Will a photon clock run at a different rate from an atomic clock under gravity?

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Offline JP

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There is no time in the universe. Photon (and all other motions) moves in space only. With clocks we measure numerical order of motion.
You're contradicting yourself.  An order of events implies time.  We see things in a certain order because we move through time. If there was no time, all events would be simultaneous and we couldn't order them.

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Time is in the mind, we experience motion in time "past-present-future" that is a mind creation.
That's a philosophical point more than a scientific one.  It also requires that time exists to be perceived.

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Universe is without time as predicted by Einstein and Godel. See my post "Block Universe" in new theories.
I disagree, as do Einstein's (and presumably and Godel's equations).  Special and general relativity assume a time coordinate.  I think what Godel was getting at is that something could in some theoretical universes move through space without moving through time.  That's completely different from saying that time doesn't exist.  We are, after all, perfectly happy with moving through time without moving through space--and we don't therefore claim that space doesn't exist.

If I'm interpreting what they said wrong, please let me know.

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Offline amrit

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JP

X4 = i x c x t (1) where t is "tick" of clock in space. Clock tick in space.
(1) is equal to d = v x t
X4 is not temporal coordinate, X4 is spatial too.
We live in a 4D space.
Time is a mind model throuht we experience motion in 4D,
see our article on FQXI
http://www.fqxi.org/data/forum-attachments/Block_Universe.pdf

« Last Edit: 27/05/2010 10:35:59 by amrit »
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Offline Farsight

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I do understand this Farsight but linearity in potential, in itself, does not preclude a negative value. You can have linearity in Potential from + to - infinity with respect to an arbtrary spacial measure (say r) and its differential with respect to r would be a constant. It is also obvious that it would be the second derivative that would result in tidal forces.
Sorry to be slow getting back to you graham. I beg to differ on the negative value. The coordinate speed of light when measured from afar reduces with gravitational potential, and there's no problem with this reducing to zero. But it just can't go negative. A negative speed has no physical reality. Any solutions based on the maths here are non-real solutions. It's like asserting the reality of a carpet measuring -4 metres x -4 metres because it has an area of 16 square metres.   

My point was simply that someone can pass through a BH event horizon and there would be no specific local measurement to mark that event providing the BH were large enough to minimise destructive tidal forces.
They can't pass through it. The coordinate speed of light when measured by you and me tends to zero at the EH. That means all motion just... stops. Do read up on that Weinberg field interpretation. Once you suss it you'll know what I mean. 

But what would be their Gravitational Potential? There is no doubt that it would continue to fall as they moved toward the BH centre. From a distant observer's perspective they would have zero GP as they reach the EH but that time dilation would infinitely delay the event.
That's just it. It never happens. Their continued fall only occurs in an abstract "never-never land" beyond the end of time.

In this sense negative GP values are "cosmically censored". From the perspective of the person crossing a BH EH, I guess it would not be the first thing on his mind. I'm never sure what he would see though there are some interesting simulations and animations on the web. Perhaps he should see the distant observer having infinite GP.
He doesn't see anything. Light has stopped. Coordinate transformations do not take adequate account of this.

Anyway, this is not so profound as I first thought and is not leading to any great insight. It does suggest that GP would depend on from whose perspective it is being measured and that the scale can slide so as to define the zero value at (say) an EH.
It's all very simple stuff. It's much more mundane than the mooted point-singularites, and there are no infinities, just a c=0 at the event horizon. 

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Offline Farsight

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I did a bit of poking around to find out what Godel actually did, scientifically.  What Godel did, it seems, was to work out solutions to Einstein's field equations that show that an object moving normally through the universe (i.e. on time-like paths) could go back in time. Does this cause problems with physics in our universe? Almost certainly not, since Godel's universes are not our universe. It might have philosophical implications about time being a "special" dimension.
But then Godel reasoned that "if you could visit the past, time cannot have passed". He used this to show the impossibility of time travel, not the possibility. Search A World Without Time: The Forgotten Legacy of Godel and Einstein on "time cannot have passed" and look at pages 129 and 130. What you read when you poke around is a corrupted conclusion, rather like the Schrodinger's cat example.  

At any rate, back to your post.  I disagree with the conclusions you're drawing. We certainly don't see "space and motion through it."  What we "see" (and how GR describes the universe) is paths in space-time.
We absolutely do not. We can't see a world-line, not at all. It's an abstract concept that is useful in calculations, but it isn't something you can actually observe.

What we locally define as velocity is a measurement of the slope between the space and time components of that path at any point.
The path isn't something real and observable. What's real and observable is an object moving through space. You can observe it because light moves from the object to your eye, and because signals are moving around in your brain.

Since these paths are geometrical objects...
But they're abstract geometrical objects. You can't actually see them. Nor can you point up to the night sky and say look, there's a light cone, or look, there's a reference frame. The important point to all this is to set aside the mathematical abstractions one is accustomed to working with, and look very hard at what you actually can see. Look inside a clock, and you see things moving, not time flowing. What's out there is space and motion through it. Things travel through space, they don't actually travel through time. People say things like "we travel forward in time at one second per second", but we don't travel at all. Time travel is science fiction. Ever heard of a stasis box? That's science-fiction too, but it's useful to demonstrate something: get in the box, and the "stasis field" prevents all motion, even at the atomic level. So you can't move, your heart doesn't beat, and you can't even think. When I open the box five hundred years later, to you it's like I opened the box as soon as you got in. You "travelled" to the future by not moving at all. Instead everything else did. And all that motion, be it the motion of planets or people or atoms or light, is through space.

...what you can physically measure are distances.
Yes, you can measure distances, but look at how you do it. The metre is defined as the distance travelled by light in a complete vacuum in 1⁄299,792,458 of a second. You're using the motion of light to define your distance.

From these distances you can derive slopes. Therefore, time is a fundamental quantity (it's a measure of "distance") and speed is a derived quantity (it's a measure of slope, or a ratio of "distances.")
I'm afraid that's incorrect. You define both the second and the metre using the motion of light, and that means motion is the fundamental quantity, along with space. Time is the emergent property, not motion. 

Can you provide any scientific evidence to the contrary?
Yes, the definition of the second and the metre, along with pair production, the Shapiro delay, the GPS clock adjustment, and of course the NIST fountain clock. Geezer objects to what I said about the latter, but pair production does tell us that the electron is literally made from light, so it's reasonable to assert that the electron spin-flip hyperfine transition in a Caesium atom is some kind of electromagnetic change or rotation or translation or motion. When the motion is slower in a region of low gravitational potential, the second is bigger, and we call it gravitational time dilation. You might have some difficulty accepting this, but there's absolutely no scientific evidence for time is running slower. None whatsoever.

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Offline Farsight

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...An order of events implies time. We see things in a certain order because we move through time. If there was no time, all events would be simultaneous and we couldn't order them.
Apologies amrit, but if I can contribute here: we see things in a certain order because motion is ordered from A to B to C, and that motion is through space. We don't "move through time", that's just a figure of speech. Those events are separated by intervening motion which in turn can be construed as other events. We call it time, and time does "exist". But not the way you think. It exists like heat exists, being an emergent property of motion. If you think of the kinetic theory of gases, you can see that temperature is a measure of average motion, whilst heat capacity and specific heat take in the characteristics of the subject. Time is a cumulative measure of motion, the baseline being the motion of light. The universe has been going for 13.7 billion light years. And like amrit says, clocks clock up motion. You can't open the back of a clock and see time flowing or any motion through time. Just motion, through space. 

