A New Look at Space-Time

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The most basic concepts used to define reality are matter, energy, space and time. Space and time are thought to form the background in which matter exists and energy acts. Modern physics finds such conceptualization to be inadequate.

Per “The Tao of Physics”,

Modern physics has confirmed most dramatically one of the basic ideas of Eastern mysticism; that all the concepts we use to describe nature are limited, that they are not features of reality, as we tend to believe, but creations of the mind; parts of the map, not of the territory. Whenever we expand the realm of our experience, the limitations of our rational mind become apparent and we have to modify, or even abandon, some of our concepts.

In light of the progress made by the relativistic view of modern physics, the concepts of matter, energy, space and time can be improved upon to describe the experience of reality more closely. The broadest view of matter, energy, space and time is that these elements bring about awareness. This awareness then appears against the background of non-awareness.

We may postulate a cosmic disturbance that oscillates between awareness and non-awareness. The transition from non-awareness to awareness appears as creation. The transition from awareness back to non-awareness appears as destruction. In between we have the survival of awareness as matter, energy, space and time.

Since they represent awareness, space and time are in the foreground along with matter and energy. The background is made up of non-awareness. Space and time act as the parameters of matter and energy. In the absence of matter and energy, space and time are absent as well.

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From “The Tao of Physics”,

Our notions of space and time figure prominently on our map of reality. They serve to order things and events in our environment and are therefore of paramount importance not only in our everyday life, but also in our attempts to understand nature through science and philosophy. There is no law of physics which does not require the concepts of space and time for its formulation. The profound. modification of these basic concepts brought about by relativity theory was therefore one of the greatest revolutions in the history of science.

Awareness is part of a periodic disturbance and, therefore, it is always changing. Any specific awareness is very likely a complex combination of periodic disturbances of different frequencies.

A periodic disturbance have the characteristics of frequency, period and wavelength. The period is the interval in which the disturbance advances by a wavelength. The frequency is how many times this advance occurs in some “standard” interval. From the viewpoint of relativity there is no such “standard” interval.

Period and wavelength are expressed through the dimensions of time and space respectively. They are complementary notions that describe the periodic disturbance as frequency.  Therefore, frequency seems to establish the relativity in the combined dimension of space-time. 

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From “The Tao of Physics”,

Classical physics was based on the notion both of an absolute, three-dimensional space, independent of the material objects it contains, and obeying the laws of Euclidean geometry, and of time as a separate dimension which again is absolute and flows at an even rate, independent of the material world. In the West, these notions of space and time were so deeply rooted in the minds of philosophers and scientists that they were taken as true and unquestioned properties of nature.

Time and space describe the awareness of energy and matter. They are not independent of this awareness of energy and matter. Thus there is no interval, and no geometry, that acts as absolute and independent basis for time and space. Defining space on the basis of Euclidean geometry is as arbitrary as the defining earth as flat. The theory of relativity correctly looks at space and time to be transformable into each other.

Similarly, the theory of relativity correctly looks at energy and matter to be transformable into each other. It appears that as the frequency of disturbance increases energy condenses into matter.

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From “The Tao of Physics”,

The belief that geometry is inherent in nature, rather than part of the framework we use to describe nature, has its origin in Greek thought. Demonstrative geometry was the central feature of Greek mathematics and had a profound influence on Greek philosophy. Its method of starting from unquestioned axioms, and deriving theorems from these by deductive reasoning, became characteristic of Greek philosophical thought; geometry was therefore at the very centre of all intellectual activities and formed the basis of philosophical training. The gate of Plato’s Academy in Athens is said to have borne the inscription, ‘You are not allowed to enter here, unless you know geometry.’ The Greeks believed that their mathematical theorems were expressions of eternal and exact truths about the real world, and that geometrical shapes were manifestations of absolute beauty. Geometry was considered to be the perfect combination of logic and beauty and was thus believed to be of divine origin. Hence Plato’s dictum, ‘God is a geometer.’

Space and time are then parameters whose basis lies in the forms of energy and matter. Any geometry is simply an idealization of forms, which do not necessarily exist in reality. The logic that is implied through the axioms of geometry is an idealization too that does not fully reflect the reality.

This raises questions about the absolute nature of our system of logic. We come to the realization that the logic we use is not inherent in nature. Though the system of logic is consistent in itself, it is more of an idealization where reality is concerned.

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From “The Tao of Physics”,

Since geometry was seen as the revelation of God, it was obvious to the Greeks that the heavens should exhibit perfect geometrical shapes. This meant that the heavenly bodies had to move in circles. To present the picture as being even more geometrical they were thought to be fixed to a series of concentric crystalline spheres which moved as a whole, with the Earth at the centre. In subsequent centuries, Greek geometry continued to exert a strong influence on Western philosophy and science. Euclid’s Elements was a standard textbook in European schools until the beginning of this century, and Euclidean geometry was taken to be the true nature of space for more than two thousand years. It took an Einstein to make scientists and philosophers realize that geometry is not inherent in nature, but is imposed upon it by the mind.

In this system of idealized logic, one’s subjective sense of “I” that is observing the reality leads to the conclusion that “I” is separate from reality. This provides the basis for the idea that spirit is separate from matter. This idea then develops into the belief that God is pure awareness that exists independent of the Universe.

The experimental observations of Quantum mechanics brings the above logic into question. It forces us to look at the sense of “I” as not something absolute, but as the product of the process of observation. The sense of “I” as an observer is there but it is also a part of the reality. The objects that are being observed are part of that reality too. Thus, in a broader sense, it is reality observing itself. Underlying the process of observation there is the sense of separation; but, per modern observations, this separation is never absolute. Thus everything in this Universe is more or less interconnected. The whole reality is ultimately one.

As covered above, awareness consists of space and time that describe matter and energy. Thus awareness is part of reality, and not separate from reality even when it appears to be so. Thus, spirit and matter are not really separable in some absolute sense. It is now increasingly becoming obvious that God is the very essence of nature, and not a “Being” or beingness that is separate from nature.

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Comments

  • Chris Thompson  On November 14, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Relatively speaking, space is usually to be considered a geometry within a matrix of hard objects. I we should consider the idea of space being in motion. When this motion becomes detectable, it is relative to massive objects and we call it gravity. But what is there, what is “moving” may be space. This requires a new paradigm with respect to space-time.

    • vinaire  On November 14, 2014 at 9:54 PM

      Read these three essays together to get the full idea of what is being proposed here. I am now going to work on the math for it. This should be interesting because there are no standard units for measuring space and time.

      What is the standard unit for space-time?

    • vinaire  On November 14, 2014 at 10:00 PM

      Maybe the unit of space-time can be calculated as follows:

      = square root (square of cubic centimeter + square of seconds)

  • vinaire  On November 14, 2014 at 9:49 PM

    Space and time are tied inextricably with matter and energy. They cannot be arbitrarily separated as Hubbard wished for. When there is no matter-energy, there is no space-tme either.

    There is no such thing as motion of hard objects in space, since hard objects themselves are composed of motion, and that is not being taken into account to determine actual motion.

    The motion of light and the motion of matter particles are two different phenomenon like apples and oranges. The lack of recognition of this difference is due to the matter-centric basis of the Theory of Relativity.

    The above article shows that the best quantitative description of motion is in terms of frequency and not in terms of speed because there is no absolute space and time.

    The notion of gravity is explained in these three essays in terms of frequency. It is frequency that generates curvature in space. This curvature is perceived as gravity.

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