What is "time"

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

  1. MattMars Registered Member

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    Re: "What IS time"

    Hi sciforum, My considered opinion, Let's be clear and logical here. Whether it is In fact valid or not,"What IS time" is a leading question.

    It implies "time" is something that is proven to exist (as more than just a useful idea), and that therefore "it" "is" something.

    Many people seem to rush off so quickly to try and describe this "thing" that they seem to skip the most basic scientific steps of actually checking what we actually observe, and need to explain.

    If this initial, unchecked assumption "there is a thing called time", happens to be incorrect, and this is not noticed from the outset, then all subsequent attempts to answer the false assumption will be vague, conflicting, self referential, speculation or conjecture,(this can be confirmed or not for oneself, by cross checking countless other posts on this topic).

    If the assumption is correct, and time "is" something that has been proven to exist, then we should find out who has the proof and ask them "what is time?". But, because the question is being asked openly and randomly, this indicates that the question may be based on an assumption whose foundation is just assumed.

    Therefore, I suggest a better, less leading question might be

    'What do we actually observe?'

    to this i would say we seem to observe

    1- That matter exists, and,
    2- that matter is moving and interacting.


    From there, I think a sensible question to ask what I call "the key question of time", I.e...

    "If matter JUST exists, moves, changes and interacts... Would this be enough to *mislead* us into "wrongly assuming", that there is a 'past', 'future' and thing called 'time' "?

    if this is the case, logically, we are left with precisely what we actually see..

    a universe full of constantly changing matter giving us the misunderstanding there may be a thing called time.

    so, imo - (having written a very detailed book on the subject) -
    'A Brief History of TIMELESSNESS'

    'time' IS a useful "idea", and system of understanding and comparing examples of motion, (similar to "money" being a useful idea and system), but ,IMO, (unless a scientific experiment as per the scientific method can be proposed to show the actual existence of a "past" and or "future", as opposed to just using those terms in theories "as if" they are a given), not something that actually IS a genuine phenomena.

    Special Relativity does suggest, and it is confirmed, that any moving oscillator will be oscillating more slowly than expected, but this observation does not prove in any way that there is also an existing phenomena called "time", that exists, and is dilated, where objects are moving.

    Likewise General Relativity shows that gravity warps space, and dilates rates of change, but again this does not prove there is also a past, future, or a thing called time that exists or "passes".

    Logically, and scientifically, unless anyone can experimentally show otherwise, it thus seems that matter just exists and is moving and changing and interacting, in all spatial directions. But, not heading in to a "future", not leaving a "past record of all events" behind it, and without a thing called time needing to exist and pass. And therefore the answer to the question...

    "What is time?"

    'May' be ,

    "Time, IS a useful idea and system for understanding and comparing examples of motion, but probably NOT also something that exists. Although most people seem to assume otherwise because they assume without any proof that there 'is' a 'past' and possibly a 'future', and assume without actually checking, that Einstein's Special Relativity, proves the existence of 'time', as opposed to just showing how relatively moving things are changing more slowly than expected".

    Anyone interested in understanding the "theory of time" in more detail, please take a look at one of my powerpoint talks...

    Matt Marsden

    (auth 'A Brief History of Timelessness')
    Timelessness.co.uk

    A couple of Videos describing how relativity may still hold it's essence even if it happens to be only about warped space, length contraction, mass increase, and "rate" dilation, but not a thing called time.

    YouTube: Timeless answers to Brian Cox's Science of Dr WHO.


    " Time travel cant happen without 'the PAST' "
    (complete with LEGO intro

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


     
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  3. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Welcome to Sciforums, MattMars. Did you see my post here: http://www.sciforums.com/threads/what-is-time.143040/page-2#post-3243118 Agreeing and even proving thar aint no such thing as "time"?

