# Time Explained

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Time is very simple, once you get it. But “getting it” is very difficult. That’s because your current concept of time is so deeply ingrained. You form a mental map of the world using your senses and your brain. You use this mental map to think, and you are so immersed in it that you can’t see things the way they really are. You are locked into an irrational conviction that clocks run, that days pass, and that journeys take a length of time.

It takes an open mind, and logic to break out of this conditioning. First of all we need to look at your senses and the things you experience. Let’s start with sight. Look at the picture below:

The central portions of the two crosses are the same colour. You think the one on the left is grey and the one on the right is yellow. Not true. Tear a small hole in a piece of paper to make a peephole to mask out the context. Hold it up to one image after the other, and you realise that the central portion of the right-hand image really is grey. The yellow was the illusion. What does this tell you? It tells you that something you took for granted is not true. And it should remind you that a photon doesn’t have a colour. It has a wavelength, an oscillation, a motion.

Let’s move on to sound. Imagine a super-evolved alien bat with a large number of ears, like a fly’s eye. This bat would “see” using sound, and if it was sufficiently advanced it might even see in colour. But we know that sound is pressure waves, and when we look beyond this at the air molecules, we know that sound relies on motion.

Pressure is related to sound, and to touch. You feel it in your ears on a plane, or on your chest if you dive. You can feel it when I shake your hand. But you know you can’t measure the pressure of an atom, because pressure isn’t a fundamental property of the sub-atomic world. It’s a derived effect, and the Kinetic Theory of Gases tells us it’s derived from motion.

How about kinetic energy? A cannonball in space travelling at 1000m/s has kinetic energy. If it impacted your chest you would feel it. But apologies, my mistake. It isn't the cannonball doing 1000m/s. It's you. So where's the kinetic energy now? Can you feel it coursing through your veins? No. Because what’s really there is mass, and relative motion.

You can also feel heat. Touch that pretty stove and sizz, you feel heat. We talk about heat exchangers and heat flow as if there’s some magical mysterious fluid in there. And yet we know there isn’t. We know that heat is another derived effect of motion.

Taste is chemical in nature, and primitive. Most of your sense of taste is really your sense of smell. Do you know how smell works? Look up olfaction and you’ll learn about molecular shape. But the latest theory from a guy called Luca Turin says it’s all down to molecular vibration, not shape, because isomers smell the same. That’s motion again.

The point of all this is there’s a lot of motion out there, and most of your senses are motion detectors. But it never occurred to you because you’re accustomed to thinking about the world in terms of how you experience it, rather than the scientific, empirical, fundamental, ontological things that are there. And nowhere is this more so than with time.

So, what is time? Let’s start by looking up the definition of a second:

Under the International System of Units, the second is currently defined as the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium-133 atom. This definition refers to a caesium atom at rest at a temperature of 0K…

So, a second is nine billion periods of radiation. Now, what’s a period? We know that radiation is basically light, so let’s have a look at frequency:

Frequency = 1 / T and Frequency = v / λ

So frequency is the reciprocal of the period T, and also velocity v divided by wavelength λ. No problem. Flipping things around, we see that period T is wavelength λ divided by velocity v. We know that 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 1/299792458 of a second...

And we all know that velocity is a distance divided by a time. So a period is a distance divided by a distance divided by a time. The result is another period of time. This definition of time is circular and tells us nothing. How do we define it? Let’s look at frequency again:

Frequency is the measurement of the number of times that a repeated event occurs per unit of time.

So frequency is a number of events per second. And a second is a number of some other events. The interval between events is measured in terms of other events. And the interval between those events is measured in terms of other events. Until there are no events left, only intervals. And intervals are frozen timeless moments. For time is a measure of events, of change, measured by and against some other change. And for things to change, something, somewhere, somehow, has to have motion. You don’t need time to have motion. You need motion to have time.

We measured nine billion oscillation events and defined that as a second. We counted events. We counted motions. One, two, three, four, five… nine billion. Mark that down as a second. But you don’t have to count the motion in an atomic clock. You could count beans in a bucket. Ping, ping, ping, chuck them in, regular as clockwork.

You’re sitting there counting beans into the bucket, ping, ping, ping. Now, what is the direction of time? The only direction that is actually there, is the direction of the beans you’re throwing. “Fuller Bucket” is not the direction of time. “More Beans" is not the direction of time. The direction of your time is the direction of your counting, and I could have asked you to count them out of the bucket. There is no “Arrow of Beans”. There is no “Arrow of Time”. That’s just an illusion, as imaginary as the direction you take when you count along the set of integers.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 →

So why do we say things like Clocks slow down as if a clock is something that moves like a car? It isn't travelling. There's no slow or fast or up or down to it. We say the day went quickly but we know it didn’t go anywhere, and it didn’t go quickly at any speed at all. It isn’t travelling and there is no direction. The only directions that are there, are the directions of the motions that make the events that we use to measure the intervals between the other events. And they’re being counted, incremented, added up. We count regular atomic motion to use as a ratio against some other motion, be it of light, atoms, clocks, or brains. All of these things have motion, both internal motion and travelling motion. And all those motions are real, with real directions in space, ending in the sameness we call entropy. But the time direction isn't real. It's as imaginary as a trip to nine billion.

