The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: What would happen if you stopped time?  (Read 24510 times)

Blaine Barkey

  • Guest
What would happen if you stopped time?
« on: 29/01/2012 11:35:57 »
Blaine Barkey  asked the Naked Scientists:
   Hi Chris,

Love the shows - please keep up the great work!

I was wondering what would happen if you could actually stop time? Would you be able to actually see anything? In other words, if our ability to see things relies on light waves bouncing off of objects, and the light waves stop when time stops, would you still be able to see everything around you?

Curiously yours,

Blaine Barkey
Los Angeles, CA USA
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 29/01/2012 11:35:57 by _system »


 

Offline David Cooper

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1505
    • View Profile
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #1 on: 29/01/2012 19:33:28 »
Nothing would happen - literally. Everything would be frozen and nothing would be functioning. Having said that, many (or maybe even most) physicists appear to believe that time doesn't flow and therefore cannot be stopped in any meaningful way, but I'll leave it to one of them to try to explain that.
 

Offline MikeS

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1044
  • The Devils Advocate
    • View Profile
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #2 on: 30/01/2012 10:23:50 »
'Time' is an integral part of the fabric of the universe.  Therefore the concept of stopping time becomes meaningless within the constraints of the universe.  As a mind exercise it is possible, as David points out "nothing would happen".  Nothing happening includes your thought process so you would not even be aware of it and a clock could not register or record it.  Your thought processes being frozen in time would not be accessible (non-awareness), everything would be a timeless blank.
« Last Edit: 30/01/2012 10:32:40 by MikeS »
 

Offline yor_on

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12001
  • Thanked: 4 times
  • (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
    • View Profile
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #3 on: 30/01/2012 10:48:40 »
It depends on what you think the 'arrow of time' consists of? Is it local 'changes' or is there a 'ocean of time' with 'local stream(s)' becoming the arrow we see?

It may 'stop' and 'start' the whole 'time' for all we know :)
We would never notice that.
« Last Edit: 31/01/2012 09:24:12 by yor_on »
 

Offline Don_1

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6890
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • A stupid comment for every occasion.
    • View Profile
    • Knight Light Haulage
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #4 on: 30/01/2012 11:37:31 »
While I'm sure the above posters are correct, I think, if I understand you correctly, if time were to stand still but you retain your consciousness, then the answer would be no, you would still not be able to perceive anything. In such a hypothetical situation, as you rightly surmise, light would stand still, so it would not enter your eye, thus you could not see.

However, you would be able to catch that train you are late for, if you could only see it.
 

Offline dropoutscience

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #5 on: 30/01/2012 18:03:46 »
you also wouldnt be able to breathe or hear and it is possible that because atoms have stopped moving you might shift through solid matter. good news you cant be burned :)
 

Online Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8681
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #6 on: 30/01/2012 19:09:33 »
If you stopped time the pink unicorns would come and take you away.
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #7 on: 30/01/2012 23:11:09 »
If time stopped, you would not know. How would you be able to tell that it had?
 
I have it from a very good authority that time actually does stop every other Tuesday in months with an R in them.
 

Offline Don_1

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6890
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • A stupid comment for every occasion.
    • View Profile
    • Knight Light Haulage
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #8 on: 31/01/2012 08:09:50 »

I have it from a very good authority that time actually does stop every other Tuesday in months with an R in them.


I knew something was going on (or not, as the case may be). Only last Tuesday, when 'er indoors left orders for me to clean the oven (a task I find particularly irksome), I did not do it. It can only be because time stood still just when I was going to carry out this most hideous of tasks. I'm sure she will understand when I explain this phenomenonmenonmenonmenon* to her.

*I always have trouble knowing when to stop with that word, it was always the same with that fine English actor, Edward Woodwardwoodwardwoodward. See what I mean!
 

Offline imatfaal

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2787
  • rouge moderator
    • View Profile
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #9 on: 31/01/2012 09:39:58 »
If time stopped, you would not know. How would you be able to tell that it had?
 
I have it from a very good authority that time actually does stop every other Tuesday in months with an R in them.
And the fact that you broadcast our regular time stops is why you never made it to the inner circle - call yourself an illuminatus and you cannot even keep a secret!  Brother Biggles bring me the tome of transgression....


A local stoppage of time, or a local bubble which avoids an otherwise universal stoppage of time would be interesting - but almost certainly impossible in so many ways.  The boundary/horizon between normal and stopped time would be an interesting and I think fairly hot and horrible place.
« Last Edit: 31/01/2012 09:42:55 by imatfaal »
 

Offline Don_1

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6890
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • A stupid comment for every occasion.
    • View Profile
    • Knight Light Haulage
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #10 on: 31/01/2012 10:18:54 »
........  The boundary/horizon between normal and stopped time would be an interesting and I think fairly hot and horrible place.

So our oven has got something to do with it!
 

Offline MikeS

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1044
  • The Devils Advocate
    • View Profile
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #11 on: 31/01/2012 14:32:07 »
If time stopped, you would not know. How would you be able to tell that it had?
 
I have it from a very good authority that time actually does stop every other Tuesday in months with an R in them.
And the fact that you broadcast our regular time stops is why you never made it to the inner circle - call yourself an illuminatus and you cannot even keep a secret!  Brother Biggles bring me the tome of transgression....


