Space vs Time
Space and time are two of the most fundamental concepts discussed in various fields. The concept of space is one of the most intuitive concepts, and it is very hard to define. The concept of time is also an intuitive concept and hard to define. Space and time are two fundamental dimensions in Newtonian mechanics and other classical mechanics. It is vital to have a very good understanding in the concepts of space and time in order to excel in fields such as classical mechanics, relativity, quantum mechanics and even philosophy. In this article, we are going to discuss what space and time are, their most possible definitions, the applications of space and time, the similarities and finally the difference between space and time.
Space can be identified as the three dimensional boundless extent in which the events occur, and objects are placed. In simpler words, everything we know occurs in space. Coordinate systems are defined to measure the space and quantify the events that occur in space. Most common of these coordinate systems are the Cartesian coordinate system, plane polar coordinate system, spherical polar coordinate system, and the cylindrical polar coordinate system. The space was assumed to be a fixed quantity in the study of classical mechanics. In classical mechanics, both space and time were independent of the events that occurred. With the rise of the general theory of relativity, it was shown that space indeed is not a fixed quantity. Space – time is “curved” depending on the events that occur in it. With this space –time contraction concept, phenomena such as length contraction and time dilation are observed. These phenomena are not explainable by the theory of a fixed space.
Time can be identified as the duration it takes between two events. The concept of time is not definable. Time, along with space and mass makes up the three basic dimensions in classical mechanics. These are denoted by [T], [L] and [M] respectively. In the field of classical mechanics, time was assumed to be an invariant content. This concept means that time does not change with respect to any other phenomena. However, with the introduction of special relativity, time was proved to be a variant. The time between two events depends on the velocity the event was occurring with respect to the observer. This is known as the time dilation. In modern physics, time is taken as a variant quantity. The only invariant quantity in modern physics is the speed of light.
What is the difference between Space and Time?
• Both space and time are fundamental quantities in classical mechanics.
• The special theory of relativity describes the time dilation in relativistic speeds, whereas the general theory of relativity describes the space – time curvature.