps a the center of the hypersphere I believed best represented the global 4D shape of our universe. But then I kept reading that the warped space itself caused gravity. The dip in the surface would explain why objects passing nearby would be deflected, but not why they would be drawn toward the object making the impression. So I assumed the gravity must be coming from outside space, like in an actual dip in a sheet, where gravity external to the sheet is what’s pulling down on the ball and pressing it into making the impression to begin with. But this also didn’t explain why gravity would trap massless photons in a black hole. Again, it was said to be the “infinitely warped space”.
        Time itself was also “warped” along with space; hence “warped space-time”, but what did that really mean? Warping of the invisible time was more difficult to envision than warping of physical space.

        So If I’m understanding this correctly, then to use the analogy of a 4D matrix of strings, arrayed in 3 space dimensions, and one time dimension. Gravity warps the time dimension as well as the space dimensions, so that the “next” string near a gravity source, is closer to that source than it would be if there was no gravity. So even if you’re sitting still relative to it, and not experiencing the distorted lengths of the warped space, the inertia of every string vibration comprising your body transmitting to the next set of strings in the next instance of time, will default to a distance closer to the gravity source. This is the “closest path between points” in time.
        As each instance passes, and you’re getting closer, you’ll describe yourself as “falling”. In order to stay the same distance, you’ll have to exert some energy to push toward the opposite direction (which is actually moving you off course from the shortest distance, like moving off of the geodesic representing the shortest distances on the globe). This can include the strong nuclear force pushing you that way, and stopping your fall, which you will see as “resting” on ground or some other object like a floor. However, you’ll feel this outward push pressing against you, but it will feel more like you being pushed down into the ground. This is how we feel the “force” of gravity.

        So basically, it’s time itself that creates gravity! This then seems to leave no place for “gravitons” (and it seems the people in this discussion don’t believe in “strings” or the other “mathematical”-based models either). But the gravitons in that case would likely be the vibrations carrying the warped orientation of each point in space.

  5. Further understanding why being dragged through time moves you closer to massive objects is this explanation:
    As another answerer in this question thread stated: “It’s not bending down, it’s bending towards ‘earlier’ – in the extreme case of a black hole all the way back to time “0”, the big bang!”

    Time moves slower closer in the stronger gravity field. What threw me off was how the above article said spacetime was “lengthened” near gravity. So as you’re moving toward the massive object and into slower time, would your path be stretched (which is relative to what it was in flat spacetime), or shrunk (since you’re not passing as many points in time, since it’s running slower).

    The analogy in this link helps clear it up. The distances shrink, so the circumference of a trip around a gravity source has shrunk. So the shortest distance to the next point in time (not just space, remember), is a point in space closer to the mass. (We must also remember, that in 4D, the world line of an orbit is not a circle anymore, but rather a spiral). So that’s a shorter distance in space through time, if already moving relative to the massive body, and a shorter distance in time only if falling from a state of relative rest.

    Slower time means that the next “instant” in the gravity field is closer than it would be in flat space. Hence, the shortest path now is bent toward this new frame of reference (i.e. the shorter units), and this keeps progressing, as you go deeper and deeper into the gravity field. So you feel this “force” that’s “pulling” you toward it (especially when resting against an object that cannot fall any further, such as the surface itself.
    So when “spacetime” is warped, we’re dragged through time into a curved path through the other dimensions, which are space. The direction we’re curved to will be the direction of the shrunken time!

    Shorter time units make me think that time must be running faster, as it would take less time to traverse them. But that’s only from the frame of reference of flat space. What flat “coordinate” space observers see (as in someone falling into a black hole, is the shorter time units stretched out to match coordinate time, and the traveler moving slower and slower through them!
    This also suggests, that moving into a slower time field creates a gravitational attraction!

    (Of course, in order to fall into a gravitational field to begin with, the two objects had to be moving closer together).

    This brings to mind the point that while we speak of a chain of events where one string passes on information to the next one, this still does not occur in isolation. For a string to pass along information of a change of direction or any other property, it has to be acted upon by other chains passed to and from other strings. Otherwise, the hypothetical solitary string we started with would never change at all.

