Scientists are always modifying their theories of the universe. Some of them question whether space and time are actually as closely connected as Einstein believed. Others have developed theories that depend on the inseparable connection between space and time. Here are some awesome (and awesomely crazy) speculations about the space-time continuum.
1. Somewhere, in some parallel universe, you are even more awesome than you are here and now
Ever wish you could relive something? If space and time are linked in a continuum, the resulting dimensions could indicate that an infinite number of universes exist simultaneously. In another dimension, there might be a universe where you are an inventor or a secret agent or a Jedi knight.
2. You are not the same person you were when you read the previous paragraph
Some scientists think time is just a useful way to measure change. For example, the person you were when reading the last sentence is not the same person you are when reading this sentence. You’re now completely different! Your memory of reading the first sentence is just your brain sorting thought slivers remaining from an earlier you.
3. We remember the fourth dimension
You definitely perceive time in some way, but not with your three-dimensional senses. Time extends beyond the universe in a fourth dimension. Humans only comprehend fourth-dimensional time as a series of memories, which causes them to think of time as proceeding in a straight line. Despite our perceptions, time really exists as a dimension that objects can cross like they could a field (time travel, anyone?). Humans can only move in one direction forward through time because they live in the third dimension (for now).
4. There is a space-time vortex around the earth
A NASA probe recently returned from a seven-year orbit confirming one of Einstein’s theories: a space-time vortex exists around the Earth. Space and time are knitted together into something like a four-dimensional scarf. Earth pulls on this scarf, causing an indentation, like a person sitting on a trampoline. Gravity thus provides a path for objects to follow the curve of the indentation. Einstein theorized that Earth’s rotation then twists the indentation into a four dimensional tornado. Theoretically, it would swirl around indefinitely, but the space probe confirmed Einstein’s predictions that the “tornado” would shift! Our planet is caught in a vortex hurtling through space.
Which of these theories do you think are science, and which do you think are science fiction?