General Question

flutherother's avatar

What is distance?

Asked by flutherother (22118 points ) March 27th, 2011

Time is the difficult dimension to understand, space we understand intuitively. Or do we? What is meant by distance? Is it just a way of describing a relationship between objects. To what degree is space just a construction of our minds?

What brought this question to mind was quantum entanglement and non locality Particles can be linked and behave as one even when separated by immense distances. How can this be?

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13 Answers

yankeetooter's avatar

Distance = Velocity x time…Sorry-I know that’s not what you wanted…:)

ragingloli's avatar

The difference in physical location between 2 points in n dimensional space?

yankeetooter's avatar

Interesting article, by the way. I think I even understood most of what it was trying to say…

Pankakejoe's avatar

Ammount of energy/movement needed for an object to arrive at another point? Crap that sounds wrong but it’s all I got ^_^ I probably just defined something completely different good question I like the ones that make me think

josie's avatar

Whatever it is that lies between point A and point B.

kess's avatar

Just as time is the product of the divided mind, wich assigns beginning and end to all things, space is created to assign individuality to those things so as to relate to them and place each it a specific location within this space.

So we see distance is merely the perception of the mind as it seeks to interact with the individuality of things as per their location, meaning the difficulty or ease by which the mind encounters in seeking to interact with these things.

So things that are at a far distance, are very difficult to interact with as oppose to the thing that are closer are easier to interact with…

When the breach within the mind is united, then distance will be no more, for it will see all things are already within itself.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Written's avatar

I find it fascinating when people say that something is a few ’‘light years away’’, when instead, light years are measurements of distance, not time.

People hear ’‘year’’ and think time.

Rarebear's avatar

Well it depends if your frame of reference is flat or not. If you have a curved surface, like a sphere, and you measure the distance between two points on opposite sides of the sphere, you’re going to get two different distances whether you go along the 2 dimensional surface or the 3 dimensional diameter.

yankeetooter's avatar

@Rarebear : Well then I guess you would have to further define whether you are going “as the crow flies” or some such nonsense…

Rarebear's avatar

@yankeetooter Indeed, and it’s even more complicated than that. Spacetime curves around a massive object causing gravity. A photon will move around the object in a straight line, but if you were to look at the path of the photon it would be curved. If you were to measure the distance that photon traveled it would include the curved movements, but if you’re going to measure directly the distance between point a and b it might be different.

yankeetooter's avatar

Sigh…aren’t science guys great? Sorry, I’m somewhat partial to a man who can give an intelligent answer…

LostInParadise's avatar

Our concept of distance is intimately related to our concept of number, as shown by the number line. I do not know why the two tie together so nicely. I just stand in awe of it.

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