What is "time"

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Saint, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. Saint Valued Senior Member

    Time, actually is what?
    Does it really exist? An entity?
    Does time control everything in the universe?
    Because every process must take time to happen.
    Maybe time is GOD?

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    CHRIS.Q likes this.
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  3. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    Time is shown in the progress of knowledge. As we learn time must also progress. If time stopped things would be stagnate and we wouldn't be able to learn or remember.

    I believe that time both trancendental and a human nature.
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  5. Landau Roof Registered Senior Member

    Science guys, help me out here. Philosophy people too, please. Isn't there a concept that time and space, space-time, are just our way of perceiving the universe? They/it do not really exists, that they are just our 'doors of perception'? Saint, I don't want to touch the God thing.
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  7. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

  8. Landau Roof Registered Senior Member

    Thank you. I myself cannot get youtube. So let's keep this conversation here with us, the participants, please.

    re: your post above- so was there time and space before the big bang? And maybe everything is happening all together and at the same time, it is just that our poor (limited) powers of perception perceive "all this" as happening in time and space. However, it is not necessarily a bad thing that we are built so. I think I read in this forum somewhere that the whole problem with the autistic and, sorry, various nutters, is that they cannot sort out time and space like 'normal' people. I think those who use LSD and mushrooms and such also step out of this construct our brains have devised to cope with reality. Any thoughts?
  9. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    The link features Sean Carroll in an Interview type of arrangement with Robert Kuhn about time, where he [Carroll] says it certainly does exist and is not just an emergent or an illusion.
    My own argument for the positive reality of both time and space has been presented in simple Occam's razor type of answer as "if we had no time, everything would happen together, and if we had no space, everything would be together in the one spot"

    On further debating the subject, I would ask anyone [just as I asked the now defunct "undefined" and which continually remained unanswered] to show me a realm, any realm or world or Universe, where Time does not exist.

    You ask was there time and space before the BB....We don't really know.
    Although I will always describe the BB as an evolution of space and time, [henceforth known as spacetime] as we know them.
    In other words, at and before the BB, spacetime probably existed in a form we are not as yet familiar with.
    But that is my own personal take on it.

    Two quotes from reputable physicists that I often use here, and which I believe sums up the situation for me quite logically are......

    from: https://einstein.stanford.edu/content/relativity/a11332.html
    "Experiments continue to show that there is no 'space' that stands apart from space-time itself...no arena in which matter, energy and gravity operate which is not affected by matter, energy and gravity. General relativity tells us that what we call space is just another feature of the gravitational field of the universe, so space and space-time can and do not exist apart from the matter and energy that creates the gravitational field. This is not speculation, but sound observation."

    And this one

    A Universe from Nothing
    by Alexei V. Filippenko and Jay M. Pasachoff

    In the inflationary theory, matter, antimatter, and photons were produced by the energy of the false vacuum, which was released following the phase transition. All of these particles consist of positive energy. This energy, however, is exactly balanced by the negative gravitational energy of everything pulling on everything else. In other words, the total energy of the universe is zero! It is remarkable that the universe consists of essentially nothing, but (fortunately for us) in positive and negative parts. You can easily see that gravity is associated with negative energy: If you drop a ball from rest (defined to be a state of zero energy), it gains energy of motion (kinetic energy) as it falls. But this gain is exactly balanced by a larger negative gravitational energy as it comes closer to Earth’s center, so the sum of the two energies remains zero.

    The idea of a zero-energy universe, together with inflation, suggests that all one needs is just a tiny bit of energy to get the whole thing started (that is, a tiny volume of energy in which inflation can begin). The universe then experiences inflationary expansion, but without creating net energy.

    What produced the energy before inflation? This is perhaps the ultimate question. As crazy as it might seem, the energy may have come out of nothing! The meaning of “nothing” is somewhat ambiguous here. It might be the vacuum in some pre-existing space and time, or it could be nothing at all – that is, all concepts of space and time were created with the universe itself.

    Quantum theory, and specifically Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, provide a natural explanation for how that energy may have come out of nothing. Throughout the universe, particles and antiparticles spontaneously form and quickly annihilate each other without violating the law of energy conservation. These spontaneous births and deaths of so-called “virtual particle” pairs are known as “quantum fluctuations.” Indeed, laboratory experiments have proven that quantum fluctuations occur everywhere, all the time. Virtual particle pairs (such as electrons and positrons) directly affect the energy levels of atoms, and the predicted energy levels disagree with the experimentally measured levels unless quantum fluctuations are taken into account.