Quote from: amrit
Time is in the mind, we experience motion in time "past-present-future" that is a mind creation.
That's a philosophical point more than a scientific one. It also requires that time exists to be perceived.
It is a scientific point, JP. Show me the scientific evidence for "we move through time". When you can't, you'll understand why. I'd go so far as to say that there is no scientific point that is more important than this one.

I disagree, as do Einstein's (and presumably and Godel's equations). Special and general relativity assume a time coordinate.
There's still a time coordinate, but it's a coordinate in a derived dimension. It's derived from motion through space. It isn't something that offers freedom of motion. You can move through space by hopping a metre backwards or forwards. You can't do this with time. 

I think what Godel was getting at is that something could in some theoretical universes move through space without moving through time.  That's completely different from saying that time doesn't exist.  We are, after all, perfectly happy with moving through time without moving through space - and we don't therefore claim that space doesn't exist.
See above.

If I'm interpreting what they said wrong, please let me know.
I'm afraid you are. People take this different viewpoint to mean "time does not exist". It isn't like that. It just isn't what you think it is. 

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Offline JP

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It is a scientific point, JP. Show me the scientific evidence for "we move through time". When you can't, you'll understand why. I'd go so far as to say that there is no scientific point that is more important than this one.

The space-time interval is:

ds2=dx2-c2dt2.

If dt2>0, you've moved through time.  For light, this interval is zero, so it's required to move through time. 

If you're claiming time is a derived dimension, can you provide evidence of it?  How would one revise relativity theory to account for this fact?

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Offline Farsight

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If you're claiming time is a derived dimension, can you provide evidence of it?
Yes. Observe a motionless object. It isn't moving. We derive the time dimension and the concept that the object is "moving through time" because everything else is moving, including light, brain signals, etc. Recognising this is seeing "what's actually there" rather than abstract things that aren't actually there. It can be difficult to do without a rigourous adherence to what can I see?, which takes considerable practice. 

How would one revise relativity theory to account for this fact?
In a rather minor ontological way that takes it back to the original. Einstein's The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity gave the equations of motion, not the equations of curved spacetime. We still employ Minkowski spacetime, but we put the emphasis on motion and recognise that worldlines are plots rather than something we can observe or that an object actually moves along. The interpretation of the mathematics changes rather than the mathematics itself. Despite the fairly minor change, this old "true-to-Einstein" interpretation isn't considered to be mainstream, and tends to be discounted on those grounds alone rather than on grounds of empirical observable scientific evidence.

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Offline Geezer

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Yes, the definition of the second and the metre, along with pair production, the Shapiro delay, the GPS clock adjustment, and of course the NIST fountain clock. Geezer objects to what I said about the latter, but pair production does tell us that the electron is literally made from light, so it's reasonable to assert that the electron spin-flip hyperfine transition in a Caesium atom is some kind of electromagnetic change or rotation or translation or motion. When the motion is slower in a region of low gravitational potential, the second is bigger, and we call it gravitational time dilation. You might have some difficulty accepting this, but there's absolutely no scientific evidence for time is running slower. None whatsoever.

Farsight, my objections were mainly to your description of the operation of the NIST clock and I did agree with you that the fundamental action in the caesium atoms is electromagnetic. I think I also pointed out that clocks simply count events and that we can observe time dilation because of differences in the count of events.

As you point out, we measure the thing we refer to as time by using clocks to count events. We are able to observe that the effects of motion and gravity produce different event counts. Therefore, by definition, we observe relative differences in time i.e., relative fastness or slowness. (Also, please bear in mind that very many forms of matter can be used as "clocks" in one way or another.)

To support your position that there is no relative speed difference (and therefore time as we know it does not exist) I think you will have to produce an alternative definition for whatever it is you maintain is the thing we currently know as time.

If you can't provide a definition that other people can make use of to some advantage, it's likely that everyone will simply stick with the current definition of "time" because it seems to work quite well for their purposes.

There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force śther.

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Offline amrit

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It is a scientific point, JP. Show me the scientific evidence for "we move through time". When you can't, you'll understand why. I'd go so far as to say that there is no scientific point that is more important than this one.

The space-time interval is:

ds2=dx2-c2dt2.

If dt2>0, you've moved through time.  For light, this interval is zero, so it's required to move through time. 

If you're claiming time is a derived dimension, can you provide evidence of it?  How would one revise relativity theory to account for this fact?

"cdt" is distance as "v x t" is distance. t in this formula is "tick" of clock running in space that itself is timeless
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Offline amrit

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...An order of events implies time. We see things in a certain order because we move through time. If there was no time, all events would be simultaneous and we couldn't order them.
Apologies amrit, but if I can contribute here: we see things in a certain order because motion is ordered from A to B to C, and that motion is through space. We don't "move through time", that's just a figure of speech. Those events are separated by intervening motion which in turn can be construed as other events. We call it time, and time does "exist". But not the way you think. It exists like heat exists, being an emergent property of motion. If you think of the kinetic theory of gases, you can see that temperature is a measure of average motion, whilst heat capacity and specific heat take in the characteristics of the subject. Time is a cumulative measure of motion, the baseline being the motion of light. The universe has been going for 13.7 billion light years. And like amrit says, clocks clock up motion. You can't open the back of a clock and see time flowing or any motion through time. Just motion, through space. 

Quote from: amrit
Time is in the mind, we experience motion in time "past-present-future" that is a mind creation.
That's a philosophical point more than a scientific one. It also requires that time exists to be perceived.
It is a scientific point, JP. Show me the scientific evidence for "we move through time". When you can't, you'll understand why. I'd go so far as to say that there is no scientific point that is more important than this one.

I disagree, as do Einstein's (and presumably and Godel's equations). Special and general relativity assume a time coordinate.
There's still a time coordinate, but it's a coordinate in a derived dimension. It's derived from motion through space. It isn't something that offers freedom of motion. You can move through space by hopping a metre backwards or forwards. You can't do this with time. 

I think what Godel was getting at is that something could in some theoretical universes move through space without moving through time.  That's completely different from saying that time doesn't exist.  We are, after all, perfectly happy with moving through time without moving through space - and we don't therefore claim that space doesn't exist.
See above.

If I'm interpreting what they said wrong, please let me know.
I'm afraid you are. People take this different viewpoint to mean "time does not exist". It isn't like that. It just isn't what you think it is. 

Farsight, time is a mind frame through which we experience motion in timeless space.
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Offline chocochoco

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Woah. It's so interesting to me.

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Offline amrit

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Woah. It's so interesting to me.

great, read ma full paper Block Universe
http://vixra.org/abs/1005.0098
amrit sorli

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Offline Farsight

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Farsight, my objections were mainly to your description of the operation of the NIST clock and I did agree with you that the fundamental action in the caesium atoms is electromagnetic. I think I also pointed out that clocks simply count events and that we can observe time dilation because of differences in the count of events.
Sounds good to me, Geezer.

As you point out, we measure the thing we refer to as time by using clocks to count events. We are able to observe that the effects of motion and gravity produce different event counts. Therefore, by definition, we observe relative differences in time i.e., relative fastness or slowness. (Also, please bear in mind that very many forms of matter can be used as "clocks" in one way or another.)
Again, sounds good.