That's why the past is only in your head and your records. It isn’t a place you can travel to. It’s the places where things moved from. All those places are still here, now. And while the past is the integral of all nows, now lasts for no time at all. Because time needs events, and if there were only intervals and no events, there wouldn’t be any time. When you take away the events and the motion, you take away the time. A second isn’t some slice of spacetime, it’s just nine billion motions of a caesium atom. Accelerate to half the speed of light and a second is still nine billion motions of a caesium atom. But there's only half the local motion there used to be, because the other half is already doing the travelling motion through space. Imagine yourself as a metronome. Each tick is a thought in your head, a beat in your heart, a second of your time. If you’re motionless with respect to me I see you ticking like this |||. If you jet off in a spaceship, you tick like this /\/\/\. If you could reach c and we know you can’t, you wouldn’t tick at all. Your time would flatline like this ______ because any transverse motion would cause c to be exceeded. And you wouldn’t tick for anybody else in the universe. That’s the thing that’s out there, the thing we’re trying to learn about. This is what it’s like:

What can you see? What can you measure? Yes you can measure height. And width. And if it wasn't just a picture you could also measure depth. That's three Dimensions, with a capital D because we have freedom of movement in those dimensions. What else can you see? What else can you measure? You can see things moving, but you can’t see a fourth dimension. You might imagine a time dimension, with direction and length. But the picture comes from the wikipedia temperature page. The thing you should measure is temperature, which used to be considered a dimension, before the word changed from “measure” to “Dimension” under your feet. Temperature is an aspect of heat, that derived effect of motion. When you measure the temperature you are measuring motion, because that’s what’s there. You can call it a dimension, but there can be no motion in this dimension, because it’s a measure of motion. If you were one of those dots, immersed in temperature like we are immersed in time, you would not talk of climbing to a “high temperature”, because there is no height. Likewise we cannot travel a length of time, because there is no length, just as there is no height in temperature. So time is a dimension with a small d. It's a measure of change of place rather than a measure of place, and it has no absolute units, because you can only measure one change of place against another. The units are relative, which is what Special Relativity tells us.

Special Relativity tells us that your relative velocity alters your measurement of space and time compared to everybody else. You increase your relative velocity and space contracts while time dilates by a factor of √(1-v2/c2). If you travel at .99c, space contracts to one seventh of its former size. So your trip to a star seven light years away only takes you a year. But physics is about the universe, and in that universe it took you seven years. The space in the universe didn’t contract because you travelled through it. But your time did.

Einstein didn’t understand the full meaning of Special Relativity until later in life. In the early days he was influenced by Hermann Minkowski, a father-figure whose forename was the same as Einstein’s actual father. It was Minkowski who turned time into the fourth dimension:

The mathematics of his revolutionary paper on Special Relativity was relatively elementary, and at first he resisted its reformulation in terms of four-dimensional space-time by his former teacher Hermann Minkowski, complaining that “since the mathematicians pounced on relativity theory I no longer understand it myself”.

Later Einstein struggled with the Twins Paradox in 1918. He used acceleration from General Relativity as the explanation, but this explanation was erroneous and didn’t account for passing clocks. Look it up on wikipedia. A couple of years on in 1920 he gave an address at the University of Leyden about the dreaded ether:

..according to the general theory of relativity space is endowed with physical qualities; in this sense, therefore, there exists an ether. According to the general theory of relativity space without ether is unthinkable; for in such space there not only would be no propagation of light, but also no possibility of existence for standards of space and time (measuring-rods and clocks), nor therefore any space-time intervals in the physical sense. But this ether may not be thought of as endowed with the quality characteristic of ponderable inedia, as consisting of parts which may be tracked through time. The idea of motion may not be applied to it.

When you read the history you can see a slow evolution from the postulate that says the laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames of reference. The problem with reference frames is that all our observer velocities are zero, and if you don’t take care the sun goes round the earth. They don’t explain why the speed of light is always the same. It wasn’t until Einstein met Godel in Princeton that he realised the full impact of what Special Relativity really meant:

In his response to Godel's paper in the Schilpp volume, Einstein acknowledged that "the problem here disturbed me at the time of the building up of the general theory of relativity." This problem he described as follows: "Is what remains of temporal connection between world-points in the theory of relativity an asymmetrical relation (like time, intuitively understood, and unlike space), or would one be just as much justified to assert A is before B as to assert that A is after B? The issue could also be put this way: is relativistic space-time in essence a space or a time."

Godel didn’t “find a way to time travel” with his rotating universe. He merely used this conjecture to demonstrate that time could not have passed if you could visit the past. Einstein was with Godel on this, and understood full well the implications:

It is a widely known but insufficiently appreciated fact that Albert Einstein and Kurt Godel were best friends for the last decade and a half of Einstein's life. They walked home together from Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study every day; they shared ideas about physics, philosophy, politics, and the lost world of German-Austrian science in which they had grown up. What is not widely known is that in 1949 Godel made a remarkable discovery: there exist possible worlds described by the theory of relativity in which time, as we ordinarily understand it, does not exist. He added a philosophical argument that demonstrates, by Godel's lights, that as a consequence, time does not exist in our world either. If Godel is right, Einstein has not just explained time; he has explained it away...

That’s the true meaning of Special Relativity. The “speed of light” was always the problem. And it was always the problem because time was always the problem. Because at the speed of light there’s no time left for anything else to happen. It’s why c isn’t really a speed, because you run out of time trying to get there, and if there’s no time, there’s no speed because speed is distance over time. Velocity is prime. It defines your metres and your seconds. We should talk of it as a fraction of c like in the equations, or by degrees, but not by the things it itself defines. Because like temperature time is derived from motion, which is what is there. And c is the total motion, the rapidity of inductance from which we slice our immersive time, the inescapable property of oscillating photons and those electromagnetic things from which we’re made. From which the universe is made.

The universe is not a block universe, it is a world in motion. The worldlines are only in mathematical space, and in your head. There is no future, there is no past, only the now that is always now, the now of Presentism. We don’t travel in time at one second per second. We don't travel in time at all. Relativistic clocks don’t travel in time at different rates, they travel in space at different degrees of c, and when they collide, they collide at the same location and at the same time whatever their faces say is local time. Local time.

