Time Explained

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Edtharan: I'm tied up now. I'll get back to you later.

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Hello popular,

Arkain101 here.

I thought I would like to add the understanding of time in respect to my Theory of Relativity to your thread.

This is the description of time and space for any and all observation frames. An observer is contained in the zero point observation. This is his present moment and it has zero spacial property (that which he see's).

Any chosen distance D1,D2... outwards of the frame is the future. Thus the future is not attainable, so distance (or space) can only be a perception and never a certain fact. A clock that ticks in this a frame is its own present moment, which is relative to any other frame.

In respect to SR space-time can be anything relative to a reference frame and depending on that frames velocity. Thus velocity is Time and Space. Velocity is change. V=D/T, The speed of light is velocity d/t, so V=C Therefore we have C. The C in all frames of observation is constant. Constant because all frames are unchanging. To be unchanging they must not have space-time.

sqrt(Energy / Mass) = C = 1 / sqrt (Eo * Uo)

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arkain: I don't quite understand that, and have to say that while I can empathise with some of what you say, I can't agree with all of it. I've come to the conclusion that space (rather than spacetime) is real, because time is an experience derived from motion through space. In effect you need motion to have time, not the other way around, and horror of horrors this yields an aether once you remove the "veil" we call time. It's because Lorentzian length contraction in the direction of motion gives you a problem with a rotating sphere. Anyhow, I'd say colour is a perception because the underlying ontological thing that's there is a wavelength, but I wouldn't say that about space or time, so do choose your words carefully.

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I agree space-time is as real as anything relative to us as we look around.

I just mean to point out that, the only way you could be absolutely certain is to step out of your present moment and into the future, the same time you were in your present of your past.

Its as if I through some invisible rocks at you and you could not see me. You could count them when they hit you, but you could never tell me how many I threw, or how many I am going to throw. thus you are locked into that posistion, and you do not know even how far awa those rocks are.

I could be just tapping you with the rock 1mm away, yet you can only know when it is in your frame, boom , ouch, contact, now.

Now for your minds eye, the creation of your perception it is the frame, and the present is the surroundings.

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Edtharan:

We know from experiment that in an accelerating frame of reference it reduces the length in the direction of motion. But from a stationary frame of reference, this does not occur. So two observers, one accelerating and one stationary will observe two different distance. They will disagree over how far one has to travel. With an "Absolute Now" the two observers must agree over the time it takes to traverse the distance (this applies even if you treat time as a dimension or not - but only if there is an absolute now). So the observers disagree over the velocity of the traveller.

No. Their measure of time is different, as is their measure of that distance. They won't agree, so I'm going to skip your rocket fuel illustration.

If we abandon the notion of an absolute time, then we can let time also be distorted by the acceleration. So that although they disagree over the distance travelled, they will also disagree over the time taken. This works out that the time distortion exactly matches the what is needed by the spatial distortions to balance the observers assessment of the fuel use and no paradox is generated.

Yes they disagree over the time taken, and the distance travelled. But you've slipped from "absolute now" to "absolute time". There is no absolute time. That's what relativity is all about. Think of a situation where you've got two guys in rocketships a million miles apart in space. They synchronise clocks and agree that the time is now. Then they set off towards one another. One toodles along, one goes real fast, so that when they collide one guy's clock says 12:09 and the other guy's clock says 12:10. They don't agree on how far they travelled or on how much time elapsed, but they agree that when they collide the time was now. That's the absolute now. Time doesn't mark out events. Events mark out time.

As I have said, just because you don;t have the freedom to move in a dimension does not mean it does not exist. After crossing the event horizon of a black hole, you have no freedom to move in the vertical. Does this mean that the vertical dimension doesn't exist?

Your time dilation becomes infinite at an event horizon, Ed. This means all collapsing stars are still collapsing, and will still be collapsing in a trillion years time. But parking this, you do have freedom to move in the vertical direction. The problem is that all directions lead to the singularity.

Your reasoning on this is not that clear. Why does lack of freedom necessitate the non existence of a dimension?

As I've said, time is a dimension in that it is a measure. But if you have no freedom of movement it's a very different sort of dimension to those of space, where you do have freedom of movement. There's been some historic linguistic/mathematical slippage where the two different meanings of "dimension" have become confused.

If they are then both V and C are both dependant on time, that is V=D/T (where D is Distance and T is Time) and C = 300,000km/s (km is a distance and s is a period of time) I do not see how this proves your point? The equation if you look at the units involved are (D/T)/(D/T). Which cancels each other. So we are left with a number without any units. This means that is not distance nor time. So this can't be calculating time as you have just cancelled it out of the equation. Time can not be on the left hand side of the equation and therefore you are not calculating Time.

No Ed. Your velocity V with respect to C modifies your time experience and your estimation of distance according to the equation I quoted. That's Special relativity. So if you see a different D and a different T at a different V, where's the sense in insisting that C is defined as D/T? You need to define velocity with its own units, like we do with temperature.

Scalars, when multiplied or divided with a vector only change the magnitude of the vector. If you multiply or divide a distance by Time, you change the vector, not just increase its magnitude. Therefore Time is not a scalar...

