A Brief and Definitive Analysis of Time
The study of time does not require an expensive laboratory or a PhD. Duration is something that all sentient beings share and for the most part take for granted. Few have given it much thought and those who have, generally, have left the subject in more of a muddle than not. Unfortunately, since Einstein, there has been a growing trend to believe that time is a fundamental ingredient of the universe like matter and space. So, it has become fashionable to glibly talk about spacetime. I personally do not find this paste up word edifying. In fact, it is confusing and meaningless.
Time definitively is a measure. The same type of measure as the measure of space by a ruler. That is, an agreed upon portion of the real substance to be measured. An examination of a clock reveals that movement is the real quantity measured by time. The heart of all clocks is a moving object be it the apparent movement of the sun across the sky, a pendulum, crystal or the vibration of cesium atoms. These movements are compared with the movement of the objects to be measured and the numbers on the clock face are used to calculate speed and to coordinate movements. In mathematics, engineering and science and indeed in our daily lives, if movement is to be measured or coordinated a clock must be used.
Movement is a third fundamental aspect of the universe. It is derived from the interaction of the two primary ingredients space and matter. Time does not exist until there is an intellect that finds it helpful to coordinate her movements. First using the sun and moon as clocks and gradually getting more sophisticated with mechanical and electrical instruments. For example, primitive man might send a message to an ally to meet at the hunting grounds when the sun is at the horizon or today we use our electric clocks to arrive at the doctor's office at the time of our appointment.
One of the reasons that an analysis of time has been problematic is that we all feel a personal flow of time but are unable to find its source. The reason for this is that our bodies have many internal clocks, but they are all subconscious. For example, heartbeat, breathing, elimination and many other metabolic functions that keep time against the outer world but remain subconscious and therefor mysterious to our conscious minds.
Past, Present and Future
Other aspects of time that seem mysterious are the past, present and future because they are related to our personal feeling of the seeming flow of time. The past is our memory of previous presents. The present is what we are experiencing now via our metabolism, which is the movement of our lives, and the future is what we can plan using our memories and imaginations. Therefor, those aspects of time are totally related to our powers of mind.
Time as a Fundamental Ingredient of the Universe
Unfortunately, since the development of general relativity and the arbitrary tendency to graph the time parameter on a space dimension and then interpret it as a real part of the universe, is a fallacy. The behavior of the time coordinate is totally dependent on the changes to the real parameter that it is measuring, usually, the space coordinate in the direction of travel or the movement of gravitating masses. Our analysis of time as the measure of movement precludes it as a fundamental aspect of the universe. I challenge anyone, who still believes that time is a real part of the universe, to devise an experiment to reveal the stuff of time. Is it blue, liquid or solid and where does it exist?
I have done some research looking for an experiment that demonstrates what time is and failed to find even one attempt at proving that time is fundamental. This is because there is no measure that can show time as a thing.