What Is Space-Time?
towardbrightspark; The fabric of space-time is a conceptual model combining the three dimensions of space with the fourth dimension of time. According to the best of current physical theories, space-time explains the unusual relativistic effects that arise from traveling near the speed of light as well as the motion of massive objects in the universe.
Who first introduced space-time?
The famous physicist Albert Einstein helped develop the idea of space-time as part of his theory of relativity.
How it works?
Nowadays, when people talk about space-time, they often describe it as resembling a sheet of rubber. This, too, comes from Einstein, who realized as he developed his theory of general relativity that the force of gravity was due to curves in the fabric of space-time.
Massive objects — like the Earth, sun or you — create distortions in space-time that cause it to bend. These curves, in turn, constrict the ways in which everything in the universe moves, because objects have to follow paths along this warped curvature. Motion due to gravity is actually motion along the twists and turns of space-time.
A NASA mission called Gravity Probe B (GP-B) measured the shape of the space-time vortex around the Earth in 2011 and found that it closely accords with Einstein’s predictions.
But much of this remains difficult for most people to wrap their heads around. Although we can discuss space-time as being similar to a sheet of rubber, the analogy eventually breaks down. A rubber sheet is two dimensional, while space-time is four dimensional. It’s not just warps in space that the sheet represents, but also warps in time. The complex equations used to account for all of this are tricky for even physicists to work with.
“Einstein made a beautiful machine, but he didn’t exactly leave us a user’s manual,” wrote astrophysicist Paul Sutter for Live Science’s sister site, Space.com. “Just to drive home the point, general relativity is so complex that when someone discovers a solution to the equations, they get the solution named after them and become semi-legendary in their own right.”
Despite its intricacy, relativity remains the best way to account for the physical phenomena we know about. Yet scientists know that their models are incomplete because relativity is still not fully reconciled with quantum mechanics, which explains the properties of subatomic particles with extreme precision but does not incorporate the force of gravity.