# The Naked Scientists Forum

### Author Topic: Do photons experience time?  (Read 12048 times)

#### Phractality

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##### Re: Do photons experience time?
« Reply #25 on: 12/05/2012 20:05:27 »
I think the notion of FTL things going backwards in time is a misinterpretation of relativity. I think the equations yield imaginary clock speeds, not negative clock speeds.
Time depends on cycles, and photons don't cycle unless, as in my model, they are locked in orbit around one another. A particle consisting of a pair of orbiting photons experiences a cycle of time each time its photons make one circuit around their common center. That cycle is a constant from the particle's point of view, but it varies with relative speed of an outside observer. The photons move at the same speed to all observers, but they travel farther per cycle around a moving center than around a stationary center.

#### MikeS

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##### Re: Do photons experience time?
« Reply #26 on: 13/05/2012 08:27:50 »
I think the notion of FTL things going backwards in time is a misinterpretation of relativity. I think the equations yield imaginary clock speeds, not negative clock speeds.
Time depends on cycles, and photons don't cycle unless, as in my model, they are locked in orbit around one another. A particle consisting of a pair of orbiting photons experiences a cycle of time each time its photons make one circuit around their common center. That cycle is a constant from the particle's point of view, but it varies with relative speed of an outside observer. The photons move at the same speed to all observers, but they travel farther per cycle around a moving center than around a stationary center.

Light is an electro-magnetic wave.  Waves have wavelength and frequency.  Frequency is cycles per second.

#### MikeS

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##### Re: Do photons experience time?
« Reply #27 on: 13/05/2012 09:03:59 »
Pete

"A tachyon or tachyonic particle is a hypothetical particle that always moves faster than light."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tachyon

Light speed or the null point of time is a barrier.  Nothing travelling sub-luminal can cross it, neither can anything travelling super-luminal.  On its side of the barrier and from its perspective it is travelling forward in time at sub-luminal speed.  If it were to cross the barrier then from our perspective it would be going super-luminal and backward in time.  If it is going backward in time then we can not be aware of, or interact with it.

#### Phractality

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##### Re: Do photons experience time?
« Reply #28 on: 13/05/2012 20:35:44 »
I think the notion of FTL things going backwards in time is a misinterpretation of relativity. I think the equations yield imaginary clock speeds, not negative clock speeds.
Time depends on cycles, and photons don't cycle unless, as in my model, they are locked in orbit around one another. A particle consisting of a pair of orbiting photons experiences a cycle of time each time its photons make one circuit around their common center. That cycle is a constant from the particle's point of view, but it varies with relative speed of an outside observer. The photons move at the same speed to all observers, but they travel farther per cycle around a moving center than around a stationary center.

Light is an electro-magnetic wave.  Waves have wavelength and frequency.  Frequency is cycles per second.
Light doesn't cycle in its own reference frame. A photon has only one cycle, and that is only by theorizing that the electromagnetic field at a point in space cycles as the photon passes. In the reference frame of a particle, a photon only exists at the instant it is emitted or absorbed. The duration of that instant can only be assigned a duration with respect to cycles that occur within the particle.
The situation is somewhat different if we're taking about a continuous radio wave radiating from an antenna. Yes; it has cycles in an inertial reference frame. An observer can count those cycles as they pass. A hypothetical observer traveling at the speed of light with the radio wave would not observe its cycles; to him, time could only be reckoned relative to something other than that wave. Of course, no observer can travel at the speed of light, so it is meaningless to say that such an observer would not experience time. That observer is purely imaginary, and for him time is imaginary. Likewise, for an imaginary FTL observer. His time is imaginary, not negative.

#### MikeS

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##### Re: Do photons experience time?
« Reply #29 on: 20/05/2012 07:44:07 »
I think the notion of FTL things going backwards in time is a misinterpretation of relativity. I think the equations yield imaginary clock speeds, not negative clock speeds.
Time depends on cycles, and photons don't cycle unless, as in my model, they are locked in orbit around one another. A particle consisting of a pair of orbiting photons experiences a cycle of time each time its photons make one circuit around their common center. That cycle is a constant from the particle's point of view, but it varies with relative speed of an outside observer. The photons move at the same speed to all observers, but they travel farther per cycle around a moving center than around a stationary center.