To support your position that there is no relative speed difference (and therefore time as we know it does not exist) I think you will have to produce an alternative definition for whatever it is you maintain is the thing we currently know as time.
There must be some misunderstanding here. I've said there is a relative speed difference, challenging amrit's OP assertion. I've also said time exists like heat exists. It's just that it isn't something that really flows, and we don't really travel through it. 

If you can't provide a definition that other people can make use of to some advantage, it's likely that everyone will simply stick with the current definition of "time" because it seems to work quite well for their purposes.
This is the precis:

Time exists like heat exists, being an emergent property of motion. It's a cumulative measure of motion used in the relative measure of motion compared to the motion of light, and the only motion is through space. So time has no length, time doesnít flow and we donít travel through it.

Quote from: amrit
Farsight, time is a mind frame through which we experience motion in timeless space.
I know what you mean, amrit. I use somewhat different language, but the underlying meaning is the same - what we actually observe is space and motion through it. And yet it is so very difficult to get people to let go of the idea that time flows and we travel through it, despite the total lack of scientific evidence to support such concepts.

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Offline PhysBang

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In a rather minor ontological way that takes it back to the original. Einstein's The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity gave the equations of motion, not the equations of curved spacetime.
Could you please give an example of this? Can you at least give an example of Einstein giving equations of motion without a time coordinate?

Well, OK , I know that it is impossible to give an example of these because your claims are simply not true. Special and General Relativity are both fundamentally about how we can set up our coordinates however we want, up to certain limits, but they always include spacial coordinates and a time coordinate.

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Offline Farsight

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In a rather minor ontological way that takes it back to the original. Einstein's The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity gave the equations of motion, not the equations of curved spacetime.
Could you please give an example of this? Can you at least give an example of Einstein giving equations of motion without a time coordinate?
No. The time coordinate remains. All that changes is the underlying meaning of what it represents.

Well, OK , I know that it is impossible to give an example of these because your claims are simply not true...
They are true. What isn't true is that time flows or that we travel through it. There's no scientific evidence whatsoever for time flowing or for time travel. These things are science fiction, not science.     

Special and General Relativity are both fundamentally about how we can set up our coordinates however we want, up to certain limits, but they always include spatial coordinates and a time coordinate.
And that time coordinate designates a "position" in a "dimension" that is merely a measure of cumulative spatial motion calibrated against the motion of light. This position is not a real position, and the time dimension isn't a dimension like the dimensions of space. It offers no freedom of motion. There is no motion through it, and no flow, and no travel. Now go and read Time Explained and understand it. It's very simple. All you have to do is look at the observational evidence that's there in front of you, and admit to yourself that a clock does what you can see it doing. A clock "clocks up" motion, not time. 

Sorry amrit, I didn't mean to hijack your thread. I'll take a back seat. 

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Offline amrit

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"Time exists like heat exists, being an emergent property of motion"...............Farsight tell me how time is property of motion, explain in deatails.
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Offline Farsight

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TIME EXPLAINED

Time is very simple, once you get it. But ďgetting itĒ is so very difficult. Thatís because your current concept of time is so deeply ingrained. You form a mental map of the world using your senses and your brain. You use this mental map to think, and you are so immersed in it that you canít see things the way they really are. You are locked into an irrational conviction that clocks run, that days pass, that time flows, and that a journey takes a length of time. It takes steely logic to break out of this conditioning. First of all we need to look at your senses and the things you experience. Letís start with sight. Look at the picture below:
 


Now, squares A and B are the same colour. Theyíre the same shade of grey. Oh no theyíre not, I hear you say. Oh yes they are I insist. Oh no theyíre not you answer back. We could do this all day, but they really are the same colour. Squares A and B are the same shade of grey. The apparent difference in colour is an illusion. Just look at the screen from a narrow angle to break the illusion. See  http://web.mit.edu/persci/people/adelson/checkershadow_illusion.html for more details. Check it out for yourself. Satisfy yourself. Be empirical, test yourself, then you realise that A and B really are the same colour.

What this tells you is that colour is subjective. It isnít a real property of things in the world. Itís perception, a "quale", and itís in your head. A photon doesnít actually have a colour. It has a wavelength, an oscillation, a frequency. Whatís itís got is a motion.

Letís move on to sound. Imagine a super-evolved alien bat with a large number of ears, like a flyís eye. This bat would ďseeĒ using sound, and if it was sufficiently advanced it might even see in colour. But we know that sound is pressure waves, and when we look beyond this at the air molecules, we know that sound relies on motion.



Pressure is related to sound, and to touch. You feel it in your ears on a plane, or on your chest if you dive. This pressure of air or water is not some property of the sub-atomic world. Itís a derived effect, and the Kinetic Theory of Gases tells us that pressure is derived from motion.

You can also feel kinetic energy. If a cannonball in space travelling at 1000m/s impacted your chest you would feel it for sure. But apologies, my mistake. It isn't the cannonball doing 1000m/s. It's you. So where's the kinetic energy now? Can you feel it coursing through your veins? No. Because whatís really there is mass, and relative motion.

You can also feel heat. Touch that stove and you feel that heat. We talk about heat exchangers and heat flow as if thereís some magical mysterious fluid in there. And yet we know there isnít. We know that heat is another derived effect of motion.



Taste is chemical in nature, and somewhat primitive. Most of your sense of taste is in fact your sense of smell. Do you know how smell works? Look up olfaction and youíll learn about molecular shape. But the latest theory from a man called Luca Turin says itís all down to molecular vibration, because isomers smell the same. Thatís motion again.

The point of all this is thereís a lot of motion out there, and most of your senses are motion detectors. But it probably never occurred to you because youíre accustomed to thinking about the world in terms of how you experience it, rather than the scientific, empirical, fundamental, ontological things that are there.

And nowhere is this more so than with time.

So, what is time? Letís start by looking up the definition of a second:

Under the International System of Units, the second is currently defined as the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium-133 atom...

So, a second is nine billion periods of radiation. But what is a period? We know that radiation is electromagnetic in nature, the thing we commonly call light. We also know that light has a frequency. So letís look at frequency:

Frequency = 1 / T and Frequency = v / λ

This says frequency is the reciprocal of the period T, and is also velocity v divided by wavelength λ . Combining the two, we can say T = λ / v, which means a period T is a wavelength λ divided by a velocity v. To try to find out more, we can drill down into wavelength and velocity. We know that a wavelength is a distance, a thing like a metre:

The metre is the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299792458 of a second...

And we know already that a velocity is a distance divided by a time. So if a period is a wavelength divided by a velocity, that means a period is a distance divided by a distance divided by a time. So letís do some simple mathematics. Letís work it through. We can combine T = λ / v and v = λ / t and write it down as:

T = λ / ( λ / t)

Then we can cancel out the λs to get:

T = 1/(1/t)

Then we cancel the double reciprocal to leave:

T = t

The answer we get is T = t. A period of time is a period of time. This mathematical definition of time is circular. The mathematics tells us nothing about its base terms. So what is its true nature? How do we dig down and get to the bottom of it?

Letís look at frequency some more. Whatís the definition in English?

Frequency is the measurement of the number of times that a repeated event occurs per unit of time.

Our unit of time is the second. Frequency is the number of events per second. A second is nine billion periods of electromagnetic radiation. A period of radiation is an electromagnetic event, caused by an electromagnetic event happening inside an atom. For an event to happen, something has to move. Some component of the caesium atom has to travel some distance. A hyperfine transition is to do with magnetic dipole movement, a flip-flop interaction between the nucleus and an electron. Itís magnetic, so itís electromagnetic in nature. Like the electron is electromagnetic in nature. Like the photon is electromagnetic in nature. So in some simple respect, we can consider some vital component of the atom to be electromagnetic just like light.
 


