### Post by Laurance on Aug 16, 2010 0:04:30 GMT 1

**Purpose of this Thesis**

This thesis does not cover the mathematics of the space-time continuum and its characteristics. Other individuals in academia have covered the mathematics very well. The purpose of this thesis, therefore, is to provide a visualization of the characteristics of the space-time continuum and offer directions for future discovery.

This is a work in progress. Certain elements require further discussion and I will make revisions to the text according to comments I receive.

**Definition**

A very simple definition: space and time considered together as one entity.

Mathematically: Einstein's field equation.

For simplicity's sake, this thesis uses the following definition for space-time continuum:

The space-time continuum is a collection of parametric specifications that attempt to define is. The specifications can be as single values and thus define a specific point in space-time, or they can be continuous and define an entire entity.

**Curvature of Space-Time**

It is well known that the space-time continuum is curved. The curvature occurs as a result of the influence of mass against movement in time. Recently, it has been possible to detect this curvature. As three-dimensional beings, we perceive time only as a result of memory. We remember what was as a variable interval from what is now. If we had zero memory, we could not detect time - we would exist only for the moment. The result of this is our apparent perception of time as a linear line, always going forward.

This is similar to primitive peoples perceiving the Earth as flat. It could be infinite - the horizon always kept bringing something new no matter how far they traveled; or, it could be finite, in which case there was the risk of falling off the edge.

*Note: The terms three-dimensional, fourth-dimensional, and any other references to dimension in regards to "beings" means only that the being can directly perceive that many dimensions. A three-dimensional being cannot directly perceive the fourth dimension; the three-dimensional being can only infer its existence. The fourth dimensional being can directly perceive the fourth dimension. However, almost all objects exist in all dimensions.*

__Important: a dimension does not need to be detected to exist. If we had no memory of the interval we label as "time," our existence in space-time would still occur.__

In its simplest form, a curve, extended infinitely, becomes a circle (or, better yet, a sphere). A sphere, when looked at microscopically without precision, would appear as a flat surface, just like primitive people perceived the Earth. Only when enough of the Earth was explored and technology was developed adequately could the true form of Earth be determined. The same holds true for three-dimensional beings trying to grasp the dimension of time. We need to perceive/detect the macroscopic view in order to determine form.

For the initial attempts at perceiving something outside of our normal senses, precision is not necessary. Einstein stated that space is finite but time is infinite. The problem here is that infinite is not calculable. We need to make it finite in order to progress. We can do this for time.

For practical purposes, time for any given object (such as a particle, an atom, a molecule, a person, a planet, a star, a galaxy, a universe) begins from that object's coming into existence and ends when that object ceases to exist in that form. (Never mind the fact that energy cannot be destroyed, only changed in form. We are dealing here in non-precision in order to get a finite value for the initial attempts.) If the object's existence in time was linear, the object's existence might appear to a fourth-dimensional being as a sphere. However, to the third-dimensional being, time seems like a straight line going on forever. Both are correct from their individual points of reference. A fourth-dimensional being could traverse this time continuum simply by going from point A to point B, because that being can perceive that dimension. The third-dimensional being cannot.

Note: in this thesis, the term being is used in a symbolic way to denote an object that is aware of condition and change in environment - whatever that environment may be. As we are dealing with different dimensions, assuming that the term being refers to the human or humanoid form could lead to erroneous conclusions.

Note: in this thesis, the term being is used in a symbolic way to denote an object that is aware of condition and change in environment - whatever that environment may be. As we are dealing with different dimensions, assuming that the term being refers to the human or humanoid form could lead to erroneous conclusions.

Objects whose X, Y, Z axis change (objects in motion) do not exist in time linearly. You cannot change your position in the X, Y, and Z axis without also changing your position in T in a nonlinear fashion. A perceived fixed object (a stone lying on the ground, a building, a mountain) does move as a consequence of movements through space (Earth orbital, geologic, etc.) and the force moving the object through time. So, even perceived fixed objects move within the space-time continuum - there are no true stationary objects.

Could a stasis field cause an object to cease moving in space-time? Nature abhors lack of motion just as much as it abhors a vacuum. A perfect stasis field might be difficult to achieve. Maybe an object might have its movement through space-time retarded to a more or less degree, depending on the success of generating a stasis field around the object.

Because existence in time is nonlinear, assuming a perfect sphere as the form of an object's existence in the fourth dimension is not correct. More likely, the object's existence might be as an ever changing stream. The whole of space-time could then be considered as bundles of streams intertwining, bundling, dispersing out, merging in. Or, the form may be a cloud with voids and dense areas. Ultimately, space-time could have a recognizable form, once perceived on a large scale.

However, for nonprecision calculation purposes, the best analogy of an object's existence in space-time is as a ball of yarn gradually increasing in size. There is a beginning (the object's coming into existence). The object continues to exist nonlinearly - the windings of the yarn gradually making the ball larger. The point here is at any given moment in the object's existence, time is finite. Always in motion and always with infinite possibilities. Yet, nonetheless finite when we do not require precision. And, even though the possibilities for that object are infinite, the object seldom strays from a certain mean - thus the ball of yarn analogy. For example, consider repetitive motions (routines, cycles). These motions repeat, but never precisely - just like adjacent strands in the ball of yarn.