Light is an electro-magnetic wave.  Waves have wavelength and frequency.  Frequency is cycles per second.
Light doesn't cycle in its own reference frame. A photon has only one cycle, and that is only by theorizing that the electromagnetic field at a point in space cycles as the photon passes. In the reference frame of a particle, a photon only exists at the instant it is emitted or absorbed. The duration of that instant can only be assigned a duration with respect to cycles that occur within the particle.
The situation is somewhat different if we're taking about a continuous radio wave radiating from an antenna. Yes; it has cycles in an inertial reference frame. An observer can count those cycles as they pass. A hypothetical observer traveling at the speed of light with the radio wave would not observe its cycles; to him, time could only be reckoned relative to something other than that wave. Of course, no observer can travel at the speed of light, so it is meaningless to say that such an observer would not experience time. That observer is purely imaginary, and for him time is imaginary. Likewise, for an imaginary FTL observer. His time is imaginary, not negative.

The mainstream view would be.  Light does not have a reference frame.  The concept of a reference frame relies on both time and length.

As the photon has no duration, how can it complete even one cycle?

By your definition, it does not cycle, therefore it has no duration.

Could you explain in more detail what you mean by a cycle of time?

If a photon travels backward in time with the same time dilation factor that time flows forward then a photon does experience both time and distance although it would appear not to as they are both cancelled.  In this case it is probably fair to say that a photon does have a reference frame but appears not to.
« Last Edit: 21/05/2012 07:22:31 by MikeS »

#### bilijoe

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##### Re: Do photons experience time?
« Reply #30 on: 24/05/2012 21:13:47 »
It is my understanding that anything traveling at the speed of light (e.g., a photon) does not experience the passage of time. Since "speed" is defined as 'distance / time', the term (speed) becomes indeterminate without time, or 'undefined' if time = 0. So, I have to wonder, if light, and everything else "traveling" at light speed (everything in the universe except for us and our tangible "reality") is not subject to the passage of time, might it be that those things are not "traveling" at all; that the speed of light is actually zero, and it is our frame of reference that is "traveling" at 299792458 m/s? Might that explain why, regardless of the relative motion of the source vs. the observer, the speed of light is always seen as the same (constant) value--because it is actually (some cosmic "value" for) zero, and zero = zero = zero? Additionally, if something does not experience the passage of time, is it possible for it to change (i.e., age, decay, evolve, etc.)?

#### MikeS

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##### Re: Do photons experience time?
« Reply #31 on: 25/05/2012 07:32:59 »
It is my understanding that anything traveling at the speed of light (e.g., a photon) does not experience the passage of time. Since "speed" is defined as 'distance / time', the term (speed) becomes indeterminate without time, or 'undefined' if time = 0. So, I have to wonder, if light, and everything else "traveling" at light speed (everything in the universe except for us and our tangible "reality") is not subject to the passage of time, might it be that those things are not "traveling" at all; that the speed of light is actually zero, and it is our frame of reference that is "traveling" at 299792458 m/s? Might that explain why, regardless of the relative motion of the source vs. the observer, the speed of light is always seen as the same (constant) value--because it is actually (some cosmic "value" for) zero, and zero = zero = zero? Additionally, if something does not experience the passage of time, is it possible for it to change (i.e., age, decay, evolve, etc.)?

Hi bilijoe and welcome to the forum.

Quite right.

I would agree with that, it’s what we call time.  The passage of time flows at 299792458 m/s.

Presumably not.

As I understand it, that still leaves “a photon travels backward in time with the same time dilation factor that time flows forward” as a possibility.
Moreover, I believe, it explains quantum entanglement and the double slit experiment.
« Last Edit: 25/05/2012 07:37:04 by MikeS »

#### imatfaal

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##### Re: Do photons experience time?
« Reply #32 on: 25/05/2012 18:22:50 »
Even though these are the New Theories boards we would appreciate it if non-standard answers are not made to new posters questions.

Bilijoe - no object with any mass can travel at the speed of light - there is no physics that can tell you how time passes for an object travelling at the speed of light because the very concept is against the theories of modern physics.  If you break the rules to ask the question - you cannot use the rules to give an answer.

We cannot assume that we are travelling at c - if we do then we are no longer in a valid inertial frame of reference and our physics breaks down.  we can assume we are travelling at a constant speed less than c and all our physics and calculations still work out fine - this is relativity; we can do the same sums for the asteroid heading toward the space ship or the space ship heading towards the asteroid or any combination of the two and get the same answers.

