# The Naked Scientists Forum

### Author Topic: Does time tick?  (Read 24055 times)

#### yor_on

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #25 on: 09/03/2009 18:46:23 »
DB, that was real interesting. Are you sure that mass will communicate itself through all dimensions (past the ones we can see:) of an object? Do you have a good link explaining that idea?

#### DoctorBeaver

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #26 on: 09/03/2009 19:15:47 »
Rest mass is constant and is a measure of the amount of matter present; that is basic physics. Therefore, however many dimensions a particle can be in, its rest mass will be the same in all of them. But the particle will also have momentum. Momentum is rest mass * velocity (or, rather, rest mass times the sum of its velocities in all dimensions). We can't detect a particle's velocity in another dimension so what we see is an increase in its perceived mass. The faster the particle is moving in another dimension, the greater its momentum and, consequently, we will see it as having greater mass.
« Last Edit: 09/03/2009 19:24:54 by DoctorBeaver »

#### rvt

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #27 on: 09/03/2009 19:21:23 »
Hey All,

do you all saying that indeed time ticks and it not continuously?
I am trying to understand the most out of it.. and also it's very interesting to read about the zero length object....

so far it's great to see the answers and looking forward to read the 'final answer' :)

regards,
Ries van Twisk

#### DoctorBeaver

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #28 on: 09/03/2009 19:24:08 »
oops. Ik verontschuldig me, Ries. I got sidetracked  [:I]

There is no way of proving 1 way or the other whether time ticks or flows smoothly. Any ideas on the subject must be purely hypothetical. My inclination is to say that time is quantised and therefore does not flow in a linear fashion. Others here disagree with me.

Until we know what time is, we won't be able to answer the question. Don't ask me when that is likely to be; we don't even understand gravity yet and that is probably very simple compared to time.
« Last Edit: 09/03/2009 19:34:49 by DoctorBeaver »

#### Burt Brinn

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #29 on: 09/03/2009 19:35:43 »
Hi there.

If I can put my two cents worth in the hat, I don't think time ticks in nature.  The "tick" of time is nothing more than man's insatiable desire to measure everything.  Whether it be a planck length, a second on my watch, a year on my calendar, or a light year, it is nothing more than a measurement.  If we didn't have these "ticks" for measurement, we would have no math.

Time flows.  Man has ticks.

#### Vern

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #30 on: 09/03/2009 20:52:14 »
I agree with Burt; time needs to flow smoothly. We have become smitten with Quantumania since we discovered that each certain frequency of electromagnetic phenomena comes in discrete bundles of action. Now we feel a great need to describe everything in terms of quanta.

#### Burt Brinn

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #31 on: 09/03/2009 21:19:44 »
Now now!  Don't blame it on the quanta.  Man has been measuring the world around him for thousands of years.  We are just getting better at measuring the quantum world in the last two centuries.

#### LeeE

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #32 on: 09/03/2009 21:32:03 »
I think what Doc Beaver was saying about something existing in overlapping but different dimensional sets is perfectly reasonable.  In fact, I think it must probably be a feature of any model that attempts to describe n-dimensional geometries/geodesics.  At least I think that's what he was saying

I'm strongly inclined to think that from our point of view, time moves in 'ticks', for the reasons given earlier.  However, what we regard as our time dimension, and which we move through in steps, could as easily be a spatial dimension for something occupying a different but overlapping set of dimensions, where they could move through that same dimension smoothly.

The same sorts of n-dimensional models seem to predict that the higher number of dimensions that something occupies, the higher the total 'quantity' of whatever it's made out of.  For example, if you consider the transformation of mass to energy, you can map it to a three-dimensional object being turned in to many two-dimensional objects, or in the case of electron/positron creation/annihilation, from two very small 3D objects to two very strong 2D objects, all in line with e=mc2.

I also think it's interesting that the mathematics itself implies multi-dimensional aspects; in Albert's equation we square something to produce an area, like the length and width of a floor, and then multiply the area by the height of the wall.  You can almost see it building a three-dimensional object.
« Last Edit: 09/03/2009 21:35:23 by LeeE »

#### DoctorBeaver

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #33 on: 09/03/2009 21:40:38 »
I have since changed my mind about time ticking. I've posted a bit of nonsense about it in the New Theories section

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=21043.0

#### Vern

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #34 on: 09/03/2009 21:48:42 »
You may be right LeeE; but I was kinda hoping that string theory wouldn't really catch on. It is hard enough trying to figure things out in three dimensions plus time. Maybe since we've become familiar with maths and computers where adding another dimension simply requires a comma and a number, we yield to it too readily.

