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Question

Are there any laws stating that time must flow in a constant stream (i.e. moments in unbroken succession)?
Asked by: Burl Carpenter

Answer

I don't know of any laws as such. However, Einstein's theories of relativity treat space-time as a 4 dimensional entity. In this view there are no gaps in time, just as there are no gaps in left-right, up-down, and forwards-backwards.

However, there is the problem of singularities. At these points the classical laws of physics predict that space and time will cease to exist and therefore you do have a hole in space-time.

Another difficulty is what quantum theory has to say about space-time. On a classical scale it is observed to be a continuum but if you were able to go right down to the Planck length (10-35m)you would find that it is a seething mass (often called quantum foam) and here space and time also break down and become incontinous.
Answered by: Edward Rayne, Physics Undergraduate Student, Cambridge UK
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'In a way science is a key to the gates of heaven, and the same key opens the gates of hell, and we do not have any instructions as to which is which gate. Shall we throw away the key and never have a way to enter the gates of heaven? Or shall we struggle with the problem of which is the best way to use the key?'

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(1918-1988)


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