# The Naked Scientists Forum

### Author Topic: Is time an illusion?  (Read 53993 times)

#### Ęthelwulf

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #50 on: 21/03/2012 06:50:08 »
Perhaps this will enlighten you

http://meopemuk2.blogspot.co.uk/2006/07/is-there-observable-of-time.html

If not I am wasting my energy.

#### Nizzle

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #51 on: 21/03/2012 09:03:53 »
The biggest fall I seem to be seeing right now, is people making

Time = Change

Time does not necesserily mean change at all. In fact, if anyone can follow the math of Julian Barbour, he shows you can deal with real observable things and omit time from the equations. Change can happen with real observables, the way physics should be.

You are correct: Time does not equal Change, just as length does not equal metre or volume does not equal m3

But it's still a physical quantity for me. One of the base physical quantities even, together with Length, Mass, Temperature, Amount of Substance, Electric Current and Luminous Intensity, and I'm backed up by the International System of Units! See here.

If this doesn't convince you I'm wasting my energy.

EDIT: Btw, if Barbour can eliminate Time from his equations to demonstrate 'Change', then how does he demonstrates 'Rate of Change'?
« Last Edit: 21/03/2012 09:09:19 by Nizzle »

#### Ęthelwulf

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #52 on: 21/03/2012 10:29:46 »
It may be defined by a physical but time is not a real artefact of physical manifestations which arise in physics as an observable. Please read the link provided.

Anyway, this change without time, what are you wanting me to do, take you through Barbour's math or something?

#### Ęthelwulf

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #53 on: 21/03/2012 10:34:13 »
Or rate of change specifically I see... He doesn't define that if I remember correctly. But I don't see your point. Many rate's of change are algebraicly created without any time.

#### imatfaal

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #54 on: 21/03/2012 10:57:01 »
Aethelwulf and others,

Can we have fewer implications of lack of knowledge and less condescension?  Let's keep this friendly.

Thanks

#### yor_on

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #55 on: 24/03/2012 16:37:09 »
So tell me, what did they use to write their hypotheses in?
Were they in SpaceTime doing it.

As they refute time?

#### yor_on

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #56 on: 24/03/2012 16:40:19 »
You need a arrow for most of the science we built. It's all about experimenting in a arrow. Or can you give me any example of a experiment ignoring the arrow? Theoretically you can ignore it, but in reality?
=

Although I agree with some of his observations. I too think it could be described as a 'static' universe from some weird point of view, as well as there is no real evidence for anything being as 'real' as the 'present'. But I also believe that there is something changing even though the changes only can be defined through history. Probability is using that 'history' to predict what may happen in a 'future', and the funny thing is that it works? Which becomes problematic if that history doesn't exist, as well as the predicted 'future'.
« Last Edit: 24/03/2012 16:48:20 by yor_on »

#### yor_on

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #57 on: 24/03/2012 16:55:54 »
But this is philosophy, not science, although it's very hard to differ them at time. It becomes a quagmire to define a 'now', in that as you make the definition of it, it has already passed you by. A lot of mediations is about living in the 'now', which sometimes also is called a 'time less experience', but if you experience it, how can it be 'time less'?

#### Bill S

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #58 on: 24/03/2012 17:10:54 »
Quote
What is 'tensed and untensed time,'?

Sorry it has taken me a while for me to get back on this - busy!

Yor-on has covered this at length, but I was not thinking of anything as complex as that.

Put simply, its more like this:

Tensed time is now relative; it assumes an ever moving now, which progresses towards the future, always leaving more past behind it.

Tensless time relates to clock time, dates etc. and is regarded as being static.  For example, 11.30 (GMT) on the 25th October 2007 is a tensless time; in relativistic terms it is an unchanging spacetime event.  In this view there is no objective passage of time.

#### yor_on

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #59 on: 24/03/2012 17:51:56 »
Let me break it down as I think of it.

A event is a description of something happening, something 'real'.
Events connect through causality.
Events when looked through history becomes a logic.

That logic holds for events still not 'here' (probability)
And as QM is probability to me?