The answer comes with a rush. Itís a form of light moving inside the atom, and it causes more light, radiation with a frequency, waves with peaks, We sit there counting them as they go by, and when we get to nine billion, we say its a second. Then we use this second to measure the speed of light. We measure the speed of light in terms of the speed of light. In caesium atoms, in hydrogen atoms, in our own atoms, in the atoms of everything. No wonder it never changes.

And so the penny drops: the interval between events is measured in terms of other events. And the interval between those events is measured in terms of other events. Until there are no events left, only intervals. And intervals are frozen timeless moments. But you need events, not frozen timeless intervals to mark out the time. The events arenít in the time, the time is in the events. Because time is merely the measure of events, of change, measured against some other change. And for things to change, there has to be motion. You donít need time to have motion. You need motion to have time.

You donít need regular atomic motion to mark out time. Any regular motion will do. Yes, we counted nine billion oscillations and called it second. One, two, threeÖ nine billion. But you donít have to count microwave wavepeaks emitted by a caesium atom. You could count beans in a bucket. Ping, ping, ping, chuck them in, regular as clockwork.



Youíre sitting there counting beans into the bucket, ping, ping, ping, regular as clockwork. Now, what is the direction of time? The only direction that is actually there, is the direction of the beans youíre throwing, and that direction is the direction of motion through space. A fuller bucket is not the direction of time. More beans is not the direction of time. The direction of time is the direction of your counting, and I could have asked you to count the beans out of the bucket. There is no real direction. Itís as imaginary as the direction you take when you count along the set of integers.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 →

Itís imaginary, so you cannot actually point in this direction. Nor can an arrow. There is no Arrow of Beans, so there is no Arrow of Time. And since thereís no direction, thereís no direction you can possibly travel in. And since you canít travel, you canít travel a length, and a length canít pass you by. Itís all abstraction, a false concept rooted in the language we use to think. Yet we never ever think about what the words actually mean. Instead we say the clock is running slow as if a clock is an athlete. We say the day went quickly but it didnít go anywhere. We say years pass, but they donít go by like buses.



The only directions that are there, are the directions of the spatial motions that make the events that we use to measure the intervals between the other events. Whatís there is the motion of light, the motion of atoms, and the motion of clocks, buses, and rivers. Whatís there is the motion of the earth, and the sun, moon, and stars. And these motions are being counted, incremented, added up. We count regular atomic motion to use as a ratio against some other motion, be it of light, clocks, or buses. All of these things have motion, both internal motion and travelling motion. And all those motions are real, with real directions in space. But the time direction isn't real. It's as imaginary as a trip to nine billion.

That's why the past is only in your head, in your memory, in your records. It isnít a place you can travel to. Itís just the places where things were. All those places that are still here in the universe. And while the past is the sum of all nows, now lasts for no time at all. Because thereís no time like the present, and time needs events, and when you take away the events, you take away the time. A second isnít some slice of spacetime. Itís just nine billion motions of light from a caesium atom. Accelerate to half the speed of light and a second is still nine billion motions of light from a caesium atom. But there's only half the local motion there used to be, because the other half is already doing the travelling motion through space. Thatís why time dilates.

Itís easy to understand time dilation. Imagine yourself as a metronome. Each tick is a thought in your head, a beat in your heart, a second of your time. If youíre motionless with respect to me I see you ticking like this: |||. If you flash by in a spaceship, I see you ticking like this: /\/\/\. If you could reach c and we know you canít, you wouldnít tick at all. Your time would flatline like this ______ because any transverse motion would cause c to be exceeded. You wouldnít tick for me, you wouldnít tick for you, and you wouldnít tick for anybody else in the universe.

Thatís the thing weíre interested in. The universe. Thatís the thing thatís out there, the thing weíre a part of, the thing weíre trying to understand. Itís full of motion, and this is what itís like:



What can you see? What can you measure? You can measure the height. You can measure the width. And if it wasn't just a picture you could measure the depth. That's three Dimensions, with a capital D because we have freedom of movement in those dimensions. What else can you see? What else can you measure? You might imagine a fourth dimension, a time dimension. But the picture comes from the wikipedia temperature page. Itís a gif, a moving image, and in that image, those red and blue dots are moving. The thing you can measure is temperature.

Temperature is an aspect of heat, an emergent property, a derived effect of atomic and molecular motion. When you measure the temperature, you are measuring an aggregate motion. If you were one of those dots, you would not talk of climbing to a ďhigher temperatureĒ. There is no real height. You canít literally climb to a higher temperature. Hence we donít call temperature a dimension. But people did. Temperature used to be called a dimension, but the word has gradually changed from its original meaning of ďmeasureĒ, and is now assumed to be something that offers a degree of freedom, something you can move through.

We are immersed in time like the dots are immersed in temperature. Itís a different measure, but just as we cannot travel in temperature because there is no real height, we cannot travel in time because there is no real length. Because time is a dimension with a small d. There is no degree of freedom. I can hop backwards a metre but not backwards a second. Because time is a measure of change rather than a measure of place, and it has no absolute units, because you can only measure one change of place against another. Itís a relative measure of motion. The units are relative, and thatís what Special Relativity was telling us all along.

Special Relativity tells us that your relative velocity alters your measurement of space and time compared to everybody else. You increase your relative velocity and space appears to contract while time dilates by a factor of √(1-v≤/c≤). If you travel at .99c, space appears to contract to one seventh of its former size. So your trip to a star seven light years away only takes you a year. But physics is about the universe, and in that universe it took you seven years. The star didnít become a disc because you flashed by. The space in the universe didnít really contract because you travelled through it. But your time did.



Einstein didnít quite understand the full meaning of relativity until later in life. He started off by saying there is no absolute time, using a postulate that says the the speed of light is always measured to be the same. But when he did general relativity, he said the speed of light varies with position. It it wasnít until he was with Godel in Princeton that he really got it:
 
"It is a widely known but insufficiently appreciated fact that Albert Einstein and Kurt Godel were best friends for the last decade and a half of Einstein's life. They walked home together from Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study every day; they shared ideas about physics, philosophy, politics, and the lost world of German-Austrian science in which they had grown up. What is not widely known is that in 1949 Godel made a remarkable discovery: there exist possible worlds described by the theory of relativity in which time, as we ordinarily understand it, does not exist. He added a philosophical argument that demonstrates, by Godel's lights, that as a consequence, time does not exist in our world either. If Godel is right, Einstein has not just explained time; he has explained it away... (Palle Yourgrau, A World Without Time)".



And what he got was this: time exists like heat exists. Itís real because it does things to us. But just like heat itís an emergent property, a derived effect of motion. It means time is not fundamental. It isnít a dimension like the dimensions of space. We donít see four dimensions. We see space and motion through it. The thing called c is a conversion factor, between the measure of distance and the measure we call time, and both are derived from the motion of light. Itís the motion thatís king, the universe is not a block universe, it is a world in motion. The worldlines are only in mathematical space, and in your head. Thereís no place thatís the future, and no place thatís the past. Thereís only this place, and the time is always now. We donít travel in time at one second per second. We don't travel in time at all. To travel backwards in time we'd need to unevent events, weíd need negative motion. But motion is motion whichever way it goes. You canít have negative motion, just as you canít have negative distance. Just as you canít have negative carpets. So you canít travel in time. There are no time travel paradoxes, because there is no time travel, and there is no time travel because time is just a relative measure of motion. And motion is travel. You canít travel through travel.