**Coordinates**

The problem of working out the fourth dimension (space-time) is that we have no reference point(s) and coordinate structure(s) for it. True navigation on the surface of the Earth was not possible until a coordinate system was worked out. However, to get started, this can be very simple (as in early attempts at navigation). For example, in early navigation, the reference point was where we were standing and the coordinates where relative to that point. This was adequate for the initial attempts at navigation, but is no longer adequate once you go beyond the horizon of the reference point. In early days, ships always stayed within sight of land. If they ever lost sight of land, the sailors were essentially lost - only able to find their way back by means of dead reckoning (the memory of Time, where T = a linear line). True global navigation was possible only when the following developed:

1. The shape of the surface of the Earth was determined to approximate a sphere.

2. A coordinate system was developed. The reference point for lines of longitude (X) was arbitrarily decided to be Greenwich, England, with increments arbitrarily set at degree, minute, and second intervals. The equator (a defined point, based on an imaginary line around the Earth, halfway between the geographical poles, where the surface of the planet is approximately parallel to the axis of rotation, with the assigned value of 0) became the reference point for lines of latitude (Y). However arbitrary these were, these coordinates enabled adequate navigation across the surface of the Earth. Later, an additional requirement of height (Z) became necessary. An arbitrary reference point of mean sea level was decided upon. Although the sea level does change, the mean is adequate for most navigation. Similarly, we do not need precision in our initial attempt to coordinate the fourth dimension. However, precision will be required, ultimately, in order to safely travel in time.

A coordinate system that might be used to get started is: Tx, Ty, Tz, X, Y, Z. This system appears to have some basis in String Theory.

We currently use arbitrary reference points for Tx. In western civilization, we use the Julian calendar, with the reference point being the so-called birth-of-Christ date of December 25, year 0. Although it is debatable as to accuracy of the named event, the otherwise usage of the date as the zero reference of the Julian calendar is acceptable (it's arbitrary, but fine as long as everyone agrees to it). The other calendars in usage (as the Chinese and the Jewish calendars) are perfectly acceptable as well (maybe even more so than the Julian calendar). A reference point needs to be made for Ty, which would be arbitrary. Then, we would need a Tz reference point. Any takers?

And, of course, the X, Y, Z could be our existing convention of longitude, latitude, and altitude reckoned from mean sea level.

For human beings, Tx is our linear perception of the passage of time. We ignore Ty and Tz, as we cannot perceive them directly. But, they exist nonetheless. Our passage through time can be equated to a balloon floating in the atmosphere. It always goes forward, no matter what real direction in reference to the Earth it is traveling.

Regardless, unless Tx, Ty, and Tz are entered into the coordinate system, X, Y, and Z are meaningless in the space-time continuum.

Unfortunately, Tx, Ty, Tz, X, Y, Z are a relative coordinate system. They may be minimally adequate to plot from point A to point B in space-time. But, for mapping of the dimension itself, absolute coordinates must be found. For our universe, the absolute coordinates might be derived from the instant of the initiation of the Big Bang, the moment of creation, or whatever other mechanism is discovered for the initiation of the current universe we occupy.

To navigate from point A to point B in space-time you will require not only the necessary coordinates of both points, but, you will also have to calculate the curvature of space-time between the two points.

**Time Travel**

If time travel is possible, shouldn't a time machine already exist?

The idea is that once the problems are worked out and a means/mechanism/machine/modus for time transport is devised, said machine should then exist for all time. Putting it another way, if someone calculates the level of improbability of such a machine, feeds this calculation into a computer connected to a nice cup of really hot tea and turns it on, the time machine is simply called into existence (as was the infinite improbability drive in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams). Well, there is a problem with this. We can perceive only X, Y, Z, and T (where T is apparently a linear straight line). Whereas, the time travel means/mechanism/machine/modus would exist at Tx, Ty, Tz, X, Y, Z. We can not directly perceive of that machine, just the same as a two-dimensional being cannot directly perceive a three-dimensional object. The machine could already exist. There are two discernable possibilities here:

1. The machine could be perceived only at the moment it deposits an object into our current point in the space-time continuum. As the machine would have the ability to change its location directly from point A to point B in the space-time continuum, the machine may not have a sequential existence within our journey in the space-time continuum (here today, gone tomorrow).

2. The machine may already have portals (entry ways, access methods) into our dimension. However, since we do not have the reference points for Tx, Ty, and Tz, we would not realize the true purpose of the portals even though we could be standing right in the vicinity of them. Thus, for all we know, the Pyramids of Egypt could be time portals and we would not realize this until we work out Tx, Ty, and Tz.

Perhaps the closest idea of what an initial time machine might be is described by Frank Herbert in his novel, "Dune." That is, passengers enter a cylinder. A "navigator," who has the ability to perceive the space-time continuum, folds space-time and thus the cylinder instantly travels vast distances, such as across the galaxy. The cylinder would hopefully shield the passengers from the temporary chaos of transitioning from one point to another point in the space-time continuum.

Ultimately, it may be discovered that a physical machine is not required for time travel - the modus being an integral part of our own being.

One final note before you time travel (or, go into and come out of stasis) - if you don't know exactly where you are and where you are going in the space-time continuum, you could end up being any where, any when. Three dimensions plus the time shown on a clock are not going to be sufficient to insure safe travel.

**Suggested Time Travel Experiment**

The first attempt at time travel might be accomplished in a very small and controlled way. A magnet placed on a superconductor cooled with liquid nitrogen will float above the surface of the superconductor when it reaches its critical temperature. After placing this apparatus in a vacuum, the magnet could then be made to jump a few femtoseconds into the future. The magnet is not directly in contact with solid matter and the brief interval would reduce the position error from imprecise calculations of the curvature of space-time. As the intent would be to skip the magnet ahead briefly into the future, this would avoid the occurrence of paradox.

Source:-www.west.net/~ke6jqp/spacetime/spacetime.html#purpose