Frankly we do not know or claim to understand an object outside the passage of time - there are no situations in which we could observe this happening and that makes it difficult to create a scientific theory.

#### yor_on

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##### Re: Do photons experience time?
« Reply #33 on: 28/05/2012 23:50:23 »
A nice idea B :)

We would still need 'frames of reference' though. Using those you define all other 'motion' relative your own wrist watch and ruler. I'm not sure how to define it from the idea of it being your frame of reference solely that travels at 'c' unless you mean that all you compare it too adapts, the same as in relativity?

Or maybe I'm just slow here?

Time seems to be a description of all sorts of 'changes' we observe, from interactions in matter to the 'motion' we can observe looking out in the universe. All of those are described by one and the same 'information carrier'. And that is bosons, as 'photons'. We expect those to be what communicates 'change' in matter as well as in descriptions of something 'moving' relative ourselves.

Now, if those 'photons' doesn't 'move', how would you describe an interaction between particles?
And how would you describe the moon circling our Earth?

But I'm not sure how to see the idea, in a way it's quite thought provoking.

#### simplified

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##### Re: Do photons experience time?
« Reply #34 on: 13/06/2012 16:27:13 »
Energy cannot have movement without coupling with space. Time is coupling of energy with space. Photons have movement, therefore they have coupling with space.

#### loose_nukes

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##### Re: Do photons experience time?
« Reply #35 on: 03/07/2012 22:30:46 »

Because time is stretched in this way, a photon actually takes no time to move anywhere... in fact a more accurate thing is to say, a photon's birth is the same as it's death. A photon moves nowhere in space because not a second passes for it.

This is why your theory/speculations is wrong.

''This idea does account for how a seemingly mass-less particle can impart energy or momentum upon contact.
" more specifically inertial mass, can be defined as a quantitative measure of an object's resistance to the change of its speed.''

Which by default is incorrect as well because you assumption a photos experiences time (worse yet you want to see it move back in time) is faulty.

The reason why a photon imparts momentum on objects is simply because

It doesn't get simpler than that.

''Therefore, to define mass you need time.''

No you don't. In fact, it is the other way around. To define time, you require mass. Mass is not dependant on time and time is not a function of mass.

'' A photon may simply not experience time as is generally believed ''

A moment ago you said you did not know that a photon does not experience time. I said you knew this and then you accused me of strongly accusing you of things you did not know. Yet that part seems to indicate you did know this.

'' Perhaps you could provide some evidence as to why I am wrong other than it's peachy?''

The above should be enough to show you, you are wrong.
[/quote]Excellent post wulf................
To which I would like to add;
Personally, I perceive time in this manner; Nothing exists but the present. Both the past and the future are only figments of our imagination. Time is an illusion with purpose. Where the photon has only it's origin and destination, with nothing betwixt, we have our origin and an infinite number of present circumstances between our beginning and end. The former things are only memories of those circumstances and the future will only be real when it's in our present..............

#### Robro

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##### Re: Do photons experience time?
« Reply #36 on: 06/07/2012 07:54:09 »
Hey guys, my input = I do not think reverse time travel is possible, even for photons. This would violate the conservation of energy. Since photons have energy, if they disappeared into the past it would rob energy from the present, and the equilibrium would be lost. Energy can never be created nor destroyed, it can only be changed to various forms. If photons were static, and the present passed them by, where would the new ones come from? The future is only a potential and does not yet exist.

In my thinking, thanks to my dad, the entire infinite universe is comprised of electromagnetic phenomenon only. Nothing has ever been proven to exist otherwise. Since photons comprise all matter and are responsible for all of mass and gravity and reality, we would be in trouble if the photons went into the past.

Two photons were on a journey. They had only met an infinite number of times in the past, however this time they came so close in proximity to one another that each photons emitted field was strong enough to cause their saturation of maximum amplitude to be offset toward each other, in the direction of increasing field strength. This excited the photons and made them lock into their own fields in a half cycle. The photons were now in a phase locked loop and had "Popped" into existence as electrons from seemingly nothing. But their travels are not over, and the new electrons will meet again someday, maybe in a photonic state or as some other particle after they have sampled the endless, ageless, infinitely diverse...universe.

And, "Consciousness is merely the universe viewing itself through a microscope"...
R.L.Brown

#### The Naked Scientists Forum

##### Re: Do photons experience time?
« Reply #36 on: 06/07/2012 07:54:09 »