So those celebrity physicists who talk earnestly of time machines are wrong. Dead wrong. Not even wrong. And all those folk who puzzle about the beginning of time are chasing the wrong horse. There never was any beginning of time. Time didnít start thirteen point seven billion years ago. Because time didnít start in the first place. It was motion that started in the first place. It was a place, not a time. And itís this place, the place we call the universe, marked out by every light path you can track through timeless space. Thatís how far weíve come. A long long way, in no time at all

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Offline amrit

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Amrit, (to quote from Monty Python) this is contradiction, not argument.

"Space is timeless" is meaningless unless you explain your definitions
"'Velocity' of clocks" is also not what you mean (I think).
It has everything to do with the observer and the different gravitational potential. If you were to do the maths rigorously you would find the "spacetime interval" will be the same to all observers.
The rules of the universe are what they are and not what you choose them to be, so by all means do your experiment, but you seem to have presupposed the result. But if it turned out you were right you will surprise a lot of people :-)

space is timeless means that time is not part of the space, physical time is "tick" of clocks
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Offline amrit

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TIME EXPLAINED

Time is very simple, once you get it. But ďgetting itĒ is so very difficult. Thatís because your current concept of time is so deeply ingrained. You form a mental map of the world using your senses and your brain. You use this mental map to think, and you are so immersed in it that you canít see things the way they really are. You are locked into an irrational conviction that clocks run, that days pass, that time flows, and that a journey takes a length of time. It takes steely logic to break out of this conditioning. First of all we need to look at your senses and the things you experience. Letís start with sight. Look at the picture below:
 


Now, squares A and B are the same colour. Theyíre the same shade of grey. Oh no theyíre not, I hear you say. Oh yes they are I insist. Oh no theyíre not you answer back. We could do this all day, but they really are the same colour. Squares A and B are the same shade of grey. The apparent difference in colour is an illusion. Just look at the screen from a narrow angle to break the illusion. See  http://web.mit.edu/persci/people/adelson/checkershadow_illusion.html for more details. Check it out for yourself. Satisfy yourself. Be empirical, test yourself, then you realise that A and B really are the same colour.

What this tells you is that colour is subjective. It isnít a real property of things in the world. Itís perception, a "quale", and itís in your head. A photon doesnít actually have a colour. It has a wavelength, an oscillation, a frequency. Whatís itís got is a motion.

Letís move on to sound. Imagine a super-evolved alien bat with a large number of ears, like a flyís eye. This bat would ďseeĒ using sound, and if it was sufficiently advanced it might even see in colour. But we know that sound is pressure waves, and when we look beyond this at the air molecules, we know that sound relies on motion.



Pressure is related to sound, and to touch. You feel it in your ears on a plane, or on your chest if you dive. This pressure of air or water is not some property of the sub-atomic world. Itís a derived effect, and the Kinetic Theory of Gases tells us that pressure is derived from motion.

You can also feel kinetic energy. If a cannonball in space travelling at 1000m/s impacted your chest you would feel it for sure. But apologies, my mistake. It isn't the cannonball doing 1000m/s. It's you. So where's the kinetic energy now? Can you feel it coursing through your veins? No. Because whatís really there is mass, and relative motion.

You can also feel heat. Touch that stove and you feel that heat. We talk about heat exchangers and heat flow as if thereís some magical mysterious fluid in there. And yet we know there isnít. We know that heat is another derived effect of motion.



Taste is chemical in nature, and somewhat primitive. Most of your sense of taste is in fact your sense of smell. Do you know how smell works? Look up olfaction and youíll learn about molecular shape. But the latest theory from a man called Luca Turin says itís all down to molecular vibration, because isomers smell the same. Thatís motion again.

The point of all this is thereís a lot of motion out there, and most of your senses are motion detectors. But it probably never occurred to you because youíre accustomed to thinking about the world in terms of how you experience it, rather than the scientific, empirical, fundamental, ontological things that are there.

And nowhere is this more so than with time.

So, what is time? Letís start by looking up the definition of a second:

Under the International System of Units, the second is currently defined as the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium-133 atom...

So, a second is nine billion periods of radiation. But what is a period? We know that radiation is electromagnetic in nature, the thing we commonly call light. We also know that light has a frequency. So letís look at frequency:

Frequency = 1 / T and Frequency = v / λ

This says frequency is the reciprocal of the period T, and is also velocity v divided by wavelength λ . Combining the two, we can say T = λ / v, which means a period T is a wavelength λ divided by a velocity v. To try to find out more, we can drill down into wavelength and velocity. We know that a wavelength is a distance, a thing like a metre:

The metre is the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299792458 of a second...

And we know already that a velocity is a distance divided by a time. So if a period is a wavelength divided by a velocity, that means a period is a distance divided by a distance divided by a time. So letís do some simple mathematics. Letís work it through. We can combine T = λ / v and v = λ / t and write it down as:

T = λ / ( λ / t)

Then we can cancel out the λs to get:

T = 1/(1/t)

Then we cancel the double reciprocal to leave:

T = t

The answer we get is T = t. A period of time is a period of time. This mathematical definition of time is circular. The mathematics tells us nothing about its base terms. So what is its true nature? How do we dig down and get to the bottom of it?

Letís look at frequency some more. Whatís the definition in English?

Frequency is the measurement of the number of times that a repeated event occurs per unit of time.

Our unit of time is the second. Frequency is the number of events per second. A second is nine billion periods of electromagnetic radiation. A period of radiation is an electromagnetic event, caused by an electromagnetic event happening inside an atom. For an event to happen, something has to move. Some component of the caesium atom has to travel some distance. A hyperfine transition is to do with magnetic dipole movement, a flip-flop interaction between the nucleus and an electron. Itís magnetic, so itís electromagnetic in nature. Like the electron is electromagnetic in nature. Like the photon is electromagnetic in nature. So in some simple respect, we can consider some vital component of the atom to be electromagnetic just like light.
 


The answer comes with a rush. Itís a form of light moving inside the atom, and it causes more light, radiation with a frequency, waves with peaks, We sit there counting them as they go by, and when we get to nine billion, we say its a second. Then we use this second to measure the speed of light. We measure the speed of light in terms of the speed of light. In caesium atoms, in hydrogen atoms, in our own atoms, in the atoms of everything. No wonder it never changes.

And so the penny drops: the interval between events is measured in terms of other events. And the interval between those events is measured in terms of other events. Until there are no events left, only intervals. And intervals are frozen timeless moments. But you need events, not frozen timeless intervals to mark out the time. The events arenít in the time, the time is in the events. Because time is merely the measure of events, of change, measured against some other change. And for things to change, there has to be motion. You donít need time to have motion. You need motion to have time.

You donít need regular atomic motion to mark out time. Any regular motion will do. Yes, we counted nine billion oscillations and called it second. One, two, threeÖ nine billion. But you donít have to count microwave wavepeaks emitted by a caesium atom. You could count beans in a bucket. Ping, ping, ping, chuck them in, regular as clockwork.