To travel backwards in time we'd need to unevent events, we’d need negative motion. But motion is motion whichever way it goes. You can’t have negative motion. So you can’t travel backwards in time. There are no time travel paradoxes, because there is no time travel, and there is no time travel because there is no travelling in time. And there never was. Time didn’t start fifteen billion years ago. Because time didn’t start in the first place. It was motion that started in the first place. And it was fifteen billion light years away by every light path you can track through timeless space. That’s how far we’ve come.

And now we can move on.

Acknowledgements:

Thanks to echalk and R Beau Lotto re colour perception, to Palle Yourgrau for “A World Without Time” re Einstein history, and to Julian Barbour (“The End of Time), Paul Davies (“About Time”) and Carlo Rovelli (various) for background reading. And thanks to all the forum fellas for all the feedback, wiki contributors, anybody who put up an image I’ve borrowed, and anybody else I’ve missed. And Albert Einstein

Thanks guys.

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#### Popular Days

All of the relevations about the nature of time that I see online always bug me. Its all just a bunch of hand waving, half explained examples, bad analogies and false conclusions. And at the end its always concluded that time does not exist. And then you look at a clock. And you realize that wait, time does exist, and this thing I just read explained nothing at all.

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Tycho.

Make yourself a clock and set the seconds to any duration you like.

Time is anything you want it to be, others have decided the duration of a second for you then convinced you that time is real. A concept is something you can remove from the universe without changing one single atom.

No humans, no clocks and no time and the universe carries on regardless.

Take movement out of the universe and there is a dramatic change, everything stops moving.

So given a choice what would you remove from the universe?

Time or movement?

john

jck

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Take movement out of the universe and there is a dramatic change, everything stops moving.

Take time out of the universe and there is no movement. Movement is displacement over a period of time. Without time you can have displacement, but it is not movement.

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;315981'']All of the relevations about the nature of time that I see online always bug me... and this thing I just read explained nothing at all.

And nor did Edtharan.

So frequency is a number of events per second. And a second is a number of some other events. The interval between events is measured in terms of other events. And the interval between those events is measured in terms of other events. Until there are no events left, only intervals. And intervals are frozen timeless moments. For time is a measure of events, of change, measured by and against some other change. And for things to change, something, somewhere, somehow, has to have motion. You don’t need time to have motion. You need motion to have time.

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Edtharan,

Movement is displacement, a period of time is whatever value you personally give it.

Look movement was happening long before time was invented so this notion of seconds did not start the movement did it?

Now if you take away the seconds and the other concepts then you are left with no way of timing anything from your point of view, while I am in the happy position of watching the displacement carry on regardless.

You cannot invent time and give values to durations and attribute the durations happening because of the time you have personally set.

Perhaps you may argue that it is not the timing of time but the duration itself that time reflects but then all the mathematics are using set values to prove theories which depend on the set values themselves?

You can of course hold the view that time removed from the universe would stop all movement and you are entitled to that view but if I do not remove movement but remove what I consider to be a conceptual time factor then my view is just as valid.

john

jck

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So frequency is a number of events per second. And a second is a number of some other events. The interval between events is measured in terms of other events. And the interval between those events is measured in terms of other events. Until there are no events left, only intervals. And intervals are frozen timeless moments. For time is a measure of events, of change, measured by and against some other change. And for things to change, something, somewhere, somehow, has to have motion. You don’t need time to have motion. You need motion to have time.

So if everything in the universe stopped moving, then there would be no time at all?

If something doesn't move then it experiences no time?

Are these correct interpretations of what you are saying?

Look movement was happening long before time was invented so this notion of seconds did not start the movement did it?

So humans "invented" time. Who has the patent on it then?

No. Humans did not "Invent" Time. We invented a measure of it, just like we invented a measure of distance. The measurement is not the thing you are measuring.

By your argument, until we invented the ruler, distance could not exist. This is clearly not the case, so this argument is wrong.

And again:

So frequency is a number of events per second.

Events per second is the measurement of time. Not time it's self. There is no circular reasoning here.

If we were to measure distance by counting the number of identical objects placed one next to the other, then this count of distance is not distance. Just like if we count events next to each other, these are not Time.

The measurement is not the thing you are measuring. Understand that and you will understand why this essay is not an explanation of Time but just an explanation of the measurement of Time. The measurement is not the thing you are measuring.

The whole essay sets up a strawman that is based on the incorrect idea that the Measurement is the thing being measured.

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Edtharan,

You have a mixture of quotes that are not all mine.

If everything down to the last single particle in the universe stopped moving the only time would be the concept of time which would be meaningless.

If time is meangingless for the above scenario then it is not difficult to conclude that something that can suddenly appear useless had any use in the first place.

I doubt if a rock that did not move would experience time unless you attributed your own personal experience of time to the rock.

Time gives people a feel good factor, they set their alarm clocks and sit watching the second hand go round all day and consider they have complete mastery over time. Time is the slave of mankind in a universe where movement is the master, it is just a made up word in a language used like any other to convey some meaning to speach.

Time is for telling the time so everyone can agree what time it is at any given time. A large lump of rock racing through the universe for the last billion years is hardly interested in what time it is here on earth.

Time and again people ask what is time and try to explain it from all angles, that should convince anyone of the problem with the concept.

Ok, everything in the universe has stopped moving and will never move again so now you can explain in that situation exactly what use the concept of time would mean exactly?

john

jck

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Edtharan,

The earth is here. The moon we would conclude was here as well if we were on the moon. So everything is where it is and it is not somewhere else so it is not any distance from itself. Where did this distance come from exactly?

