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- Basic Concepts in Relativity and Early Quantum Theory [Resnick Halliday]
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waves. While indirect evidence for these waves has been found (in the motions of

the Hulse�Taylor binary system, for example) experiments attempting to directly

measure these waves are ongoing at the LIGO and Virgo collaborations. LIGO

scientists reported the first such direct observation of gravitational waves on 14

September 2015.[21][22]

Cosmology

Main article: Shape of the universe

Relativity theory leads to the cosmological question of what shape the universe is,

and where space came from. It appears that space was created in the Big Bang, 13.8

billion years ago[23] and has been expanding ever since. The overall shape of space

is not known, but space is known to be expanding very rapidly due to the cosmic

inflation.

Spatial measurement

Main article: Measurement

The measurement of physical space has long been important. Although earlier

societies had developed measuring systems, the International System of Units, (SI),

is now the most common system of units used in the measuring of space, and is

almost universally used.

Currently, the standard space interval, called a standard meter or simply meter, is

defined as the distance traveled by light in a vacuum during a time interval of

exactly 1/299,792,458 of a second. This definition coupled with present definition

of the second is based on the special theory of relativity in which the speed of

light plays the role of a fundamental constant of nature.

Physics

Part of a series of articles about

Classical mechanics

{\displaystyle {\vec {F}}=m{\vec {a}}} {\vec {F}}=m{\vec {a}}

Second law of motion

History Timeline

Branches[show]

Fundamentals[hide]

Acceleration Angular momentum Couple D'Alembert's principle Energy kinetic

potential Force Frame of reference Inertial frame of reference Impulse Inertia /

Moment of inertia Mass

Mechanical power Mechanical work

Moment Momentum Space Speed Time Torque Velocity Virtual work

Formulations[show]

Core topics[show]

Rotation[show]

Scientists[show]

vte

Space is one of the few fundamental quantities in physics, meaning that it cannot

be defined via other quantities because nothing more fundamental is known at the

present. On the other hand, it can be related to other fundamental quantities.

Thus, similar to other fundamental quantities (like time and mass), space can be

explored via measurement and experiment.

spacetime, called Minkowski space (see special relativity). The idea behind space-

time is that time is hyperbolic-orthogonal to each of the three spatial dimensions.

Relativity

Main article: Theory of relativity

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 along space-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 of spacetime

metric).

space-time is geometrically distorted- curved -near to gravitationally significant

masses.[20]

Philosophy of space

Leibniz and Newton

Gottfried Leibniz

In the seventeenth century, the philosophy of space and time emerged as a central

issue in epistemology and metaphysics. At its heart, Gottfried Leibniz, the German

philosopher-mathematician, and Isaac Newton, the English physicist-mathematician,

set out two opposing theories of what space is. Rather than being an entity that

independently exists over and above other matter, Leibniz held that space is no

more than the collection of spatial relations between objects in the world: "space

is that which results from places taken together".[5] Unoccupied regions are those

that could have objects in them, and thus spatial relations with other places. For

Leibniz, then, space was an idealised abstraction from the relations between

individual entities or their possible locations and therefore could not be

continuous but must be discrete.[6] Space could be thought of in a similar way to

the relations between family members. Although people in the family are related to

one another, the relations do not exist independently of the people.[7] Although

there was a prevailing Kantian consensus at the time, once non-Euclidean geometries

had been formalised, some began to wonder whether or not physical space is curved.

Carl Friedrich Gauss, a German mathematician, was the first to consider an

empirical investigation of the geometrical structure of space. He thought of making

a test of the sum of the angles of an enormous stellar triangle, and there are

reports that he actually carried out a test, on a small scale, by triangulating

mountain tops in Germany.[14]

Henri Poincar�, a French mathematician and physicist of the late 19th century,

introduced an important insight in which he attempted to demonstrate the futility

of any attempt to discover which geometry applies to space by experiment.[15] He

considered the predicament that would face scientists if they were confined to the

surface of an imaginary large sphere with particular properties, known as a sphere-

world. In this world, the temperature is taken to vary in such a way that all

objects expand and contract in similar proportions in different places on the

sphere. With a suitable falloff in temperature, if the scientists try to use

measuring rods to determine the sum of the angles in a triangle, they can be

deceived into thinking that they inhabit a plane, rather than a spherical surface.

[16] In fact, the scientists cannot in principle determine whether they inhabit a

plane or sphere and, Poincar� argued, the same is true for the debate over whether

real space is Euclidean or not. For him, which geometry was used to describe space

was a matter of convention.[17] Since Euclidean geometry is simpler than non-

Euclidean geometry, he assumed the former would always be used to describe the

'true' geometry of the world.[18]Leibniz argued that space could not exist

independently of objects in the world because that implies a difference between two

universes exactly alike except for the location of the material world in each

universe. But since there would be no observational way of telling these universes

apart then, according to the identity of indiscernibles, there would be no real

difference between them. According to the principle of sufficient reason, any

theory of space that implied that there could be these two possible universes must

therefore be wrong.[8]

Isaac Newton

Newton took space to be more than relations between material objects and based his

position on observation and experimentation. For a relationist there can be no real

difference between inertial motion, in which the object travels with constant

velocity, and non-inertial motion, in which the velocity changes with time, since

all spatial measurements are relative to other objects and their motions. But

Newton argued that since non-inertial motion generates forces, it must be absolute.

[9] He used the example of water in a spinning bucket to demonstrate his argument.

Water in a bucket is hung from a rope and set to spin, starts with a flat surface.

After a while, as the bucket continues to spin, the surface of the water becomes

concave. If the bucket's spinning is stopped then the surface of the water remains

concave as it continues to spin. The concave surface is therefore apparently not

the result of relative motion between the bucket and the water.[10] Instead, Newton

argued, it must be a result of non-inertial motion relative to space itself. For

several centuries the bucket argument was considered decisive in showing that space

must exist independently of matter.

Kant

Immanuel Kant

In the eighteenth century the German philosopher Immanuel Kant developed a theory

of knowledge in which knowledge about space can be both a priori and synthetic.[11]

According to Kant, knowledge about space is synthetic, in that statements about

space are not simply true by virtue of the meaning of the words in the statement.

In his work, Kant rejected the view that space must be either a substance or

relation. Instead he came to the conclusion that space and time are not discovered

by humans to be objective features of the world, but imposed by us as part of a

framework for organizing experience.[12]

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