    Perhaps many quantum fluctuations occurred before the birth of our universe. Most of them quickly disappeared. But one lived sufficiently long and had the right conditions for inflation to have been initiated. Thereafter, the original tiny volume inflated by an enormous factor, and our macroscopic universe was born. The original particle-antiparticle pair (or pairs) may have subsequently annihilated each other – but even if they didn’t, the violation of energy conservation would be minuscule, not large enough to be measurable.

    If this admittedly speculative hypothesis is correct, then the answer to the ultimate question is that the universe is the ultimate free lunch! It came from nothing, and its total energy is zero, but it nevertheless has incredible structure and complexity. There could even be many other such universes, spatially distinct from ours."

    I find all those three links as quite revealing and logically satisfying from my perspective.
    What do you think?
  10. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    Time is a dimension, similar to length and width. It is one of the four coordinates required to specify the location of an event:
  11. danshawen Valued Senior Member

    The "free lunch" thing is from a video by Michau Kaku, and I couldn't help notice, Fillipenko and Pasachoff did not even attempt to attribute this.

    Time is the dimension that has the most meaning to energy.

    Space is the dimension that has the most meaning to things composed of matter, such as ourselves. Space is subordinate to time and appears as four dimensions because of matter's constant interaction with vacuum fields and energy. The first three dimensions of space-time derive of a superposition of an infinitude (directions) of one dimensional manifestations of virtual energy exchanges in the vacuum. The covariance of time dilation and length contraction in relativity belies the fact that only energy and time are fundamental in this universe. Space and matter are both emergent properties of energy and time. Matter is only energy that is bound. This provides most matter with a permanence that means, for the most part, that we can neglect the element of time on quantum scales.
  12. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    That's kind of a weird way to put it.
    Space and time [henceforth known as spacetime] evolved from the BB, and energy and matter are emergent from that.
    Again a question that no one has yet answered in the many debates on the existence or otherwise of time.....
    "Can anyone show me, or illustrate to me any realm, or any world, or any Universe, where time does not exist"
  13. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    All dimensions are "non physical" but at the same time all dimensions are real enough.
  14. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    From the link I gave at......

    A Universe from Nothing
    by Alexei V. Filippenko and Jay M. Pasachoff

    Insights from modern physics suggest that our wondrous universe may be the ultimate free lunch.

    Adapted from The Cosmos: Astronomy in the New Millennium, 1st edition, by Jay M. Pasachoff and Alex Filippenko, © 2001. Reprinted with permission of Brooks/Cole, an imprint of the Wadsworth Group, a division of Thomson Learning.

    I quite like Michio Kaku, but are you sure you are attributing that narrative to the right person?
  15. Beaconator Registered Senior Member

    Time is the evolution of our universe. As far as we know it begins with plasma, gravity, and distance. Somewhere in the middle the energy is transformed to momentum and mass. Then it ends much like it began with charged particles of heat surrounded by an infinite portion of cold space. Since our tracking it as a unit of measure and philosophically it is typically noted to be impossible to describe time without circularity. I find this interesting because of its linear or perhaps seemingly linear nature.

    Einstein defined it as being direcly related to the speed of light to the fourth power while indirecly related to gravity. Also indirecly related to itself while directly related to speed squared.

    I would say while heat and area are directly related to energy, time is direcly related to charge.
  16. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

    Let's take a side track for a moment and discuss time from the perspective of the observable variability in the rate that clocks measure time as the energy density of their local environment increases or decreases.

    A clock that is accelerated slows down relative to a clock at rest. In this example, accelerating a clock increases the energy density of the local environment of the clock in a similar fashion as the temperature of the CMB goes up as you move relative to the CMB rest frame. The clock at rest has gravitational wave energy coming at it from all directions at the speed of light since the frame that the clock is in determines that all light in that frame will be traveling at the same velocity. If you accelerate in any direction, the wave energy density becomes more intense in that direction and increases the relative energy density of the clocks local environment

    If you slow that accelerated clock back to the relative rest position, it commences measuring time at the same rate as the rest clock because both clocks are in the same energy density environment again. Thus this is one reason for concluding that the rate that a clock measures time is variable relative to the energy density of its local environment.