Well I can tell you where exactly, someone invented a ruler and took two seperate completely self contained masses and decided to join the dots and call that distance.

Now if that is not inventing distance then I don`t know what is.

john

jck

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This topic about if everythign stopped moving would there still be time had me and my roomate argueing. I believe that if everything in the universe stopped, right down to the atoms making up our consciousness (whatever that is) then there would be no way of marking such an event. For all we knoe this could have happened or happens all the time, the point is we don't experience it because time is nothing more than a concept. Albeit It is strange to try and visualize formula without time in them trajectories and such.

My roomate was very convinced that time would pass regardless of motion stopping we just wouldn't know about it. We couldn't get to each other and just agreed to disagree. Perhaps time was invented due to the fact that Info cannot travel faster than light and because of this if something happened at the moment you wake up Like the sun exploding, even though it happened now you won't know about it for another 8 min. Is that to say it happened 8 min in your future because you had just woke up? Or did it happen at that moment and you are just oblivious to it and have to be oblivious because if someone was to call you you would still be waiting that 8 min. I don't know it all seems a bit strange, something is definatly out of place in all this.

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Maybe you should show the essay to your roommate, psynapse. It's quite difficult to get your head round it.

If the sun explodes now it explodes now. It's 8 light minutes away so we won't know about it for another 8 minutes. But it's really contorted confused thinking to say the sun exists 8 minutes in our past. Because then we'd exist 8 minutes in the sun's past, and you just tie yourself in knots. The sun is shining now.

Edtharan: you'll never get it because you don't want to get it. Because to you square A is a different colour to B, and you'll swear blind forever that black is white.

http://www.echalk.co.uk/amusements/OpticalIllusions/illusions.htm

All: please can we use this TIME EXPLAINED thread hereon, and refer back to the other one where necessary.

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a photon doesn’t have a colour. It has a wavelength, an oscillation, a motion.

But we know that sound is pressure waves, and when we look beyond this at the air molecules, we know that sound relies on motion.

Pressure is related to sound, and to touch. You feel it in your ears on a plane, or on your chest if you dive. You can feel it when I shake your hand. But you know you can’t measure the pressure of an atom, because pressure isn’t a fundamental property of the sub-atomic world. It’s a derived effect, and the Kinetic Theory of Gases tells us it’s derived from motion.

Can you feel it coursing through your veins? No. Because what’s really there is mass, and relative motion.

You can also feel heat. Touch that pretty stove and sizz, you feel heat. We talk about heat exchangers and heat flow as if there’s some magical mysterious fluid in there. And yet we know there isn’t. We know that heat is another derived effect of motion.

Taste is chemical in nature, and primitive. Most of your sense of taste is really your sense of smell. Do you know how smell works? Look up olfaction and you’ll learn about molecular shape. But the latest theory from a guy called Luca Turin says it’s all down to molecular vibration, not shape, because isomers smell the same. That’s motion again.

The point of all this is there’s a lot of motion out there, and most of your senses are motion detectors. But it never occurred to you because you’re accustomed to thinking about the world in terms of how you experience it, rather than the scientific, empirical, fundamental, ontological things that are there. And nowhere is this more so than with time.

So, what is time? Let’s start by looking up the definition of a second:

Under the International System of Units, the second is currently defined as the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium-133 atom. This definition refers to a caesium atom at rest at a temperature of 0K…

So, a second is nine billion periods of radiation.

And we all know that velocity is a distance divided by a time. So a period is a distance divided by a distance divided by a time. The result is another period of time. This definition of time is circular and tells us nothing. How do we define it? Let’s look at frequency again:

Frequency is the measurement of the number of times that a repeated event occurs per unit of time.

So frequency is a number of events per second. And a second is a number of some other events. The interval between events is measured in terms of other events. And the interval between those events is measured in terms of other events. Until there are no events left, only intervals. And intervals are frozen timeless moments. For time is a measure of events, of change, measured by and against some other change. And for things to change, something, somewhere, somehow, has to have motion. You don’t need time to have motion. You need motion to have time.

We measured nine billion oscillation events and defined that as a second. We counted events. We counted motions.

We count regular atomic motion to use as a ratio against some other motion, be it of light, atoms, clocks, or brains.

That's why the past is only in your head and your records. It isn’t a place you can travel to. It’s the places where things moved from. All those places are still here, now. And while the past is the integral of all nows, now lasts for no time at all. Because time needs events, and if there were only intervals and no events, there wouldn’t be any time. When you take away the events and the motion, you take away the time. A second isn’t some slice of spacetime, it’s just nine billion motions of a caesium atom.

What can you see? What can you measure? Yes you can measure height. And width. And if it wasn't just a picture you could also measure depth. That's three Dimensions, with a capital D because we have freedom of movement in those dimensions.

Temperature is an aspect of heat, that derived effect of motion. When you measure the temperature you are measuring motion, because that’s what’s there. You can call it a dimension, but there can be no motion in this dimension, because it’s a measure of motion. If you were one of those dots, immersed in temperature like we are immersed in time, you would not talk of climbing to a “high temperature”, because there is no height. Likewise we cannot travel a length of time, because there is no length, just as there is no height in temperature. So time is a dimension with a small d. It's a measure of change of place rather than a measure of place, and it has no absolute units, because you can only measure one change of place against another.

To travel backwards in time we'd need to unevent events, we’d need negative motion. But motion is motion whichever way it goes. You can’t have negative motion. So you can’t travel backwards in time. There are no time travel paradoxes, because there is no time travel, and there is no time travel because there is no travelling in time. And there never was. Time didn’t start fifteen billion years ago. Because time didn’t start in the first place. It was motion that started in the first place. And it was fifteen billion light years away by every light path you can track through timeless space. That’s how far we’ve come.