    So while time is the dimension of transfer of energy, space is the dimension(s) of interaction between chains of energy transfer
    (which then creates the relative frames of reference as one chain moves in respect to another. Each “packet” of energy information will include direction and momentum, that can be compared by a “third party” observer, in what then becomes “coordinate spacetime”. The number of possible directions determines the number of space dimensions).

    Edit: this Quora “Expert’ really explains it well here:

    “Orbits are what they are because planets move not just in space but also in time. They follow what would be a so-called geodesic in spacetime. In the absence of gravity, these geodesics would be straight lines. The presence of gravity bends geodesics towards the source of gravity, basically in the direction where clocks tick more slowly.”

  6. If time is laid out as a 4th dimension, then one use of alt reality (i.e. “chance”) as a 5th dimension is to take the given (starting) place and lay out what past versions of things would have been like if they had survived to the present. So moving through this additional dimension would also be a trip through time, and you’ll see the same reversion of objects that were there, but these objects would all be in the state they would have been in if they had still existed (at least in that place). To combine this fith and forth dimension, if you wanted the state of things a year ago, then you could go back a year in the static time (4th) dimension, and then head from there into the new dimension.
    So if I go to Hayes Walk (Five Points), the fourth dimension would simply revert everything to the way it was (until I arrive at the serene Collect Pond area). The new direction would begin reverting everything to the way it would have been if not changed to the present form. So in either direction, I would first see the new Moynihan glass entrance disappear.
    Eventually, I would see the Moynihan courthouse disappear, and the parking lot would appear as it would have been if it were still there today. Eventually, Chatham towers would disappear, and what was left of the old Baxter St. to Park row would appear, but the buildings would be like the other ones that remain, perhaps undergoing renovations, having modern appliances, etc.
    Then, 60 Centre will disappear, and a military base appear. Then the tenements up to Worth, then, the Baxter Court, with a modern bowling alley, or fixed up with something else. Then the Baxter court as Riis captured it, but modernized. Then the Distillery and Brewery complex made into a modern “Fairway”, as I’ve imagined. Eventually, a modern marshland with a pond nearby.

    Parallel timelines off of this dimension would represent other changes that could be made to the objects now, like if they tore a building down today instead of 100 years ago.

    So then distance (coordinate points) in the chance dimension could correspond to the time coordinates, and how many are passed to get to the “turning point” where a ‘decision’ was made that sent us down the current timeline (i.e. arrangement of events in spacetime) instead on another timeline. This would be a distinct dimension from time and not a second dimension of time, because in regular 1D time, one point causes another. In 2D time, one line “causes” another (somehow), but the different timelines don’t cause one another, they parallel; existing side by side in the new dimension. Where the “time” dimension (laid out is space) would be immutable (it’s what actually happened in a given timeline), the chance dimension would look ike a mutable time; at every point, you could go off and do something different, which would enter a parallel timeline to the starting one.

    Another example is what they’ve done at Macy’s Brooklyn (former A&S). It looks really nice, though is cut in half from the original eight stories. To have a parallel timeline where they restored all eight stories would entail going back to when the work was done. Another alternative, such as the current layout, but let’s say they put the elevator plaza back, would be a closer alternate timeline, from the more recent turning point when that decision would have been made.

    The other direction would represent the different things that could be done in the future from the given point.

  7. It seems everything we’ve been taught about the black hole geometry is WRONG.

    I’ve for awhile been getting in my e-mail the Quora answers of a guy named Victor Toth, who describes himself as “IT pro, part-time physicist”, and answers lot of questions about both general and special relativity (black holes, light speed).

    He greatly emphasizes that the event horizon is a point in time, lying in infinity for [“coordinate”] time. Teaching in the books on black holes, while using the term “warped spacetime”, nevertheless always focuses on the space part of it (with the embedding diagrams showing warped 2D space), but don’t go that much into the warped time part of it, aside from saying time freezes at the event horizon. But they don’t really discuss much all the full implications of that; including what it would suggest for the much touted “Hawking radiation”. (toth acknowleged, “Focusing on spatial curvature is one of the big sins that we encounter in popularizations of general relativity. Why? Because ordinary Newtonian gravity is entirely due to the time curvature part [discussed in the comment above] and has nothing to do with spatial curvature. Spatial curvature only shows up as a small, second-order relativistic correction.”

