# What is time??

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Shadow1, Feb 5, 2011.

1. ### DinosaurRational SkepticValued Senior Member

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Keln: You need to get & read a book or article on Special Relativity written for those with little or no background in physics & the pertinent mathematics. There might be better books for you, but the following is a good one.
Relativity Visualized by Lewis Carroll Epstein​
It provides insight into both Special & General Relativity without delving into serious mathematics.

You are asking too many basic questions to be answered in this forum. You are likely to get answers to individual questions without the overall context required for an understanding.

Worse: There are crackpots here who do not believe in relativity. If one of them gives you answer, it is likely to be really misleading.

3. ### SciWriterValued Senior Member

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This is but a new hypothesis:

Time is the difference of space.

Einstein’s 4D ‘block universe’ (or 4D space-time) is an infinite number of infinite 3D spaces (or slices) stacked one upon another, which can be also called the 4D hypercube. It’s hard to visualize 4D, but one can generalize it from imagining a stacking of infinite 3D ‘pancakes’.

So, in seeing this 4D finite hypercube of infinite 3D spaces, one can visualize that time is the difference of space(s), time serving as both motion and charge (electrical polarity). The converse is that space is the difference of time, this being distance.

Energy/mass is basically curved space. Space is physical, but not material. 3D space is infinite and is therefore the bounding “surface” of the finite 4D hypercube, just as, in a dimension lower, an infinite 2D surface of a sphere would bound the finite 3D sphere.

What is fourth-dimensional, intrinsically polar, external to space, and a metric for spacial distance?

Time. Time, like space, is an inevitable consequence of 4D hypervolume. Space might constitute the composition of reality, but time is the cause and effect binding it all together. Time is the difference of space!

Time is not a compositional dimension; it is a difference dimension. The finite 4D hypercube has dimensions of quadratic distance; however, any incomplete representation of this hypercube, such as half of unit hypervolume, has units of time-distance^3. Totality is neutral and symmetric, whereas its internal composition is polar and asymmetric. Time is the dimension that bounds, not extends, three-dimensional space.

Distance^4 = c(time-distance^3) !

The speed of light (c), is the underlying dimensional relationship (equivalent) between time and distance; it provides the standard for unbounded duration, much as the universes ‘diameter’ provides the standard of unbounded distance. ‘c’ is a ratio! It more properly comes from this reduction of dimensional units:

Distance^4 / (time-distance^3) = c = distance/time

There can only be one such value for ‘c’, since there is only one relationship between the dimensions, and so that’s why it is what it is.

As someone said, time prevents everything from happening at once, but it is also that ‘c’ is finite and so that prevents it, too.

P.S. I didn't invent this notion of time as a difference dimension, but I'm trying to extend it, as well as to visualize it more. It's either 'crackpot' or it is on to something, but 'time' does need some better definition.

Last edited: Feb 10, 2011

5. ### DinosaurRational SkepticValued Senior Member

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SciWriter & others: What is wrong or missing in Einstein's view of time (See Post 19)?

Circa 1950, I was taking a course in philosophy. The text book had an entire chapter relating to time, which seemed like a lot of verbiage for the amount of actual semantic content. The professor's lecture on the subject seemed to be much like the textbook.

I asked my father his opinion on the subject. He said he had read something by Einstein that was pretty good. I found the Post-19 description in a book by Albert & showed it to the professor. His reaction was something like the following.
This is embarassing. The textbook author & I should have taken a physics course. I will includeit in my course lectures & contrast it with the textbook chapter.​
BTW: I had history, sociology, & poly-sci professors who expected students to parrot back the views from class lectures & text books. They were antagonistic to any contrary POV. They seemed to think their disciplines were hard sciences like mathematics & physics.

7. ### KelnRegistered Member

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Unfortunately, my background in physics is basic through atomic. My mathematics is for engineering. I'll look up that book you mentioned. Although, I am unsure how physics can really be explained without mathematics.

I really wish I had gone into one of a dozen fields of physics instead of nuclear engineering. They seem far more interesting to me.

I am not afraid of crackpots though. I have a pretty good nose for them. I accept the mainstream until the mainstream changes course. Let those with more knowledge in a field debate it while I wait to see who wins.

8. ### DywyddyrPenguinaciously duckalicious.Valued Senior Member

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Quarter to eleven.

9. ### SciWriterValued Senior Member

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Dinosaur, post #19 is great. Einstein also said that time with a pretty girl seems to go quick, but very slow when burned by a hot stove. (He also liked to be with his cousin, Elsa.)

For me, internet time seems to go fast, my cigarette seeming to instantly burn down, but, of course, when standing outside a restaurant with people waiting for my smoke to end, it seems to last forever.

I elementary school, I would purposely not look at the clock for a while, only to see when I did that it had hardly moved at all.

10. ### spidergoatValued Senior Member

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I thought Einstein said time is what you read on a watch.