And now we can move on.

Farsight, this was a real well done presentation.

Am I correct in assuming that you are saying that 'time', 'motion', and 'change' are interchangable terms?

Can I also assume that oscillations and oscillations percieved as frequency play a big part in your conceptual framework?

My past pov has postulated that all the rest of reality is 'time dependent', but I think I could go with 'motion dependent' and/or 'change dependent'. You are making a good case.

aguy2

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Farsight, this was a real well done presentation.

Am I correct in assuming that you are saying that 'time', 'motion', and 'change' are interchangable terms?

Can I also assume that oscillations and oscillations percieved as frequency play a big part in your conceptual framework?

My past pov has postulated that all the rest of reality is 'time dependent', but I think I could go with 'motion dependent' and/or 'change dependent'. You are making a good case.

aguy2

aguy2:

Thanks.

I think motion and change are pretty close, but time's a measure of motion against other motion, so I wouldn't say "time is change" myself. But I know what people mean when they say it, and agree with the sense of it.

Yes, I think those oscillations are important. I'm not so sure about frequency though, because its definition relies on time being the thing we take for granted. If a photon experiences no time because it travels at c, it can't really have a frequency the way we commonly understand it.

It's a really interesting subject is this. And so many other things get so much simpler.

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From the way I understand time, it exists when something happens. Maybe I'm just too influenced by science fiction movies, such as, when one can move very fast, he will get old at a faster rate. Lol

Also, when the universe came into existence, so did time.

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I think that's about the size of it carol. Though it's the other way round about the moving fast and the ageing.

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The situation is that motion and change can be clearly understood that is because they exist in our view of reality in the universe.

Time being dependant rather than independant confirms time as a concept.

Time the concept cannot be started and stopped at a whim.

Something happens in 3 minutes...exactly what is the 3 minutes isolated from reality nothing more than a figment of the imagination.

No wonder there is confusion whenever a person attempts to attribute something existing where time is constructed from imagination.

john

jck

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Hmmn, maybe you're going too far there jck. I think colour is something that is totally in in your imagination. Time is something you experience rather than imagine. It's a derived effect of motion like heat is a derived effect of motion. And heat burns.

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You have a mixture of quotes that are not all mine.

Sorry, I was being lazy and not attributing the quites to individual people. I tend to respond to what is presented, not who presented them.

Time gives people a feel good factor, they set their alarm clocks and sit watching the second hand go round all day and consider they have complete mastery over time. Time is the slave of mankind in a universe where movement is the master, it is just a made up word in a language used like any other to convey some meaning to speach.

A clock (as in alarm clock) is just a measuring device, just like a ruler. The measuring device is not the "thing" you are measuring.

I have never looked at an alarm clock and though that I had "mastery over time". I do think that I have a crude measuring device though (if I had an atomic clock, well then that one is not so crude ). If people do think that they have master over time, just because they have a measuring device, then they are falling into the same trap as what is presented in the article.

I repeat. The device used to measure something is not the thing you are measuring.

We measure time by motion/change, but just because we measure time by motion doesn't not mean that motion is time.

The device (motion) used to measure something (time) is not the thing you are measuring (time).

The earth is here. The moon we would conclude was here as well if we were on the moon. So everything is where it is and it is not somewhere else so it is not any distance from itself.

The problem here is that you change the frame of reference. Sure relative to your position on the Earth, the Earth is "here". And relative to your position on the Moon, the Moon is "here". But that involves a change in you position relative to your initial position.

Relative to your position on Earth, the Earth is "here", but the Moon is "there".

Relative to your position on the Moon, the Moon is "here" and the Earth is "there".

Location is relative.

Well I can tell you where exactly, someone invented a ruler and took two seperate completely self contained masses and decided to join the dots and call that distance.

Again, The device (ruler) used to measure something (distance) is not the thing you are measuring (distance).

We invented the ruler, but this did not invent distance. We invented the clock, but this did not invent time. And neither is the Ruler "Distance", or the Clock "Time". They are just measuring devices.

believe that if everything in the universe stopped, right down to the atoms making up our consciousness (whatever that is) then there would be no way of marking such an event.

Yes, we would have no "perception" of time, just as if we die we have no perception of time, but does time actually stop, or cease to exist in this circumstance?

We would have no way of measuring time. But, does that mean that time does not occur, just because we can't measure it?

If the sun explodes now it explodes now. It's 8 light minutes away so we won't know about it for another 8 minutes. But it's really contorted confused thinking to say the sun exists 8 minutes in our past. Because then we'd exist 8 minutes in the sun's past, and you just tie yourself in knots.

Not if you don't include an absolute "Now" in your model. If you don't have an absolute "Now" you don't need to tie your self into knots.

If we take the space-time calculations of relativity into account, then it is straightforward. We can easily exist in each other's past, simply because we are separated in both space and time.

If we were separated in just space (that is having an absolute now) then we end up in nonsense as we can't be in the past as we are both in the present.

If we are just separated in Time, then we again end up with nonsense as we can't both be in each others past.

Only be including Space and Time as dimensions can this situation be resolved without nonsense. As past, present and future are all relative terms under space-time, my past can be your future and your past can be my future. At the same time. We don't have to agree on a "Now" as that is relative to your own frame of reference.

Edtharan: you'll never get it because you don't want to get it.

I have asked yo several time not to make such comments. You are using Ad Hommin (and not only that they are also Red herrings as you have no evidence of me having this attitude at all). For all you know I might be really trying to accept your essay as true, but I am unable to because of the errors (ignoring necessary frames of reference, assuming the measuring device is the thing you are trying to measure, etc) that are in it.