The Minkowski maths works Ed. Nobody's disputing that. But performing calculations using a mathematical model employing time as a negative fourth spatial dimension doesn't prove it really is one. Squares have lengths and areas, but square roots aren't real. You won't find a pi anytime soon. And the blindingly obvious fact is that you cannot move from now. That fourth dimension isn't the same as the others. You can't move back and forth along it, and you can't not move along it. It's derived, not real.

Physical objects (namely through gravity) have been shown to distort the spatial dimensions and that the only way we can make sense (ie avoid paradoxes) is if Time is also distorted by these situations. So we know that real physical objects also have an effect on time in the same way that they do on space. How does your notion of Time not being as real as space solve this conundrum when it is effected by real objects the same way that space is?

You'll have to wait until GRAVITY EXPLAINED for that Ed. I'll be starting on it soon. The glimpse I've had is shocking, so I need to work it through properly.

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Yes they disagree over the time taken, and the distance travelled. But you've slipped from "absolute now" to "absolute time".

Now is a Time. An absolute Now means that if local time for me is sped up (show to be true through experiment) then I will see a different Now to you, but according to the whole point of an absolute now, this can not happen. So an absolute Now means that time can not locally speed up or slow down. If there is an absolute Now, then it means that all time, no matter what observational frame of reference (stationary, accelerating or moving) the observers must agree on the what Now is.

Take this example:

With an absolute Now, all observers, no matter at what point in the experiment, must agree on when Now is.

So we have 3 observers:

Observer A is travelling on a space ship at a high speed.

Observer B is stationary at the destination.

Observer C is also stationary at the destination.

Observer A, because of the time dilation, see the distance between the start and finish lines contract. And also that it took a certain amount of time to complete the course and from the observed length of the course and the time it took, Observer A can calculate how much fuel was used.

Observer B observes the ship at the start of the trip and at the end of the trip. Therefore the Now at the start of the trip and at the end of the trip must match up with the Now that Observer A experiences at the start and end of the trip.

Observer A and Observer B disagree over both the time it took and the length of the course. But when they do calculations with relativity, these match out and the discrepancy is explained.

Observer C, however continuously observes the space ship and Observer A. If there is an absolute Now, then at all times in that trip, the Now for Observer A and C should match. That is if we consider the smallest possible time period (that is 0), we can do a calculation to work out how fast time is moving. Isaac Newton created the mathematics to handle this with Calculus).

If we then take Newtons calculations and, assuming that both observers must be able, at all points in time, agree on when Now is, then it works out that Observer A must not experience any time dilation because at all points Observer A's Now must match Observer C's Now.

This is the Absolute time that is the result of an absolute Now. If there is a Now that all observers must agree on, then there also has to be an absolute time. One is an inescapable consequence of the other.

This is the reason that Newtonian mechanics breaks down at relativistic speeds and in high gravitational environments. Newton's mathematics assumes an absolute Now.

No. Their measure of time is different, as is their measure of that distance. They won't agree, so I'm going to skip your rocket fuel illustration.

Do not ignore something because id disagrees with your conclusions. If you agree with the initial premise, but differ in the conclusions, then somewhere along the line someone has made a mistake. The fact that I came to different conclusions and you agrees on the initial premises, means that one of us is wrong.

The logic of my example has had many different scientists and experiments applied to it, where as you have not provided any supporting evidence for you conclusions. Please take a look at it and explain where my logic in that example failed. Not what you disagree with, but what logic and what premises that you disagree with.

Your time dilation becomes infinite at an event horizon, Ed. This means all collapsing stars are still collapsing, and will still be collapsing in a trillion years time. But parking this, you do have freedom to move in the vertical direction. The problem is that all directions lead to the singularity.

If we follow your reasoning, then it is impossible for any matter to fall into a Black Hole. What will occur is a shell of matter surrounding the event horizon (as it will always be encountering matter that fell in before that has a greater time dilation). And as it is out side the event horizon, it has not yet exceeded infinite time dilation its self, it will be able to support more in falling matter. And so on.

So once a star has begun to collapse into a black hole, some of its matter will still exist outside the event horizon, will be at an extremely high temperature and thus still radiate light. So black holes aren't black, but are very bright very hot objects. Why then can't we see the objects? We have them in our galaxy.

Of course this paradox only occurs if we assume an absolute Now that all observers will agree with. If we assume a relative Now, then this paradox fails because the Now that the in falling matter experiences is different with the Now of the distant observer which allows matter to cross the event horizon without a problem.

Again, observations (no super hot very compact objects exist in our galaxy), disprove the concept of an absolute Now.

As I've said, time is a dimension in that it is a measure. But if you have no freedom of movement it's a very different sort of dimension to those of space, where you do have freedom of movement. There's been some historic linguistic/mathematical slippage where the two different meanings of "dimension" have become confused.

Yes the mathematical and scientific definitions of Dimension are different to the colloquial/linguistic definitions of a dimensions. But this is your argument.

You are arguing on one hand that according to the scientific and mathematical definitions, space has dimensions. But then go on to argue that Time (which has a scientific and mathematical definition) is only a dimension linguistically.