    The event horizon is the point where gravity has warped spacetime to the point that the escape velocity is the speed of light. The warping of time (discussed, comment above) slows it down to a complete stop at the horizon. What this means, is that the event horizon actually forms in the infinite future. In other words, “eternity”. I saw this in studying the Penrose diagrams, as discussed in detail by William Kaufmann (The Cosmic Frontiers of General Relativity (1977); Black Holes and Warped Spacetime (1979). When you pass through the event horizon, the entire eternity of the universe behind you has passed (you then either hit the singularity in a mass-only black hole, or enter a “timelike wormhole” to other universes that take its place, in a rotating and/or electrically charged black hole, which have second event horizons which mark an additional reorienting of space and time so that the singularity is timelike [forms where the outside universe was] and can be avoided by just floating in place at the center, until the new universe is born. So escaping an event horizon is not just about the need of moving simply faster than light, but also going backward in time, and from eternity! (Even the Kruskal-Szekeres and Penrose diagrams don’t directly portray this!)

    Then, the full mathematical “solutions” of this kind of wormhole are symmetrical to the past, and there was also a past event horizon, singularity and possibly other universes, in what’s called a “white hole”; and then we realize this cannot be a normal black hole formed by a star collapsing in our universe, but is a totally hypothetical object, (called a “fully formed black hole” or a “grey hole”, since it includes both a black and a white hole) created purely by mathematical abstraction. This is a point Toth mentions in a few places, and as it so happens, even the idea of an “event horizon” and “singularity” end up in the same category, since, again, the event horizon, and anything inside it, lies in future eternity, and not in this universe’s timeline!

    So then what are we seeing when we see a collapsed star that is totally dark; like the one they just got an actual picture of at the center of another galaxy, or this illustration of a closeup, here?

    This dark disk with distorted images of gas around it, is not the actual Schwarzschild radius (with event horizon) at all, but rather still the star, shining as bright as ever, but with the light redshifted into oblivion!

    As the star surface collapses and warps time, it and any other material falling in, would be seen as slowing down in time, and never reaching an event horizon, however, the warped space and slowed time also redshifts the light coming from it, and once the visible waves are stretched beyond about 740nm, they become invisible infrared, and then continue to stretch to microwaves and radio waves. So you see the dark disk and the distorted space around it, but the star material is actually still there, and it’s not actually a “hole” with an event horizon and singularity yet!
    It would take an infinitely long time for that to ever form in coordinate time, and they always then switch to an infalling observer’s proper time, where time doesn’t slow down, so then you traverse the slowed down time in real time, the event horizon forms, and you cross it quickly as the eternity of the universe passes behind you.

    But then what about the “Hawking radiation”, where particle-antiparticle pairs form near the event horizon, and if one particle falls in, and the other escapes, it somehow draws mass from the hole, and in enough time, it actually evaporates?
    How can that happen with an event horizon that not only can’t pass any information to the outside universe, but also, again, lies infinitely far in the future? What happens to the hypothetical infalling observer (like if it’s a supermassive black hole big enough for someone to survive crossing the event horizon)? They would see the entire universe behind them speed up to double digit exponents of years, but then the matter causing the gravity sucking them in would evaporate away in front of them before they reach the event horizon, which never even forms.

    This forgotten point explains it. The event horizon doesn’t yet exist when this pair forms, but rather still the star material, but when the one particle falls in, it then would advance in the star’s proper time and encounter and cross the event horizon while the other particle goes free.
    Toth answered the question “Will a black hole transform into a star again due to Hawking’s radiation?” ( with “Hawking radiation would cause the collapsing matter to evaporate before the horizon ever forms, and thus there will never be a horizon or a singularity; at the end of the evaporation process, nothing remains.”

    So it seems like the matter would then just be spat out in the cold dark void of “millions of vigintillions of years” into the future, where there is nothing left, due to both expansion, cooling off of all matter, and then the black holes that remain are all evaporating. So everything infalling comes out eventually as thermal radiation in this dark, distant future time. (Or, I imagine, if not becoming apart of the star’s material, and evaporated away with it before).

