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Earth’s spin warps space around the planet. This was predicted according to Einstein; in the same way that a large ball placed on a elasticated cloth stretches the fabric and causes it to sag, so planets and stars warp space-time.

To illustrate the effect, just image a very large ball and a much smaller ball rolling across elasticated cloth. The smaller ball will begin to move towards the larger ball since the cloth gives way more in that direction. By Einstein’s reckoning gravity is not a force, as Sir Isaac Newton speculated, but it is a consequence of the distortion of space and time. Any object distorts space-time and the bigger it is, the greater the effect.

The planets of our solar system are orbiting the Sun because they travel like everything in the universe at a high speed away from the point of origin towards the edges of the known universe and because the sun puts a huge dent in space-time. They are not being pulled by the Sun. They are following their course in a curved space-time deformation that is caused by the Sun.

The reason the planets never fall into the Sun is due to the speed at which they travel.

click to enlarge

Rotation of a body causes a twist in nearby space-time.

It’s a bit much for the brain. But imagine the balls to be spinning tops. The elasticated cloth still gives way to a larger top more so than a smaller top. The smaller top moves toward the larger top. However, the tops, if they are projected straight ahead when thrown, keep on their general course away from the throw. The whole of the speeding objects and curvature and warping causes the rotations and spins and orbits and so on. WOW… we can’t probably follow in this thought experiment entirely — but its why the solar system keeps working as it is doing. This is why I say its a bit much for the brain. So, watch this:

Youtube watch?v=LoaOHvy5AcA video

I’m good with it. How about you? Watch it again if need be. Remember, we don’t have to take a test on this; you only need a basic understanding to move on.

This video is a more complete demonstration of the warps and curves of space-time:

Youtube watch?v=4yyb_RNJWUM video

Next, let’s look at how space-time or “the fourth dimension” works using some simple geometry. Again, I was able to find visual examples for you.

Is time uniformly ticking through-out the universe? Well, its not flat like a line from beginning to end — its got curves and ripples and its got bumps and mountains and its got valleys and its possibly got dead ends and so on — not straight like a line from a beginning to an end; not at all that way; yet, simple and yet, not uniform; no, not uniform. So, if one twin got into a futuristic spaceship for a 30 year trip straight out towards the next galaxy and back — what would be the outcome as far as time for the twins — one on Earth and the other traveling to the next galaxy and back?

Okeydokey… here goes:

The concept of time was thought always as starting at zero (a point) – for instance, usually, it is thought of as beginning at the time of the big bang in the physical universe.

Great… but according to research, a parallel universe may have no time dimension or its possible that time may be negative in a parallel universe. See, this is the problem with physics — it may be used to support any virtual possibility… hmm… not to worry on this for now, lets look at the possibility of time travel first. I’ll come back to the parallel universe idea in a future post.

To borrow a bit from some reviews of  “What Einstein Did Not See: Redefining Time to Understand Space” by Thomas W. Sills, contraction of space-time, the fourth physical dimension, becomes equivalent to Einstein’s time dilation. Definitions for time and space words will not help to describe the complex nature of time and space. Einstein’s General Relativity requires more than seeing the relationship as described by his equations to understand fully that time has two components and how these occur. Time is both a vector of space-time and also is a scalar of Universal Time. Let’s look at time and space as though they are separate first with simple geometry:

Youtube watch?v=plQ4wrZvGlI video

The video demonstrates use of Euclidean geometry of three-dimensional projections for four-dimensional space to visually illustrate time flowing; as in time-travel. The book that the video references is “What Einstein Did Not See: Redefining Time to Understand Space” by Thomas W. Sills. [I did not read it.]

There is another reason that I’ve written this — I’ll be getting into more about how space-time is also something that will yield incredible knowledge once it is out of our way. Here is a preview… give this a watch if you have about 10 more minutes:

Youtube watch?v=MN4KC_zlW4g video

For now, the lesson is about how time is relative. So, we’ve learned that travel backward in time is perhaps possible; even without a wormhole. Of course space travel is required and the trip would be lengthy in order for there to be enough time lapsed here while the travelers are in space for the change to be substantially significant. There will be technological and physiological problems yet to overcome as well. Yet, one day, someone may get to travel backwards in time just as illustrated. Imagine returning to Earth to be 5 or 10 or more years younger than a twin. That really would seem strange.

I hope that this may have been enjoyable and informative. I really do hope to get even better at making complex science of the universe easy to learn about, but I’m pretty happy with my progress. Comments, replies, and suggestions or constructive criticisms (or ping-backs) and so on are always welcomed here.

Thanks for reading,