As it conforms to the scientific and mathematical definition of a dimension, and shows actual effects caused by real objects, then one can only conclude that Time is a Real dimension on par with Space (which the exact same mathematics - equations even - that prove Spatial dimensions are real, physical dimensions also when applied to Time come to the same agreement).

You have never shown adequate reason (or any reason other than unrelated phenomena like colour and temperature) why you think that Time is not a real physical dimension.

No Ed. Your velocity V with respect to C modifies your time experience and your estimation of distance according to the equation I quoted. That's Special relativity. So if you see a different D and a different T at a different V, where's the sense in insisting that C is defined as D/T? You need to define velocity with its own units, like we do with temperature.

The thing about relativity is that it is misnamed. Most people think that relativity is about the relative velocity of C. However the only constant is C. No matter what frame of reference, all observers will agree on the velocity of C.

Because of the fact that C is constant, we can do the calculations that show the distortion of Space due to the observers frame of reference. However, if we only assume 3 physical dimensions, these calculations do not match observed reality. It was this problem that originally led Einstein to include Time as a Dimension.

When Einstein included the 4th dimension as Time, the equations matched observations and everything worked. But this result can only be reached if Time is a real, physical Dimension and is effected by exactly the same way as the Spatial Dimensions.

There was an old tale about a couple of philosophers discussing reality. One was arguing that nothing was real. The other kicked a rock and said " thus do I dispute you". In my case I am using the fact that Time is effected (and effects) real physical object to dispute your proposition that it doesn't really exist as a physical dimensions.

Under relativity, under certain circumstances (frames of reference), Time behaves exactly the same as the Spatial dimensions and is completely indistinguishable from them.

You have also never explained why not being able to freely move in a dimensions means that it doesn't exist.

If we knew of a 2 dimensional creature, and could observer it, It would say that it could not freely move in 3 dimensions so therefore the 3rd dimension can;t exist. But as Observers, and being 3D ourselves, we can plainly see that the 3rd dimension exists, even if those 2D creatures can not move freely in it.

So, on what grounds do you dismiss Time as the 4th dimension, other than the fact that we can not move freely in it (as that rational has been shown to be false - or if it is true, somehow, you have not explained why it must lead to that conclusion).

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Now is a Time. An absolute Now means that if local time for me is sped up (show to be true through experiment) then I will see a different Now to you, but according to the whole point of an absolute now, this can not happen.

You're still not getting it Ed. I'll try again: you're travelling fast, and you say your "now" is 10:15am. I'm not, and my clock says 10:30am. But when we collide we hit each other at the same time, Now, whatever your clock says. There is no absolute time. Whoever you are, wherever you are, the time is always, absolutely, now. It doesn't matter what your clock says, the time is now.

So an absolute Now means that time can not locally speed up or slow down. If there is an absolute Now, then it means that all time, no matter what observational frame of reference (stationary, accelerating or moving) the observers must agree on the what Now is...

No it doesn't. You're putting words into my mouth and building your whole rocket fuel case to prove something I didn't say. Try putting a collision between A and B into your example and you'll see what I mean. Don't accuse me of ignoring something. You've made a mistake with your opening premise, so the rest of the rocketship "proof" is irrelevant. Your logic doesn't fall at the first hurdle. It doesn't even get out of the starting gate. Because you assume something that you then use to prove what you've assumed. FFS, look at it Ed: Now is a Time. An absolute Now means...

You're making assumptions about black holes too, and declaring a paradox that proves your case and disproves mine. Don't. Do some research on this. Look up Cygnus X.

You are arguing on one hand that according to the scientific and mathematical definitions, space has dimensions. But then go on to argue that Time (which has a scientific and mathematical definition) is only a dimension linguistically.

Ed: you pay inadequate attention to what I say, then paraphrase it into a totally different meaning upon which you build some lofty proof. Look at: "one can only conclude that Time is a Real dimension on par with Space". You've totally fogotten about you have no freedom of movement? Stop kidding yourself. It's NOT on a par with space.

It was this problem that originally led Einstein to include Time as a Dimension.

Here we go again. It was MINKOWSKI.

Time behaves exactly the same as the Spatial dimensions and is completely indistinguishable from them.

Ed, this is incredible. Are you blind? I can MOVE through space. Back and forward, any way I want. I can't do this with time. Thus do I dispute you.

So, on what grounds do you dismiss Time as the 4th dimension, other than the fact that we can not move freely in it (as that rational has been shown to be false - or if it is true, somehow, you have not explained why it must lead to that conclusion).

On the grounds that we cannot move freely in it. And that rationale has DEFINITELY NOT been shown to be false.

Ed, your posts are too long. Learn to focus in on one point, and stick to that point and the words used rather than the language of your misconception. And look up Flatlanders.

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You're still not getting it Ed. I'll try again: you're travelling fast, and you say your "now" is 10:15am. I'm not, and my clock says 10:30am. But when we collide we hit each other at the same time, Now, whatever your clock says. There is no absolute time. Whoever you are, wherever you are, the time is always, absolutely, now. It doesn't matter what your clock says, the time is now.

