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Author Topic: If time is subjective, can we really have objective physical theories?  (Read 2701 times)

Offline mxplxxx

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Relativity, I believe, tells us that time is subjective. It all depends on our frame of reference. If time is all over the place as it will be in this situation, how can any theory involving time function? In fact, if the universe is continuous (as quantum physics tells us) how can time exist at all? It seem to me that any change in a continuous universe will be instantaneous over the whole of the universe. Action at a distance (or quantum entanglement) seems to validate this possibility. Maybe time is all in the mind (horribly vague I know!).


 

Offline Quantum Inquisitor

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Hey there m(a)x,

Quantum physics is premised on a monistic theory of the universe. Polarity does not prove duality, but rather a clearly defined hierarchy of universal powers (principles), all of which exist within the mind. Thus, there can be no objectivity without subjectivity. The secret resides in harmonizing and integrating the two, which is what quantum physics strives for; as far as I have conceived of the matter.

Ken

 

Offline chiralSPO

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if the universe is continuous (as quantum physics tells us)

I thought quantum physics tells us that the universe is NOT continuous...
 

Offline mxplxxx

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if the universe is continuous (as quantum physics tells us)

I thought quantum physics tells us that the universe is NOT continuous...
Actually, I think the issue of whether the universe is continuous or not is unresolved so I retract my statement.
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Quote from: chiralSPO
I thought quantum physics tells us that the universe is NOT continuous...
That may be correct but it's too early to tell yet. Back in 1955 John Wheeler theorized that at at sufficiently small scales spacetime has "foamy" characteristics. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_foam

However, until we have a theory of quantum gravity we'll never know.

By the way. As the term subjective is defined at
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subjective
Time is not subjective. I can't even imagine why someone would think it is. Unless, perhaps, they confuse "relative to the observer" to mean "as seen by a person" because in relativity the term observer is defined to mean, roughly, a coordinate system where a coordinate system refers to a Lorentzian frame of reference, i.e. two different frames are generally in motion relative to each other, although some could simply be translated or rotated relative to each other. Although it never means a change from, say, Cartesian coordinates to cylindrical coordinates.

In relativity time is said to be covariant as the term is used in The Variational Principles of Mechanics by Cornelius Lanczos, pages 20, 117 and 292.

This is well-known text in the physics community. Every  physicist should have a copy. To download a copy for free simply go to

http://bookos-z1.org/

and register. It's well worth the effort. Then download the text at

http://bookos-z1.org/book/2047752/8a3f6b

This text defines this term as follows: the components of a vector are referred to as covariant. For example, this context is discussed on page 292,
Quote
The time t has changed from an invariant to a covariant quantity, whereas the light velocity c has changed from a covariant quantity to an invariant quantity.

Caution: The term covariant is an overloaded term which has many different meanings, each one depending on the context in which it's used.
« Last Edit: 11/06/2014 04:26:47 by PmbPhy »
 

Offline mxplxxx

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Hi PmbPhy, a better way for you to reply is to concentrate on answering the question rather than picking faults in the community's replies. Also, try and and match the reply to the person's level of expertise (which tends manifest itself in the language of their question). An explanation involving complex mathematical formula is certainty not helpful for me for example. IF you absolutely must pick fault with someone post, keep it friendly. Pick your battles. Never, ever use confrontational language. Hope this helps.
 

Offline JP

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Let's keep this to a discussion of science, not of forum etiquette.  If you have problems with someone's behavior on the forum, please inform the moderators rather than taking matters into your own hands.

Thank you,
The Mods
 

Offline lightarrow

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Relativity, I believe, tells us that time is subjective. It all depends on our frame of reference.
Time depends on the frame of reference which you choose to measure it. But that's not the same as stating "time is subjective". Time is objectively dependent on the frame of reference, as well as speed is. "Subjective" means that it depends on the personal ideas/interpretations/perceptions of a human being. But here you are instead measuring time with a series of synchronized, precise clocks in a frame of reference, or with another series of the same kind, in another frame of reference.
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...
 Maybe time is all in the mind (horribly vague I know!).
Our perception of time can be what you say, not our physical definition of it with instruments.

--
lightarrow
« Last Edit: 11/06/2014 20:02:08 by lightarrow »
 

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