# Can Something Exist for Zero Seconds?

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Hi everyone,

I wanted to create this thread because of the duration of time itself. Time cannot have a duration of more than zero seconds. Time having a duration of more than zero seconds means that when time is one second, an amount of time that is the duration of that time passes and time is still one second, which is impossible.

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28 minutes ago, Farid said:

Hi everyone,

I wanted to create this thread because of the duration of time itself. Time cannot have a duration of more than zero seconds. Time having a duration of more than zero seconds means that when time is one second, an amount of time that is the duration of that time passes and time is still one second, which is impossible.

How long did it take you?

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Mathematic and scientific formulas describe and calculate the individual properties of our physical reality. This might create an argument but essentially time is not a definitive substance in and of itself. Rather, time is an effect and the product of tangible physics such as geavity/mass & space. To answer your question, zero seconds is the expression that time quit moving and physical reality is paused. If you were to pause reality and insert an object into reality and then remove that object before pressing play, then yes. But that isn't possible nor does that make sense because that would indicate that there are two tracks of time existing simultaneously and to observe the object existing in the other timeline while under a pause and then seeing the object disappear before time passing resumes would mean that the observer exists in genuine reality and the zero second reality must exist in a false state. Simply stated, pause theory ignored, an object can either exist or not exist but cannot exist in a state of non-existence.

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13 hours ago, Farid said:

Time cannot have a duration of more than zero seconds

Time is how we measure duration. This is like saying "length cannot have a distance of more than zero meters". This is inconsistent with what we observe.

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"Time cannot have a duration of more than zero seconds. Time having a duration of more than zero seconds means that when time is one second, an amount of time that is the duration of that time passes and time is still one second, which is impossible. " makes zero sense to me. Of course time can have a duration longer than zero. Your explanation is gibberish.

Also, whether or not an object must exist for some finite amount of time doesn't seem to me to be a general case, but rather a specific case, i.e. a subset, of phenomena to which one might apply the concept of time. As such, it can't be used to draw a general conclusion.

13 hours ago, Art Man said:

To answer your question, zero seconds is the expression that time quit moving and physical reality is paused.

Nope.

13 hours ago, Art Man said:

If you were to pause reality and insert an object into reality and then remove that object before pressing play, then yes.

That's not the only context for the discussion.

Toss a ball upward (under vacuum, if need be). It will go up, stop, and then come back down, with the entire process taking a time T.  When it stops, it will have v = 0. What is the duration of that state of having v = 0?

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10 hours ago, swansont said:

"Time cannot have a duration of more than zero seconds. Time having a duration of more than zero seconds means that when time is one second, an amount of time that is the duration of that time passes and time is still one second, which is impossible. " makes zero sense to me. Of course time can have a duration longer than zero. Your explanation is gibberish.

Also, whether or not an object must exist for some finite amount of time doesn't seem to me to be a general case, but rather a specific case, i.e. a subset, of phenomena to which one might apply the concept of time. As such, it can't be used to draw a general conclusion.

Nope.

That's not the only context for the discussion.

Toss a ball upward (under vacuum, if need be). It will go up, stop, and then come back down, with the entire process taking a time T.  When it stops, it will have v = 0. What is the duration of that state of having v = 0?

I suppose you're right. I was thinking of zero seconds as though there were no effect of time and time was not existing, rather than the measurement of time being zero. Either way the topic starter doesn't make much sense and needs to clarify his questions.

Response to Farid: "The duration of time itslef" can be measured to any decimal point infinitely. Time itself is not a thing, and since time itself has no baseline properties to it (such as a hydrogen atom, if measured, should always weigh 1.008) and is the product of other physics (mass and space) it can be infinitely variable throughout the universe. It could very well be that the way we experience time on Earth and the meter of it's passing is 100% unique and isn't mirrored anywhere else in the universe. I personally don't think so, but that is a possibility, because time has no "normal" measure, no "normal" properties to it. If humans encounter an alien race whom on their home planet one day of their time is equal to two days our time and they experience time passing faster than us whose to say which measurement is normal, ours or theirs?

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• 2 weeks later...
!

Moderator Note

Topic moved to General Philosophy

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Duration of time is difference between time we start measurement and end measurement.

Similar like:

Length is difference between initial position of object and final position of object.

e.g. I started measuring time at 12:00, and end up at 13:00, total duration of time is 1h.

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On 8/26/2019 at 1:24 AM, Farid said:

Hi everyone,

I wanted to create this thread because of the duration of time itself. Time cannot have a duration of more than zero seconds. Time having a duration of more than zero seconds means that when time is one second, an amount of time that is the duration of that time passes and time is still one second, which is impossible.

Hi,

No and the answer is very simple: after 60 seconds a hand that counts the seconds on a dial watch goes through 0 and starts running again for a new cycle. you add 1 to the number of cycles of the seconds. time never stops.

edit  :

for the universe what exists at point 0 is the singularity of the Big Bang

Edited by stephaneww
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7 hours ago, stephaneww said:

Hi,

No and the answer is very simple: after 60 seconds a hand that counts the seconds on a dial watch goes through 0 and starts running again for a new cycle. you add 1 to the number of cycles of the seconds. time never stops.

edit  :

for the universe what exists at point 0 is the singularity of the Big Bang

"Time never stops" is not a proper response to the question of whether a duration of zero is possible.

Answer the kinematics question from above:
If I toss a ball upward, it has a velocity in the upward direction. Then it slows down under gravity, and will have a velocity in the downward direction.

What is the duration over which it has zero velocity?

