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Minkowski SpaceTime


vodkafan
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I read a little about this and wanted to incorporate it into my tt novel as part of a character's explanation. I am not a scientist or even particularly smart, so please bear with me. The way I understood it, a Minkowski Point is a 3D point in space qualified by an interval of time. A slice of space time, if you like.

 

Those same 3D coordinates , even a nanosecond later, will be a completely different, discrete and unique Minkowski Point ; a different slice.

 

Is that any where near an accurate understanding?

 

To me it seems that any fictional time machine must be able to accurately find, fix on and freeze a Minkowski Point as a potential destination for a short time.....it also logically follows that any time machine also must move things in space (because everything in space is moving) . I also posit that a time machine will probably only work inside it's own local gravity well (because gravity bends space and slows time) . But that is probably a good thing for my novel purposes, as it imposes parameters....

 

what does anybody think?

 

All comments welcome. :)

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you're actually serious about writing a book and doing research on Minkowski space why in God's name would you go to an alt-sci forum? Look at the posts. Does it appear to you that, with a couple of exceptions, anyone here has a clue about basic physics let alone General Relativity and analytic geometry?

 

There are dozens of legitimate sources on the Internet for research purposes if you want to know the basics of Minkowski spacetime. If you're going to write a book do it right.

 

 

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Hi Derby, sure, you are right. The trouble with books is though, that they do not give you feedback. Most scientists do not want to know about time travel and their texts skim over the subject, if they admit to any possibilities at all. And I am well aware that the possibilities that any will admit to for backward time travel are very limited. I mean, a "time machine" that takes a massive amount of effort and energy that everyone would know about it, that only lets you go back to the time the machine was made, and would probably kill a human in the process in any case, is not a very exciting one for the purposes of a story.

 

As a prospective SF writer, I just want to take something rooted in a few facts and take a "what if?" walk on the wild side with it. It's fun! So I think this is the perfect place.

 

 

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Hi Derby, sure, you are right. The trouble with books is though, that they do not give you feedback. Most scientists do not want to know about time travel and their texts skim over the subject, if they admit to any possibilities at all. And I am well aware that the possibilities that any will admit to for backward time travel are very limited. I mean, a "time machine" that takes a massive amount of effort and energy that everyone would know about it, that only lets you go back to the time the machine was made, and would probably kill a human in the process in any case, is not a very exciting one for the purposes of a story.As a prospective SF writer, I just want to take something rooted in a few facts and take a "what if?" walk on the wild side with it. It's fun! So I think this is the perfect place.

If it's just about fun then, sure, go to an alt-sci site to do "research". If it's about writing a book, publishing it and having people actually buy and read it then you have to do real research, i.e. hard work. Being a professional writer is a job. A book about the fanciful musings of posters on an alt-sci forum is bound to be a failure. The John Titor Foundation's book (A Time Traveler's Tale) is a great example of a self-published flop.

 

Scientists don't have to admit anything. They publish what is properly researched, found to be consistent with reality (the actual laws of physics) and subject to experimental verification. The texts that you read "skim over the subject" because they are pop-sci oriented, meaning they are directed to the general public. There are plenty of not so pop-sci papers, texts and manuscripts that treat the subject very deeply. You can find them on ArXiv, LanL, the university book store, etc. Gleaning useful information from them generally requires at least some college physics background. Fully understanding them requires a PhD in physics and preferably a PhD in the specific area of physics that the papers cover.

 

Having that background helps in not only understanding the papers but being able to put on BS goggles and seeing crap for what it is. There's plenty of crap papers. I'll give you an example. You've probably heard of Dr. Ron Mallett's time machine idea. You've probably read a post or two these past two weeks fawning over his "wonderful" paper on the subject. That's been going on for the past decade. And this goes to the heart of doing your research here on an alt-sci site. Dr. Mallett published his paper over ten years ago. During peer review it was quickly discovered that he's made many mistakes in his math. Once the math errors were corrected the theory fell apart. Mallett withdrew the paper and has bever resubmitted it. The theory was crap. But the alt-sci circuit still puts him on a pedistal. They didn't do their homework (and in most cases don't even know how to do homework) and aren't even aware that Mallett's paper was so flawed that he withdrew it.

 

 

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Ouch, Darby, that hurts putting me into the same category as the John Titor Foundation.....No I don't have a university degree or a PhD but then again I doubt if Jack Vance, Isaac Asimov, HG Wells or Jane Austen* did either (and no, I haven't checked.....) who were all great writers.

 

I am not arguing with you though over getting as much good information as possible.... I will try to check out some papers thank you....and I do take my writing seriously. I am putting a lot of effort into making my characters believable, my dialogue realistic, my plot exciting-so I do want the science to at least be able to stand up to a cursory examination.

 

I am sure you have read novels where the pseudo-science was so pathetic-and yet pushed under your nose so glaringly- that you cannot in good conscience keep reading . Writing is like painting- it is up to the artist to decide what details to include and which to leave out, to be able to beguile the viewer/reader to be a willing participant in deceiving himself and be enchanted just for that short time.