    BTW, I have posted same argument several times in the last decade - often more complete, acknowledging the need for a "index parameter" that can be confused with time. For example the Earth returns to essentially same point in its elliptical orbit and winter of index parameter 2013 is much like the winter of index parameter 2014. etc. I.e. many real things do have behavior that is called cyclic but that is just the way the other real things cause cycles - definitely NOT caused by non-existent "time."
     
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  5. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

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    Your post showed that we can relate events in different ways than with specific time coordinate. We can also correlate global warming to the decrease in piracy.
     
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  7. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    true. many things appear to be correleated, but that is not what is said. I said time has no properties. No rest mass (not even the mass a photon does from m =E/c^2) as time has no E, no energy. Time occupies no volume as has not extent, has never been observed not even smelled, etc. and the real "time killer" is that it is not needed to describe anything in the entire universe.

    Time, invented by man, is just a convenience for "decoupling" the equations that describe how real things actually interact. Non-existing time has nothing to do with a candle growing shorter as heat and O2 melt some wax into a liquid, which has appreciable vapor pressure of a vapor, that the O2 can oxidize to CO2, H2O and a few other chemicals.
     
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  8. MattMars Registered Member

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  9. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

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    You left out two words. You should have written, 'Time, invented by man, is just a convenience for "decoupling" the equations that describe how real things actually interact over time. '
     
  10. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    No need for those two words you added. Why over instead of under? Are you asserting time does have a property after all. A location I can go over or under? All I am asserting is that there is not a static state. Relese a rock above the surface of the earth - it falls due to gravity, not due to time "passing."
     
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  11. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

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    I'm saying that the rock falls for a time. It is a property of events, not an event itself.
     
  12. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Did time have an obligation it had to pay?
    Why is your antecedent of "it" time and not for example "change"?

    I am old, not as strong or quick as I was. That has to due with biology and my cells being replaced with not quite perfect copies, not time. Actually I am in very good health. Most eat more animal fat* and red meat in a week than I eat in a year. I swim regularly or at least walk 20 minutes each day, never have smoked, avoid excessive sun but do take daily 5000 units of vitamin D. In my younger days, got plenty of "safe sex" still drink two cup of coffee in the AM etc.

    If time did exist and its passing was the cause of aging, how, (by what mechanism) have these behaviors slowed time way down for me?

    * I do eat some liquid oil (olive or soy) each day but never any that is solid at room temperature like butter. I try not to buy any food product that lists its oil as "vegetable oil" - that is way they say "Palm oil" which is cheap but one of the worst. I make my own yoghurt but after third or so batch, need to start with stock I buy - I multiply its volume by about a factor of 30 with each batch ~100 fold increase in total before new starter is needed. I am fastidious about avoiding contamination - steam sterilize the container (microwave boil a few drops of water in it with lid almost sealing it) and only pour the yoghurt our -never stick spoon / ladle into it.

    In Brazil most if not all employees get monthly a food package** called in translation: the "basic basket" it always contains couple of pacts of powdered milk - I use them for my yoghurt so cost to us is less than $1/ month.

    ** I think that is required by law, for all full time employees. It would keep one from dying for the month, but if that is all they ate, they would be very hungry all the month. It always has 10Kg of rice and at least 3Kg of beans to go with the rice. I think the companies that pack about 50 pounds of food in these boxes get some things from stores that only have 3 or 4 months remaining on their legal "shelf life" as the contents do vary, but most items have at least a year left.
     
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  13. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

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    It has to do with the way your biology works over time. You now are different from you [/i]at specific times in the past[/i]. A coherent description of events requires time.
     
  14. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Part now bold is non-sense. I have access to a 22 volume Great Books series. There I read some things (in translation) written 2000+ years ago. Time has not been recoding this history - the books have. Again why "over time" not "under time" or "parallel to time," etc. Does time occupy space at some location or move thru space,* damaging my cells as it goes? NO! time does nothing as does not exist.

    If time were a real thing filling the universe and ~13 billion years old, it at least ought the have a smell by now.