When the two clocks collide they are in the same reference frame so of course their "Nows" will coincide as they share the common reference frame. I never disputed that they do not agree on the "Now" of the collision. I just disputed the fact that it means that it is an absolute now. There Now might coincide, but what of another observer flying past.

Remember for an absolute Now to exist, there must exist a Now that all observers agree with. In you explanation of the clocks, you only consider 2 observers and they share the same frame of reference.

No it doesn't. You're putting words into my mouth and building your whole rocket fuel case to prove something I didn't say.

If your premises lead to that logical conclusion, I am not putting word in your mouth. I am just trying to understand what your essay would lead to in the real world.

Yes you didn't actually say that there is an absolute time. But because of the analysis with Calculus, An absolute Now, can only lead to an absolute time. It is mathematically required. You may not have intended it to be that way, but that is the mathematical conclusion of having an absolute Now. You can't escape it with words.

Try putting a collision between A and B into your example and you'll see what I mean.

But a collision between A and B will not negate observer C (or even a collision between A and C will not eliminate observer B - that is why I included 3 observers not just 2).

You've made a mistake with your opening premise, so the rest of the rocketship "proof" is irrelevant. Your logic doesn't fall at the first hurdle. It doesn't even get out of the starting gate. Because you assume something that you then use to prove what you've assumed. FFS, look at it Ed: Now is a Time. An absolute Now means...

I think I use fairly good logic. The only initial assumptions I used was that there is an absolute Now and that Calculus can be used in analysis of these kinds of situations. Nothing wrong there. As these were the only initial assumptions and calculus has had a long history of use in these kinds of situations, I don;t see a problem with it at all.

So it disagrees with what you assumed your initial premises lead to. But I have the maths backing me up.

you can't just state one thing, then state what you think is the result of it and then claim it as true. You must show how your initial premise leads to your conclusions.

Taking your initial premise of an absolute Now. Calculus gives us the conclusion that this must lead to an absolute time.

You're making assumptions about black holes too, and declaring a paradox that proves your case and disproves mine. Don't. Do some research on this. Look up Cygnus X.

umm, the initial assumptions of Black Holes had this problem too. They didn't take into account the local frame of reference (the actual calculations are quite hard to do as they do require some assumptions on the behaviour and properties of black holes).

In your example of the black hole you failed in this respect too. Yes according to ouside observers it will appear that it take an infinite time for matter to fall into a black hole. But from the local from of reference it doesn't take an infinite time to fall in. There is a distinct Now that the local observer has when they cross the event horizon, but there is no such now for the outside observer. Another case of Now not being absolute (in fact one observer never sees the Now of the other - you can't get less absolute than that).

Ed: you pay inadequate attention to what I say, then paraphrase it into a totally different meaning upon which you build some lofty proof.

Then please be more precise in your explanations. As you have never shown why that particular result comes form your initial assumptions.

You've totally fogotten about you have no freedom of movement? Stop kidding yourself. It's NOT on a par with space.

But again: You have never show that the non existence of a dimensions is a conclusion draw from the fact that we don't have freedom of movement in it.

You keep stating that it is so, but offer no explanation of it. Please, please, please give us this explanation.

I have not forgotten it. You have never given a reason for that conclusion.

Here we go again. It was MINKOWSKI.

So he posed the problem. What are you trying to say? Even though it might have originated from someone else, and even though Einstein might have not like the idea initially, he still did include it, so it must have some merit.

Ed, this is incredible. Are you blind? I can MOVE through space. Back and forward, any way I want. I can't do this with time. Thus do I dispute you.

How does your claim dispute me. You offer no explanation of you position. You just keep stating it over and over again as if this will make it true. As I have said many times in this thread and even in this post. Give us your explanation as to why lack of freedom of movement means that time dose not exist as a dimensions.

On the grounds that we cannot move freely in it. And that rationale has DEFINITELY NOT been shown to be false.

I have never disputed that we don;t seem to have a lack of freedom of movement in time. I have only disputed that this leads to the conclusion it doesn't exist. And you have never answered that question, only danced around it and restated you assumption.

Ed, your posts are too long. Learn to focus in on one point, and stick to that point and the words used rather than the language of your misconception.

Yes, I am sorry that they are long. But There is a lot of necessary explanation that you seem not to have taken into account in your posts. I have to go right back to the basics.

Early on I just used short points. But then you complained that I was just making assumptions. To counter that it is necessary for me to use a lot of explanation of my reasonings. You can have one or the other, Concise posts, or the appearance of me making assumptions. Your choice.

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Ed, this is incredible. Are you blind? I can MOVE through space. Back and forward, any way I want. I can't do this with time.

By your logic, though, you are always "here" but that doesn't stop you from claiming that spatial dimensions are dimensions. Constrained motion is still motion.

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When the two clocks collide they are in the same reference frame so of course their "Nows" will coincide as they share the common reference frame. I never disputed that they do not agree on the "Now" of the collision. I just disputed the fact that it means that it is an absolute now. There Now might coincide, but what of another observer flying past.

Remember for an absolute Now to exist, there must exist a Now that all observers agree with. In you explanation of the clocks, you only consider 2 observers and they share the same frame of reference.

One question, how can anything possibly 'share' the same reference frame.

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Snail, they collide and stick together.

