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Spacetime

Two-dimensional analogy of space–time distortion. Matter changes the geometry of spacetime, this (curved) geometry being interpreted as gravity. White lines do not represent the curvature of space but instead represent the coordinate system imposed on the curved spacetime, which would be rectilinear in a flat spacetime.

In [physics] , spacetime (or space–time; or space/time ) is any [mathematical model] that combines [space] and [time] into a single [continuum] . Spacetime is usually interpreted with space being [three-dimensional] and time playing the role of a [fourth dimension] that is of a different sort from the spatial dimensions. According to certain [Euclidean space] perceptions, the [universe] has three [dimension] s of space and one dimension of time. By combining space and time into a single [manifold] , physicists have significantly simplified a large number of [physical theories] , as well as described in a more uniform way the workings of the universe at both the [supergalactic] and [subatomic] levels.

In [classical mechanics] , the use of Euclidean space instead of spacetime is appropriate, as time is treated as universal and constant, being independent of the state of motion of an observer. In [relativistic] contexts, however, time cannot be separated from the three dimensions of space, because the rate at which time passes depends on an object's [velocity] relative to the [speed of light] and also on the strength of intense [gravitational fields] , which can slow the passage of time.

Concept with dimensions

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