Matter, Energy, Space, and Time

sq_MESTHere’s a nice little fourfold that I’ve overlooked until now, kind of like a four-leaf clover. If you search for images of matter, energy, space, and time, several websites show a diagram quite similar to this, and some have interesting things to say.

One shows free energy instead of energy in general. Free energy is energy that is able to do work, and that is an important distinction, especially if you are thinking about the Four Causes. Then the four can be considered fundamental resources.

There are some other things to consider from these references. One is that there is the familiar equivalence between matter and energy. Another is the equivalence principle between gravity and acceleration.

Also, there are obvious analogies between this fourfold and the Four Elements and the Four States of Matter. sq_Noether's TheoremI have also used the pairs space-time and matter-energy as two parts of the fourfold Noether’s Theorem, the other two parts being symmetry and conservation. There is also the fourfold Spacetime that has some similarities to this one. And let’s not forget the atomism of On the Nature of Things by Lucretius.

Be sure and watch the upcoming television series Cosmos: a Spacetime Odyssey, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson. I’m sure there will be much talk of Matter, Energy, Space, and Time.


There is even a term coined for Matter-Energy-Space-Time: MEST. Of course, MEST also stands for Math, Engineering, Science, and Technology! No, sorry, that’s STEM!


[*7.90, *8.32]



2 Responses to “Matter, Energy, Space, and Time”

  1. A Game of Four-folds | Equivalent eXchange Says:

    […] random, then insight into their relationship might be obtained. For example: Structure-Function and Matter-Energy-Space-Time (MEST). The simple observation is that each quadrant of Structure-Function requires a corresponding […]

  2. A Game of Fourfolds, Part 4 | Equivalent eXchange Says:

    […] For example, the Four Elements are more than the opposite pairs of Air and Earth, Fire and Water. In Hjelmslev’s Net, Substance and Form combines with a superficially similar Content and Expression. However, above is an example of what I am striving for when Space and Time is combined with Matter and Energy. […]

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