Time/Change

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Techne, Jun 25, 2011.

1. What do you think is the relationship between time and change (change as in stuff changing position or from one thing to another etc.)?

A) Time exist as a result of or is a function of change. Time is an intellectual abstraction and a mathematical expression to quantify change. Without change there is no time sort of like without mass there is no gravity.
Or…
B) Time exists as some distinct (absolute or relative) entity and/or quantity and/or dimension that is different or distinct from the process of change. Time exists as an entity and/or quantity and/or dimension irrespective of whether there are things that are changing or not.

Newtonian physics assume time to be some sort of separate absolute quantity. In Minkowski space time is treated as a separate dimension and added to spacial dimensions to form the space-time manifold and the mathematical setting of Minkowski space is the setting in which Einstein developed his theory of special relativity. So it would seem that the mathematical model of space-time is compatible with B) as it treats time as some sort of dimension.

Historically though, time has always been measured as a function of some or other entity that is changing. For example, time was measured according to the rotation (note change of position of masses) of the earth around the sun (Ephemeris time) or atomic clocks (cycles of radiation corresponding to the transition (note change) between two energy levels of an atom) etc. But this duration of a second (in fact any second) is only relative, there is no absolute duration of a second and this is because of special and general relativity.

Looking at special relativity, time will appear to pass slower on objects (including atomic clocks) that are moving (changing) quicker relative to an object that is moving (changing) slower. That is why if an atomic clock can travel close to the speed of light for long periods of time, the atomic clock will appear to slow down, meaning the cycles of radiation corresponding to the transition (note change) between two energy levels of an atom will slow down relatively to other slower moving atomic clocks.

Also, looking at general relativity, time will appear to pass slower on atomic clocks closer to objects of greater mass compared to atomic clocks further away from objects with the same mass (greater mass if you want). That is why time slows down near a black hole. Here, again, a change in mass has an effect on the duration of change. Change thus is relative.

Thus, it would seem that the view that A) Time exist as a result of or is a function of change is not necessarily incompatible with special and general relativity and as some would argue "corresponds more adequately to the physical world". Work is being done to demonstrate the mathematics and physics behind this idea, an idea that Aristotle shared.

For example:
Scientists suggest spacetime has no time dimension
Replacing time with numerical order of material change resolves Zeno problems of motion

And this one I want to place in the physics section:
Title: Scientists suggest spacetime has no time dimension
Scientists suggest spacetime has no time dimension

3. Our current measurements of time are inadequate: a day (twenty-four hours) is the time it takes the Earth to rotate once on its' axis; a year is the time it takes the Earth to orbit our star (the sun). These are simply changes in space, NOT time. I'm quite certain time is relative and not absolute because of a computer program I have written (posted in the relevent section.) The program counts as high as it can in one second and the results show how the length of a second changes (because time is different EVERY time.)

5. cosmictravelerBe kind to yourself always.Valued Senior Member

Messages:
33,264
When traveling in space there really is no way to tell time. So then is time only an invention humans have made up for themselves while on Earth?

7. Time is distinct.

8. Distance can be measured with a passive device such as a meter stick. Measuring time, on the other hand, requires a dynamic device; clock, pendulum, atomic vibrations, etc. What that tells me is distance is a passive variable and time is the dynamic variable, by virtue of the types of devices needed to measure each.

If we look at a photon, it is expressed with wavelength and frequency. The frequency has a connection to time. While the wavelength has a connection to distance. Based on the above; passive versus active, the wavelength is the passive variable while time is the dynamic potential within energy.

If there was only time, without distance, there would still be a potential, but this potential would exist without expression as energy, since energy requires both time and distance. The passage of time or the using up of time potential, requires an integrated expression within distance, so the time potential can change phase into various forms of energy which express changes of state.

9. Yes, time has more to do with space and movement than being absolute, as it represents the difference of space (or spaces), and, yet, in this way it is also something real.

10. The program is quite simple. It looks something like this:
Code:
a$=time$
b$=time$
c%=0
while b$=a$
b$=time$
c%=c%+1
wend
print c%

The program shows how the actual length of time varies, and we cannot sense such a thing because we exist WITHIN time: if time should be running slower (or faster) for that 'second' (if that is such a measurement of time) then we are without any way of knowing such a thing (except with the above program) :shrug:.