11. ### SciWriterValued Senior Member

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Except, when in school, where Einstein didn't do too well, for there his watch ran very slow.

Einstein, in his armchair analysis, for I guess he hated the lab, noted that since 'c' was a constant, then something had to give, which had to be 'time'. Then he went off to see another pretty girl, Marie Curie, in the Alps.

There be also be psychological time, the rate or frequency of which the succession of experiences cross the horizon into consciousness, which, some say, is something like every 10/44ths of a second.

12. ### DinosaurRational SkepticValued Senior Member

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SciWriter: Why 10/44 instead of 5/22? Source of this data?

13. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member

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Why not 227 milliseconds? That would be a far more scientific way to write it.

Perhaps 1/44 of a second is the brain's cycle time, or something like that?

14. ### SciWriterValued Senior Member

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Wish I still had the source of the data, but only found these notes from it:

< 11 > — Screening Time — Consciousness is referred back in time a bit, like the tape-delay of a live TV show, to hide the brain’s processing time from us—making things seem to happen instantly.

< 12 > — Time Framed — The ‘now’ is ten-forty-fourths of a second long, the frequency at which events appear over the horizon of consciousness, the succession of which gives us the illusion of continuous time passing.

Allowing for the analysis time…

< 22 > — Awareness Afterwards — The brain, with its hundred billion nerve cells, does all of our decision-analysis, only making its results known, at the last, to the brain’s highest level: consciousness.

This is a 200-300 millisecond process.

15. ### DinosaurRational SkepticValued Senior Member

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SciWriter: The data you posted seems consistent with articles I have read.

I thought that 10/44 might have been used because the context had other data like 13/44 of a second. In such a context factoring would make it more difficult to compare values.

BTW: There is firm evidence that we are consciously aware of speech about 200 to 500 milliseconds after a person makes the sounds.

16. ### ScienceWizRegistered Member

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In Reality there is no such phenomenon called "Time". It's just a Human "Notion". Humans relate "Moments" with each other which they called "Time". When someone says "I reach office at 9:30 am", that person is really saying that "When sun raises at a specific degree with respect to the rotation of earth , i reach office".
But what if earth stops rotating ? or That person lives in a place where sun shows up after Months ? well, the Humans just don't compare the "Macro" World but Also The "Micro" World, so Human still say "When a specific Atom makes certain amount of frequency , i reach office".

So how this notion of "Time" popped in ?

There are infinite moments happen in the universe. Each and every moment hosts "Changes" and those changes happen in "Sequence" which means , in a specific Moment changes happen One after Another.

For example : Life is a big Moment which is divided in several Small Moments. Each and every Moment hosts Changes in Sequence. When u Move ur hand from one place to another, that whole phenomenon is a "Moment", and the "Change" happed in that Moment is the "position of the hand", which happed in sequence "From previous position to Another Position".

Since Humans feel the changes, they have started to compare the moments with each other, which brought the "Notion" of time.

17. ### SciWriterValued Senior Member

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Time is still a difference of space(s), as posted earlier.

18. ### EmilValued Senior Member

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Time is causality (relationship between an event (the cause) and a second event (the effect), where the second event is understood as a consequence of the first).
No time means no movement,no dynamic, inside a word, no causality.

19. ### Me-Ki-GalBannedBanned

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Time is hard to understand and by some of the posts you can see that is true. It is little understood like you suspect. To Me it is like water. It is like the wind also. It has current and eddies. Speeds up and slows down depending on the objects in it's path. The clicking of time is measured , but it still exists with out measuring . Time contains every thing we know and hold true. It contains the event streams of the universe. It holds in check the clockwork movements of the physical world . I do believe it is connected to gravity by a layering of time forces . Like a bunch of weak forces laid upon each other to create a far reaching force. Like reinforcement of lamination layered on each other. Try to consider motion with out time . I can't do it my self . They are animals of the same feature. Motion= time
That is how I see it for now , Tomorrow I might think different for it will be a different time in the clock work

20. ### Me-Ki-GalBannedBanned

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Yeah that is what I was talking about

21. ### RJBeeryNatural PhilosopherValued Senior Member

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My view of time is a bit non-standard, but here it is: Time is our perception of information gathering along the steepest entropy gradient of the universe. Such gradient is of course subjective which explains relativity. Good luck!

22. ### AlexGLike nailing Jello to a treeValued Senior Member

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Entropy is an objective measure of the disorder of a system. I know we speak of 'lower entropy' and 'higher entropy', which would seem to establish a relative relationship, but entropy is an objective, calculable measure of a system.

23. ### RJBeeryNatural PhilosopherValued Senior Member

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I posted my definition of time as a bit of a joke, given that a high-school student would probably be able to appreciate it very little. Nevertheless, consider the effect on a system's entropy during its change in volume as a result of Lorentzian length contraction. You must consider the frame of the measuring device when speaking of the measure of disorder of a system.