Can anyone explain relativity? Time dilation? Minkowski space? Let's have a discussion page for people who are interested. I mean, Brilliant is devoted to looking for people who will pioneer in these type of unexplored areas, so why not?

So a lot of you guys have probably heard of the space-time gravity model (I'm just making up a name), where the universe is like a latex sheet, with more massive objects having more deep a gravity well, and smaller objects usually "rolling" into these type of gravity well. Well, I propose an idea. What if the latex sheet isn't just sitting there? What if it's continuously being pulled, but doesn't have any friction with the planets, so they sit there with this latex constantly moving underneath them. Just keep in mind that obviously the universe isn't two dimensional and I'm only using this model in two dimensions to make things simple. But let's say that the pulling of this latex represents time. Of course, it's not being pulled in a spatial dimension, rather, it's omni-directional, and can't be expressed in a spatial dimension, but for simplicity, let's just say it is. But get this: do you remember how time dilates? It dilates when one of the two happens:
-Time is slower when near bodies with a lot of mass
-The faster you go, the faster time is for you
So what does this all mean? How can you make sense of it? Why? If you search "Time Dilation" on Wikipedia, you'll get a pretty good explanation. But think about this. Let's say you're an ant traveling from point A to point B, and somehow you are on top of this latex (This couldn't actually happen, once again), and your other friend is traveling the same spatial distance, but near a large neutron star. Well, their path on the latex actually dips down! Where as the first ant will just stroll down the space-time latex in a straight line, the other ant will have to dip down and therefore travel more distance! That explains why time goes slower near large bodies, it has to "travel" further! Now let's explain time warping at extreme speeds. So now I propose that if the latex where to have a "speed", it would be faster than light. So let's say the ant runs REALLY fast, like 20 miles an hour. He's not going to have really any effect on the space-time latex. Before we go on, let me just correct myself. The latex does have just the smallest friction. Miniscule. So if an ant ran at say... 96 percent the speed of light, he would be like a surfer on a wave, going close to the speed of the latex, and I think that he would have some sort of effect on the latex that would cause it to go faster. My question to you guys: how does the ant go through time faster?

I second the request, as I practice math so that I can become a theoretical physicist when I grow up. In addition, I'd like to know more about Superstring Theory without having the necessary mathematical skills :)

You should probably pick one topic to discuss per note, otherwise it will get chaotic. Starting with specific areas that you don't understand would be helpful as well.

I actually kind of like the idea of having complete chaos where people can just put whatever they want, and people can discuss and comment on it. It's a bit more compact.

@Samuel Wong
–
Ooh! That one! Yes! Well, if one ant walks into a gravity dimple, then he has to travel further along the space-time fabric then the ant who travels along a flat section of space time fabric. Of course, space-time isn't an actual substance, so you can't walk on it. And it's also 3 dimensional (not counting the pulling of the fabric, or time). Do you kind of get it?

@Finn Hulse
–
Oh... Do you mean about the ant who travels really fast? In that case (this is also the answer to the prompt that I gave to you at the end of that paragraph), the ant is like a surfer, riding along the frictionless space time. Remember how intimately connected space and time. If the ant travels super fast, he's pushing the fabric, because he's approaching the "speed" of the fabric. But because time is directionless, it doesn't matter which way he goes. It's not like you can just point and say "Oh, time is that way!". But that's the part of the theory that I'm still working on, the time dilation at high speeds. Hope this helps!

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TopNewestSo a lot of you guys have probably heard of the space-time gravity model (I'm just making up a name), where the universe is like a latex sheet, with more massive objects having more deep a gravity well, and smaller objects usually "rolling" into these type of gravity well. Well, I propose an idea. What if the latex sheet isn't just sitting there? What if it's continuously being pulled, but doesn't have any friction with the planets, so they sit there with this latex constantly moving underneath them. Just keep in mind that obviously the universe isn't two dimensional and I'm only using this model in two dimensions to make things simple. But let's say that the pulling of this latex represents time. Of course, it's not being pulled in a spatial dimension, rather, it's omni-directional, and can't be expressed in a spatial dimension, but for simplicity, let's just say it is. But get this: do you remember how time dilates? It dilates when one of the two happens: -Time is slower when near bodies with a lot of mass -The faster you go, the faster time is for you So what does this all mean? How can you make sense of it? Why? If you search "Time Dilation" on Wikipedia, you'll get a pretty good explanation. But think about this. Let's say you're an ant traveling from point A to point B, and somehow you are on top of this latex (This couldn't actually happen, once again), and your other friend is traveling the same spatial distance, but near a large neutron star. Well, their path on the latex actually dips down! Where as the first ant will just stroll down the space-time latex in a straight line, the other ant will have to dip down and therefore travel more distance! That explains why time goes slower near large bodies, it has to "travel" further! Now let's explain time warping at extreme speeds. So now I propose that if the latex where to have a "speed", it would be faster than light. So let's say the ant runs REALLY fast, like 20 miles an hour. He's not going to have really any effect on the space-time latex. Before we go on, let me just correct myself. The latex does have just the smallest friction. Miniscule. So if an ant ran at say... 96 percent the speed of light, he would be like a surfer on a wave, going close to the speed of the latex, and I think that he would have some sort of effect on the latex that would cause it to go faster. My question to you guys: how does the ant go through time faster?

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That's awesome!

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I second the request, as I practice math so that I can become a theoretical physicist when I grow up. In addition, I'd like to know more about Superstring Theory without having the necessary mathematical skills :)

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Yeah, me too. I also want to teach physics.

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You should probably pick one topic to discuss per note, otherwise it will get chaotic. Starting with specific areas that you don't understand would be helpful as well.

I love the idea!

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I actually kind of like the idea of having complete chaos where people can just put whatever they want, and people can discuss and comment on it. It's a bit more compact.

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I am also a physics lover and I really like your analogy that explains why gravity slows down time. But I don't get the part about the ant.

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