    * Your adjective (or preposition if we get technical) is one that indicates relative spatial relationships - does time have that "over" "under" etc. relationship? - No, you speak non-sense. Perhaps someone tricked time into a box and locked it up? Put time over on Mars? Or under a heavy flat stone?

    Or more likely that is just the way you speak about concept representing nothing with any reality - a unicorn's friend.
     
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  15. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    21,225

    Exactly!
    I'll put my question once again.....
    Can anyone show me directly, or theoretically any realm, any world, any Universe where time does not exist. At the logical worst scenario, the reality or otherwise of time, could be said to be debatable.
    Here is Sean Carroll's view on the reality of time again.....
    http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2013/10/18/is-time-real/

    Lee Smolin also thinks time is real, so real he states that everything – even the supposedly timeless laws of physics – is subject to it...something that I see as quite logically correct...
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/multimedia/2013/sep/23/lee-smolin-on-the-nature-of-time
     
  16. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    4,136
    Events and information sets are relative, and time gives us the common metric to compare them indirectly. Physics without time would be like a marketplace without money. As Billy T said, time allows us to "decouple" how equations interact by using this extra variable.
     
  17. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    4,136
    Off the top of my head...

    The world of mathematics: numbers, geometry, calculus
    Fantasy: unicorns and centaurs
    Heaven: Heaven has been described as residing outside of time (even if you consider Heaven to be a fantasy in itself)
     
  18. OnlyMe Valued Senior Member

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    The subject of TIME has been around as long as even prescience philosophies, without ever arriving at any general concensus...

    Time itself is an abstract concept, based on the experience, observation and measurement of change. Change itself is real! Time is no more than an abstract means of communicating experienced, observed or measured change.., usually by comparrison to some previously agreed upon standard of change.., like a clock!

    Both time and numbers are abstract concepts, used to describe real objects and change
     
  19. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    21,225
    Mathematics is simply the language of physics....

    Perhaps in my question, I should have said any realm, any world, any Universe that is physically real or has some basis in reality or possibility.

    We have no evidence or even logically inspired speculation for Unicorns, Centaurs or Heaven.
    In reality they dont and cannot exist according to science.
     
  20. MattMars Registered Member

    Messages:
    57
    Hi Paddoboy


    I've only just joined this forum so I don't want to flood it with long posts, but re your question "Can anyone show me directly, or theoretically any realm, any world, any Universe where time does not exist. At the logical worst scenario, the reality or otherwise of time, could be said to be debatable."

    I've written a comprehensive book on the possibility, based on researching these books, and talks etc... ( https://sites.google.com/site/abriefhistoryoftimelessness/bib ).

    I'm not insisting time does not exist, (that would be unscientific ), but based on an approach that I think is unique, and by thoroughly testing the foundation of the theory of time, I sincerely think I present a case worth very careful consideration.

    I hope its not re to re-post this link, but rather than type out the whole book, this video does sum up my reasoning.
    if you watch the video, bear in mind it is very important to genuinely be scientific and objective, i.e. to consider not just "how 'time' must exist" (becasue in that case that may be all you see i.e confirmation bias). But to also consider that what we actually observe is at least matter existing and moving, and from there to genuinely ask yourself...

    "what if there really is, just, matter and motion?"....

    Would this be enough to mislead us into assuming a past, future, and thing called 'time' also exist ?


    Matt Marsden

    (Auth: A Brief History of Timelessness)
     
  21. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,225

    As Carroll admits even while accepting the reality of time, the subject is highly debatable.
    While you claim it is change that is real, and that timeis just a measure of change, I see change coming about due to the inevitable progress of time.
    Time brings about change.
     
  22. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Hi Matt....
    A reasonable approach to the subject. As even Carroll admits while promoting the existence of time, the subject is debatable.


    I find that hard to accept....but then I'm only a layman.
    A statement I have used many times on this forum obviously because to me it seems logical and reasonably acceptable in aligning with our present knowledge, the laws of physics and GR.
    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."
     
  23. MattMars Registered Member

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