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The Unreal Universe

The Unreal Universe
Reality, as we sense it, is not quite real. The stars we see in the night sky, for instance, are not really there. They may have moved or even died by the time we get to see them. This unreality is due to the time it takes for light from the distant stars and galaxies to reach us. We know of this delay. Even the sun that we know so well is already eight minutes old by the time we see it. What is surprising (and seldom highlighted) is that when it comes to sensing motion, we cannot back-calculate in the same kind of way as we can to correct for the delay in observation of the sun. Einstein chose to resolve the problem by treating perception as distorted and inventing new fundamental properties in the arena of physics - in the description of space and time. Einstein instead redefined simultaneity by using the instants in time we detect the event. Special Relativity gives an unambiguous answer to this question. This disconnect is not uncommon in philosophical schools of thought.

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