PhysLink.com Logo

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






Science Quote

'A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving…'

Albert Einstein
(1879-1955)





All rights reserved. © Copyright '1995-'2018 PhysLink.com