Einstein view of time

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Dinosaur, May 6, 2019.

  1. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    I have posted the following in various Threads. After reading a lot of other Threads relating to time, it seems worthwhile to Post it again as a separate Thread.

    This is approximately what Einstein wrote, which I think is very succinct and pretty much describes it.

    When an individual ponders his experiences, he can order the events in his life using the criteria of before and after. He can assign a number to each event in such a way that events assigned a lower number occurred before events assigned a higher number.

    It is convenient to use a device called a clock to provide a consistent set of numbers for use in ordering events.

    In describing the laws of physics using the language of mathematics, it is convenient (if not necessary) to use a continuous variable called time. This variable similarly orders events based on the criteria of before and after.​

    There is little (if anything) more that can be said relating to time.​

    It is interesting that Albert used bold or italics for before & after, implying that they were undefined terms, not definable via the use of simpler terms or concepts.

    Note that an axiomatic system requires some undefined primitive terms to avoid various logical problems associated with circular definitions.

    It is interesting that Albert did not mention the concept of the flow of time from past through the present into the future, which does seem to be a construct (illusion?) of the human mind rather than an objective process associated with reality.
     
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  3. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Time seems to be real, or feel real but we don't really process the flow of time, until we review past events. The odd thing (to me) about time, is that we do measure it in our everyday lives. So, we are measuring an illusion? That doesn't make sense.
     
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  5. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

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    Time is a dimension and as such it is no more of an illusion than distance. I really do not get this fascination with confusing yourself over something as concrete as time.
     
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  7. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    It's been a controversial subject among scientists for decades. The point being are the features of time strictly physical (real) or are they partially a construct of our minds? I think it's an interesting topic.
     
  8. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Surely the issue is whether or not our common perception of the flow of time is an illusion, isn't it, rather than time itself?

    As the hymn has it,"Time like an ever-rolling stream bears all its sons away."

    Whereas viewed, as you say, as a dimension, it is just the ordering of events and "flow" does not come into it.
     
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  9. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

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    Time flows at 1 second in 1 second. 3600 seconds from now 1 hour will have passed. About 31,500,000 seconds from now I will be 1 year older. I don't know, it just doesn't strike me as some mystery or particularly intriguing question to ponder.
    How humans view dimensions can be prone to illusions. I can think of probably hundreds of them. One line looks longer than another based on the direction of the arrows on the ends. A full moon looks larger near the horizon than it does at its zenith. Time 'flies' when your having fun. I think the point is that in a given reference frame a meter is a meter and a second is a second, end of story.
     
  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    But are seconds and meters just arbitrary measurements or are they relative to some other constant time or distance interval?
     
  11. QuarkHead Remedial Math Student Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, it is hard to disagree with Einstein on this.

    I would say, however, that we (or at least I) seem to be hard-wired to assume causality - the cause temporally precedes the event. And moreover that there are no un-caused events.

    This is what makes quantum theory so difficult for we mere mortals, where not every event has an identifiable cause
     
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    before and after = chronology?
     
  13. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

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    Measuring age not TIME

    Which again is a arbitrary measurement for age

    Recording of events to compare various events against each other to establish a sequence

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  14. Asexperia Valued Senior Member

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    Time is the continuous or discrete succession of irreversible moments that goes from the past to the future. Time marks the pace of changes. Time is magnitive, that is, objective, measurable and imperceptible. Duration is the time interval. Synonym of duration are: age, permanence and period. In the dimension of time, events are ordered in sequence.
     
  15. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

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    Right, seconds are one of the units we have to measure time. Just like mms are used to measure length. So what is your point?
     
  16. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

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    The point is seconds and inches do not have any physicality and in order to exist, which is NOT a existent, unless you use circular reasoning

    TIME is none existent

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  17. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Until it is needed for changing spacetime coordinates from At0 --> At1 --> At2 --> At3....

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    Change creates duration, duration creates time. When duration stops, time stops.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
  18. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

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    Change does NOT create duration
    When duration stops ie nothing ages means the end of the Universe has occurred

    You guessed it

    DURATION is AGE both of which have arbitrary units

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  19. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

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    You get to believe whatever want.
     
  20. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

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    Granted

    Very brief summary

    1/ TIME itself does not exist

    2/ PAST does not exist

    3/ FUTURE does not exist

    NOW is the only moment in existence

    Regarding 1/ try to obtain a book called The Invention of Time and Space by Patrice F. Dassonville which goes in great detail of why time does not exist

    colours my view

    If you have any reference regarding the existence of time I am happy to read such

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  21. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

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    That is seems to me to be a patently stupid statement. I am sure it arises from some philosophical ideas and/or semantics around saying the past and future don't exist in the now. Like I said before, I am not sure what the fascination is around tying to confuse yourself about time to the point that you would say "time does not exist". I can use that non-existing time very efficiently for appointments. Guess you think I must be magic or something.

    I am done here it is just a bit over the top silly for me, but by all means have fun in your discussions.
     
  22. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

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    I guess you mean a completely arbitrary moment to attend to some appointment OK

    I do note you did not address

    If you have any reference regarding the existence of time I am happy to read such

    ???

    Again OK

    Happy to wait if you come up with a discussion point on times existence

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  23. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Spacetime - Wikipedia

    Apart from its inevitable association with 3D space, I can't find an article about Time as a separate dimension.
    https://einstein.stanford.edu/content/relativity/a11332.html
     

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