You have made assumptions about me and then used them to belittle me in an attempt to discredit my arguments. This does not help your arguments as you seem to think, it actually makes them seem worse as you don't present any arguments against my arguments.

It is not that I don't want to accept you essay, but I am just not willing to accept something blindly. I will question it. I will test the edges. I will attempt to disprove it (because that is the scientific method).

Do not take this as blindly dismissing your essay. If I was blindly dismissing your essay, I would not be in this debate at all.

Because to you square A is a different colour to B, and you'll swear blind forever that black is white.

Yes, I perceive them as different, but as I know about how we perceive colours and such, I do not fall into that trap. I know that they are the same, even though I can see them as different.

I am willing to accept that what I perceive can be different from reality. if anything, this is not something that discredits me at all, but actually supports me. It shows that I am willing and able to accept that my perceptions are wrong and that I am willing and able to accept evidence contrary to my perceptions and assumptions.

At no point, ever have I denied such illusions are really illusions. I have never stated that we can only rely on our sensory perceptions. In fact, I have argued the opposite, that our perceptions are not what we should rely on and that we should rely on evidence, experimentation and the scientific method.

Time being dependant rather than independant confirms time as a concept.

But this has never been established beyond doubt (or counter argument). All that has been done for this is to state it over and over again with no real support. And besides it is a self referential argument: If time is dependant then time is dependant. This does not constitute as evidence or proof.

Time is something you experience rather than imagine. It's a derived effect of motion like heat is a derived effect of motion. And heat burns.

You keep making this claim, but offer no explanation as to why it can't be different. Why can't time exist independent of motion?

By your arguments, space can't be independent of motion (because if we had no motion, how could we measure distance - I can't move from one point to another to measure that distance so distance can't exits either except as an effect of motion).

All your arguments for the non existence of time can be applied to that of space, but you accept space as being existent, despite this. Why?

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Edtharan: I'm sorry I was rude.

Why can't time exist independent of motion?
Because nothing happens. Nothing changes, and there are no events. It's like heat. You can't have any heat at absolute zero because there is no motion.

All your arguments for the non existence of time can be applied to that of space, but you accept space as being existent, despite this. Why?

Because I can move through space. I can't move through time.

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Farsight,

A person can experience all sorts of things that do not exist anywhere except in the imagination. If you first have to imagine time then look for the experience what is that except imagination?

The brain has an internal clock that gives humans a feeling of time passing, when you go to sleep you do not know time has passed and yet your internal clock gives you the feeling it has.

john

jck

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Because nothing happens. Nothing changes, and there are no events. It's like heat. You can't have any heat at absolute zero because there is no motion.

Ok let us assume that ther is no motion in a region of space 1 light minute in radius. So, according to your reasoning, does time occure within this region of space?

If it does, then Time is independant of Motion.

If it doesn't then what occures if someone ouside that region enters it?

What if there was an atom of radioactive matter that would emmit a particle every 30 seconds? Since there is no movment in that region for 1 minute then how would that atom "know" to emmit that partical after 30 seconds (as 30 seconds can't occure in a region of no time)?

Because I can move through space. I can't move through time.

But you can move through time. You just can only thrust perpendicular to that movment. This is an assumption, I know, but you have to disprove this assumption as it is a competing "theory" and explains the observed reality and is simpler than yours. You have to show how your essay is more correct than this one (and this is the currently accepted theory).

Current theory says that you are moving through time, it's just that you can only thrust in the 3 spatial dimensions, not the 4th (Time) dimension.

Why can't this be the way it really is and your theory wrong?

A person can experience all sorts of things that do not exist anywhere except in the imagination. If you first have to imagine time then look for the experience what is that except imagination?

Human perception of time is not what is being discussed. What we are discussing is the scientific explaination of time. Human perception of time is psychology, this is physics.

The brain has an internal clock that gives humans a feeling of time passing, when you go to sleep you do not know time has passed and yet your internal clock gives you the feeling it has.

you can also take drugs to change your perception of time. But these have no effect on the physics of time.

As you said, we can imagine time. But we can imagine time as anything we want. What we need is a definition of time that is not dependant on faliable humans.

I can imagine time as a glass of water slowly filling up, but this does not mean that is what Time, in the physics sense, actually is like.

This is why science used experiemnts. Good experiemnts are designed to either eliminate or take into account human perception and psychology and reduce their influence on the results..

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Ok let us assume that ther is no motion in a region of space 1 light minute in radius. So, according to your reasoning, does time occur within this region of space? If it does, then Time is independant of Motion. If it doesn't then what occurs if someone ouside that region enters it? What if there was an atom of radioactive matter that would emit a particle every 30 seconds? Since there is no movement in that region for 1 minute then how would that atom "know" to emit that partical after 30 seconds (as 30 seconds can't occur in a region of no time)?

I would say there is no time in this region of space. But it doesn't have a wall around it, and if you sit there watching it with your stopwatch in one hand and a torch in the other, there would be photons moving to your eyes, and your atoms and clocks would be moving. Your presence introduces motion along with your concept of time. If there really was no motion, there would be no atomic decay.

But you can move through time. You just can only thrust perpendicular to that movement. This is an assumption, I know, but you have to disprove this assumption as it is a competing "theory" and explains the observed reality and is simpler than yours. You have to show how your essay is more correct than this one (and this is the currently accepted theory). Current theory says that you are moving through time, it's just that you can only thrust in the 3 spatial dimensions, not the 4th (Time) dimension. Why can't this be the way it really is and your theory wrong?

