Space Time Continuum question?

A question on the Space-Time Continuum?

Picture this: The space time continuum, the flat blanket that covers the universe, and dips and curves according to mass. Now, I was wondering; how is it that the space-time continuum is flat, and yet the universe is not? For instance, what if there was a star, a few thousand miles north (space terms for straight up) from the flat continuum? Would the star fall onto the blanket? I don't think so... So how would the mass or existence of the stars presence "above" the space time continuum affect the actual space time continuum?

Heres a sort of visual picture:

O <-- what effect does this have on the blanket?

__O____ <--- here is a star affecting the blanket with its mass.

Anyone? Help?

Update:

Btw, ty and i realize it is just a visualization; I just wanted to try to think about it in another way. Ty anyways though

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Hey it is a little confusing isn't it, Space being 3 dimensional and time being one dimensional .. there is a relationship called the 3 ,1 rational where we perceive that rectilinear co-ordinate system (the blanket) and the universal laws of gravity ( the deformation) all at one time..Its a multidimensional view of two inherently different things. the depth of the hole increases with gravity and the whole thing is only for observation and has no scalar or vector values. Time on the graph is bent by gravity and the amount is varied by the physical size of the object. So I said all that to say this ..Each time you see a blanket string theory or volute or dipper or whatever they want to call it graph it is a representation of two undefinable operations on only one thing not all the universe..Or it would be as you say a sphere and have dips everywhere. actually if you view it like that there would be a zone of influence equal to the critical amount of gravity and mass implied on the surrounding space. In the black hole application it is not a well that you fall into but a zone you might pass into. So it is with the gravity of all objects, a zone of influence around each object. Graphing this however is better understood if only a small sampling of the are is devoted to the description...Its a good thing to talk about on a Saturday afternoon as well...From the E...

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  • 1 decade ago

    That flat blanket analogy is just a way to visualize the universe. It is in no way a flat sheet of any form, but rather 3 dimensions as we see. If you have three sticks intersecting at right angles to each other, try to imagine another stick at right angles to the original three. It can't be done without making some sort of representation within our three dimensions.

    As to the concept of your question: things outside our dimension do not interact with us as far as we can tell.

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  • 1 decade ago

    If we say "the universe is flat" we mean that averaged over millions of parsecs the geometry is flat. That doesn't prevent a star from perturbing space time a few light years around.

    Look at it like this. Seen from an airplane 5 miles up, the sea looks flat. Only close up you can see the waves.

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  • 1 decade ago

    When you drive down a hill in your car, you're driving downhill on that spacetime blanket. Downhill is closer to the mass that acts as the primary source of gravity, toward regions of stronger gravitational force and "lower" gravitational potential energy. Uphill is farther away from the source of gravity, toward regions of weaker gravitational force and "higher" gravitational potential energy.

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  • 1 decade ago

    its just a visualization to demonstrate the effects of gravity.

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