# What is time? Does time even exist?

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lol nice try guys.

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time is a result of neuronal activity of the brain.

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The old perception is reality argument doesn't hold much water with me I'm afraid, simply because perception doesn't appear to overlap. After all if perception was reality then God would most certainly exist; and until he parts the heavens and starts speaking to us directly I'm not going to accept that at all... heck even then I'd want a chemical analysis of the environment just so we can remove the god vision inducing toxins!

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Time doesn't exist? I'll meet you at the top of the empire state building... totally meaningless without the time of the meeting...

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Not really, if you go stand there now and wait until I arrive then time won't matter. Well, not to me anyway.

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Not really, if you go stand there now and wait until I arrive then time won't matter. Well, not to me anyway.

Too late, you missed me, I'm sure you would have had use for that $1,000,000 I had for you.... ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites Too late, you missed me, I'm sure you would have had use for that$1,000,000 I had for you....

Which is really too bad, since you left before you arrived, and about three years before he was born. If only we had something to arrange all these random motions of particles.

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I didn't cached which of which. Are you saying that the meter is valid because it was properly defined and the second not, because the oscillation is not a defined unit?

I don't know which of which but:

"Since 1983, it has been defined (the meter) as "the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299,792,458 of a second."

So, "An oscillation is not" then what that tells us about the second and implicitly about the meter?

We do not define the second as 1/60 of a minute. That would be the equivalent of saying a meter is 100 cm.

As you can see from the definition of a meter, it is defined in terms of a process you can realize with an experiment. (The only unit which is still a physical artifact is the kilogram). With time, we count oscillations of a standard, which is currently the unperturbed ground-state hyperfine transition in Cs-133.

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Actually that's not true.

Ever wondered were the name "second" comes from? If I said to you that the winner came in second place there would be no doubt. The same rules apply here.

It appears (if my understanding is correct) that the original unit of time measured was 1 hour. Which makes sense given the inaccuracy's of ye old time keeping equipment. Fractional time (aka a fraction of 1 hour) originated in the Old World with a base-60 or the sexagesimal numbering system was developed by the Sumerians in the 3rd millennium BC, and was passed down to the babylonians around 2000 BC. They developed both time keeping and positioning (which is why you get minutes in degrees and longitude, etc). I've not been able to find out what the word "minute" means or why it is used but I can tell you why second is used.

Second means "the second division of 60". The Sexagesimal system was an early form of fractions, 1/60 is a minute and 1/60/60 is a second. Then we start mixing up modern standards (because only modern civilisation has had timekeeping devices accurate enough) with it and end up with milliseconds 1/60/60/1000.

Edited by Daniel Foreman
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That sounds like the metrological equivalent of the etymological fallacy. Just because the second used to be defined that way, doesn't mean that is how it is defined now.

The second is now the primary unit. Other units are defined in terms of it, and the larger units (days, years) are adjusted to suit.

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In the modern world 1 second is defined by the International System of Units 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.

However, need I remind you that this has been a discussion on weather or not time exists, not in the semantics of definitions. In such a discussion the origin of time is more important than the current definition of a single unit of time. After all an hour was clearly defined by a regular motion (aka the sun) and then divided down from that into fractions of time.Whether you want to count up from seconds, or divide down from an hour, it really makes little difference to the general theme of this discussion.

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We do not define the second as 1/60 of a minute. That would be the equivalent of saying a meter is 100 cm.

As you can see from the definition of a meter, it is defined in terms of a process you can realize with an experiment. (The only unit which is still a physical artifact is the kilogram). With time, we count oscillations of a standard, which is currently the unperturbed ground-state hyperfine transition in Cs-133.

From what I know Cs-133 is decaying "over time".

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From what I know Cs-133 is decaying "over time".

In fact, caesium 133 is the only stable isotope.

But the point is a good one; when nuclei or even single particles decay "over time", how does that happen if time doesn't exist...

Edited by Strange
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In fact, caesium 133 is the only stable isotope.

But the point is a good one; when nuclei or even single particles decay "over time", how does that happen if time doesn't exist...