#### Bill S

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #60 on: 24/03/2012 18:26:00 »
Quote
Two identical clocks, one on the Earths surface and one in orbit above the Earth will show a different passage of time.  Time passing faster for the clock in orbit.

One clock "ticks" faster than the other.  We interpret that as time passing faster, but is that necessarily the case?

#### yor_on

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #61 on: 24/03/2012 18:33:41 »
No, it depends on how you define it.
In one whole undivided SpaceTime it will be necessary, as the twin experiment can show us.
From 'locality' the arrow is of one measure though, the same wherever you go. But to do so you will question what a SpaceTime is.

#### Bill S

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #62 on: 25/03/2012 02:33:39 »
It's easy to lose sight of the fact that the twin experiment is only a thought experiment.  which Terry Pratchett describes as One that you cant do, and which wont work.  :)

#### yor_on

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #63 on: 25/03/2012 03:31:44 »
NIST doesn't do thought experiments Bill, and they show the same effect, although minuscule (gravitational) time dilations.
They exist, and the twin experiment is correct. The question is more of what 'time' is. A geometry?

#### MikeS

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #64 on: 25/03/2012 08:12:12 »
NIST doesn't do thought experiments Bill, and they show the same effect, although minuscule (gravitational) time dilations.
They exist, and the twin experiment is correct. The question is more of what 'time' is. A geometry?
Yes.
As gravity is geometry so to is time. Time has two components, the arrow and rate of passage (time dilation factor).  It is possible to have one without the other but only in combination do they constitute 'time'.  The direction of the arrow is always universal. (That is, it points in the same direction everywhere in the Universe.)  The time dilation factor is always local.

Time or more correctly space-time is the medium in which entropy increases.
If you consider a clock (any clock) to be a closed system it requires energy to power it.  This leads to an increase in entropy within that system.

Ultimately time, in a sense is a measure of the increase in entropy.
Entropy is necessary in order to measure time.  Time is necessary in order to measure entropy.

The universe and everything it contains is trying to reach a more stable state.  That state is approached by loosing useful energy which is an increase in entropy.  So the ultimate ground state of the Universe would be zero useful energy.  At which point time would cease to exist. (Time being infinitely dilated)

'Time is what allows things to happen but stops everything from happening all at once'.
« Last Edit: 25/03/2012 08:29:23 by MikeS »

#### Bill S

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #65 on: 25/03/2012 20:13:42 »
Of course time dilation is real and has been measured both in terms of gravity and air travel; but what was really being measured?  Surely, what was being measured was the rate at which measuring devices operate.

#### MikeS

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #66 on: 26/03/2012 06:08:32 »
Of course time dilation is real and has been measured both in terms of gravity and air travel; but what was really being measured?  Surely, what was being measured was the rate at which measuring devices operate.

Yes and that's what we call time.
A measuring device (clock) measures the passage of local time.  But not all localities have the same passage of time, so not all clocks agree.

#### Ęthelwulf

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #67 on: 26/03/2012 06:25:22 »
Of course time dilation is real and has been measured both in terms of gravity and air travel; but what was really being measured?  Surely, what was being measured was the rate at which measuring devices operate.

Yes and that's what we call time.
A measuring device (clock) measures the passage of local time.  But not all localities have the same passage of time, so not all clocks agree.

Clocks, minutes, seconds... maybe even hours to centuries all man-made concepts. Time is an illusion that we have wrapped ourselves in. Time is a construction. An invention.

#### Geezer

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #68 on: 26/03/2012 07:17:02 »

Clocks, minutes, seconds... maybe even hours to centuries all man-made concepts. Time is an illusion that we have wrapped ourselves in. Time is a construction. An invention.

Ah right! But if there is no such thing as time, what is it that is controlling how matter decays? I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure uranium does not turn into lead as a consequence of human willpower.

#### Ęthelwulf

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #69 on: 26/03/2012 09:29:25 »

Clocks, minutes, seconds... maybe even hours to centuries all man-made concepts. Time is an illusion that we have wrapped ourselves in. Time is a construction. An invention.

Ah right! But if there is no such thing as time, what is it that is controlling how matter decays? I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure uranium does not turn into lead as a consequence of human willpower.