I'm not sure about the "thrust" you introduce here, and can't much see why it's relevant. But look at your first sentence above. You say you can move through time when you can't. You say you can, but you're kidding yourself, because you just can't. You can't rerun Boxing Day. You can't go back to Christmas Eve to swap a present for something your wife will like better. Yet you cling to this you can move through time assumption like some article of faith. You rebuff any attempt to question it as some "competing theory" to be rejected until proven true, you use your assumption to "prove" that the competing theory cannot be true, and then declare lack of negative proof as proof positive. There's a whole pile of psychology going on here in your defence of your axiomatic position. Do look into it. And please read the essay again carefully.

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would say there is no time in this region of space. But it doesn't have a wall around it, and if you sit there watching it with your stopwatch in one hand and a torch in the other, there would be photons moving to your eyes, and your atoms and clocks would be moving. Your presence introduces motion along with your concept of time. If there really was no motion, there would be no atomic decay.

So even though the decay would occure in 30 seconds and it would take 30 seconds for the emmitted photon to reach you, because time in that space does not exist for the 30 seconds it takes for your observation (no infomation or influence can travel faster than the speed of light) then I should see the photon emmitted 1 minute and 30 seconds rather than at 1 minute.

If time can not exist in an area where the is no movment (and light would be enough to considder movment), then untill I shine my torch (or some other light enters) then that atmo that is emitting the light experiences no time, and therfore can not emit that light, untill there is movment (the light from my torch) to give it time.

Is this what you mean?

I'm not sure about the "thrust" you introduce here, and can't much see why it's relevant.

A space ship traveling in a straight line and it can only thrust perpendicular to its direction of travel, can not change the velocity at which it is traveling in that initial direction. No matter how much fuel it uses, it just can not influence the speed in the initial direction.

So thrusting perpendicular to the direction of travel can not influence the veloicty in the direction of travel.

if Time is considdered a dimension perpendicular to space, no amount of thrusting in the spatial dimensions will influence your velocity in the time dimension.

But, what will change is your vector (this is what I was talking about earlier with all that vector and pependicularity stuff). You will cover more length in the Spce-Time scheme and so will disagree about certain distances if you only considder the 3 dimensions of space, but these distances will cancel out under 4 dimensions and the correct results can be reached.

Thus unless you have the ability to apply thrust (acceleration) in the time dimension, you can not have freedom of movemnt, but it still can be a dimension none the less.

You can not use that argument to support your essay as it is false. The above explaination shows why. It doesn't disprove your essay, but it counters that particular argument you use to support your essay.

The fact that you can lack freedom of movement in a dimension and that dimension can still exist measn that you can not claim that because you lack freedom of movment in a dimension that dimension does not exist.

It doesn't mean that that dimension has to exist (but I am not trying to prove that, just disprove your claim as per the scientific method), but it does mean that dispite the lack of freedom of movement it can exist.

You say you can move through time when you can't. You say you can, but you're kidding yourself, because you just can't. You can't rerun Boxing Day. You can't go back to Christmas Eve to swap a present for something your wife will like better. Yet you cling to this you can move through time assumption like some article of faith.

I have never slaimed that reverse time travel is posible. I have never argued in this thread that it is.

It might be or it might not be, I don't know.

But what I am saying is that you can move through time forwards. You can visit the future, but this same method can't be used to go back.

As I have said, you don't have freedom of movment, but that does not negate that movment is posible.

In a black hole, you don't have freedom of movement towards the singularity, but that does not mean that you are not moving towards the singularity.

Just because we don't have freedom of movment in time, does not mean that we are not moving through time.

Relativity states that Time is relative, so this means that I can be moving through time at a different rate than you are. But it doesn't mean that you will see me disappere and then reappere in your future.

What you will se is that I am moveing slower or faster, that light emitted by a torch that I hold will have a differet frequency than if we were moving at the same rate thriough time. And geuess what, these have all been observed repeatedly and frequently.

If I was able to travel backwards through time, you would not see me disappear, you would see me at all pont in the past too. I would infact appear to collide with my self at the point where I started to go backwards through time. (I would seem to dissappear in the collision, but there would ahve been 2 of me).

You seem to be under the assumption that Time travel would be like it is in the movies (like Back to the Future). Time travel would not be like that at all.

An object that is traveling backwards thriough time would appear to you as identical to an object that is traveling forwards through time, except that it would appear to be made up of antimatter (maybe, it could appear as normal matter but the current throries indicate that it would appear as antimatter). You could interact with it, it would be effeted by gravity, it would so all the things a normal chunk of matter would do. It would exist just as matter does. There would be no disapearing and reappearing.

An object traveling backwards in time would appear at all points in the forwards in time traveler's frame of reference. That is you would see it and it would obey all the physics that we know. There would be nothing special (as in physics) about an object traveling backwards through time as compared to an object traveling forwards through time.

Yet you cling to this you can move through time assumption like some article of faith. You rebuff any attempt to question it as some "competing theory" to be rejected until proven true, you use your assumption to "prove" that the competing theory cannot be true, and then declare lack of negative proof as proof positive. There's a whole pile of psychology going on here in your defence of your axiomatic position. Do look into it. And please read the essay again carefully.

If I seem to be clingin to my position, it is because you have not answered the chalenges I have put to you. You have never answered why you think that lack of freedom of movment means that no movment is occuring (or can occur). As I have shown several time now. Lack of freedom of movment does not automatically mean that no movment is posible. So, since lack of freedom of movement does not mean movment is imposible, then you have to show, in another way, why you think that movment is not posible.

When I ask for this proof, you just keep saying it is because you have lack of freedom of movment.

This is not good enough. You are repeating youself, using an "Axiom" that has been shown not to be true in all cases.