Are you sure is stable and doesn't brake ever? Or this is just a relative term.

And, if the above is the case, my point was the opposite. How you measure the decay of a isotope (resorting to a time frame I suspect) when that isotope "gave" you time.

It's a issue here, I think about the cause and effect? Who determined who?

Anyway, if it's really stable, I have no comment on that.

Also "The definition of the second was later refined at the 1997 meeting of the BIPM to include the statement

This definition refers to a caesium atom at rest at a temperature of 0 K."

What is at rest in this world? We have only local time?

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it doesn't matter if time exist or if it does't in a point of view,

the bottom line is,

there's,

birth ------> death,

beginning -----> end,

either way, this is time.

and we are in the flow of it

Edited by krash661
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Are you sure is stable and doesn't brake ever? Or this is just a relative term.

And, if the above is the case, my point was the opposite. How you measure the decay of a isotope (resorting to a time frame I suspect) when that isotope "gave" you time.

It's a issue here, I think about the cause and effect? Who determined who?

Anyway, if it's really stable, I have no comment on that.

Time is not defined in terms of an unstable isotope decaying, it's the oscillations between two electron states. Completely different processes.

Also "The definition of the second was later refined at the 1997 meeting of the BIPM to include the statement

This definition refers to a caesium atom at rest at a temperature of 0 K."

What is at rest in this world? We have only local time?

It's defined to be at rest and at 0 K so that you can account for the offset from the fact that nothing is at rest or at 0 K. But if you know what the temperature and motion are you can correct for it and extrapolate to the ideal conditions.

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No, neither time or space exist in and of themselves. There is no alterable fabric of time or space.... Both are explanations to describe where and when something happened. There is no beginning or end. There is no way to compress or expand it, only our perception of it because each is nothing but perception to start with.

If we "froze time"... But could still count... Guess what, that is still time. Even if we somehow have sped ourselves up to count in a period of time that seems smaller to everyone else.... All that matters is that we can still observe it. There are certainly ways to change how we observe it.... But that still isnt time or space changing.... Only our method of observing time or space.

If we assume cesium clocks to be inalterable.... Then put them in jets and find out that they've been altered by relativistic speeds.... Guess what, that wasn't time changing. It was the clocks. A clock can not tell time "more accurately than time itself.". .... Any more than defining a second by a little hand ticking around in a circle. When you take out the batteries, you have not stopped time. You've invalidated your definition.

No, neither time or space exist in and of themselves. There is no alterable fabric of time or space.... Both are explanations to describe where and when something happened. There is no beginning or end. There is no way to compress or expand it, only our perception of it because each is nothing but perception to start with.

If we "froze time"... But could still count... Guess what, that is still time. Even if we somehow have sped ourselves up to count in a period of time that seems smaller to everyone else.... All that matters is that we can still observe it. There are certainly ways to change how we observe it.... But that still isnt time or space changing.... Only our method of observing time or space.

If we assume cesium clocks to be inalterable.... Then put them in jets and find out that they've been altered by relativistic speeds.... Guess what, that wasn't time changing. It was the clocks. A clock can not tell time "more accurately than time itself.". .... Any more than defining a second by a little hand ticking around in a circle. When you take out the batteries, you have not stopped time. You've invalidated your definition.

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it doesn't matter if time exist or if it does't in a point of view,

the bottom line is,

there's,

birth ------> death,

beginning -----> end,

either way, this is time.

and we are in the flow of it

Yes it does matter. If time is the metaphorical river of ocean that one can swim around at will, providing one has the knowledge and tools to do so, then time travel in the classic sense becomes possible. With all it's paradox's and potential consequences. This would effectively mean that a whole new branch of physics is developed with a unique set of rules required to predict the outcomes of time travel so that, for example we'll know what happens if you personally murder your own father, or if such an act is even possible. But before we can start discussing time travel and how it would work, there must be a consensus as to what exactly time is, and what the rules of it's system are. We must then design experiments to confirm that we are right, or disprove the idea then move onto the next.

