Can you answer the most fundamental question about time?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Speakpigeon, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    I see void and I think the same thing as space. I would believe in time.
     
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Time is the concept that refers to the measurement of change, just as length or distance is the concept that refers to the measurement of separation in space.
    A rabbit probably has a concept of change, but not of time.
     
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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    You can't see void. Ask yourself is time outside the universe? Is there time outside of spacetime?
    Void is not empty space, void is absence of everything including space and time.

    One could make a case that a void is a dimensionless "permittive condition".
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
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  7. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    There is no such thing as a void.
     
  8. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Right, then why did you bring it up in relation to time? Are you trying to measure the time for something to not have existed?
     
  9. Confused2 Registered Senior Member

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    In my first post I suggested using radioactive decay to make a rather clumsy clock. The starred feature of radioactive decay is that it is unaffected by time. Does this carry forward to other types of clock? Could we say a good clock is one that is unaffected by time? Could this be why good clocks stay synchronised over time? - Precisely because they are unaffected by time? We may derive numbers or move pointers on a dial - could this be concealing the feature that makes a clock a clock? If clocks are unaffected by time then there is nothing in the nature of time to desynchronise them.
     
  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    AFAIK, the most accurate clock known is the Caesium clock.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesium_standard
     
  11. Confused2 Registered Senior Member

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    The point here is that every caesium atom is the same regardless of when you look at it. If the atoms 'aged' - that is to say were affected by time - they would not be suitable for use in clocks.
     
  12. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    This part of the "question" you appear to believe is meaningful: It's kind of vague, it's kind of devoid really, of meaning.

    We know what the word time means though, we understand the concept intuitively (likely because it's advantageous to have this evolutionary adaptation).
    But then say a question like "Does time exist" isn't really a question, because the word exist implies "for some interval of time". A question that references itself isn't really a question, but a tautology.

    What we need is a theory of time that goes beyond this intuition.

    If time has existed since the universe "began", a question theoretical physicists ask is, how long did it take for a photon to get across it? When did a question like that start to make physical sense? A highly compressed universe wouldn't have many degrees of freedom (moreover) . . .

    Not like now, where there is plenty of room to get pendulums swinging (would a swinging pendulum make physical sense shortly after the BB?).
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
  13. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    It is the aging that is the measurable part, no?
    https://science.howstuffworks.com/atomic-clock3.htm
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  14. Confused2 Registered Senior Member

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    At the time of the BB - would the physics of decay of (say) a carbon 14 atom (edit- or a neutron) have been any different - even if none existed at the time?
     
  15. Capracus Valued Senior Member

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    A clock can be considered a consistent contextual reference, which means that in a known controlled environment you can obtain a fairly reliable reference of change. And changes in the clock behavior can be used to indicate accurate changes in the environment, such as gravitational fluctuations.
    Actually it would be the optical lattice clock.

    An optical atomic clock that, if left running for the entire life of the universe, would neither gain nor lose more than 100 ms has been created by physicists in the US and Italy.

    https://physicsworld.com/a/optical-lattice-clock-shatters-precision-record/
    They are essentially the same thing. Time is a measurement of change, or simply, time is universal change.
     
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  16. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

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    Clearly that is not the most fundamental question since the beginning of your question has a supposition in it.
    The most fundamental question is, "does time exist?"
    The answer is yes so your question is moot.
     
  17. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    OK, but then why would two clocks stay synchronised at all.
    EB
     
  18. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    If time is the measurement of change, why would two clocks stay synchronised at all.
    EB
     
  19. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    How could you say of something that decays that it is unaffected by time? The rate of decay stays the same but that a nucleus should decay seems due to the passage of time.
    That doesn't explain why clocks stay synchronised.
    EB
     
  20. Capracus Valued Senior Member

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    Because it's in the best interest of those who utilize those clocks to ensure that they are. Clocks don't necessarily have to be in sync with one another to be useful, but they do have to be relatable to particular events, such as a stopwatch measuring the transit time of a runner.
     
  21. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    For the same reason that two metre rules are (close to) the same length.
     
  22. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    Which is what?
    EB
     
  23. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    Why would they be reliable if time doesn't exist?
    EB
     

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