Notices
Results 1 to 8 of 8
Like Tree2Likes
  • 1 Post By PhyMan
  • 1 Post By PhyMan

Thread: Time... How the phrick does it work?!

  1. #1 Time... How the phrick does it work?! 
    Forum Freshman Eldritch's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    83
    This is as much a philosophy question as it is a biology (chronoception) and physics question. I wish to understand the nature of time as we know it.
    I've heard a bunch of different versions, but nothing much that is absolute, and my brain is clogged with my own cogitations and speculations.
    All moments of time occur together and at the same time, every instant exists next to another. But time isn't static. Y/N?
    All moments of time are singular snapshots of the universe, and our brains string these together like a film. Y/N
    Time is purely linear, cause and effect, no going forward or backward. Y/N
    or
    Wibley wobbly timey wimey stuff...? Y/N

    I always think of the processes behind even the most commonplace things that I see and experience. When I try to wrap my head around what I think of as time, and what I believe I know to be time, and what I understand is vaguely maybe actually time, my process screeches to a halt. Wait. How does that work, exactly? Am I conscious now, do I exist now, or did I a moment ago? Did I not a moment ago? Am I still conscious a moment ago, and still conscious a moment from now?
    That is, of course, a very philosophical example, there have just been a lot of questions that flare up in the back of my head recently like that. I'm tired of it. Can anyone help clarify, please?


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Imagine you have a cup of coffee in front of you. Here, in the U.S.A., it is common for people to use dehydrated coffee creamer in their coffee. It's an off white powder. When sprinkled into the coffee cup, it floats on the surface of the coffee and the coffee needs to be stirred.

    So you have your cup of coffee and you sprinkle some powdered creamer in the cup and watch it float on the surface as particulates.
    Take a stick and place it in the coffee a little and slowly start to move it around- you will see particulates of creamer dragged by the motion of the stick. The floating creamer will start to swirl.
    In this analogy, we can say the coffee is space
    ...the creamer is time
    ...and the two are a part of eachother.
    This, Einstein termed as SpaceTime. They are inseparable and given the analogy, you can see why there is no time travel for us, as each bit of "time" embedded in space, everywhere in the universe, would have to be moved in position back to the place it was at the time you want to go to.

    It's a poor analogy, but reasonably close. You can see that since everything is in motion, all regions experience time. But since the time they experience is dependent on the conditions within that region, time can be perceived to flow differently from a particular perspective compared to a different perspective.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    111
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldritch View Post
    This is as much a philosophy question as it is a biology (chronoception) and physics question. I wish to understand the nature of time as we know it.

    I recommend that we first take a look at a few sources of definitions of the term time.

    Microsoft Encarta defines time as follows
    Time, period during which an action or event occurs; also, a dimension representing a succession of such actions or events. Time is one of the fundamental quantities of the physical world, being similar to length and mass in this respect.


    Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines time as follow (this is the definition which applies to what we’re discussing in this thread)
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/time
    a : the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues : duration
    b : a nonspatial continuum that is measured in terms of events which succeed one another from past through present to future

    Before we start I’d like to note that there are some folks that hold that time is an illusion. Here is some literature on the subject;

    Is Time an Illusion – The concepts of time and change may emerge from a universe that, at root, is utterly static by Craig Callender, Scientific American, June 2010, pages 59-65.

    I have this article in PDF format. I’d be more than happy to e-mail it to you if you’d like. Just PM me if you want it. There is also a book called

    The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Physics by Julian Barbour. Oxford Press, 1999.

    He too holds that time is an illusion. I don’t agree with this view.

    There are entire books on the subject. E.g.

    The Philosophy of Time: A Collection of Essays by Edited by Richard M. Gale. Anchor Books, 1967.

    My personal view; Consider the state of any system and an object that we’ll call a “clock” which is located near the system. A “clock” is an object which is an enclosed and contained system which has different states. Each state is coincident with a state of the clock. E.g. a crystal vibrates and each vibration makes a counter increment. Thus with each state there is a count status. We use this “clock” to compare the states of larger systems. A system might be the livingroom of your house and a cat moving across the floor. Each step the cat takes is coincident with a count on the clock.

