What is time??

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

  1. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    12,738
    Anyone disagree that time is a measure of inertia then?
    I'm getting worried that I'm right.
     
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  3. BallisticBrian Registered Member

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    15
    This is how I see it and a few people have alluded to it. To us humans we experience time as the passing of events. Yesterdays events are no longer here, nor does the universe from a few seconds ago exist anymore, nor yet does tomorrows universe exist. However the things all around us carry with them the affects such as momentum and properties, changes made by cause and effect, from the previous universe. Nothing ticks in the universe to keep time nor does it keep reinventing itself, but everything within it moves from one state to another and follows cause and effect by virtue of their very nature.
     
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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Obviously the force of gravity is proportional to mass. But what about the other three Elementary Forces? Can particles exert and react to electromagnetic or either of the nuclear forces, without having mass?
     
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  7. hansda Valued Senior Member

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    TIME is an idea of uniform motion or uniform speed with which we measure/compare all other motions/speeds. The way with a standard reference distance we measure all other distances, similarly time is a reference speed to measure all other speeds, motions or movements. A clock gives us an idea of time. What a clock does? A clock is a mechanical arrangement which rotates at a uniform speed, proportionate with the speed of our EARTH. So our idea of time is the uniform speed or uniform spin of our earth. Our earth is rotating in the backdrop of space like a clock. So there is a relative velocity between our earth and the space. To an observer our earth is static and space is dynamic. To an observer on the earth, space is moving at the same speed of our earth but in the reverse direction. This relative velocity/motion of space generates the idea of time. So time and space are basically the same thing, same entity. Space is the static form and time is the dynamic form.
     
  8. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    4,136
    The problem with claiming that time is a measure of change, motion, inertia, etc, is that it's a bit of a circular reference. Velocity (and by extension, inertia) is defined by time in the form of (distance / time). We could, for example, define velocity in terms of (distance / distance moved in X direction)*. Hell you could probably define velocity in terms of (distance / temperature), although I doubt it would be very useful.

    Point being, the ultimate definition of time should stand on its own, not refer back to itself.

    * We already do something similar to this, of course; it's called trigonometric slope. Consider the absurdity of saying something like "The X spacial dimension is defined as the run which is traveled for each unit of rise traveled in a given slope."
     
  9. hansda Valued Senior Member

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    2,191
    Essentially, the role played by TIME is that , we are measuring/comparing all the rate-of-change with the reference of the uniform motion of our EARTH.
     
  10. hansda Valued Senior Member

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    2,191
    TIME moves slowly, very slow, so slow that we do not even know that, time is moving but the Sunrise becomes the Sunset and the Sunset becomes the Sunrise and the cycle continues. So, time is the entity which is elapsed between two consecutive Sunrise.
     
  11. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    4,136
    ...and time stops on the Moon?
     
  12. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    12,738

    Inertia isn't defined by distance/ time, it is defined by mass.
    But, yes, you are right that it is no use defining time in terms of the other parts of the equation.

    The only reason why we have a difficulty with time is that we only experience it in one direction.
    And given enough of it, we are wormfood.
    Apart from that it is no harder to understand than any other dimension.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  13. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    4,136
    Above you state mention that as a mass increases it's value of (distance / time) then the energy needed to overcome its inertia increases, which is apparently a measure of its "time". I don't fully understand what that means, but my point is that if the definition of time has "time" anywhere in its derivation then it is circular. Einstein acknowledges that his definition of time is circular as well, by the way. I personally don't have an affinity for circular or recursive definitions if they can be avoided.
     
  14. BallisticBrian Registered Member

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    15
    Just shows you how little we know when a whole bunch of people interested in such matters can't really put their finger on the mechanism of time, even if we can all come up with our own definitions.
     