Youíre sitting there counting beans into the bucket, ping, ping, ping, regular as clockwork. Now, what is the direction of time? The only direction that is actually there, is the direction of the beans youíre throwing, and that direction is the direction of motion through space. A fuller bucket is not the direction of time. More beans is not the direction of time. The direction of time is the direction of your counting, and I could have asked you to count the beans out of the bucket. There is no real direction. Itís as imaginary as the direction you take when you count along the set of integers.

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Itís imaginary, so you cannot actually point in this direction. Nor can an arrow. There is no Arrow of Beans, so there is no Arrow of Time. And since thereís no direction, thereís no direction you can possibly travel in. And since you canít travel, you canít travel a length, and a length canít pass you by. Itís all abstraction, a false concept rooted in the language we use to think. Yet we never ever think about what the words actually mean. Instead we say the clock is running slow as if a clock is an athlete. We say the day went quickly but it didnít go anywhere. We say years pass, but they donít go by like buses.



The only directions that are there, are the directions of the spatial motions that make the events that we use to measure the intervals between the other events. Whatís there is the motion of light, the motion of atoms, and the motion of clocks, buses, and rivers. Whatís there is the motion of the earth, and the sun, moon, and stars. And these motions are being counted, incremented, added up. We count regular atomic motion to use as a ratio against some other motion, be it of light, clocks, or buses. All of these things have motion, both internal motion and travelling motion. And all those motions are real, with real directions in space. But the time direction isn't real. It's as imaginary as a trip to nine billion.

That's why the past is only in your head, in your memory, in your records. It isnít a place you can travel to. Itís just the places where things were. All those places that are still here in the universe. And while the past is the sum of all nows, now lasts for no time at all. Because thereís no time like the present, and time needs events, and when you take away the events, you take away the time. A second isnít some slice of spacetime. Itís just nine billion motions of light from a caesium atom. Accelerate to half the speed of light and a second is still nine billion motions of light from a caesium atom. But there's only half the local motion there used to be, because the other half is already doing the travelling motion through space. Thatís why time dilates.

Itís easy to understand time dilation. Imagine yourself as a metronome. Each tick is a thought in your head, a beat in your heart, a second of your time. If youíre motionless with respect to me I see you ticking like this: |||. If you flash by in a spaceship, I see you ticking like this: /\/\/\. If you could reach c and we know you canít, you wouldnít tick at all. Your time would flatline like this ______ because any transverse motion would cause c to be exceeded. You wouldnít tick for me, you wouldnít tick for you, and you wouldnít tick for anybody else in the universe.

Thatís the thing weíre interested in. The universe. Thatís the thing thatís out there, the thing weíre a part of, the thing weíre trying to understand. Itís full of motion, and this is what itís like:



What can you see? What can you measure? You can measure the height. You can measure the width. And if it wasn't just a picture you could measure the depth. That's three Dimensions, with a capital D because we have freedom of movement in those dimensions. What else can you see? What else can you measure? You might imagine a fourth dimension, a time dimension. But the picture comes from the wikipedia temperature page. Itís a gif, a moving image, and in that image, those red and blue dots are moving. The thing you can measure is temperature.

Temperature is an aspect of heat, an emergent property, a derived effect of atomic and molecular motion. When you measure the temperature, you are measuring an aggregate motion. If you were one of those dots, you would not talk of climbing to a ďhigher temperatureĒ. There is no real height. You canít literally climb to a higher temperature. Hence we donít call temperature a dimension. But people did. Temperature used to be called a dimension, but the word has gradually changed from its original meaning of ďmeasureĒ, and is now assumed to be something that offers a degree of freedom, something you can move through.

We are immersed in time like the dots are immersed in temperature. Itís a different measure, but just as we cannot travel in temperature because there is no real height, we cannot travel in time because there is no real length. Because time is a dimension with a small d. There is no degree of freedom. I can hop backwards a metre but not backwards a second. Because time is a measure of change rather than a measure of place, and it has no absolute units, because you can only measure one change of place against another. Itís a relative measure of motion. The units are relative, and thatís what Special Relativity was telling us all along.

Special Relativity tells us that your relative velocity alters your measurement of space and time compared to everybody else. You increase your relative velocity and space appears to contract while time dilates by a factor of √(1-v≤/c≤). If you travel at .99c, space appears to contract to one seventh of its former size. So your trip to a star seven light years away only takes you a year. But physics is about the universe, and in that universe it took you seven years. The star didnít become a disc because you flashed by. The space in the universe didnít really contract because you travelled through it. But your time did.



Einstein didnít quite understand the full meaning of relativity until later in life. He started off by saying there is no absolute time, using a postulate that says the the speed of light is always measured to be the same. But when he did general relativity, he said the speed of light varies with position. It it wasnít until he was with Godel in Princeton that he really got it:
 
"It is a widely known but insufficiently appreciated fact that Albert Einstein and Kurt Godel were best friends for the last decade and a half of Einstein's life. They walked home together from Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study every day; they shared ideas about physics, philosophy, politics, and the lost world of German-Austrian science in which they had grown up. What is not widely known is that in 1949 Godel made a remarkable discovery: there exist possible worlds described by the theory of relativity in which time, as we ordinarily understand it, does not exist. He added a philosophical argument that demonstrates, by Godel's lights, that as a consequence, time does not exist in our world either. If Godel is right, Einstein has not just explained time; he has explained it away... (Palle Yourgrau, A World Without Time)".



And what he got was this: time exists like heat exists. Itís real because it does things to us. But just like heat itís an emergent property, a derived effect of motion. It means time is not fundamental. It isnít a dimension like the dimensions of space. We donít see four dimensions. We see space and motion through it. The thing called c is a conversion factor, between the measure of distance and the measure we call time, and both are derived from the motion of light. Itís the motion thatís king, the universe is not a block universe, it is a world in motion. The worldlines are only in mathematical space, and in your head. Thereís no place thatís the future, and no place thatís the past. Thereís only this place, and the time is always now. We donít travel in time at one second per second. We don't travel in time at all. To travel backwards in time we'd need to unevent events, weíd need negative motion. But motion is motion whichever way it goes. You canít have negative motion, just as you canít have negative distance. Just as you canít have negative carpets. So you canít travel in time. There are no time travel paradoxes, because there is no time travel, and there is no time travel because time is just a relative measure of motion. And motion is travel. You canít travel through travel.

So those celebrity physicists who talk earnestly of time machines are wrong. Dead wrong. Not even wrong. And all those folk who puzzle about the beginning of time are chasing the wrong horse. There never was any beginning of time. Time didnít start thirteen point seven billion years ago. Because time didnít start in the first place. It was motion that started in the first place. It was a place, not a time. And itís this place, the place we call the universe, marked out by every light path you can track through timeless space. Thatís how far weíve come. A long long way, in no time at all

Farsight "Time exist as heat exists" is a pure illusion of your mind. You take a hot stone in cold room. Stone will "coll" down. Not in time, in space only. And numerical order of stone colling down you measure with clocks: t0, t1, t2, t3.....tn. Lets say tn is 2500 second. in 2500 second stone has same temperature as room. Clock tick in space only, stone get coll in space only. yours amrit
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Offline amrit

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in proper english:
Farsight "Time exists as heat exists" is a pure illusion of your mind. You take a hot stone in cold room. Stone will "cool" down. Not in time, in space only. And numerical order of stone cooling down you measure with clocks: t0, t1, t2, t3.....tn. Lets say tn is 2500 second. in 2500 second stone has same temperature as room. Clock tick in space only, stone get cool in space only. yours amrit
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Offline amrit

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Farsight did not answer yet, we can turn back to the initial subject: invariance of light velocity in SR and GR implies that photon clock has no relativistic diminishing of velocity:
http://vixra.org/abs/1005.0073
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Offline JP

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Farsight,

Do you have any mathematics to back up your proposed theory?  It's impossible to place it in the context of observations and determine how it differs from the mainstream theory unless you give us something more than pictures and words...