    Similarly, a clock that is in a fixed position closer to a massive object slows down relative to a clock in a fixed position at a greater distance from the massive object. The clock in the gravitational field of a massive object experiences more intense gravitational wave energy as it gets closer to the massive object, and the increase in gravitational wave energy intensity increases the energy density of the clock's local environment. Similarly, this is a reason for concluding that the rate that a clock measures time is variable relative to the energy density of its local environment.

    That is all I wanted to mention in this little side track, in case you hadn't considered the concept of variable energy density as a factor in relative motion of clocks. The concept is an alternative to time dilation and hypothetically would produce the same observables when looking at the rate that clocks measure time.
  17. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    To generalize Joules = kg m^2 / sec^2 so that kind of puts space and time on equal footing.

    You lost me here. Note that several important relationships involve time derivatives of space, whereas it's hard to imagine how a spatial derivative of time applies to physical reality. Even gradients don't make much sense when cast that way.

    Do you mean 3-space?

    Well their couldn't be any interactions as paddoboy mentioned without spacetime to support them. I think this leads to circular logic.
    That's an unusual thought. I mean it's a coordinate transformation - a projection - and it's deterministic. And it's the way the remote frame appears to the observer in the reference frame. And the things that correlate are space and time. One warps one way, and the other warps in the opposite sense.

    But look again at the Joule in fundamental SI units.

    That doesn't jibe with anything I can think of.

    That acknowledges particle-wave duality I suppose but I
    don't know what unbounded energy is.

    I don't see how. Particles have spacetime trajectories and so do their attendant fields and waves.
  18. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    You should say "reference frame". If you begin by changing first principles you depart from science.
    Because time is relative.

    Not really. Remove the word "density" and add relativity to the statement and you have: accelerating a clock relative to its initial reference frame adds kinetic energy relative to that frame.

    Note also that subtracting kinetic energy from the test frame, relative to the reference frame, does the same thing (warps time) only in the opposite sense.

    And don't forget that the clock pancakes (or spaghettifies) relative to the reference frame.

    That's impossible. Or do you mean it appears that way? But that's impossible too, because it implies that the CMB is an absolute frame, which is impossible.
    Then the net effect must be a null.

    Clocks don't really measure the speed of light. You need some larger apparatus to do that. c is constant in the vacuum of all reference frames.

    That's impossible because it assumes the reference frame is absolute.

    You can see the error in this by considering the difference between accelerating and decelerating the test frame.
    I think you've just proven the opposite.
    OK now that sounds fine.

    You mean gravitational potential energy. There is no wave at a fixed distance.

    No the magnitude of the static field increases relative to the standoff position. It's potential energy. There is no wave.

    No, that's not a valid conclusion.
    Look again at the difference between static fields and waves. And keep in mind that a wave has a net potential of zero across one period.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  19. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member


    Michio Kaku did write about the "free lunch" in Feb. 2013. The Filippenko and Pasachoff article was from 2001.
  20. river Valued Senior Member

    Time is nothing more than the measurement of movement

    In Joesph Farrells book , the Philosophers Stone , he gets into the Russian , Dr. Nikolai Kozyrev theory of time and experiments

    Having read this part , I disagree

    Nikolai gives time properties , yet makes no mention of the dynamics of physical things have between themselves because of their very nature

    So that he sees time as having therefore properties , which is erroneous

    His thinking was based on Einstein thinking about time
  21. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

    I hope Sir, that notwithstanding the conservative views of your position, that your common sense will incline you to some degree of indulgence towards human frailty of which we are all subject. You will not think it unnatural, that those who have an objective view, which strongly engages a sense of logic and reasonableness, should be found to be somewhat inclined to thinking contemplatively. Conciliation between us may fail, as it did for Edmund Burke's, "Speech on Conciliation with America", in 1775, and in who's words you may see some similarity in my response, since I borrowed from him shamelessly.
  22. Saint Valued Senior Member

    if time is something, can we "store" time, like storing electricity with capacitor?
    there are ways to store energy, can we store time?
  23. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

    I don't think so, not if time simply passes.

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