  15. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    I float in time with open mind –
    A quest; a chance of riddled thought:
    Infinity squared – then seek to find
    An answer; pained and overwrought,
    I dodder with an addled head;
    Befuddled, merging with a haze of
    Mysticism, then to tread
    A metaphoric swamp; a maze
    Of existentialism …

    But now for time to tick in rhyme
    With ‘tock: ’ a clock to tell thro’ chime
    Precisely on the knell,
    That as I dared to understand,
    I must be deep in Hell…



    Copyright © Mark R Slaughter 2010

     
  16. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    4,592
    Many posters to this thread are either making time more complex than necessary or making nonsensical statements with no cogent supporting arguments. I have collected the following from various posts
    Anyone disagree that time is a measure of inertia then?

    This relative velocity/motion of space generates the idea of time. So time and space are basically the same thing, same entity. Space is the static form and time is the dynamic form.

    I believe in "block time", where the universe already exists in a single determistic state. Since time "doesn't exist" from this view, it is the connection between entropy and information which provides the perception of it

    If you accept the E=MC2 equation, then: Time is a measure of the proportionate difference between how far a given amount of energy will move something, compared with how far that thing would move at the speed of light. It's a measurement of the amount of energy needed to overcome inertia, which increases as you get closer to the speed of light.


    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.

    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!​
    As indicated by Einstein (see post 19), time is related to the concepts of before & after. If Einstein can explain it in simple terms, why are lessor mortals making it mysterious & complicated and/or posting unsupported nonsense?

    Does any author of one of the above want to explain further or provide cogent support for his/her view?
     
  17. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    4,136
    What's the upside?
     
  18. BallisticBrian Registered Member

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    Dinosaur, I agree it funny to see such a broad range of explanations, however, I think the original posters intent, was not about definitions of time or how human minds experience it, but the question is what is the fundamental mechanism the makes the universe move from one state to the next through time e.g. whether it be in the fabric of space time, or part of the job of fundamental particles.
     
  19. hansda Valued Senior Member

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    2,191
    As per elementary physics, speed is distance/time. So time is distance/speed. Thus time depends upon two variables of distance and speed. Distance is the space between two points and can vary upto infinity. To measure distance a standard reference distance is defined. To measure speed no such standard reference speed is defined ; though designers of clock has taken into consideration the speed of our earth as the reference speed. Speed has a limit and can not vary upto infinty. The speed limit is the speed of light or c . So, smallest possible time is : ' smallest possible distance '/c . This is the smallest unit of time possible. Thus time interval between two events can be measured in multiples of this smallest unit of time .
     
  20. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

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    So, time is the difference of space, being motion. Space is the difference of time, being distance.
     
  21. hansda Valued Senior Member

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    Consider two events : event-A ( denoted as Ea) and event-B ( denoted as Eb) . Ea can happen any time, any where(space). Similarly Eb can happen any time, at any space. But Ea and Eb can not happen at the same time at the same place(space) . Ea and Eb can happen at the same time at two different place or Ea and Eb can happen at the same place at two different time. So when Ea and Eb are happenning at the same place(space) , there will be some time interval. This time interval between these two events can be measured with the smallest possible time .
     
  22. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

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    The correct answer is that nobody knows yet. It might be a genuine dimension (much like length or with), it might be an emergent effect of the quantum world, or it might be an illusion.

    Nobody can say for sure. It *appears* to separate events involving entities with mass.

    Nobody knows yet.

    Nobody knows yet. Entities with mass that move at a higher speed or are acted upon by acceleration (ex. gravity) have less separation of events (i.e. they age slower). If an entity with mass could reach light speed then it would no longer age.

    Although nobody knows what time is, we do know what it is not to some degree. It's not energy.

    spacetime is a word that is used to reference length, width, height, and time all at once.

    Take a lot of science courses in school and you will learn more about how it works (it requires an education).
     
  23. Saquist Banned Banned

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    3,256
    Your error is your perception as was his.
    You and he believe that I was using a mathematical figure to define time rather than understanding that the figure was an express of inspiration.


    Which he nor you never actually addressed by evidence but rather through breaking down the mathematical figure. Under the rules of logic not only does my inspiration does not need to be mathematical but but you would still have to counter the principle itself. Ultimately you're attempting to counter a theory when none of the evidence objects to it.

    Now, I neither have any substantial evidence to prove the theory. But it does appear to fit the facts as much as that may annoy you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011

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