#### DoctorBeaver

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #35 on: 09/03/2009 21:55:30 »
We seem to have been distracted into discussing dimensions rather than whether time ticks. I am as guilty of that as anyone.

#### LeeE

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #36 on: 09/03/2009 22:54:01 »
I don't think the issue of whether time ticks or not can meaningfully be discussed without referring to dimensions - it is precisely about the nature of movement through dimensions.

#### yor_on

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #37 on: 10/03/2009 00:30:58 »
Well, the idea if dimensions and what they might be defined as is worthy of a discussion on its own I think :)
We know that time is here, of all dimensions we have time is the one you can't take away. You can choose any optional dimension of those others, and we will still be here, well, maybe disappearing now and then as f ex. width is gone, but mostly here at least. But try to take time away and see what happens, huh...

So 'time' is a very special relation to us, like your favorite aunt perhaps? and as spacetime is a whole as I see it with time, distance, mass, acceleration and motion all being connected to each other through sliding scales, you manipulate one, the others will react / slide. I know that this is not all true, but it's true enough :) We may not be able to shorten a distance by our own, but we sure can do it by accelerating. And that distance will be shorter for real, no joke, as long as you are in that accelerating frame. And time outside your spaceship will seem to 'speed up'. And that's also for real. So time is not 'only' time, it's in fact  'Spacetime'.

Now if I want to have fun I would split 'spacetime' in three parts. And if I could get away with it I would name all three as 'dimensions' bur as I won't get away with it I will just call them 'states'. Those three are Space, Matter and Time. In this place created by those states we have two exceptional 'exceptions' more, namely, photons, but as I see photons as a secondary state arising from those first three its not a primary, and then gravity, as an expression of the combination of space and matter (as I see it, for now that is, things have been known to change at 'times':) and not as a 'force' of its own.

So to me 'time' is the 'cornerstone' together with mass and space. But then I have this feeling that space and mass are one and the same :) on some strange plane, not as we experience it but there is to me a symmetry in those two, I can't imagine one of them without the other, so to speak, can you? So perhaps in the end, we are down to two 'thingies' here? Time and 'matterspace'???

Well, it's just an idea. You don't need to throw things just because one gets an idea...

*Look Mummy, A taaable :)*
« Last Edit: 10/03/2009 00:38:32 by yor_on »

#### DoctorBeaver

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #38 on: 10/03/2009 02:52:26 »
I don't think the issue of whether time ticks or not can meaningfully be discussed without referring to dimensions - it is precisely about the nature of movement through dimensions.

Why do you say that? We can discuss spatial dimensions without reference to time, so why not vice versa?

#### LeeE

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #39 on: 10/03/2009 18:43:15 »
I don't think the issue of whether time ticks or not can meaningfully be discussed without referring to dimensions - it is precisely about the nature of movement through dimensions.

Why do you say that? We can discuss spatial dimensions without reference to time, so why not vice versa?

I'm not quite sure I understand "why not visa versa"

You can discuss milk without referring to tea, but you can't discuss tea without referring to milk.  But I don't think that's relevant.

However, although I didn't specifically refer to spatial dimensions, there really doesn't seem to be any absolute difference between the spatial and temporal dimensions; it just seems to be that way from our point of view, as the phenomenon of relativistic time-dilation implies.  In any case though, it comes down to the nature of the movement through both spatial and temporal dimensions.  What we term 'time' is the movement through the temporal dimension, and you can't talk about the movement of something without reference to the dimension that it's moving through; the definition of movement is the change of location, and location only has significance in the context of dimensions.

#### rvt

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #40 on: 13/03/2009 23:04:52 »
Hey all,

I was thinking a bit about it (but I am a nOOb in this)
They say that we humans experience 4 dimensions (XYZ + time) does that then automatically mean we can exchange any dimension for Time, or is Time special?

Ries

#### Vern

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #41 on: 14/03/2009 00:28:42 »
Hey all,

I was thinking a bit about it (but I am a nOOb in this)
They say that we humans experience 4 dimensions (XYZ + time) does that then automatically mean we can exchange any dimension for Time, or is Time special?

Ries
With our special gadgetry, computers and the maths, we need only mark down a comma then a number to create another dimension. I suspect that leads us to ponder too easily into extra dimensions, and leads us to consider that they might be reality. The real world, to me, consists of three spacial dimensions and one time dimension.  That is where we live.

#### DoctorBeaver

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #42 on: 14/03/2009 10:50:24 »
Quote
You can discuss milk without referring to tea, but you can't discuss tea without referring to milk.  But I don't think that's relevant.

