Spacetime (1 Viewer)

CdCase123

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I'm currently reading Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything and just had to share this mindblowing piece from it. I have little faith that it will generate enthusiastic response but whatever:

Spacetime is usually explained by asking you to imagine something flat but pliant-a mattress, say, or a sheet of stretched rubber-on which is resting a heavy round object, such as an iron ball. The weight of the iron ball causes the material on which it is sitting to stretch and sag slightly. This is roughly analogous to the effect that a massive object such as the Sun(the iron ball) has on spacetime (the material): it stretches and curves and warps it. Now if you roll a smaller ball across the sheet, it tries to go in a straight line as required by Newton's laws of motion, but as it nears the massive object and the slope of the sagging fabric, it rolls downward, ineluctably drawn to the more massive object. This is gravitiy- a product of the bending of spacetime.
Every object that has a mass creates a little depression in the fabric of the cosmos. Thus the universe, as Dennis Overbye has put it, is "the ultimate saging mattress: Gravity on this view is no longer so much a thing as an outcome-"not a 'force' but a byproduct of the warping of spacetime," in the words of the physicist Michio Kaku, who goes on: "In some sense, gravity does not exist, what moves the planets and stars is the distortion of space and time."


how crazy is that?! i get really excited about shit like this. it makes me tingle in my swimsuit area. there are lots of moments when reading this book, when one cannot help but be struck by reverie. oh by the way. why the hell isnt there a book discussion section on this site?
 
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Birdy

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That sounds like a really really good book. When I read or listen to stuff like that about space and time oh gosh it just makes the gears in my mind start going and then I think about it for days. It's just so big, I can barely even fit my mind around it.
 

Poe Boy

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Interesting theory.

When I was in university, I read all kinds of that shit, the math in the technical stuff will blow your mind.
 

stove

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hah if anyone wants to have a conversation on anything electricity/eletromagnetics/statics/fluid or thermal dynamics, drop me a line. I love that shit! Oh, and I love explaining it/teaching others, if you don't know everything but are interested. I was an Engineer, btw.
 
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CdCase123

CdCase123

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east of the mississippi
hah if anyone wants to have a conversation on anything electricity/eletromagnetics/statics/fluid or thermal dynamics, drop me a line. I love that shit! Oh, and I love explaining it/teaching others, if you don't know everything but are interested. I was an Engineer, btw.
very awesome! we will have to converse in person some day!
 
E

ent_ink

I deleted myself
I love science and engineering especially any DIY or homespun stuff, I wish I had taken a more engineering side instead of a pure computer science side as I find myself more interested in that then in the computer science side.

Usenet Physics FAQ

In case anyone is interested. Also I have seen that video before and its a good one. It finally resulted in Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle which some say was one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the 20th century, I never actually realised until I read about it that before that Scientits were always of the opinion that they were completely neutral observers.
 

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