No, neither time or space exist in and of themselves. There is no alterable fabric of time or space.... Both are explanations to describe where and when something happened. There is no beginning or end. There is no way to compress or expand it, only our perception of it because each is nothing but perception to start with.

Space itself exists that is a self-evident fact, and I can prove it with several experiments.

Experiment one.

Take one room, place a ball gun at the end of it calibrated to a specific speed. Set a timer to run when the ball is fired. Place a catcher at the other end of it ready to receive a ball. Setup a trigger sensor in the catchers mit that stops the timer.

Now separate the machine and catcher across a range of different distances, record the times it's taken the ball to fly from the machine to the catcher.

Conclusion: If the ball takes varying amount of time to reach the catcher, and providing that the time taken to travel is shorter at a closer distance than it is at a longer distance. Then we can confirm that the space between the pitcher and catcher exists.

Experiment two:

Conclusion: You're feet are quite a long way away from you and in fact not coming out of your face in any way. Therefore they must be separated by something. This is called space.

Experiment three:

Conclusion: The release of the hammer didn't hurt the millisecond it was let go, therefore time must have passed between the release of the hammer and the breaking of your toes. The hammer must have travelled through something in that time. This is called space.

If we "froze time"... But could still count... Guess what, that is still time. Even if we somehow have sped ourselves up to count in a period of time that seems smaller to everyone else.... All that matters is that we can still observe it. There are certainly ways to change how we observe it.... But that still isnt time or space changing.... Only our method of observing time or space.

Err, that's nonsense sorry. It's like me saying "If I stopped the world from spinning, yet it moved anyway, then spinning is still happening." Or the more logical conclusion is "The world never stopped spinning." Now if you are claiming to have frozen time, then my first question is:

How did you do this, and how can you prove that time stopped.

Now, that fact that I can A) as you that question, and B) you are standing there counting rather demonstrates that time is in fact still moving. Speed has nothing to do with it. But observation disproves your claim.

If we assume cesium clocks to be inalterable.... Then put them in jets and find out that they've been altered by relativistic speeds.... Guess what, that wasn't time changing. It was the clocks. A clock can not tell time "more accurately than time itself.". .... Any more than defining a second by a little hand ticking around in a circle. When you take out the batteries, you have not stopped time. You've invalidated your definition.

No, neither time or space exist in and of themselves. There is no alterable fabric of time or space.... Both are explanations to describe where and when something happened. There is no beginning or end. There is no way to compress or expand it, only our perception of it because each is nothing but perception to start with.

That's not an easy answer, lazy yes. But not easy. Mostly because I've just given 3 experiments demonstrating that space does in fact in exist. Now if you want to demonstrate a repeatable experiment that proves that space doesn't exist, then please suggest it and I'll be happy to give it a go. Right now all you're doing is playing with words. Everything I've said is observable. What you're claiming is the worst kind of science fiction.

Now, I fully accept that sending two planes with atomic clocks around the world in two different directions only to discover that their time doesn't match up, then coming to the conclusion that time is slower if you move in one direction than if you move in the other can be the result of anything. Vibrations from the plane, magnetic fields the plane travelled through. Perhaps one of the clocks was more greatly affected by solar activity, while the other wasn't because it had the earth between it and the sun. There's so many variables involved that I don't think the conclusion they came up with is right at all.

I still maintain that time as a force, or extra dimension or some other kind of presence in the universe doesn't exist. That it doesn't have an all controlling influence over matter. That the fact that matter moves on it's own without the influence of time is a far simpler answer than what scientists have been trying to work with.

You can talk about cesium clocks and relativistic speeds all you like. But until you dream up an experiment to disprove my conclusion (for I can demonstrate that matter moves, and if I'm asserting that time doesn't exist, then obviously there's no experiment possible that can prove that something doesn't exist. So the burden falls upon people who claim time does exist, to demonstrate it.) then it's all idle speculation with no more foundation in reality then harry potter turning mice into furry goblets... P.S. can anyone else say animal cruelty?

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If we assume cesium clocks to be inalterable.... Then put them in jets and find out that they've been altered by relativistic speeds.... Guess what, that wasn't time changing. It was the clocks

And if we find that every time-dependent thing changes in the same way, what does that mean?