Not quite sure of your point, apart from a frivolous question on human will power. What does the radiation, of an atom supposed to do with conversation at large? I have heard, that radiation processes are used in arguements against a predeterministic universe since they purport to truely random processes.

To this I turn our attention to zeno effect. It is completely possible to make your system deterministic by the power of observation. A scientist in the lab can make so-called weak measurements on the system and freeze it in time, making it completely predictable. This is because you are suspending the time evolution operator.

#### Geezer

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #70 on: 26/03/2012 10:07:49 »
Not quite sure of your point, apart from a frivolous question on human will power. What does the radiation, of an atom supposed to do with conversation at large? I have heard, that radiation processes are used in arguements against a predeterministic universe since they purport to truely random processes.

To this I turn our attention to zeno effect. It is completely possible to make your system deterministic by the power of observation. A scientist in the lab can make so-called weak measurements on the system and freeze it in time, making it completely predictable. This is because you are suspending the time evolution operator.

If it is not time, please explain what it is that causes differences in atomic decay.

#### Ęthelwulf

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #71 on: 26/03/2012 10:19:47 »
Not quite sure of your point, apart from a frivolous question on human will power. What does the radiation, of an atom supposed to do with conversation at large? I have heard, that radiation processes are used in arguements against a predeterministic universe since they purport to truely random processes.

To this I turn our attention to zeno effect. It is completely possible to make your system deterministic by the power of observation. A scientist in the lab can make so-called weak measurements on the system and freeze it in time, making it completely predictable. This is because you are suspending the time evolution operator.

If it is not time, please explain what it is that causes differences in atomic decay.

Not sure what ''will-power'' has to do with this. Anyway, if equations help describe our world, then equations can describe changes quite well without time. Time is just a tool. Being ommitted from the equations does not stop us from using equations which don't require it.

Take Barbours work seriously. His equation can describe physical processes without time. His equation is a good example, because you might as well get comfortable with it. This is what GR predicts. A timeless universe.

#### Bill S

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #72 on: 26/03/2012 21:15:24 »
Quote from: MikeS
Yes and that's what we call time.

That sums up the situation perectly!  There is, or feels as though there should be, this something.  We can't see it, hear it, touch it, smell it or even agree as to what it might be.  However, life seems to make a lot more sense with it than without it.

I'm with St Augustine on this one:  "What then is time? If no one asks me, I know;
if I wish to explain it to someone who asks, I know not."

#### dkeizer05

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #73 on: 27/03/2012 03:05:11 »

Seriously dude, go learn some physics before you make statements you can't support. Time should not be physical. Just because it is part of an understanding Minkowski made years and years ago that by treating it as a dimension has left physics following a wrong path - a deluded idea that perhaps time is also physical, that it is part of the manifold we call space. Sure, calculationally-wise, time is very useful when thought of as a dimension. Other than that, it has no physical appearance. Time is not an observable. It is not tangible.
Is speed a tangible?

#### MikeS

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##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #74 on: 27/03/2012 07:10:38 »
Of course time dilation is real and has been measured both in terms of gravity and air travel; but what was really being measured?  Surely, what was being measured was the rate at which measuring devices operate.

Yes and that's what we call time.
A measuring device (clock) measures the passage of local time.  But not all localities have the same passage of time, so not all clocks agree.

Clocks, minutes, seconds... maybe even hours to centuries all man-made concepts. Time is an illusion that we have wrapped ourselves in. Time is a construction. An invention.

They are all man named in as much as they are measures of time as referenced by the Earth and its orbit around the sun.

Time is real as Geezer has pointed out.

Any type of clock whether it be atomic, electronic, mechanical spring driven, mechanical gravity driven, atomic decay, speed of light etc. will all keep the same time in the same local time frame.  Likewise identical clocks in a different local time frame where the gravitational potential is different will all keep pace with each other but show a time dilation effect relative to the first set of clocks.

Quite obviously both sets of clocks are measuring something.
They are measuring local time.

If they are not measuring local time, what are they measuring?

#### The Naked Scientists Forum

##### Re: Is time an illusion?
« Reply #74 on: 27/03/2012 07:10:38 »