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By your logic, though, you are always "here" but that doesn't stop you from claiming that spatial dimensions are dimensions. Constrained motion is still motion.

I have freedom of movement in space, but not in time. I'm here in space on this side of the room. You're there in space on that side of the room. I have freedom of movement to go there. One two three metres, hello swansont. With time I'm here now, and you're there now too. You might think you're sometime else because your clock says 19:45:00pm whilst mine says 19:45:03pm. But you're not. You aren't living three seconds in my past. You can't see my future. You can't tell me what's going to happen. You've simply experienced three seconds less time than me because a portion of your internal motion |||| has been redirected into travelling motion /\/\/\/\. Time is a subjective experience. It isn't fundamental. It isn't really there, it isn't a Dimension, it's just a dimension, a measure, of our internal motion against other motion.

Sorry Ed, the wife wants me to share a glass of vino, so I'll respond to your post later or tomorrow.

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Sorry Ed, the wife wants me to share a glass of vino.

I thought you were a millionaire

The reason I asked about two entities sharing the same reference frame, is that everything we experience is actually in the past, as it takes photons $x$ amount of time to reach our eyes. Now if something collides and becomes one (which is the only way anything can share the same reference frame) then the only way it can measure it's time with respect to something else...is another reference frame.

So how can you have an 'absolute' time, when there is nothing to measure your position against something else i.e an entity can only measure it's position with regards to something else, which is always in motion anyway. I thought this was basic relativity, or am I missing something.

Farsight, you seem to be saying that the geometry of space-time has a fixed background, which is just plain wrong IMO.

I've had a couple of glasses of vino, so apologies if this isn't quite right.

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I have freedom of movement in space, but not in time. I'm here in space on this side of the room. You're there in space on that side of the room. I have freedom of movement to go there. One two three metres, hello swansont. With time I'm here now, and you're there now too. You might think you're sometime else because your clock says 19:45:00pm whilst mine says 19:45:03pm. But you're not. You aren't living three seconds in my past. You can't see my future. You can't tell me what's going to happen. You've simply experienced three seconds less time than me because a portion of your internal motion |||| has been redirected into travelling motion /\/\/\/\. Time is a subjective experience. It isn't fundamental. It isn't really there, it isn't a Dimension, it's just a dimension, a measure, of our internal motion against other motion.

Not being able to see your future is immaterial to it being a dimension. If you are three light-seconds away from me you are three seconds in my past, because if something happens to me, you will know about it three seconds later, and any information I get about you will be three seconds old (or more).

If I have placed a bomb at a certain location, set to go off at a certain setting on a clock, it most certainly matters when you are there. Saying that you are there now does not determine whether you are blown to bits or not.

The experience of time is subjective (as is distance), but time itself is not.

"It's always now" is a tautology; it contains no new information, which is why I think it is not useful. It is up to you to demonstrate that it is useful.

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One question, how can anything possibly 'share' the same reference frame.

At the point of collision they can be treated as one object as at that instant (what Farsight calls "Now") they are in the same frame of reference.

Strictly speaking it is not absolutely true for real clocks. But I was thinking of them as discrete systems, like a single particle (photons for instance). Two photons can collide and become 1 system that has 1 frame of reference.

I have freedom of movement in space, but not in time. I'm here in space on this side of the room. You're there in space on that side of the room. I have freedom of movement to go there. One two three metres, hello swansont.

But to cross the room takes time. So is that not travelling through time?

Again you side step the issue that even if we have no freedom of movement in time, how do you come to the conclusion that it therefore doesn't exist. Please state clearly you reasoning on this.

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But to cross the room takes time. So is that not travelling through time?

Again you side step the issue that even if we have no freedom of movement in time, how do you come to the conclusion that it therefore doesn't exist. Please state clearly you reasoning on this.

Plus, even if the concept of "you are always here" is not strictly applied, you can only move in one dimension, the one defined by your instantaneous velocity. Does that mean that the other two don't exist?

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When the two clocks collide they are in the same reference frame so of course their "Nows" will coincide as they share the common reference frame. I never disputed that they do not agree on the "Now" of the collision. I just disputed the fact that it means that it is an absolute now. Their Now might coincide, but what of another observer flying past?

Remember for an absolute Now to exist, there must exist a Now that all observers agree with. In you explanation of the clocks, you only consider 2 observers and they share the same frame of reference.

If your premises lead to that logical conclusion, I am not putting word in your mouth. I am just trying to understand what your essay would lead to in the real world.

Yes you didn't actually say that there is an absolute time. But because of the analysis with Calculus, An absolute Now, can only lead to an absolute time. It is mathematically required. You may not have intended it to be that way, but that is the mathematical conclusion of having an absolute Now. You can't escape it with words...

No Ed. The clocks have different reference frames, and your inference of "absolute time" from "absolute now" is wrong. OK, I've read the rest of your post. I'm going to skip the black holes for now. Let me try to explain things another way, and let's revisit the outstandings later.