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Atomic Clocks are not time dependant. They are dependant upon the radiation which is arguably a moving particle. IF that movement or speed is influenced in any way you end up with an inaccurate clock.

Once again demonstrating that time is nothing more than man kind taking smaller and smaller regular pieces of motion within a mechanism and then comparing it to other more random motion within the universe.

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Atomic Clocks are not time dependant. They are dependant upon the radiation which is arguably a moving particle.

Did you miis the bit that the definition of the second: "refers to a caesium atom at rest at a temperature of 0 K"?

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And if we find that every time-dependent thing changes in the same way, what does that mean?

I was referring to that.

Time-dependent suggest to me that the device is dependant upon the "time force/ dimension" rather than the internal motions within in mechanism.

I'm simply aiming to demonstrate that time's very definition is dependant upon the motion or internal workings of a device. That device itself doesn't require a time force or dimension in which to operate, it only requires some kind of internal motion.

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If we froze time?

Good question.

What happen indeed when time is frozen?

What happen to the 4 interactions?

Are there interactions any more?

or do everything 'fall apart", (I mean electrons, photons, quarks, etc) or disintegrate? or simply stay the way they are?

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Space itself exists that is a self-evident fact, and I can prove it with several experiments.

Experiment one.

Take one room, place a ball gun at the end of it calibrated to a specific speed. Set a timer to run when the ball is fired. Place a catcher at the other end of it ready to receive a ball. Setup a trigger sensor in the catchers mit that stops the timer.

Now separate the machine and catcher across a range of different distances, record the times it's taken the ball to fly from the machine to the catcher.

Conclusion: If the ball takes varying amount of time to reach the catcher, and providing that the time taken to travel is shorter at a closer distance than it is at a longer distance. Then we can confirm that the space between the pitcher and catcher exists.

Experiment two:

Conclusion: You're feet are quite a long way away from you and in fact not coming out of your face in any way. Therefore they must be separated by something. This is called space.

Experiment three:

Conclusion: The release of the hammer didn't hurt the millisecond it was let go, therefore time must have passed between the release of the hammer and the breaking of your toes. The hammer must have travelled through something in that time. This is called space.

I think we should resort to some definitions for space and time and methods of measurement here, especially if they differ from current physics.

Note: I don't dispute that time exist, I only don't know on what definition is working right now. And what I dispute is the concept of linear time, which I find it to be a non-sense. Linear time is an invented notion since the first "clock" (calendar and so on). We should bring that into discussion.

I stated that above because otherwise can lead to confusion. Until now what I understood from Daniel Forman is that in he's view time doesn't exist. Daniel in the above examples are you trying to confirm space using time? It's a bit confusing for me, other that I didn't missed something in your posts.

Without definitions and reference frames some tries to disprove space and some tries to disprove time. And apparently they are both wrong. Maybe there are both with different definitions.

Apparently some dispute perception as a considered factor here. But I will try still to exemplify something.

Daniel gave an example of space with a table at a distance. How far is that table away from you Daniel? I will bet you will look at the floor.

Experiment: Although some may view it trivial because I will refer at a video game, I find it somehow conclusive. If you find this as being a simulation. In a video game I was in a shuttle and started from a (small) space station to another far apart from each other. As I moved away from the first station I noticed it moving away from me, only for a while. After a time I couldn't notice any movement of my shuttle in respect with 2 to stations, I had only the noise from the thrusters. That indicated for me that I would reach the next station (otherwise..). After I reached the 2 station things got back to normal.

What I'm saying is that for me there was space 10 meters away from any station and in between "a medium" with different proprieties than the one I left. In that "medium" neither time or space exist. Link between the two (different mediums) ? Recorded data. Without data to record our brain "behaves" differently in respect to something and doesn't import importance to something it can't record, investigate.

So, with point of references and "links" between object, even if that link is the floor, you have space. In empty space you have nothing.

