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Is Space-Time a Physical Entity or a Mathematical Model?


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lol. The term real effect adds another dimension P


Good example is redshift its an effect but it is a real effect. Or wavelength.


Guess thats why metaphysics papers use the term " more real". Rather than just real lol.


example presentism "My here-now is more real than your here-now". Yet there is no mathematical way to prove this is the case.

Edited by Mordred
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  • 2 weeks later...

Do you also consider phlogiston real, just because famous people for at least 1500 years proclaimed it so?


Of course not - do you proclaim a theory that disproves Einstein's field theory? If so, please present it.

Does something require embodiment to be real and part of reality?


Consider this example.


I pick up something and pull on it.

It stretches some.

Then I let go.

It returns to its original size.


I pull on it some more (a bit harder this time).

It stretches further and again returns to original condition upon release.


This is called elasticity.


So does elasticity exist? It elasticity real?



Can I weigh it?

Can I see it?

Can I smell, taste, feel, etc it?


Well actually none of these.


Yet I maintain that elasticity is real and that any system of definition that is unable to cope with this simple example of abstract existence is seriously deficient.


We deal with many far more subtle effects in our encounters with reality than this so we need a sophisticated definition to cope with with all the vagaries and ramifications.


Right. However, it's it's not an entity but a property. Would you similarly reason that if elasticity is a real property, that the entity to which you ascribe that property must be real as well? In other words, that it may be called, as the OP phrased it, a "physical entity"?


I wouldn't attempt to argue wether elasticity or curvature is a "physical thing" By all means both of these phenomena I would concider "real" but we also concluded in many threads that "real" is such a subjective term that it doesnt make sense to use it in this context.


Now, as for the title of the thread (the question at hand) do we have a solid definition of "physical" ? [..] For me it remains an intuitive answer (which doesnt satisfy me btw) - "if it bends, its a physical thing"


Elasticity is a property, it's not an entity and therefore it cannot be a "thing". However I agree with you that if something has a real property in the sense that it can affect physical measurements, then it's normal to call that something a physical entity.

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Could artificial software be developed that took physical measurements and turned them into models?

Well, we have GR/SR and scientists are working on a quantum theory that will encompass the former; the model changes. If spacetime was an entity it would be immutable, just like a tree is a tree.

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Are all things defined by their opposites?


If so, space is defined by the events that take place within it and by that measure would be equally "real"


So can spacetime (as a different concept from the mathematical model) also be understood as a mirror image (or a negative image) of the events it "contains"?

Edited by geordief
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Could artificial software be developed that took physical measurements and turned them into models?

In this case we have the following situation:

On the left side of the balance: Spacetime (essentially nothing)

On the right side of the balance: Matter & Radiation (essentially something)


If Spacetime is NOT a physical entity, when Something (ourself) measures that Space (nothing) expands, it must mean that Matter & Radiation shrink.

I don't see any other logical explanation.

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