The colliding clocks have different reference frames because of their different velocities. They record the collision as an event happening "now" at time t1 and time t2 in their respective reference frames. The observer flying past has some other other reference frame, and would calculate that the collision happened "now" at time t3 in his reference frame. They're all experiencing time at different rates, they don't agree on the time of the collision, so you can't say the collision occured at any time t. You can't talk reliably about any time at which the event occurred. So there's no absolute time that you can use.

But you know that the collision event occured and you can mark an intersection on your "worldline" chart. OK you can create issues by saying your observer flew past at some great distance and velocity, but it's not material. He's just another line on your chart, and his clock reading is as academic as it was for the colliding clocks. I recommend you simplify the situation by saying your observer just missed the collision by a hair's breadth.

If you then contrive some other event happening at a different t1, t2, and t3, you still can't talk reliably about any absolute time at which this second event occurred, nor can you assign any absolute time between the events. When you try to do this, you put yourself in the position of the observer, and the time you calculate is based upon your observation that light travels a metre in the time it takes light to travel a metre. You'd be assigning time based upon the motion of objects compared to the motion of light.

Rather than trying to assign an amount of time between events, it's purer to assign an amount of motion between events, taking the motion of light as your baseline. Imagine your clocks collided the first time, then bounced away and were deflected back to collide again. Also imagine that both clocks contain an internal metronome that is optical in nature, where the light bounces back and forth between parallel mirrors. Regardless of the velocities and reference frames of the clocks, the inter-event metronomic light path is the same length in each clocks. Light moved the same distance for both clocks, and it moved through space. The clock with the greater velocity moved through more space than the other. It didn't move through less time than the other. What you consider to be time is just your measure of the relative motion through space compared to the motion of light through space.

It isn't an amount of time that separates the events, its an amount of motion. This is through space, not through time, and not through spacetime. You might say "aha, the events are separated by a distance and there's my time dimension" but you'd realise you were wrong when I told you both events occurred at the same location in space. You might say "aha the events are separated by 2 light-seconds" but you'd be wrong again because you're defining a second as the distance light moves in a second. The bottom line is that your "time dimension" is based upon amounts of motion, and you can't move through motion.

There's no absolute time, but there is an absolute now, for all of us. If I'm here now and you're there 2 parsecs away, I can work out that your now is 6.52 years later than what I see through my telescope. I can calculate what your calendar shows now. If I'm moving towards you at a high velocity my years are compressed, but I can allow for that, and I can still calculate your calendar date now as 6.52 years later than what I just saw through my telescope. My motion affects my time experience, but it doesn't change my now. And it doesn't change your now, or the now that is absolute for all of us wherever we are.

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Swansont: if you're three light seconds away from me you aren't in my past, and I'm not three seconds in your past. The only time for both of us is now. The delay time is an inconvenience, not a temporal shift. Your instantaneous velocity can be in any direction, not dimension.

Snail: sure thing about the photons and the eyes. The delay time of our nerves and brain further adds to that sense of "everything we experience is in the past". But basically what I'm saying is that there is no spacetime. We can talk about it, we can calculate with it, but what's really there is space. Which means the past no longer exists. It's where things were, not a place we can visit. The world isn't a block universe, depicted as a cube, it's the equivalent of a square plate with things moving in it.

Ed: I didn't say time doesn't exist. It exists like heat exists. What I'm saying is that it isn't fundamental. It isn't what you think it is. Yes, crossing the room takes time, but it's travelling through space, at a velocity, not travelling through time. And the velocity that dictates time experience can't be quantified by time experience, it's just some ratio of c.

All: I hope my previous post is of use.

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Snail: what I'm saying is there is no space/time.

Ed: I didn't say time doesn't exist. What I'm saying is that it isn't fundamental.

If one makes a detailed examination of reality, from the pov of matter/energy, time/space can legitimately seen to only exist as dimensions of matter/energy interactions, but it has been becoming more and more possible to express matter/energy in terms of temporal/spatial processes to the point where matter/energy can be seen as having no real existence other than the dimensions of temporal/spatial interactions.

Many string theories postulate the very real possibility of up to 11 dimensions. These 'extra' dimensions would be very small and tightly convoluted in on themselves. To cut to the chase, there is a real possibility that there is no such thing as matter 'point' particles, but only these highly convoluted eddies of temporal/spatial movement, and what we called energy can be explained in terms of how these convoluted temporal/spatial eddies interact with one another.

aguy2

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The colliding clocks have different reference frames because of their different velocities.

And at the point of impact, it is (relative to each other) 0. So they are both in the stationary frame of reference to each other.

There were in different frames of reference leading up to the impact, but at the point of impact, they are not moving relative to each other.

It isn't an amount of time that separates the events, its an amount of motion. This is through space, not through time, and not through spacetime. You might say "aha, the events are separated by a distance and there's my time dimension" but you'd realise you were wrong when I told you both events occurred at the same location in space. You might say "aha the events are separated by 2 light-seconds" but you'd be wrong again because you're defining a second as the distance light moves in a second. The bottom line is that your "time dimension" is based upon amounts of motion, and you can't move through motion.

And here is where your mistake in logic occurs. We do not define time as the distance that light moves in one second. We define a light second as the distance that light moves in a second, but that is not the definition of time.

We use this velocity in the calculations of how space and time relate to each other, but again, this is not a definition of time.