    The phenomena of clock ticking and a system changing state is the phenomena that we’re describing and give the name time.

    This is a very sloppy way of describing what Dr. Robert W. Brehme has described in his web page The Nature of Time located online at http://users.wfu.edu/brehme/time.htm

    Please read it. I’d enjoy talking about it when you’re finished.
    Neverfly likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Bachelors Degree Kerling's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    440
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldritch View Post
    This is as much a philosophy question as it is a biology (chronoception) and physics question. I wish to understand the nature of time as we know it.
    I've heard a bunch of different versions, but nothing much that is absolute, and my brain is clogged with my own cogitations and speculations.
    All moments of time occur together and at the same time, every instant exists next to another. But time isn't static. Y/N?
    All moments of time are singular snapshots of the universe, and our brains string these together like a film. Y/N
    Time is purely linear, cause and effect, no going forward or backward. Y/N
    or
    Wibley wobbly timey wimey stuff...? Y/N
    No, No, No, Whut?

    Time is our 4th dimension. In that sence is is another coordinate.
    However in contrast to spatial basis, time doesn't have a zero-point. It therefore doesn't have a direction. Neither is a time difference any good without the difference of time between these two points. In other words time can only be measured in transitions of time. And hence it is more the realm of Quantum physics then for instance general relativity, for they often forget this little fact.

    Causality is a much more important demand then the direction of time. It can in fact be shown by experiment that. No cause and effect can only occur strictly in one direction of time. However, since both the 'cause' and the 'effect' have no physical meaning until they are observed (for before that the effect nor cause is definable uniqely), it implies that for our experience of time, time can only walk in the positive direction between different observations. I cannot have an observed cause go before an observed effect. But often people mistake just what the causes and effects are. And it is also true that a cause or effect can be dis-observed, and hence seemingly induce stuff like time travel.

    In short, time between observations is always positive in the direction of cause and effect. However in between observations, time has no merit and information flow is only subject to the spacelike interactions. This means that we can affect and use this flow in between observation (often by dis-observation, or erasing of observation) to do usefull (Fun) physics experiments.
    This is indeed done, and confirmed, or, better, the single direction flow of time is disproved.

    Practically time, and how it is interpretated in physics is what means the ultimate downfall of hidden variable theories, and determinism. I don't know how it is interpreted in many worlds theories. But the above describes the current most resilient (and in my opinion simplest) interpretation of the experimental results.
    In the information age ignorance is a choice.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    111
    I found some articles on the subject, including the one from Scientific American that I mentioned aboveIs Time an Illusion? by Craig Callender, Scientific American, June 2010, pages 59-65
    http://elibrary.bsu.az/jurnallar/Sci...can_201006.pdf

    Warning: That PDF is for the entire issue of that month.

    The Mysterious Flow of Time by Paul Davies, Scientific American,
    http://www.nikhef.nl/pub/services/bi...am14327034.pdf

    The Cosmic Origin of Time’s Arrow by Sean Carroll, Scientific American, September 2002, pages 48-57
    http://www.pha.jhu.edu/courses/2009_...03/Carroll.pdf

    Atoms of Space and Time by Lee Smolin, Scientific American, January 2004
    http://www.phys.lsu.edu/faculty/pullin/sciam.pdf
    Neverfly likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    111
    Quote Originally Posted by Kerling View Post
    Time is our 4th dimension. In that sence is is another coordinate.
    A coordinate in an abstract space (as opposed to physical space) we call spacetime

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerling View Post
    However in contrast to spatial basis, time doesn't have a zero-point. It therefore doesn't have a direction.
    I don’t understand your comment here. Can you clarify it for me please? Any spatial coordinate system has an arbitrarily defined spatial point called the origin. Spatial coordinates such as x, y and z are defined as distances from that orgin. The exact same thing holds for time with the exception that time does have an arrow to it. I.e. a preferred direction. It is in that direction that entropy increases and which cause precedes effects. Thus the spatial poretion of the event (ct, x, y, z) represents the spatial displacement r = (x, y, z) from the spatial orgin and t represents the time recorded on a clock which is synchronized with the clock located at the origin and represents the time that has passed since the orign clock was set to read zero. A sample pf radioactive material will decay according to the law of radioactive decay where a is the decay constant.