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Offline Geezer

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To support your position that there is no relative speed difference (and therefore time as we know it does not exist) I think you will have to produce an alternative definition for whatever it is you maintain is the thing we currently know as time.
There must be some misunderstanding here. I've said there is a relative speed difference, challenging amrit's OP assertion. I've also said time exists like heat exists. It's just that it isn't something that really flows, and we don't really travel through it. 

Farsight, this is I was referring to. It could be a bit ambiguous.

"You might have some difficulty accepting this, but there's absolutely no scientific evidence for time is running slower. None whatsoever."
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force śther.

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Offline amrit

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To support your position that there is no relative speed difference (and therefore time as we know it does not exist) I think you will have to produce an alternative definition for whatever it is you maintain is the thing we currently know as time.
There must be some misunderstanding here. I've said there is a relative speed difference, challenging amrit's OP assertion. I've also said time exists like heat exists. It's just that it isn't something that really flows, and we don't really travel through it. 

Farsight, this is I was referring to. It could be a bit ambiguous.

"You might have some difficulty accepting this, but there's absolutely no scientific evidence for time is running slower. None whatsoever."


Geezer, time runs in the mind. Time ďpast-present-futureĒ (psychological time) is a mind construct through which we experience motion into timeless universe.
Through psychological time we experience timelessness of the universe as ďpresent momentĒ.
Once we are aware of psychological time we experience timelessness of the universe as ďeternal present momentĒ that has its place in space. In the space is always NOW.
« Last Edit: 31/05/2010 09:15:25 by amrit »
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Offline graham.d

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Amrit, I find your repetition of your concept of time to be unhelpful in giving me (and maybe others) an understanding of your ideas. There is nothing in what you say that seems to relate to the physics. In stating the universe is "Timeless" you may be trying to get people to think in another way, but this still does not relate to the physics. And the experiment showing difference in behaviour between a "photon clock" and other clocks is (IMHO) not going to be successful. However I don't see how this confirms or denies your beliefs in any case. 

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Offline amrit

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Amrit, I find your repetition of your concept of time to be unhelpful in giving me (and maybe others) an understanding of your ideas. There is nothing in what you say that seems to relate to the physics. In stating the universe is "Timeless" you may be trying to get people to think in another way, but this still does not relate to the physics. And the experiment showing difference in behaviour between a "photon clock" and other clocks is (IMHO) not going to be successful. However I don't see how this confirms or denies your beliefs in any case. 

Graham there is no single evidence that time exist as a physical reality. Our concept of BLOCK UNIVERSE resolves this puzzle in details: http://vixra.org/abs/1005.0098

Tell me one single experiment in physics that proves existence of time!

FQXI gives 2 million dollars grant for basic research on time.
http://www.fqxi.org/grants/large/initial
If with time all will be clear you think they would give such big money for research?

amrit sorli

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Offline graham.d

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Amrit, I am not denying that the concepts have some merit but just that you are not explaining them well, at least to me. I have read through the paper but have difficulty following your reasoning and I think to do so would involve following up many references.  Statements like "Tell me one single experiment in physics that proves existence of time!" are not convincing because, philosophically, nothing is provable absolutely but only if based on specific premises. You tell me one single experiment in physics that proves the existence of space, for example.

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Offline Farsight

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Farsight, Do you have any mathematics to back up your proposed theory?  It's impossible to place it in the context of observations and determine how it differs from the mainstream theory unless you give us something more than pictures and words...
The mathematics isn't any different to what you know, JP. It's a difference in interpretation, in what the mathematics means. And it's backed by the observational evidence in that we do see things moving, but we don't see time flowing. This isn't my theory by the way. This goes back to Aristotle. Also take a look at Presentism.   

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Offline Farsight

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Farsight, this is I was referring to. It could be a bit ambiguous.

"You might have some difficulty accepting this, but there's absolutely no scientific evidence for time is running slower. None whatsoever."
Yes, it is ambiguous. It would have been clearer if I'd said:

"There's no actual scientific evidence to support the concept of time "running". That's just a figure of speech. It isn't what you see, what you see is things moving. When the motion is going slower, we say time is running slower, but again, it's just a figure of speech associated with the way we usually think about time."

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Offline Farsight

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Graham: re experiment proving the existence of space, simply hold your hands up a metre apart. There's a gap between them. You can see that gap. That's space. You can't see anything there, but the gap is there, and you can see that it's there. Now waggle your hands and you can see motion. Hence you can demonstrate the existence of space and motion quite easily. However you can't similarly demonstrate time running or flowing, or motion through time.

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Offline amrit

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Amrit, I am not denying that the concepts have some merit but just that you are not explaining them well, at least to me. I have read through the paper but have difficulty following your reasoning and I think to do so would involve following up many references.  Statements like "Tell me one single experiment in physics that proves existence of time!" are not convincing because, philosophically, nothing is provable absolutely but only if based on specific premises. You tell me one single experiment in physics that proves the existence of space, for example.

yes we can observe only distances between objects and not space itself, for "space" we understand medium in which objects exists and this medium is timeless
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Offline amrit

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Farsight, Do you have any mathematics to back up your proposed theory?  It's impossible to place it in the context of observations and determine how it differs from the mainstream theory unless you give us something more than pictures and words...
The mathematics isn't any different to what you know, JP. It's a difference in interpretation, in what the mathematics means. And it's backed by the observational evidence in that we do see things moving, but we don't see time flowing. This isn't my theory by the way. This goes back to Aristotle. Also take a look at Presentism.  

Farsight im waiting you comment on hot stone that cool down in cold room.....you ca not just ignoring that.....be more cool

PS what you say:

Graham: re experiment proving the existence of space, simply hold your hands up a metre apart. There's a gap between them. You can see that gap. That's space.

is a pure disaster
« Last Edit: 31/05/2010 18:21:32 by amrit »
amrit sorli

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Offline graham.d

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Graham: re experiment proving the existence of space, simply hold your hands up a metre apart. There's a gap between them. You can see that gap. That's space. You can't see anything there, but the gap is there, and you can see that it's there. Now waggle your hands and you can see motion. Hence you can demonstrate the existence of space and motion quite easily. However you can't similarly demonstrate time running or flowing, or motion through time.

My point was not to have a simple visual demonstration of space. What you are showing is that I can define a distance between my outstretched hands and compare it with, say, a metre rule. Of course this is providing the rule is not moving relative to me when it gets more involved and takes the concept to a different level from observation. On the same basis I can compare the rate of my breathing with a clock ticking seconds. That is equally convincing isn't it? I was questioning the concept of "proof" and how this would differ between its application to time compared with space.

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Offline Geezer

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Farsight, this is I was referring to. It could be a bit ambiguous.

"You might have some difficulty accepting this, but there's absolutely no scientific evidence for time is running slower. None whatsoever."
Yes, it is ambiguous. It would have been clearer if I'd said:

"There's no actual scientific evidence to support the concept of time "running". That's just a figure of speech. It isn't what you see, what you see is things moving. When the motion is going slower, we say time is running slower, but again, it's just a figure of speech associated with the way we usually think about time."

