Most will agree the goal of Physics is to define the laws of nature and provide an understanding of the why they translate to the universe we know. However, there may be some disagreement on how to approach it.
For example, a classical approach would be to observe how matter and energy interact with our environment and then attempt to define a mechanism, based on those observations that will explain and predict their causality.
This was the method was used Newton to develop the laws of gravity.
Newton observed the orbits of the planets and realized they had something in common in that their positions could be predicted if one assumed their movements were a result of force emanating from mass itself.Â This observation was reformulated into Newton’s gravitational theory.Â
This method gave him the ability to check, through observations the validity of his theory because he could observe how the planets physically interacted with their spatial environments to define their positions.
However, Newton was unable to define the casualty of the force associated with his law of gravity.
That was left to Einstein.
He realized the causality of gravity could be explained and predicted by assuming that time and space is physically connected.Â This idea was became known as “The General Theory of Relativity”.
However, Einstein had to use a different approach than Newton to verify his theory because the physical properties of time or a space time-dimension cannot be directly observed.
Therefore, because he could not directly observe time or a space-time dimension he not only had to assume it had physical properties but also how it would interact with space to cause gravity.
However, this approach, unlike the one used by Newton does not give physicists the ability to verify through observations how the interaction of space and time can explain gravity because, as mentioned earlier no has ever observed the physical properties of time or a space-time dimension.Â Therefore, they must rely on how they think they would interact to verify Einstein’s theory.
Physics is an observational science because, as it name implies it is devoted to the understanding of how and why matter and energy physically interact to create the structure of the universe.Â Therefore, physicists should use caution when assuming the existence of a parameter, such as a physical property of time that is unobservable because there is no way for them to observational verify that it has those properties.
It has been shown throughoutÂ this blog that one could define the casualty of gravity in terms of four identical *spatial* dimensions instead of four-dimensional space-time.
One advantage to do so is that would give physicists an observational basis for determining how they would interact because they could extrapolate the interactions of the three spatial dimensions they can observe to understand that how a fourth *spatial* dimension would interact with them.
Therefore, even though, as was shown in the article “Embedded Dimensions” Oct. 22, 2007 physicists will never be able to directly observe the properties of a fourth *spatial* dimension they can use observations of three-dimensional space as a basis for deriving how they would interact with three-dimensional space to cause gravity.
Additional we can observe how objects are effected by a curvature in a two dimensional surface with respect to the third spatial dimension.
For example water will flow and become concentrated at the lowest point on a curved surface in three dimensional space.
Similarly one could extrapolate that behave to a four spatial dimensionsÂ energy will flow and become concentrated in the form of mass at the lowest point in a curved “surface” of a three dimensional space manifold with respect to a fourth spatial dimension.
In other words one does not have to assume the physical properties of a fourth spatial dimensions or how it would interact with the three dimensions we can observe if one bases their physical properties on our observations of them.
Einstein not only had to assume the physical properties of time but he also had to assume how it would interact with space to form a space-time dimension that could account for the properties of gravity.
Therefore, assuming gravity is a result of an interaction of three-dimensional space with a fourth *spatial* dimension, as we have done should have more scientific credibility than one based on a space-time dimension because observations of our three-dimensional environment provide a basis for understanding how it would physically interact with it.Â
Copyright 2008 Jeffrey O’Callaghan