# Thread: Is there an official definition of what TIME is?

1. K I wanted to ask something throughout the scientific community - what actually is TIME defined as? is there any known official definition as to what time is within science? I have been looking at some definitions of time is from some people and I just wondered if anyone here could tell me what mainstream science actually defines time as? is there an official scientific definition of what exactly it is and how it works? (pls describe in language I can understand nothing too technical) thanks.

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3. Originally Posted by Donald_Patterson
K I wanted to ask something throughout the scientific community - what actually is TIME defined as? is there any known official definition as to what time is within science? I have been looking at some definitions of time is from some people and I just wondered if anyone here could tell me what mainstream science actually defines time as? is there an official scientific definition of what exactly it is and how it works? (pls describe in language I can understand nothing too technical) thanks.
Time is what clocks measure

That is the only definition that we have. It is purely operational and not entrely satisfying. But there is no more fundamental definition.

We do know that time is a local concept, that different observers measure time differently, and that the measurement of time is affected by gravity, or more precisely by the curvature of space-time. We know that space and time are intertwined and not separable, which one finds by studying special and genereal relativity.

Perhaps at some future time we will have deeper understanding and be able to produce a more satisfying definition. There is a general feeling that time has statistical origins, but no one knows how to formulate that idea in a meaningful way. As of now the operational version, time is what clocks measure, is the best that we have.

4. Time is what links any two positions in space from the perspective of a single photon of light. Since the speed of light is invariant, light always travels the same distance in the same amount of time. It is the one perfect clock.

I simply look at it as a fourth dimension. In every way similar to how adding a third dimension would extend a 2 dimensional universe, time extends a three dimensional universe. In in the old Atari Pac Man game, Pac Man can't occupy the same 2 dimensional space as any of his Ghost attackers. If the picture were three dimensional, then he jump over the ghost. His X, and Y coordinates would be the same, but his Z coordinate would be different, and so it works. In a 3D universe where time was the third dimension instead of Z being the third dimension, we'd say that he can occupy the same X and Y position as a ghost, so long as he does so at a different time position. IE. the ghost could move to the top right corner of the screen, then leave, and Pac Man could then move there afterward, and stand right where the ghost had been standing a moment ago.

Do you see how time is just another dimension?

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