If two events occured in the same location then they can not be separated by 2 light seconds. Light seconds are a measure of space, not time. How is this at all relevant to your argument? You seem to be using a completely irrelevant measurement to "prove" your point.

Two events might occupy the exact same space, but be separated in time by 2 seconds.

How does this then show that it is motion that causes time? There was no motion (same location), but there was time (2 seconds). Where is your motion in this?

There's no absolute time, but there is an absolute now, for all of us. If I'm here now and you're there 2 parsecs away, I can work out that your now is 6.52 years later than what I see through my telescope. I can calculate what your calendar shows now. If I'm moving towards you at a high velocity my years are compressed, but I can allow for that, and I can still calculate your calendar date now as 6.52 years later than what I just saw through my telescope. My motion affects my time experience, but it doesn't change my now. And it doesn't change your now, or the now that is absolute for all of us wherever we are.

So what you are saying is that there is an absolute "Now" for each observer and all of them are relative.

Doesn't that sort of contradict one an other?

if you're three light seconds away from me you aren't in my past, and I'm not three seconds in your past.

Yes you are. Anything that you do will occur 3 seconds in the past of Swansont and anything that Swansont does will occur 3 seconds in your past. You are both 3 seconds in each others past.

If you fired a laser at Swansont at 20:00:00 and you were both stationary relative to each other, then Swansont would see it at 12:00:03 and if Swansont fired a laser at you at 12:00:00 you would see his laser at 12:00:03.

If you both fired your lasers at 12:00:00 local time, and you know that they are 3 light seconds away form you, then you calculate that the other's 12:00:00 was 3 seconds in your past. But each calculates this so each is 3 seconds into the past of the others.

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And at the point of impact, it is (relative to each other) 0. So they are both in the stationary frame of reference to each other.

Yeah right, so they were in different frames and suddenly they're in the same frame? Did their clocks jump? Did they skip time? What if they merely touched and then carried on? Get real.

And here is where your mistake in logic occurs. We do not define time as the distance that light moves in one second. We define a light second as the distance that light moves in a second, but that is not the definition of time.

There's no mistake in my logic. The continued, ongoing, mistake in your logic is that you cannot see your own axiom, yet continue to use it as a "proof". Don't tell me about the definition of time. Look in TIME EXPLAINED and you'll see the definition of a second. Don't tell me I'm wrong because that is not the definition of time. Don't then try to use it as proof of the mistake in my logic.

If two events occured in the same location then they can not be separated by 2 light seconds. Light seconds are a measure of space, not time. How does this then show that it is motion that causes time? There was no motion (same location), but there was time (2 seconds). Where is your motion in this?

Are you being deliberately obtuse? Are you deliberately ignoring the bouncing clocks and parallel mirrors in my explanation above? The motion between two events at the same location can be measured by the zigzag light path leaving and returning to the event location. Or the zigzag light path of photons bouncing around the atoms of an observer or an object.

So what you are saying is that there is an absolute "Now" for each observer and all of them are relative. Doesn't that sort of contradict one an other?

No. My explanation was clear. You're saying something I didn't say, then saying it's wrong. It's a reprise of your "absolute time" straw man argument.

Anything that you do will occur 3 seconds in the past of Swansont and anything that Swansont does will occur 3 seconds in your past. You are both 3 seconds in each other's past...

LOL. After everything I've said about now? I don't believe it. Did you read what you just said? What about somebody who is .00000003 light seconds away? What about your own hand?

You gloss over my careful logical explanations, and instead make leaping claims about your own axiomatic "proof". I take time and trouble to deal patiently with every point you raise, and you just brush it under the carpet. Then you come up with some new straw man to try to discredit me and what I'm saying. All because you will stoop to any means to defend your unshakeable unfounded faith in something you don't even understand. That's not honest, and it's not science. And I've been wasting my time talking to you.

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I am going to return to the beginning and comment on the original essay, taking each point as I get to it.

I will first tackle the perception theme. I am not quite sure how you are relating this to the rest of the argument. The various examples you use don’t quite mix with each other.

The colour example indicates how results we see cannot be assumed to be accurate when viewed through the naked eye because the brain makes assumptions and takes short cuts to interpret the experience as efficient as possible. It does not show that colour is a perception, because the colour is grey, even though your brain fools you into seeing yellow. If you put a yellow box on screen with no colours around it you see it as yellow, because it is yellow.

The heat example is just showing that we can experience something without having to know the mechanics of how it works; heat is the term we use to describe an experience.

Considering pressure at sub atomic levels, the only reason it is derived, is because we don’t have the technology to measure it.

For the kinetic energy example, if you are moving and the ball is stationery then you have the kinetic energy it isn’t nowhere as you state. I happen to agree with you that it doesn’t exist as an entity in the same vein as electromagnetic energy, but is just a mathematical tool.

Sound as heat is the term we use to describe an effect, the effect is there, just because we know the mechanics, does not mean sound does not really exist.

Now to get down to your mathematics regarding time. The problem you are having is down to a problem that physics has with maths, in that they often use a definition to define a measure that itself was defined by the original definition.