Also, when you think at your past (the way we see it right now) and try to recall something, you will always recall events (and different recorded data). What will not find is time between them. Surely you can't refer to some time between 2 events. You can remember seeing a calendar on a wall, with the year on it), hearing someone saying the year you can "pinpoint" a time reference. Other than that you only have sort order. In our understanding of cause and effect you can have what event was first and what was later.

My point being, that if our brain doesn't work with these conception of time and space, as viewed currently, how we suppose to work with that (and understand something), having just one kind of brain. If like I was to stat that I can work with mathematical equations even if my brain doesn't support that.

It's defined to be at rest and at 0 K so that you can account for the offset from the fact that nothing is at rest or at 0 K. But if you know what the temperature and motion are you can correct for it and extrapolate to the ideal conditions.

I have no comment on that, how you might determined from me not responding. The only thing that I thing you notice is that "ideal". Anyway, is not about semantics here.

My point was about such a thing as a "partial reading". To refute linear time, it's possible for me to make an analogy to the cesium reading as the water circuit in nature (here on earth)? If I were to stay on a shore of a river I will see that river go only in one direction. Or, relatively speaking I can be on that river and the water flows in only one direction. That is all I know. If would know more, like water reaching the ocean then evaporate, fall back on the ground, and then spring again and back into that river (closing the circle) I will not call or refer to time as linear, don't I?

So, what I'm asking is, are you sure that we are not reading that Cesium from a river shore? I only mentioned (the possible) cesium decaying as part of a possible circuit. Can a cesium atom decay and re-emerge sort of speak ? I hope you got my idea even if viable or not.

Edited by hyperion1is
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I stated that above because otherwise can lead to confusion. Until now what I understood from Daniel Foreman is that in he's view time doesn't exist. Daniel in the above examples are you trying to confirm space using time? It's a bit confusing for me, other that I didn't missed something in your posts.

Yes I do use time to demonstrate my examples, and yes I can see why that is confusing. So here's my clear definition of time to which you are free to reject or accept.

Time is the change in state of a consistently regular motion. The easiest example of this is a pendulum, it's weight causes it to swing from left to right in 1 second intervals. The point at which 1 second is recorded to have passed, is when it swings to the top of it's arc either on the left or right. So what we are recording is the change of direction, or a change in the state of that pendulum from one direction to another. A second example would be a quartz crystal, which vibrates much faster when under a steady electrical charge. When a quartz crystal vibrates it moves subtly from one direction to the other. In the same way we do a pendulum we record it at the point it changes direction.

So when I speak of time, I speak of comparing one form of motion to another. Depending on the device you are currently using.

Therefore, I could say "As I drop the apple through space, I use another moving object in comparison by counting it's change in states. Instead of using seconds or milliseconds I could just as easily say.

My apple took 91062 quartz crystal vibrations to hit the floor. I can then drop the apple from varying distances and record 42083 vibrations, 122930 vibrations and 158333 vibrations.

The problem with this, is that hardly anyone will know how long that is, so of course I have to convert the number of vibrations into a standard unit of measurement. This is where seconds come in. I know that my crystal operates at 32768 hertz, or vibrations per second. So converting this into time is easy. 91062 / 32768 = 2.779 seconds, 42083 / 32768 = 1.28 seconds. 122930 / 32768 = 3.75 seconds and 158333 / 32768 = 4.83 seconds.

So time can perfectly well exist as a tool, but just because we can count changes in state of motion, doesn't mean time dilation, or forth dimensions, or time forces, etc control the universe. By it's nature time is nothing more than a way of converting something regular and predictable. I could just as easily say that it was 10333716480000 vibrations ago that I went to school and 73924608 vibrations remain until I have to meet my boss.

And yet from this simple every day concept people twist the meaning of time, into time travel, time dilation effects, treat it as a forth dimension, or something even stranger. in the hands of the general populace time seems to have transformed into this weird flexible rubber stuff with so many hidden doors that it's a wonder Shakespeare had time to write his plays due to all the time travelling tourists.

So again, there is no time. There's just a vibrating crystal/ Cesium,/clockwork device ticking us all by.

Edited by Daniel Foreman

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