    This is so simple, and does away with all the mystery of “what happens inside a black hole”! Its amazing how the rest of the field has just overlooked this. They go strictly by the math formulas, which produce hypothetical infinities and singularities, that may not actually pan out in the real universe. (And I not too long ago saw a book criticizing this, in going after stuff like string theory, and on at least this point, have to wonder if it was on to something). The whole idea of a black hole came from realizing that when the contraction process begins in the star’s death, gravity becomes so great that no other force can stop it from shrinking to a singularity with a Schwarzschild radius bounded by an event horizon around it. What they didn’t figure was TIME itself stopping it! (i.e. one of the dimensions of spacetime itself, rather than one of the forces!)

    And it can’t be just this one man’s hypothesis. If the escape velocity at an event horizon is c, then time must be frozen there. If it’s frozen there, then due to the warping of time getting close to it, it must lie in future infinity. All scientists who believe in Einstein’s Relativity will agree with this. They also seem to all believe in Hawking radiation. But if the event horizon is in future eternity, and Hawking radiation evaporates all the mass in finite time, then the event horizon (or singularity) never forms!
    It’s purely a mathematical generalization, or as Toth points out, an asymptote or [hypothetical] “limit” of spacetime curvature as the escape velocity approaches c. (Just as with acceleration toward c in flat space). To jump to an asymptote like that would be a “quantum leap”, (which is what would be required to reach the speed of light). Only hypothetical “fully formed” black holes (or grey holes) whose singularities are not formed by actual mass from this universe, would have event horizons.

    [Edit: another good treatment on Quora: “Singularities never really form in the first place- they are a mathematically convenient fiction. The star never actually collapses to a point- in fact, it never collapses below its Schwarzschild radius. The distinction between the real black holes that we find in space and a rapidly collapsing neutron star is essentially arbitrary.”]

    So a “black hole” then ends up as a timelike portal to the distant future (same universe), by simply freezing all the matter that falls into it in time, until it evaporates, releasing the matter as thermal radiation!

    • This artcle suggests the Planck length itself is the final “force” that stops collapse.

      Have We Got Black Holes All Wrong?
      They might not even be holes at all!

      View at

  8. I’ve used “chance” as the “Father-like” source or “patrix”, and the first of three realms; space and time being the other two, that are “generated” from it, like the Son and Spirit proceeding from the Father, in theology. The “triad” in science seems to be space, matter and time. But matter is not a dimensional continuum like space and time; it’s something that occupies space, through time.

    I’ve recently noticed Quora expert Victor Toth making matter interchangeable with the quantum fields
    “…matter acts as the source of the spacetime metric, aka. the gravitational field; the gravitational field, in turn, determines the dynamics of matter. Quantum field theory, in turn, is a theory of quantized fields that live in spacetime.” It’s quantum fields that are decomposed into “particles” [i.e. “matter”] (PArt of Einstein’s field equation for gravity consists of mathematical that are noncommutative [and thus do not behave like numbers]; sounding sort of like the matrix-like “primeval realm” speculated on by string theory! This is the basis of my ‘chance” idea).

    “We do not measure spacetime. We cannot measure spacetime. We measure things. Things that are made of quantum fields. Things that affect other things by way of quantum fields. These quantum fields carry energy and momentum, possibly angular momentum and other conserved quantities. These quantum fields carry signals, information. They can carry influences from one place to another place.

    Spacetime cannot do any of that. It has no energy. It has no momentum. It contains no information.

    …quite often “spacetime” is represented pictorially (often very misleadingly, such as the “trampoline” depiction of a gravitational field), implying that space and time have an existence independent of matter… Perhaps they do, perhaps they don’t, but in the physics that we actually know, they don’t.

    This is why I stress the point that even when it comes to gravitation, it is not space, it is not time, it is the metric that acts as the physical field, coupling universally and minimally to all fields (and thus doubling as the one-and-only spacetime metric).”

    So a “triad of “quantum fields, space and time” is something to consider.

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