What is Meant By the "Fabric of Space-Time"

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Offline AJF86

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What is Meant By the "Fabric of Space-Time"
« on: 16/07/2010 05:57:58 »
What is meant by the "fabric of space-time", and the "space-time continuum"?

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Offline JP

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What is Meant By the "Fabric of Space-Time"
« Reply #1 on: 16/07/2010 08:22:13 »
Those phrases are being used to describe the fact that everything we know of seems to live in 4 dimensions (3 space + 1 time).  I suspect that fabric indicates that you can bend and wrinkle space-time, just like you can do to a piece of fabric.  I'm more sure about continuum, which means that space-time seems to be continuous (meaning there's no abrupt tears or jumps as you move through it).   

This is hard to visualize 4 dimensions, but you can think of a 2D case: a sheet of rubber.  If you don't cut the rubber, all you can do is bend it, and anything sitting on its surface is living on a 2 dimensional continuum.