The meter is now defined as the distance light travels in a period of time, but the speed of light was defined as a distance over time where the distance was measured in meters. This is a wonderful circular definition.

The problem is that the metre is the term we use to define length, so anything that uses length in its definition should not then be used to define the metre. A meter is a meter, the only way to truly define it would be to decide a base length and then everything else has to be compared to that physical length.

All dimensions are terms that have been created by the human race in order to try and make sense of the universe by breaking it into manageable bits. This is true for length width height and time. The same could be said of pressure, temperature and other dimension. If you travel from zero degrees to 50 degrees over 2 seconds, you have still gone through a motion, just one of temperature.

Fundamentally dimensions are just the terms we use to describe a change from one state to another.

I do partly agree with you in that time is different from other dimensions, because like you, I don’t think time can be travelled along like a river. Time will pass if there is movement or not, If nothing happens, you don’t move from a to b, your pressure, temperature and bank account stay at zero for three days, three days will still have passed. Even if your atomic clock has stopped time will still pass at the same rate.

The difficulty is in defining a base time. We do this by measuring the rate of caesium atoms hitting a Geiger counter when excited by an electromagnetic field. However this can only be true for a physical location, for as soon as you move it to a different location the environment may well change the rate, but that is my own theories, so we’ll get back to yours.

With regards to your beans analogy, it does have a direction, one of volume, more beans = more volume.

As I said, I believe time is different to all other dimensions. Time existed before the beginning of the universe and will exist after, after all nothing still needs time to take place in.

We can travel a length of temperature, if you are at 10 degrees for 2 seconds you travel at ten degrees for two seconds, if you go from 5 degrees to 10 in 2 seconds you have accelerated at 2.5 degrees per second.

We travel in time, we travel for a length of seconds, but we can only travel at a fixed rate and we can’t travel for a negative value of seconds.

If anything time is the only scalar dimension. All other dimensions are vectors. Time has only one direction all others have 2.

If you take time out of all equations nothing could happen because there is no time for it to happen in, if you want to say that time is a human invention and doesn’t exist, then you have to use the same argument to say the other dimensions don’t exist after all every dimension is just a term we use to describe the state of an object therefore you don’t have any equations. Yahoo no science…….

Science needs the dimension of time to describe the change of state of an object to try and understand the way things work.

It seems the essay you provide and the arguments that have been going back and forth are the very reason the theory of relativity came about in the first place, taking definitions and terms that can mean several things, and taking them from a relative or perceived result to an actual physical result.

Think on this, if humans didn’t exist to define time, would the rest of the universe suddenly stop working.

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The meter is now defined as the distance light travels in a period of time, but the speed of light was defined as a distance over time where the distance was measured in meters. This is a wonderful circular definition.

The problem is that the metre is the term we use to define length, so anything that uses length in its definition should not then be used to define the metre. A meter is a meter, the only way to truly define it would be to decide a base length and then everything else has to be compared to that physical length.

Despite the fact that you have to bootstrap from somewhere, you're mixing apples and oranges. The speed of light is now a defined, rather than derived, quantity, as is the second. In the past, the meter was a defined quantity, and the speed of light a derived one. But they weren't both defined and derived quantities simultaneously.

The difficulty is in defining a base time. We do this by measuring the rate of caesium atoms hitting a Geiger counter when excited by an electromagnetic field.

I'm not aware of any atomic clocks (whether using Cs, Rb or H, which are the most common types of atomic clocks) that have Geiger counters in them. Radioactive decay is not the measured effect in an atomic clock. Cs-133 and H-1 aren't even radioactive (Rb-87 is, though its half-life is billions of years, and this isn't the relevant property for its use in clocks)

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My apologies swansont regarding the atomic clock, I hadn't fully read into the mechanics, but my point is that the clocks operate using mechanics, that are possibly susceptable to other energies that could affect the mechanics should the clock be moved from one location to another. Because of the very high accuracy of measurement this could result in one clock running at a different rate to the other. I was just trying to losely explain how difficult it is to create a base time that can be taken anywhere which we can then rely on as being as accurate as the original, but as I said this is to do my own ideas.

With regards to the speed of light verses metre derivation or definition. The speed of light is defined as a speed of metres per second, therefore it is reliant on the definition of the metre, which is defined as the distance light travels in x amount of time which means it is reliant on the definition of light and so on. The definitions are circular. It is this circular definition that Farsight is using as is basis for his argument to banish time from the science books.

<quote>A wavelength is a distance, a thing like a metre:

“The metre is the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299 792 458 of a second...”

And a velocity is a distance divided by a time. So:

A period T is a distance divided by a distance divided by a time. That’s a another period, another time. OK, so that definition of time is circular</quote>

You do need a bootstrap to start from, and that is fine, I was merely commenting on his use of the circular definition. The metre used to be defined as "as 1/10,000,000 of the distance from the equator to the north pole through Paris" which would prevent Farsight from creating the circular definition.

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Robonewt: thanks for going through the essay and for your input. I'd like to respond properly but I'm at work at the moment, so I'll have to get back to you later. For now, I'd say I'm not trying to banish time from the science books. Time travel yes. But not time. Time exists, like heat exists. Both are derived from motion, and neither have any real direction.

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