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Thread: The flow of time

  1. #1 The flow of time 
    ...matter and pixie dust wegs's Avatar
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    This topic is being discussed on SF, so thought I'd bring it here. If time is measured, why do we consider the flow of time to be an illusion? This is how Einstein viewed it, but why? Since we measure time in our everyday lives, how could it be merely an illusion? is it because we don't know the future, and that our minds only process time as a form of movement, when we are able to look at past events?


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  3. #2  
    ox
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    Herman Weyl quote:
    'Events do not happen. We merely come across them.'

    So time does not exist at our level.
    Just like a fish exists in water but has no perception of time, we exist in what we call time but only in our waking state.
    Everything is an illusion based on the probable fact that the universe and brain are holograms.


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    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Ugh, again with the hologram assertion
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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    Forum Junior anticorncob28's Avatar
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    From my experience, the claim that time is an illusion is most often used in arguments that backwards time travel is not possible; the universe does not record events on a tape that you can rewind, and the place you want to go to does not exist. (I've also seen anti-relativity cranks use this argument against special and general relativity, too.)
    So, time is an illusion in that sense; there is no tape.
    This is more of a philosophical topic than a physics one, at least in my opinion.
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  6. #5  
    ...matter and pixie dust wegs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Ugh, again with the hologram assertion
    Yea, that didn't make sense to me.
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  7. #6  
    ...matter and pixie dust wegs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anticorncob28 View Post
    From my experience, the claim that time is an illusion is most often used in arguments that backwards time travel is not possible; the universe does not record events on a tape that you can rewind, and the place you want to go to does not exist. (I've also seen anti-relativity cranks use this argument against special and general relativity, too.)
    So, time is an illusion in that sense; there is no tape.
    This is more of a philosophical topic than a physics one, at least in my opinion.
    I placed it in this section, because it seems that time is rather controversial, in that we view it as a physical reality (a means of measurement) but then we dismiss the flow of time as part of that physical reality. Einstein didn't touch upon the flow of time, maybe because he too thought it bordered on the philosophical, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't try to make some sense of it. (or at least I wish to make sense of it lol)
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    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    This topic is being discussed on SF, so thought I'd bring it here. If time is measured, why do we consider the flow of time to be an illusion? This is how Einstein viewed it, but why? Since we measure time in our everyday lives, how could it be merely an illusion? is it because we don't know the future, and that our minds only process time as a form of movement, when we are able to look at past events?
    I think the best thing to do is regard the time of physics as “what a clock measures”; to say to yourself: “The measurement is the variable”, and leave it at that. Any other talk of “time’s flow”, the rate at which the future arrives, the notion of past, present, and future etc—that’s, I dare say, prit’near a different topic. Maybe start a thread in the philosophy section. I’d be all in.
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    i'm not sure Einstein view the flow of time as an illusion. This is more like some philosophic see it. In restraint relativity the consortium time-space exist in the same manner that the time and the space exist for Newton. Anyway it says that time is somehow the same as space ... Maybe we can see time like a way of comparing physic phenomena and not a real physic entity. Does the limitation of speed of light is due to (1) light itself or (2) time-space consortium itself.
    For me the (2) answer is good so time as a physics sens but not sure about it. As the duration bewteen to event depends on the observer and not itself, we can philosophate.
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  10. #9  
    ox
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    Time is a variable in Einsteins's GR equation and appears to have no unit.
    Depending on where you are and what speed you are doing time ticks by differently relative to other observers.
    The arrow of time is forward but not necessarily at the sub atomic level which adds to the confusion.
    I think you can only regard time as a metaphor until we know more.
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    IN GR the speed of light still constant 299 792 458m/s so time must stil have a sens . You put a light going from one miror to another one, you count the crossing of light and you have your clock.
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    you count crossing, it has no unity, it doesn t mean that time do no exist. Anyway i don t know if time has no unity in RG. Seems strange.
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    Anyway You should be right on the root philosophy says time and space do not exist
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  14. #13  
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    Lee Smolin's latest offering 'Einstein's Unfinished Revolution' sees him again mentioning Julian Barbour on the subject of time even though he doesn't agree with him.
    To Barbour there is no time - no evidence of the past other than our memory of it, and no evidence of the future other than our belief in it. What we understand as time is change.
    The 'flow of time' (just a metaphor) is quicker the older you become or the more intense your concentration. It slows down with physical or mental pain.
    Can you even prove what happened yesterday actually happened?
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