It might be that we have lack of freedom of movment (effect) in time because it does not exist as a dimension (cause), but lack of freedom is the effect, not the cause. You can not use the effect to prove the cause, as there are many different causes that could cuase this effect.

So just using the cause will not show us which one is the real cause of our (apparent) lack of freedom of movment.

For your essay to stand up, then you have to show that Time is not a Dimension (like space), but using the Lack of Freedom of movment can not do this, it is inadaquate for that task. If time is a dimension like space, then your essay is starting from incorrect initial propositions and no matter how rigourous the rest of your logic is, your essay will be wrong.

Please, give us more evidence/reasoning to support you posiiton here. It is essentiall to your essay and therfore should be of high priority.

I do not "rebuff any attempt to question it as some "competing theory" to be rejected until proven true". I question it and at the same time question my own assumptions. If I find a flaw with one of them, that is when I rebuff it.

I have been questioning what I thinka re flaws in your essay, but I have not been given much in the way of good answers. Some of the answers contradict eachother and other don't answer the questions at all.

I have not rejected it out of hand because it doesn't conform to my currently accelpted notions. In fact, because it doesn't conform to my currently accepted notions, my attention was drawn to it.

I am interested in chalenging my own accepted notions, I have said this before. I am not rejecting your essay because it is different, I am rejecting it for the sake of discussion and examination.

I have backed up all my assumptions with indeapth explainations, I have answered all your questions about them. The same can not be said of my questions about your assumptions.

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So even though the decay would occur in 30 seconds and it would take 30 seconds for the emitted photon to reach you, because time in that space does not exist for the 30 seconds it takes for your observation (no infomation or influence can travel faster than the speed of light) then I should see the photon emitted 1 minute and 30 seconds rather than at 1 minute. If time cannot exist in an area where there is no movement (and light would be enough to consider movement), then until I shine my torch (or some other light enters) then that atom that is emitting the light experiences no time, and therfore can not emit that light, until there is movement (the light from my torch) to give it time. Is this what you mean?

I think so. If there is no movement there is no movement. You can't say there is no movement and then allow movement which then lets you say "aha but there is some time there after all."

A space ship traveling in a straight line and it can only thrust perpendicular to its direction of travel, can not change the velocity at which it is traveling in that initial direction. No matter how much fuel it uses, it just can not influence the speed in the initial direction. So thrusting perpendicular to the direction of travel can not influence the velocity in the direction of travel. If Time is considered a dimension perpendicular to space, no amount of thrusting in the spatial dimensions will influence your velocity in the time dimension.

If you take this approach, it means all clocks "travel" through this time dimension at the same rate, independent of their velocity through the space dimensions.

But, what will change is your vector (this is what I was talking about earlier with all that vector and perpendicularity stuff). You will cover more length in the Space-Time scheme and so will disagree about certain distances if you only consider the 3 dimensions of space, but these distances will cancel out under 4 dimensions and the correct results can be reached. Thus unless you have the ability to apply thrust (acceleration) in the time dimension, you can not have freedom of movement, but it still can be a dimension none the less... It doesn't mean that that dimension has to exist (but I am not trying to prove that, just disprove your claim as per the scientific method), but it does mean that despite the lack of freedom of movement it can exist.

But you're just using the mathematical treatment to justify a real dimension that's not there. Yes, it could be there, but the disagreement about distance and time is explained more simply in terms of what we actually see, which is light and motion, and the light triangles and Pythagoras' Theorem in the original Special Relativity before Minkowski came along.

I have never claimed that reverse time travel is possible. I have never argued in this thread that it is. It might be or it might not be, I don't know. But what I am saying is that you can move through time forwards. You can visit the future, but this same method can't be used to go back. As I have said, you don't have freedom of movement, but that does not negate that movement is possible...
I'd like to reiterate that the only moving going on is the movement through the three dimensions of space. The future is not a place you can visit.

In a black hole, you don't have freedom of movement towards the singularity, but that does not mean that you are not moving towards the singularity. Just because we don't have freedom of movment in time, does not mean that we are not moving through time.
You're using a misunderstood interpretation of an unproven and unknowable object to justify a misunderstanding about time. Time stops at the event horizon, so no collapsing star has as yet become a singularity.

Relativity states that Time is relative, so this means that I can be moving through time at a different rate than you are. But it doesn't mean that you will see me disappear and then reappear in your future.
Now take a look at this and compare it with no amount of thrusting in the spatial dimensions will influence your velocity in the time dimension.

What you will see is that I am moving slower or faster, that light emitted by a torch that I hold will have a different frequency than if we were moving at the same rate through time. And guess what, these have all been observed repeatedly and frequently.
Huh? I've never claimed special relativity is bunk, or that time dilation doesn't happen.

You seem to be under the assumption that Time travel would be like it is in the movies (like Back to the Future). Time travel would not be like that at all. An object that is travelling backwards through time would appear to you as identical to an object that is travelling forwards through time, except that it would appear to be made up of antimatter...

And of course, it could have been antimatter to begin with so an object "travelling backwards in time" can be indistinguishable. How convenient.

If I seem to be clinging to my position, it is because you have not answered the challenges I have put to you. You have never answered why you think that lack of freedom of movement means that no movment is occuring (or can occur). As I have shown several time now...

Edtharan, you kid yourself about moving through time. You kid yourself that I haven't answered your questions, and you kid yourself that you're engaging in debate. You write huge essays trying to knock what I say and you're so keen to do it you start engaging in fiction like I have not been given much in the way of good answers... I've had enough of your kind of "debate". Try some science for a change.

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Time dilation:

Both twins play a one hour cd, one on earth and one in space.

Unless one hears the cd playing slower than the other there can be no time difference.

john

jck

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