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Can time be folded?

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November 10, 2007 3:05AM

In Einstein's theory of gravitation, which is also referred to as General Relativity, space-time is warped (i.e., curved) by the presence of mass. It is not meaningful to speak of folding time alone, but rather one speaks of bending space-time. To make a significant bend in space-time, a very massive object (such as a star) or a very dense object (such as a black hole) is required. In 1915, Einstein succeeded in writing down an equation that describes how much space-time is curved in the presence of mass. That equation is a critical part of his General Theory of Relativity. It is not a simple equation to understand, since it requires first some understanding of tensors and Riemannian geometry. You will have to study math and physics for several years in order to understand it.