Response to Space, for Shakir

From Prof. John Baez (I asked him  for a quick note):


There are many different theories of space, so there are many different answers to the question “what is space?” But if you ask about the role played by space in general relativity, I’d say that Einstein discovered that space is not so important: we should instead think about spacetime, because this is something that different observers can agree on. His theory of spacetime says that it is a differentiable manifold with a Lorentzian metric. So, it’s a kind of entity, with very definite properties, that are nicely described using math.

Really explaining what I just said would take about a year or two! I don’t want to spend my time explaining general relativity anymore, since I wrote a book about it, and an expository paper.



2 thoughts on “Response to Space, for Shakir”

  1. Space, with its many spatial attributes, is the
    entity we use the most, feel the most and yet we
    are conscious of the least!
    The medical professionals who have treated the
    brain injured patients have often reported
    extraordinary loss of geometric capabilities, often
    due to a tiny brain lesion or degeneration.
    Such perplexing ailments make us wonder: is
    there a true human being without the space and
    its geometrical attributes? Can the space be
    completely removed from the human being? Is
    space an inseparable part of the being a human?
    Every second of our lives, and even in our
    deepest dreams, we are immersed in some
    fantastic space. There is no thought within the
    human intellect and there is no faculty of human
    mind that is free from spatial attributes or does
    not use the space and its many variant
    Human languages and abstractions are riddled
    and commixed with spatial attributes e.g. ‘within
    my heart’ or ‘memories are all around’ or ‘rising
    above the situation’ and so on.

    Sayyidi Dara,
    Your write-ups is,as always,enlightening and charming.
    I’ve been learning generel relativity.It’s quite amazing. But the problem is Science explains ‘how it works’ briliantly,but avoids the question- ‘why’?
    So,mind does not feel satisfied totally.

    I seek Allah ta’ala’s guidance to know things as they truly are.

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