I don't take milk in tea. But even if I did, I could hold forth on the subject of tea without mentioning milk.

#### LeeE

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #43 on: 14/03/2009 23:46:59 »
Quote
You can discuss milk without referring to tea, but you can't discuss tea without referring to milk.  But I don't think that's relevant.

I don't take milk in tea. But even if I did, I could hold forth on the subject of tea without mentioning milk.
I'm sure you could, but I bet you'd have to make a conscious effort to do so

#### LeeE

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #44 on: 15/03/2009 00:18:39 »
Hey all,

I was thinking a bit about it (but I am a nOOb in this)
They say that we humans experience 4 dimensions (XYZ + time) does that then automatically mean we can exchange any dimension for Time, or is Time special?

Ries

No, and yes, respectively.

There is a clear difference between them, or so it seems to us, but this doesn't necessarily mean that the difference is because the dimensions are fundamentally different; the perceived difference could actually be be due to us, or at least something about us that is different with regard to the temporal dimension and the spatial dimensions.

In the model I've been playing with, the apparent difference between the spatial and temporal dimensions is really due to the nature of our movement through those different dimensions; we move in a fundamentally different way through space when compared to the way we move through time and it is this that accounts for the apparent difference we see between the spatial and temporal dimensions.

#### DoctorBeaver

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #45 on: 15/03/2009 00:51:28 »
Quote
You can discuss milk without referring to tea, but you can't discuss tea without referring to milk.  But I don't think that's relevant.

I don't take milk in tea. But even if I did, I could hold forth on the subject of tea without mentioning milk.
I'm sure you could, but I bet you'd have to make a conscious effort to do so

Not at all. I could make a reference to milk insofar mentioning that some people take it in their tea, but that certainly would not be necessary.

#### Vern

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #46 on: 15/03/2009 13:09:41 »
Quote from: LeeE
In the model I've been playing with, the apparent difference between the spatial and temporal dimensions is really due to the nature of our movement through those different dimensions; we move in a fundamentally different way through space when compared to the way we move through time and it is this that accounts for the apparent difference we see between the spatial and temporal dimensions.
I like this explanation. Plus; we can control our movement through the spacial dimensions; so far we are completely captive to the temporal one; we move through it, not at our own choosing but in complete lock step with everything else we know about.

#### DoctorBeaver

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #47 on: 15/03/2009 16:31:49 »
Quote from: LeeE
In the model I've been playing with, the apparent difference between the spatial and temporal dimensions is really due to the nature of our movement through those different dimensions; we move in a fundamentally different way through space when compared to the way we move through time and it is this that accounts for the apparent difference we see between the spatial and temporal dimensions.

It could also mean that we move through time in a fundamentally different way because time is fundamentally different from spatial dimensions. I fully appreciate that GR says space & time are inextricably linked, but I think I'm right in saying that it doesn't explain why they are.

My feeling is that there is a fundamental difference between them.

But, then again, what is a dimension? It can be defined as 1 of the values needed to fix the position of an event in spacetime. Using that definition, time has to be just another dimension. But it must be remembered that this definition of a dimension is no more than a mathematical construct that allows us to think about time in a fairly simple way. The truth may be very different,
« Last Edit: 15/03/2009 16:34:25 by DoctorBeaver »

#### Vern

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #48 on: 15/03/2009 17:02:07 »
Yes; DB I think the truth is fundamentally different. We can think of the temporal dimension as a continuum and imagine moving back and forth through it, just like the spacial dimensions; however, we can not control our movement through time; we can only experience it as plodding ever onward at it's own pace.

#### LeeE

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##### Does time tick?
« Reply #49 on: 16/03/2009 13:58:00 »
I've mentioned it before, but the best way of showing how the spatial and temporal dimensions are fundamentally the same is by referring to the phenomenon of relativistic time-dilation.

Relativistic time dilation is the phenomenon where the movement of something through space affects the local rate of movement through time; the rate of time for a moving object is lower when compared with the rate of time for a stationary or more slowly moving object.

The relationship between speed through space and the rate of time is simple and direct; the sum of the movement vectors through time and though space always equals 'c'. Thus, when stationary the spatial movement vector = 0 and the movement vector through time = 'c', but as the spatial movement vector becomes non-zero the temporal movement vector must decrease to maintain the same summed vector of 'c'.

Because these two apparently different vectors can be so summed indicates to me that they are of the same type.

#### The Naked Scientists Forum

##### Does time tick?
« Reply #49 on: 16/03/2009 13:58:00 »