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 Astronomy and Cosmology
 Astronomy and Cosmology


Black Holes

Curved Space
Dark Matter
Discussion Board
Quantum Mechanics
Star's Life Cycle
The Big Bang
Time Warps

Astronomy and Cosmology
 C u r v e d   S p a c e @
     It isn't space which is curved it's spacetime. When I talk about curved space I'm not being very accurate. The reason I do talk about curved space is because it's easier to understand than curved spacetime. Spacetime is a fusion of space and time; we put the two together because they are not independent. They may appear to be independent in every day life but they're noticeably connected if you travel at near light speed.

What does it mean for space to be curved? Moving through curved space is not thCurved Spacee same as driving down a curved road, because when you're moving through curved space, you think you're travelling in a straight line. How can this be? Imagine approaching an area of great curvature, which therefore is very hard to traverse. The easiest way to get to the other side is to go around, rather than through. Thus the line (which is the shortest distance between two points, as defined by geometry) of your path is not straight, but curved. Such a line is called a geodesic.

     In our universe, things travel along geodesics of spacetime. Because these geodesics are curved by the presence of matter, an object's geodesic will curve inward toward a massive body. We observe this effect as gravitation. Light, too, travels along geodesics, and its path is bent and curved as it speeds through spacetime.
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