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BTW, duration of time of zero is plausible in computers. Just because time in computers is quantized.

e.g.

clock_t t0 = clock();

clock_t t1 = clock();

clock_t duration = t1-t0;

printf( "Duration %d\n", duration );

It should show zero, because we have no code between two executions of clock() function. Typically it returns time quantized to 1 millisecond (CLOCKS_PER_SEC =1000).

Also, duration of time negative value is possible in computers (when using different functions of getting current time than clock() e.g. time()). It is because we have time-zone changes two times per year (it depends on country). One time one hour is added, and other time one hour subtracted. If computer code is executed, and unlucky in the middle of time-zone change, it'll report negative duration of time.

Manual change of time and date by customer of computer also can lead to invalid calculation of duration of time inside of application.

These all cases must be properly handled by application which is measuring duration of time.

Edited by Sensei
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27 minutes ago, Sensei said:

BTW, duration of time of zero is plausible in computers. Just because time in computers is quantized.

e.g.

clock_t t0 = clock();

clock_t t1 = clock();

clock_t duration = t1-t0;

printf( "Duration %d\n", duration );

It should show zero, because we have no code between two executions of clock() function. Typically it returns time quantized to 1 millisecond (CLOCKS_PER_SEC =1000).

Time ≠ time display

The duration wasn't actually zero. The reporting lacked sufficient resolution to tell you precisely what it was.

There are a lot of articles out there that basically say "look at this neat clock" when what they mean is "look at this clock display" That, like this notion about computers, mistakes the wrapping for the package.

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2 hours ago, swansont said:

"Time never stops" is not a proper response to the question of whether a duration of zero is possible.

Yes for minutes of one hour for example: the zero evolves from 0 to 1 for 1 minute, the same for hours of the day.

2 hours ago, swansont said:

Answer the kinematics question from above:
If I toss a ball upward, it has a velocity in the upward direction. Then it slows down under gravity, and will have a velocity in the downward direction.

What is the duration over which it has zero velocity?

The reference material is the earth for this measurement. Time continues to pass. When the speed is zero, the answer is the same as above

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31 minutes ago, stephaneww said:

Yes for minutes of one hour for example: the zero evolves from 0 to 1 for 1 minute, the same for hours of the day.

Just because you don't have the resolution on your scale to measure the time does not mean an interval has a duration of zero. IOW, just because you don't have a second hand doesn't mean that seconds don't exist. A duration of seven seconds is still seven seconds.

31 minutes ago, stephaneww said:

The reference material is the earth for this measurement. Time continues to pass. When the speed is zero, the answer is the same as above

That completely misses the point.

If you graph the speed vs time, for what extent of time is the value zero?

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4 hours ago, swansont said:

What is the duration over which it has zero velocity?

Precisely 0. There must be a time where v_y=0, but the amount of time v_y=0 is precisely 0. This is honestly very unintuitive for a lot of people (Iirc, this might explicitly be a motivating example in the intro to Frames and Locales). Tbh, this is a big part of why I'm not a fan of pointy space. Localic space ftw.

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2 minutes ago, ydoaPs said:

This is honestly very unintuitive for a lot of people

You might be surprised.

Even I get it...

Anyone with a vinyl record should understand.

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My unicorn existed for precisely zero seconds.

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3 hours ago, ydoaPs said:

Precisely 0. There must be a time where v_y=0, but the amount of time v_y=0 is precisely 0. This is honestly very unintuitive for a lot of people (Iirc, this might explicitly be a motivating example in the intro to Frames and Locales). Tbh, this is a big part of why I'm not a fan of pointy space. Localic space ftw.

Sorry, but a quick off-topic question:

If the extent of time that the ball has zero velocity is zero seconds, does this mean that that the ball is always moving in its flight, even at the top of its path when it has a velocity of zero?

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9 hours ago, zapatos said:

Sorry, but a quick off-topic question:

If the extent of time that the ball has zero velocity is zero seconds, does this mean that that the ball is always moving in its flight, even at the top of its path when it has a velocity of zero?

For any velocity the ball has along its trajectory, it has it for precisely 0 seconds, and for all but v_y = 0, it has said velocity twice for 0 seconds.

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10 minutes ago, ydoaPs said:

For any velocity the ball has along its trajectory, it has for precisely 0 seconds, and for all but v_y = 0, it has said velocity twice for 0 seconds.

If you find a minute, could you rephrase that?

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9 minutes ago, koti said:

If you find a minute, could you rephrase that?

The velocity is constantly changing and so the ball has any specific velocity for 0 seconds.

(I disagree with the last part. The ball may have the same speed twice (for zero seconds each time) but will never have the same velocity.)

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49 minutes ago, Strange said:

The velocity is constantly changing and so the ball has any specific velocity for 0 seconds.

Wouldn’t the above mean that time is granular and its quanta has a duration of 0?

Which sounds very exotic.

Edited by koti
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2 minutes ago, koti said:

Wouldn’t the above mean that time is granular and its quanta has duration of 0?

Which sounds very exotic.

Which sounds like "continuous" (to me).

Taking intervals of time as the limit approaches zero is how you get round Zeno's paradox (which all this rather sounds like).

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1 minute ago, Strange said:

Which sounds like "continuous" (to me).

I just wrapped my head around it - youre right.

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1 hour ago, ydoaPs said:

For any velocity the ball has along its trajectory, it has for precisely 0 seconds, and for all but v_y = 0, it has said velocity twice for 0 seconds.

Velocity is a vector, so you should have stopped after saying it has each velocity for precisely 0 seconds.

edit: and now I see Strange has made this same point.

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