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Q & A: lines in Minkowski space

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Most recent answer: 05/26/2016
Q:
Is it true that any two points in Minkowski spacetime determine a unique line?
- Ben (age 25)
Richmond, VA, USA
A:

Minkowski space viewed geometrically is just a 4-coordinate 4-D Euclidean space, in which two points determine a line just as in any Euclidean space. Perhaps you're asking the more interesting question of whether a straight line in that space transforms into a straight line under the physically relevant symmetries, the Lorentz transformations. That's interesting because these transformations are not the same as the plain rotations of a 4-D Euclidean space.The answer is still yes- a straight line in one frame transforms to a straight line in any other frame.

Mike W.


(published on 05/26/2016)

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