PJay_A":y90u3052 said:

Dr. Rocket, I have several scattered points. I'll tie them all together later. First, would you agree with the following statement: Five hundred years from now people will look back at today's science in wonderment of how little we know in relation to "major discoveries that changed everything" during the intervening years. Much like we do today, looking back 500 years from today, while also acknowledging the great thinkers of the period like Newton. Five hundred years from today, people may look back with much new knowledge gained, placing Einstein's theories new meaning in a much greater web of understand of knowledge, much like how Einstein's theories on gravity build on that of Newtons.

I would bet that farm that modern theories, from Relativity to String are small elements of a much greater framework of which modern science knows nothing or very little of. Einstein's mind's eye got a glimpse of something he had tried his whole life to explain through theory. I think many others, in their mind's eye, got a glimpse, but have no clue as to what they just saw, such as those working on String theory.

My take is they are on the right track, but their ideas (as of now) are flawed and based on conjecture. I even think Einstein may have been very close, but his explanation is coming from his very limited POV. If others could see the same as what Einstein thought he understood, I bet you we would have had many Relativity Theories, each saying essentially the same thing, but different ways of understanding the mechanics behind it.

I think I totally "get" what Einstein saw in his Mind's Eye. Dare I say it, but I think there may be other explanations. I'm not saying Einstein was wrong, but I'm saying his theories aren't complete. That there's more going on here. For Relativity, for example, Einstein's words shouldn't be the last words, but an introduction.

Here's what throws me for a loop. Why do we all accept time as the fourth dimension? Because Einstein said so, it should be "Case Closed, End of Discussion"? Why should the dimension of time be any different from the three spacial dimensions? If time is a dimension, then it should behave as such, but it behaves as a totally different thing. From my POV, I see that there can't be time or even the expansion of the Universe without the existence of greater dimensions. Greater dimensions is what makes time and expansion possible, not the other way around. New 3D space is a requirement of time and expansion. That space is being fed into our 3D membrane through the folding and unfolding of greater dimensional space. If time is a dimension, then it must have two directions, but it only moves forward. Does time really move? And why? And how fast?

It is not time that's actually moving. Something must be attracting photons in a fourth dimensional gravity well. Like all orbits, there are two polarities of directional movement. I believe that a truer explanation of time will be understood once the greater dimensional existence of photons and associated behaviors thereof are all understood.

I can agree with your assessment that in 500 years our understanding will be greater and the fundamental theories of todays physics --- general relativity, quantum chromodynamics, and the electroweak quantum field theory -- will be be seen to be approximations to a more complete theory that encompasses all of them.

I don't agree that there was any reasonable probability for several theories that would have been equivalent to relativity, but formulated in apparently different ways. There were several people who were closing in on general relativity at the time that Einstein announced his formulation, and more people who contributed afterwards. Poincare and Lorentz leap to mind as examples of the first group and Minkowski in the second.

General Relativity is a bit different. It is pretty clear that Einstein formulated that pretty much on the basis of personal insight and that it would taken quite a long time for it to emerge from other quarters. This despite the fact that David Hilbert, the great mathematician, actually understood tensor analysis sufficiently well to have published the Einstein field equations a short time before Einstein himself.

I doubt the you "totally get" what Einstein saw in his mind's eye, unless your name is Roger Penrose. Nevertheless, your notion that Einstein's theories are incomplete is very likely correct. It is well known that general relativity and quantum field theories are mutually incompatible. It is likely that both will require revision before we have a "theory of everything." One reason that I am confident that you don't "totally get" Einstein's vision, is your statement regarding the dimension of time.

In general relativity time and space are only locally distinguishable. Globally, space-time has curvature and time and space are mixed together and not separable. The inseparability of space from time is even present in special relativity, particularly in the formulation in terms of 4-vectors by Minkowski and gave rise to his rather famous statement;

“The views of space and time which I wish to lay before you have sprung from the soil of experimental physics, and therein lies their strength. They are radical. Henceforth space by itself, and time by itself, are doomed to fade away into mere shadows, and only a kind of union of the two will preserve an independent reality.” –Hermann Minkowski, 1908"

So, your notion that time is not particularly different from space, is really not radical and is part of the formulation of space-time as a Lorentzian 4-manifold with curvature.

It is important to recognize that time and space are not simply 4 dimensions of an ordinary Euclidean space, but rather are simply local coordinates of a 4-manifold with a Lorentzian metric. Accepting that there are at leas 4 such dimensional parameters is quite easy, and is the stuff of everyday experience -- to specify a meeting you need to supply 3 spatial coordinates and the time.

Dimensions, including time, don't move. Your analogy and analysis is flawed in that respect. You seem to be stuck int he past with Newton's idea of ever flowing and universal time. That simply doesn't work any longer.

Sorry, but your last paragraph is just gibberisn.