    I believe there was an article written on this subject called Time’s Arrow but I forgot who the author was.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Freshman Eldritch's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    83
    Quote Originally Posted by PhyMan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldritch View Post
    This is as much a philosophy question as it is a biology (chronoception) and physics question. I wish to understand the nature of time as we know it.

    I recommend that we first take a look at a few sources of definitions of the term time.

    Microsoft Encarta defines time as follows
    Time, period during which an action or event occurs; also, a dimension representing a succession of such actions or events. Time is one of the fundamental quantities of the physical world, being similar to length and mass in this respect.


    Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines time as follow (this is the definition which applies to what we’re discussing in this thread)
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/time
    a : the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues : duration
    b : a nonspatial continuum that is measured in terms of events which succeed one another from past through present to future

    Before we start I’d like to note that there are some folks that hold that time is an illusion. Here is some literature on the subject;

    Is Time an Illusion – The concepts of time and change may emerge from a universe that, at root, is utterly static by Craig Callender, Scientific American, June 2010, pages 59-65.

    I have this article in PDF format. I’d be more than happy to e-mail it to you if you’d like. Just PM me if you want it. There is also a book called

    The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Physics by Julian Barbour. Oxford Press, 1999.

    He too holds that time is an illusion. I don’t agree with this view.

    There are entire books on the subject. E.g.

    The Philosophy of Time: A Collection of Essays by Edited by Richard M. Gale. Anchor Books, 1967.

    My personal view; Consider the state of any system and an object that we’ll call a “clock” which is located near the system. A “clock” is an object which is an enclosed and contained system which has different states. Each state is coincident with a state of the clock. E.g. a crystal vibrates and each vibration makes a counter increment. Thus with each state there is a count status. We use this “clock” to compare the states of larger systems. A system might be the livingroom of your house and a cat moving across the floor. Each step the cat takes is coincident with a count on the clock.

    The phenomena of clock ticking and a system changing state is the phenomena that we’re describing and give the name time.

    This is a very sloppy way of describing what Dr. Robert W. Brehme has described in his web page The Nature of Time located online at http://users.wfu.edu/brehme/time.htm

    Please read it. I’d enjoy talking about it when you’re finished.
    My brain's finally managing to read some of it. I've just finished "On Time Travel". I don't know if my viewpoint is simply limited, but I don't feel myself agreeing with the assertions in this part. The rest of it has been intriguing.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    111
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldritch View Post
    My brain's finally managing to read some of it. I've just finished "On Time Travel". I don't know if my viewpoint is simply limited, but I don't feel myself agreeing with the assertions in this part. The rest of it has been intriguing.
    I myself have only read the article in Scientific American by by Craig Callender so far. Which article are you referring to regarding time travel?

    There is such a thing as using two cosmic strings moving relative to each other to time travel with. Have you heard or read about that yet?

    I'm at a halt on reading right now because my printer is out of ink and I'm unable to comfortably read what's on my computer screen. Soon though.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: May 20th, 2013, 07:59 AM
  2. Replies: 2
    Last Post: February 4th, 2008, 06:50 PM
  3. How does space time work?
    By thevignesh in forum Astronomy & Cosmology
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: August 15th, 2006, 09:49 PM
  4. Time is space-time, is motion-interval, defining distance?
    By That Rascal Puff in forum Physics
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: July 7th, 2006, 12:54 AM
  5. H.A.A.R.P at work
    By Clarky in forum Pseudoscience
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: December 14th, 2005, 11:27 AM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •