Time, Space and the Universe as we know it – Part 6 Relative Space

With all it’s vastness and complexity it’s taken a long time for humans to reach the understanding that we have of the universe that we have. This is the story of evolving understanding and how simplicity gives way to incredible truth’s that seems to sit at odds with how we think life should be… and we’ve only just begun our journey of understanding.

Relative Space

The last post looked at how the absoluteness of time has had to be given up in order for relativity to be true. The absoluteness of time also needs to be given up in order for physics to be able to operate in different reference frames.

Photo by Guillaume Meurice on Pexels.com

Looking back at the star trip undertaken by the twin in the last post, it was shown that the spaceship travelling at 0.8c to the star 10 light years away took the ship 7.5 years to complete – not the 12 years that it did on Earth. Remember that a light year is the distance that light takes to travel in a year.

If we then use the formula Distance = Speed x Time as we have done before and take the speed – 0.8c and multiply it by the time 7.5 then the answer comes out as 6. 6 light years is the distance the ship travelled – not the 10 light years measured in the Earth’s reference frame. How is this even possible? Surely the distance that the ship travelled was 10 light years? It’s 10 light years to us on Earth – but in a spaceship travelling at 0.8c it becomes 6 light years.

Relativity means that this must be true, if the laws of physics are the same for all observers travelling in uniform motion – in a straight line at constant speed. In our daily lives the changes in time and space are so small – that we would never notice them.

Compressed Space

This spatial compression is something that was eluded to after the failed Michelson Morley experiment in the 1880’s and it’s often referred to as the Lorentz transformation.

Photo by Ramaz Bluashvili on Pexels.com

The most notable use of the compressed space is in quantum science where tiny sub atomic particles are accelerated in particle accelerators. These particle accelerators are miles long but becasue the particles shot down it are moving at close the the speed of light in the reference frame of these particles they’re only a matter of feet long.

© Simon Farnell 2013 – 2022



2001 – An Art Odyssey

Any of my long time bloggiesw ill know that one of my favourite all time SciFi stories is 2001 A Space Odyssey. For quite some time I’ve been thinking about what piece of work I could do for this. Eventually I chose this one, alshtough I have to say now that I would have done … Continue reading 2001 – An Art Odyssey



A Galaxy of Stars

A few weeks ago the sky was clearer than I’ve seen it for a long time and after seeing the success of someone else taking a picture with my same camrea I thought I would try the same settings and give it a go. The big variable with taking astrophotography pictures is the quality of … Continue reading A Galaxy of Stars

25 thoughts on “Time, Space and the Universe as we know it – Part 6 Relative Space

  1. Simon your blog is a breath of fresh air. It’s amazing learning about the world around me and the science surrounding us. Thanks so much for sharing in a way that I can understand 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Even more amazing is how those behind the current research managed to convince governments and other agencies to fund this research.
    We knew it was important, but in the long term and maybe in the ‘Unexpected Consequences’ field.
    I’m so glad Research and the Accumulation of knowledge won out.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Am mesmerized by your such informative blogs😊 Am glad that I visited you site sir😊 Will you please give me some informations regarding bosons particle?? Awaiting for your quick reply…. Thank you Sir😊

    Liked by 1 person

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