What is the space time continuum?



What is the space time continuum?

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Because space consists of 3 dimensions, and time is 1-dimensional, space-time must, therefore, be a 4-dimensional object. It is believed to be a ‘continuum’, or constantly continuous and unbroken, because so far as we know, there are no missing points in space or instants in time, and both can be subdivided without any apparent limit in size or duration. So, physicists now routinely consider our world to be embedded in this 4-dimensional Space-Time continuum, and all events, places, moments in history, actions and so on are described in terms of their location in Space-Time.

I think it is worth pointing out that the physical entity is usually just called “spacetime”, whereas “space time continuum” is usually used in Star Trek and only vaguely relates to the physical entity.

Space and time are related to one another.

Humans like to think of space existing, and time passing, but that might not be so simple in all circumstances.

A photon for example experiences no time. None at all. Time does not pass for it.

If you got in a spaceship and went very fast, close to the speed of light, and returned to earth, more time would have passed on earth than in your ship. You would have “traveled through time” upon arriving home.

Why? Because space and time are knit together.

The speed of light is a point where time ceases to exist, and it can almost be thought of as a speed limit. A way of saying “*our universe relates this much space to this much time*”

Continuum just means there aren’t any gaps in it.

All things have the potential to exist, which would make the universe infinite. However, not all things do exist, which makes the universe less than infinite, but more than finite (this is the simplest case of language being insufficient for the task at hand). We’ll say the universe is “transfinite” and leave it at that.

All things that do exist do so simultaneously, though the implication of time with the concept of simultaneity isn’t entirely accurate either. Of the things that do exist, all are connected by bonds of “probability” with the lowest aggregate state of energy. These bonds of probability are the sub- quantum nuclear force. This is the foundation of what we call “time”. The state of being called “you” at any given instant is linked by bonds of probability to the states of being called “you” that are almost identical. The stronger the field, the slower the energy transfer and flow of “time”. Each thread of “past”, “present” and “future” is its own microuniverse, extending from the beginning of the universe to its eventual end. This happens all the way down to a subatomic level, until the random fluctuations of energy become great enough to make cause and effect break down. We see this phenomenon as electron tunneling or quantum teleportation. You might also note that quantum entanglement operates instantly over any distance, because it is not subject to time. At a still smaller scale, energy and probability are a chaotic sea where everything is connected to everything else, a reservoir of infinite energy and infinite possibility that is, however, infinitely difficult to tap or control.

Thank you for this question, but i’ve come to a realisation that this question cannot and will not ever be explained like i am 5 ever, this is ome of these questions that the simplest of explanation will put a strain your brain lol

Spacetime is like your room. You can move freely in your room in every direction. And as you move the time moves forward. So that is spacetime. You move through the room and while doing that you also move through time.

The continuum part ist mostly Scifi for sounding fancy. But a continuum is sth that smoothly goes along and has no jumps. Look at your linear. It is a continuum of a one dimensional space. Now look at the markings, they are not. They jump from one distance to the other. They are discreet.

Your linear is a continuum of a one dimensional space with discreet markings of a one dimensional space.

Is there any way to look at the universe without the demension of time (a human construct).

Imagine the universe as a coordinate system. Let’s suppose we want to determine YOUR position on this coordinate system. We would then have to use the 3 coordinates of ‘space’ and 1 coordinate of ‘time’ to represent your position.
According to Einstein you are moving in space but also moving through time at a total velocity equal to that of light. If you move faster through space, you’ll move slower through time because that velocity is always constant. Hence space and time are sort of integrated into a ‘continuum’.
I am sorry if this didn’t make sense 😅

Well, Billy, you go to school at the same time Daddy goes to work and I jump onto my work computer at home right? What time is it? 830am…now one hour later, where are we and what are we doing? Daddy may have a sale at work, I may be typing an email and you….I’ll be having a snack with Freddy in class! Billy giggles….Now TEN hours pass. What is going on now? Billy thinks…we are all together having dinner and it could be pizza…. Mom smiles….yes, Billy. We were apart and then together and time kept marching on. And during dinner, what do we talk about? Billy says, All the things that happened in our day!!!! Yep….we all have different things going on every day in different places with different people. Each day is different. Grandma, Aunt Megs, Cousin Cindy…..they all have different days and even the whole world of people and animals!!!! Babies and love and sadness and death. All over every second somewhere in our great big world….We all live on Earth in this big Universe like cube bubble thing….Billy laughs….like a star and planet fish bowl! Billy says….Mom is struck…yes….indeed Billy, and time is just the way we count our memories and adventures. They call it Space Time Continum BUT it just means we should cherish every second and know all people go through all sorts of things all the time. Just be loving and kind…kisses….Now, go to bed. I love you.

It’s a theory in which space and time are the same thing. We just can’t see it because we can only move and see in the 3 space dimensions, not time dimension, so our brains think it’s different.

Imagine a blind ant on a sheet of paper, there is no altitude there is only 2 dimensions for it, north/south and east/west. If it evolved in a 2D environment since millions of year it wouldn’t be able to comprehend the 3rd. It would be very hard to explain the ant that altitude is also a dimension in which some other species can move and see.

Basically time is another dimension. Think of it this way if they’re a 2 dimension stickman moving to the right then as time passes he will be moving to the right.

Imagine a movie reel with everything in the universe that’s happened and (will happen?). Every point in time is a frame and when you stack these frames over each other, you get this infinitely long column. That is the space time continuum in essence. Let me see if I can explain it better..

We see the world in 3 dimensions- length breadth and height. Time is also a dimension but we cannot see it. We can observe it’s effect, like aging and moving. However another being that can see all 4 dimension will see the world differently. Imagine a ball moving from A to B. At every point in time we see it as “O”.

However this being that can see time will see it as..

A ([[[[]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]))))) B

All the frames, together.

Now imagine every thing in the universe from when it began to the end. It will look like extremely long unbroken, continuous strings of things intertwining and weaving from start to finish.
That is the space time continuum.

So why is it important? Well it provides a reference for each other. Like say you want to meet a friend, you tell him the place and not the time. You both might be there but at different times. Or if you both decide on a time but not the place, then you’ll technically be somewhere at the same time but not necessarily at the same place.
So we plan things based on space time- we tell them the point in space we’re meeting and the time. That makes it easier for you to meet each other and similarly, makes it easier to understand and study the universe.

If we see a car moving at 60km/ hour moving on a straight road, then we can infer that it was 60 km away an hour ago.

It’s just a combination of physical space during a period of time. The period of time just happens to be continuous and immeasurable.


It’s the combination of (1) Where you are physically, and (2) when you are on an imaginary timeline that stretches out forever.

Man, a bunch of ELI25s got posted to the wrong sub. Here’s the skinny mate. There’s two parts to this.

The continuum portion refers to smoothness. Basically, it’s like a slide (continuous) versus stairs (has gaps). Our experience of time and space is like a slide. We don’t hop from one step to the next. We smoothly move between places and into the future, like going down a slide instead of walking down stairs.

The space-time part: Think about space for a second, just in the room around you. You can go forward and back or side to side by walking. But if you turn to your right, now what was forward and back is side to side, and what was side to side is forward and back. In math, this is a rotation between two dimensions and there are special math rules that go with that. Now of course there are three of these space directions (up/down, front/back, side/side) and then we have time. The space and time seem different. But it turns out, that the math used to describe rotating to your right, also allows you to “rotate” between spatial dimensions and times (this is special relativity). So in a way, it’s like “turning” into time instead of right.

Things that are described by the same math are essentially considered the same. So even though our experience of space vs time seems very different, since the math of rotating between different space dimensions allows rotating into time, they are considered the same.