Saturday, June 9, 2012

The 6 Dimensions of Spacetime

Not that physics isn't already too complicated, but a few years ago while studying time, I realized something; Time has 3 dimensions.

It was once thought that time was merely a constant, one dimensional measurement. It was eventually discovered that the measurement of time alters with relative velocity, hence "time is relative". But it was strange to me that no one seemed to have realized that velocity is a vector, a one dimensional vector. When something travels very fast relative to something else, the time measured will be dependent upon that speed. But the object is only traveling in one dimension. And the time in that dimension will no doubt be measured as different than if it were not moving. But the object is not moving in the other 2 dimensions and thus the time relating to those dimensions cannot change.

In effect, if one were to consider the idea of moving so fast as to reverse time, one would have to realize that time would only be reversed for the one dimension in which the object was traveling. The other 2 dimensions are not affected. If 3 idealized 2-dimensional clocks were on board orthogonally situated, only one would have any reason to flow backwards or even slow down.

The distinction can perhaps be more easily seen if it is presumed that two ships were screaming across space at near light speed. To the outside observer, both ships would seemed to have slower clocks, they would both age less. But between the two ships, if they were traveling parallel, there would be no difference in the clocks or aging between the ships. But what if they were not traveling parallel? What if the two ships were approaching each other at near light speed while also vectoring away from the outside observer at near light speed?

To the outside observer, the two ships are not traveling at the same velocity even though they are traveling at the same speed (different vector). And to each ship, the outside observer is traveling in a different direction from what the other would report. A problem arises when trying to calculate the aging factor, the "time dilation". As far as each ship is concerned, both the outside observer and the other ship are traveling at the same speed and thus should have the same aging involved. But to the outside observer, both of the ships should have the same aging involved as each other.

Of course, they can't all be right. Unless the time-vectors involved are considered, the time dilation factor will lead to a conundrum/paradox.

The bottom line is that time must be considered as a 3-dimensional measurement. Each orthogonally vectored dimension has its own time dimension.

Thus Spacetime is actually a 6 dimensional entity (not 4). And for a ship to travel so fast as to stop time or reverse time, it would actually have to travel in all 3 directions simultaneously. I think they call that "Poof".

So when you see anything go "poof", perhaps it merely poofed back in time. 8)

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