A local stoppage of time, or a local bubble which avoids an otherwise universal stoppage of time would be interesting - but almost certainly impossible in so many ways.  The boundary/horizon between normal and stopped time would be an interesting and I think fairly hot and horrible place.

Uh, that sounds like the EH of a black hole.  Horrible yes!  Hot, thats debatable, if feeding yes, if not then no.
« Last Edit: 31/01/2012 14:33:59 by MikeS »
 

Offline imatfaal

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2787
  • rouge moderator
    • View Profile
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #12 on: 31/01/2012 16:15:06 »
Uh, that sounds like the EH of a black hole.  Horrible yes!  Hot, thats debatable, if feeding yes, if not then no.

You might want to read up on possible outcomes of lowering a thermometer from a safe orbit towards an Event Horizon.  It's Hot.  It's also very complicated and possibly contradictory - but it is hot without matter falling in from outside.
 

Offline dropoutscience

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #13 on: 31/01/2012 18:33:40 »
yeah but the inside might be impossibly cold if it can get matter to stop moving inside it
 

Offline MikeS

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1044
  • The Devils Advocate
    • View Profile
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #14 on: 01/02/2012 08:04:32 »
Uh, that sounds like the EH of a black hole.  Horrible yes!  Hot, thats debatable, if feeding yes, if not then no.

You might want to read up on possible outcomes of lowering a thermometer from a safe orbit towards an Event Horizon. It's Hot.  It's also very complicated and possibly contradictory - but it is hot without matter falling in from outside.

Imatfaal
Can you give any references please?

The way I understand it is
" If one only considers black holes classically, then they have zero temperature and, by the no hair theorem, zero entropy,"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole_thermodynamics
 

Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 20602
  • Thanked: 8 times
    • View Profile
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #15 on: 01/02/2012 09:59:14 »
If time stopped, you would not know. How would you be able to tell that it had?
 
I have it from a very good authority that time actually does stop every other Tuesday in months with an R in them.

Hang on !...I get deliveries on a Tuesday !
 

Offline imatfaal

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2787
  • rouge moderator
    • View Profile
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #16 on: 01/02/2012 10:41:09 »
Uh, that sounds like the EH of a black hole.  Horrible yes!  Hot, thats debatable, if feeding yes, if not then no.

You might want to read up on possible outcomes of lowering a thermometer from a safe orbit towards an Event Horizon. It's Hot.  It's also very complicated and possibly contradictory - but it is hot without matter falling in from outside.

Imatfaal
Can you give any references please?

The way I understand it is
" If one only considers black holes classically, then they have zero temperature and, by the no hair theorem, zero entropy,"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole_thermodynamics

This is very much a non-classical treatment - we have already through work of hawking and bekenstein discovered that blackholes have a temperature etc. so a classical constraint is a little too much.   the qm behaviour of "empty space" at any horizon is very odd.
 

Offline Don_1

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6890
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • A stupid comment for every occasion.
    • View Profile
    • Knight Light Haulage
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #17 on: 01/02/2012 10:42:18 »
If time stopped, you would not know. How would you be able to tell that it had?
 
I have it from a very good authority that time actually does stop every other Tuesday in months with an R in them.

Hang on !...I get deliveries on a Tuesday !

Are they late every other week? If so, I think Geezer must be on to something.
 

Offline dropoutscience

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #18 on: 06/02/2012 15:31:25 »
how did they discover black holes have temp?  ???
 

Offline simplified

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 428
    • View Profile
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #19 on: 06/02/2012 16:46:03 »
If time stopped, you would not know. How would you be able to tell that it had?
 
I have it from a very good authority that time actually does stop every other Tuesday in months with an R in them.
Then radiated photons destroy all,because they will have gammashift.
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #20 on: 08/02/2012 07:59:43 »
Punctuation may not have been a strong point either.
 

Offline artpiecemalpasso

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #21 on: 08/02/2012 15:01:49 »
Thank you, I'll work on that. Great, topic.
Artpiecemalpasso
 

Offline yor_on

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12001
  • Thanked: 4 times
  • (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
    • View Profile
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #22 on: 08/02/2012 19:12:49 »
"Time all time is centered around matter and all moments of time are in the present since the future and past perceptions of time are a human traits outside the realm of reality."

No, probability builds on the concept of a past, without a past to look at probability wouldn't be computable as there would be no data. And as it works very well, the past must be inside the realm of 'reality'. Any book you read is written in the 'past' defining the future on good and bad.
 

Offline Bill S

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1832
  • Thanked: 12 times
    • View Profile
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #23 on: 08/02/2012 22:31:20 »
I’m not at all sure that I understand artpiecemalpasso.  Apart from that, though, I’m OK with the general ideas.  However, it does seem that what we are talking about is change, rather than time. 

Change requires activity.  Activity brings about change.  If all activity stopped, there would be no change, and nothing for time to measure, so time would have no meaning. 

It would not be meaningful to talk of time having stopped, any more than it is really meaningful to talk of time as moving under normal conditions.
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #24 on: 09/02/2012 04:01:26 »
Art,
 
Try the "three sentence rule". Basically, it says that if a paragraph has more that three sentences, the audience is likely to depart.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: What would happen if you stopped time?
« Reply #24 on: 09/02/2012 04:01:26 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums
 
Login
Login with username, password and session length