 

I have came across Ron Mallet. Of course, his theory is crap and he is a bad scientist in the sense of his experimental work is shoddy. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I think his "followers" have done him much more harm than good....

 

And I have hardly any words to describe those gullible enough to believe that you can buy a "time machine" for $50 that purports to create a mini black hole or two with a flashlight battery....oh wow :)

 

 

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vodkafan

 

Naturally if it's science fiction, you really don't have to stick to reality. Just a good imaginative basis for a time machine will do. If it hasn't been tried, and looks like a reasonable facsimile, people will believe. People believe in Black Holes. Even though they don't exist in our universe just yet.

 

So why not introduce everyone to the Ytterbium device? It's an experimental device developed by Professor Igor Ivanakoff. He was working one day in his laboratory using a coil of Ytterbium wire, and noticed some odd behavior when exposing the coil to pulsed ultrasound waves. It was an attempt to get the coil to generate a current. The coil was wrapped around a neodymium magnet. And of course the experiment was a success. But the Professor noticed something a bit odd on the oscilloscope. The anticipated voltage pattern was backwards. So the Professor hooked up the Ytterbium device output to a standard copper coil of wire. And took some measurements. It wasn't long before the Professor ran across a couple of additional anomalies. The magnetic field in the copper coil was showing the opposite polarity it should be for the recorded direction of current in the coil. And his digital watch was running backwards when he held it close to the copper coil. The Professor realized he had accidentally discovered a way to make a negative energy generator. The basis for a time machine. It wasn't long after, that the Professor had incorporated the Ytterbium device into a small working portable time machine. And thus began the time travel adventures of Professor Igor Ivanakoff.

 

At least that's what the Professor told me. I haven't seen him in a while. I figure I'll have to get a hold of some Ytterbium wire to verify his claims.

 

 

 

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Minkowski space is very simple to understand.

 

First, you start with a mink. A mink coat will do.

 

Then get a cow, and make the cow wear the mink coat.

 

Buy some skis, then make the cow wear them. They must be adapted to be worn on hooves instead of feet.

 

Now launch the mink-wearing cow in skis into space. A rocket works best.

 

Now you have mink-cow-ski space!

 

 

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I would really like to say that I didn't see the punchline coming GLaDOS. Unfortunately I cannot.

You must have excellent powers of deduction and foresight. You would make an e-x-c-e-l-l-e-n-t test subject. Sign up for testing today!

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

A black hole isn't really a hole so you can't travel inside it. A black hole is like being on a trampoline with a bowling ball in the middle. Imagine the trampoline is a vinyl record where the past is in the outer grooves and the present and future are on the inner grooves. Now you can only walk from the outer to the inner, from the past to the future. But if a bowling ball black hole created a fold in the record. You could walk to the future and the inner fold but find yourself in the past outer fold because the record is warped. This is how time travel would work with a black hole.

 

 

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vodkafan,

 

The bottom line here is that if you're going to write about black holes and time travel then Minkowski spacetime isn't the proper manifold. Minkowski space is flat and applies to Special Relativity where gravity is not included in the space.

 

Also, going back to your original post; no - Minkowski spacetime is not a 3D space qualified by an interval of time. That is Newtonian space. Minkowski spacetime is a complex 4D manifold with time as an integrated axis. The time coordinate is somewhat different because its signature is imaginary (sqrt -1).

 

 

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Hi Darby, I don't know how black holes got into the conversation. I don't like the wormhole theories as a method of time travel and rejected them for my storyline very early on as unworkable.

 

Thanks for putting me right about the difference between Newtonian space and Minkowski. You are right I need to read and understand this more. I have seen representations of Minkowski space that looked like an upturned cone on top of another cone of the same size, my impression -rightly or wrongly-was that the point at which the two pointy cones met was the "present" moment of time . It seemed anything but flat?

 

My thoughts about Minkowski space were mainly that it would be used a frame of reference, a language for "fixing" coordinates .

 

"Minkowski spacetime is a complex 4D manifold with time as an integrated axis. The time coordinate is somewhat different because its signature is imaginary (sqrt -1)."

 

I guess I need to read up on what the above means before I ask another question. But many thanks for taking an interest and your reply.

 

 

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OK I just broke all that down and read up on it. I get it. The cone diagrams are only an approximation with the z axis replaced by Ct , we cannot of course graph in 4D. While I still like the idea of the Minkowski Spacetime, it's a century old concept so maybe I need to read upon some newer quantum theories to base my fictional time machine's operating principles on.

 

Being fictional, I know my time machine is never going to deceive your BS goggles Darby !

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Here is my fictional time machine diagram.To calculate:

TimeTravelTime=Atomic clock time + the difference of the change in singularity density measured in units of time.

 

You can find this diagram under my bible notes.

 

Ren1999's Website

Sorry for interrupting, but it made perfect sense to me. Fictional = sarcastic I hope. Why did you take it down, BTW?

 

 

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