Saturday, August 28, 2010


Before Einstein's work on relativistic physics, time and space were viewed as independent dimensions. Einstein's discoveries showed that due to relativity of motion our space and time can be mathematically combined into one object — spacetime. It turns out that distances in space or in time separately are not invariant with respect to Lorentz coordinate transformations, but distances in Minkowski space-time alongspace-time intervals are—which justifies the name.

In addition, time and space dimensions should not be viewed as exactly equivalent in Minkowski space-time. One can freely move in space but not in time. Thus, time and space coordinates are treated differently both in special relativity (where time is sometimes considered an imaginary coordinate) and in general relativity (where different signs are assigned to time and space components ofspacetime metric).

Furthermore, in Einstein's general theory of relativity, it is postulated that space-time is geometrically distorted- curved -near to gravitationally significant masses.[19]

Experiments are ongoing to attempt to directly measure gravitational waves. This is essentially solutions to the equations of general relativity, which describe moving ripples of spacetime. Indirect evidence for this has been found in the motions of the Hulse-Taylor binary system.

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