UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
I am curious about experiments confirming or refuting the block universe (based on Einstein-Minkowski spacetime). Since relativity predicts that moving away from an object looks at the object's past and moving toward an object looks at the object's future; and since satellites can move at high velocities (c/10,000 or higher) and look at distant objects of variable intensity (fast radio bursts), it seems that we can now confirm or refute this feature of Relativity. Right? Why haven't these experiments been done? Why is the existence of the block universe still an open question?
Question Date: 2020-01-06
Answer 1:

I am not sure I completely understand what you are asking. Relativistic time-dilation is a well-known phenomenon, both in special relativity as well as in general relativity (it's how radars can tell speed and direction as well as distance). However, because of the finite speed at which light travels, you can never observe another object in the present, whenever the 'present' happens to be. Thus I don't believe that the philosophical distinction of whether any time other than the present 'exists' is something that science has any purchase on at this time.

Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use