∆ ‘Space-time intervals’ vs ‘space–consequence’ distances.

.                 ‘Space-time intervals’ vs ‘space–consequence’ distances.

Relativity says that ‘time and distance are interchangeable’. In relativistic equations ‘1 second’ of time is said to directly relate to 300,000 km of distance, and where we have a distance/time relationship the two can be exchanged on a kind of sliding scale to produce what are exotically known as ‘Space-Time Intervals’.
  But are ‘distance and Time’ needed here? Or can just ‘distance and motion’* account for everything that Einstein proposes?
(* And 'distortions' in distance and motion as suggested by Relativity.)

When considering ‘space-time’ intervals, if two events are said to happen say 1,000km, and 10 seconds away from each other, these two values can be shown as the edges of a right angled triangle – with each ‘second of time’ being converted to a distance of 300,000km (or vice versa). In this way Pythagoras’s theorem can be used to give the hypotenuse of the triangle. And this value is said to be the space-time distance between the events.

A reader familiar with this idea might think that I have not understood this exchange rate, or that I am missing the point and (wrongly) just seeing all time as distance. However what I am saying is that I do see how and why this mathematics works but the situation can be seen in two distinct ways...

Either time does exist and this idea of understanding distance and time to be merged and interchangeable is essentially correct, or, time does not exist and the merging of the idea of time with the reality of distance is an inevitable consequence of us trying to insist that time exists and then being motivated to create a way to include it in our understanding of the world.

Given that all we observe around us is matter existing, moving, changing and interacting (at up to the speed of light) ‘now’, and that our core reasons for even assuming that time, and the past or future, exist can be seen to be wrongly founded*, I am suggesting that although the maths makes sense it is a misunderstanding, and only the ‘motion and distance’ (which we do actually directly observe) are needed to understand and explain the world around us. Therefore the fact that the space-time view and the mathematics behind it do seem to work and make sense is actually something that does not prove the existence of time but is actually a view that wrongly supports the idea that time exists.

 (* a casual opinion of our memories may be that they seem to show that ‘the past’ in some way exists – but a deeper look shows that they only prove that matter can exist and interact)

Reinterpreting space-time intervals as only being distances.

We can reinterpret the situation as follows; if you consider a crash that happened ‘a week ago’ and ’10 km away’ from where you are now, then the space-time view of things, and the calculations that go with it will give you a value for 'how far away in the past' as a ‘space-time interval’ the event is said to be from ‘where you are now - in the present’.

 (see Diagram ‘A’ below)

Diagram A - The physical distance away, and the 'time' away from you that an event 'happened' are said to be merge-able in a space-time sense. (but I think things are simpler)

Now consider the view that there is no time, and thus no temporal past (or future). You are just where you are, and the scene of the accident is just where it is, 10 km away from you. Then also consider the real and existing ‘physical consequences’ of the crash. If say a van hits a lamppost then as it crashes we can expect an audible ‘bang’ and perhaps even an explosion and thus a visible flash of light. Consequences of the crash such as sounds and images automatically ‘flee the scene’ as they are created. Consequences fleeing the scene do so at different speeds, e.g. sounds from the crash will be released at around a million times slower than light images of an explosion.

   If we just consider the light fleeing the scene then it does so at the maximum speed possible that any consequence can travel (the speed of light). Now if you consider the distance ‘B’ from where you are sitting to ‘an image of the crash’ that is flying away from the scene ‘straight up’ from the roof of the van, at the speed of light, then you can see we have a triangle that is essentially identical to the Einstein’s space-time interval triangles.



 Diagram 2 - In this simpler view we just accept that 'consequences' (images etc) of any event may 'rush' away from the scene at up to the speed of light. And it is the real and existing physical location of these we are referring to.

 The difference between ‘space-time’ intervals and ‘space-consequence’ 

distances - being, that instead of saying ‘time and seconds exist’, and ‘seconds can be converted in to distance by multiplying them by 300,000 km’, we are just saying ‘consequences exist’, and consequences tend to flee an event at speed. So if you want to calculate how physically far away from you any particular consequence is (e.g. the image of the explosion or event the gravitational ripples caused by it) you can do so with Pythagoras’s theorem. This distance will be constantly increasing! But not because time exists just because unhindered light is always moving.

>> 09 General Relativity.

Back to >> ∆ Timeless v.Time distinctions (Rhetoric and Semantics).