Well, you can't really say "the motion is going slower" either. "Slower" suggests comparative speed, but speed itself is a function of time, so differences in local time have no effect on speed.

That's why I think it's necessary to create new terminology because so many concepts have an obvious or less obvious function of time built into them.
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Offline Farsight

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Amrit, I responded to your PM re your question. I'll see if I can find what I said and post it up.

Edit: I can't see my sent messages. I said "time exists like heat exists" because heat is an emergent property of motion. A gas molecule doesn't have any fundamental property of heat, it has a velocity and a kinetic energy. However a container full of fast-moving molecules is said to be "hot" because temperature is a measure of the average motion of the gas molecules. And heat burns, it exists all right, even if it doesn't exist at the fundamental level. Time is a similar emergent property, but it's a cumulative measure of motion rather than an average measure. Your hot stone cools down because its atoms/molecules move slower, and we measure the rate of the slowdown against a clock, which "clocks up" some other regular motion as a benchmark. When you stop the clock, you stop motion, not time. If you stop all the motion in the universe, including the motion of light and in the body and brain of the observer, you can't "measure time" any more. That's because you never were really measuring time, you were measuring motion.   

My point was not to have a simple visual demonstration of space. What you are showing is that I can define a distance between my outstretched hands and compare it with, say, a metre rule. Of course this is providing the rule is not moving relative to me when it gets more involved and takes the concept to a different level from observation. On the same basis I can compare the rate of my breathing with a clock ticking seconds. That is equally convincing isn't it?
No. It doesn't offer any convincing evidence of "time flowing". You're just comparing two moving things. Substitute your beathing for another clock to appreciate this, and remember that a clock is "clocking up" motion. It displays some sort of cumulative counter of how many times a cog has gone round or a crystal has vibrated.

Well, you can't really say "the motion is going slower" either. "Slower" suggests comparative speed, but speed itself is a function of time, so differences in local time have no effect on speed.
That's a circular argument, Geezer. If you compare two clocks, then if they don't "keep time" the cogs in one are moving slower than the cogs in another. It doesn't matter if one is on the surface of the earth whilst the other is up in space, that's what's actually happening. You can see this. You can't see "time running slower". You can't see time "running" at all. One doesn't need a new terminology for this, just an adherence to the observational evidence and an appreciation that some of the things we say are figures of speech, because time is a function of motion, not the other way around. 
« Last Edit: 01/06/2010 14:06:58 by Farsight »

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Offline imatfaal

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My point was not to have a simple visual demonstration of space. What you are showing is that I can define a distance between my outstretched hands and compare it with, say, a metre rule. Of course this is providing the rule is not moving relative to me when it gets more involved and takes the concept to a different level from observation. On the same basis I can compare the rate of my breathing with a clock ticking seconds. That is equally convincing isn't it? I was questioning the concept of "proof" and how this would differ between its application to time compared with space.

Couldn't agree more Graham. I think Amrit and Farsight are not accepting that the received conception of time is axiomatic to current physics, as is our conception of space.  As axioms, these concepts are fundamental and beyond proof - the first sections of Einstein's easy guide to SR and GR explains this concept of axioms beautifully; I am sure I have seen a link to the text recently and will post when I find it. 

got it http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Relativity:_The_Special_and_General_Theory/Part_I

On a philosophical level this question becomes more interesting - but less useful.  As this is being advanced as a scientific theory could someone propose a real world experiment that would give a result that would vary from that expected under current dogma.  I think that experiments have already been performed that contradict the original idea - but the work required to demonstrate this is too much for me at present.  Matthew

« Last Edit: 01/06/2010 16:32:54 by imatfaal »
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Offline Geezer

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Well, you can't really say "the motion is going slower" either. "Slower" suggests comparative speed, but speed itself is a function of time, so differences in local time have no effect on speed.
That's a circular argument, Geezer. If you compare two clocks, then if they don't "keep time" the cogs in one are moving slower than the cogs in another. It doesn't matter if one is on the surface of the earth whilst the other is up in space, that's what's actually happening. You can see this. You can't see "time running slower". You can't see time "running" at all. One doesn't need a new terminology for this, just an adherence to the observational evidence and an appreciation that some of the things we say are figures of speech, because time is a function of motion, not the other way around. 

Farsight: We use motion, chemical reactions, sub-atomic activity, etc., etc. to observe time, but that is hardly evidence that time only exists because of motion. Motion can only be determined on the basis of time. Without time, motion boils down to "things can be in different places".

As I said, many concepts have a function of time built into them, and motion is one of them. If you want to establish an alternative definition for time, you'll have to define it in terms that do not include a function of time, otherwise your definition will be recursive.

EDIT:

Come to think of it, if, as you say, time is a function of motion, then motion, by definition, is a function of time. I suppose you could define everything in terms of motion, but I don't think there is much point unless you can find a way to eliminate time from the equations. However, as motion is a function of time (and vice versa) that may not be possible.
« Last Edit: 02/06/2010 06:34:07 by Geezer »
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Offline Farsight

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Couldn't agree more Graham. I think Amrit and Farsight are not accepting that the received conception of time is axiomatic to current physics, as is our conception of space. As axioms, these concepts are fundamental and beyond proof - the first sections of Einstein's easy guide to SR and GR explains this concept of axioms beautifully; I am sure I have seen a link to the text recently and will post when I find it. Got it http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Relativity:_The_Special_and_General_Theory/Part_I
I have no issue with space, Matthew. But that received conception of time is to be blunt, wrong. It's unsupported by scientific evidence. There is no proof whatsoever that we "travel in time" or that "time flows". Have a look at "A World without Time: The Forgotten Legacy of Godel and Einstein" re the view Einstein adopted in 1949. I like to think that I'm fully in line with this view, but do note that the front flap is a little misleading. Time as we ordinarily understand it does not exist. That's not to say that time doesn't exist. It just isn't what people think it is. 

On a philosophical level this question becomes more interesting - but less useful. As this is being advanced as a scientific theory could someone propose a real world experiment that would give a result that would vary from that expected under current dogma. I think that experiments have already been performed that contradict the original idea - but the work required to demonstrate this is too much for me at present.  Matthew
IMHO it's very useful indeed. But there are no different results to be had. One merely sees existing results in a new light, and then gains understanding that was previously lacking.


Farsight: We use motion, chemical reactions, sub-atomic activity, etc., etc. to observe time, but that is hardly evidence that time only exists because of motion.
You
missed the crucial point, Geezer. We observe motion, but we don't actually observe time.

Motion can only be determined on the basis of time. Without time, motion boils down to "things can be in different places".
You're still not recognising what we actually see. Time can only be determined on the basis of motion. Without motion, there isn't any time.

As I said, many concepts have a function of time built into them, and motion is one of them. If you want to establish an alternative definition for time, you'll have to define it in terms that do not include a function of time, otherwise your definition will be recursive.
One defines it using the motion we actually observe. Then one retains a function called time, but one now realises that we can't move through it and it doesn't actually flow.

Come to think of it, if, as you say, time is a function of motion, then motion, by definition, is a function of time.
There's no justification for that. 

I suppose you could define everything in terms of motion, but I don't think there is much point unless you can find a way to eliminate time from the equations. However, as motion is a function of time (and vice versa) that may not be possible.
No, you can't remove time from the equations. You wouldn't want to anyway. But when you appreciate that the thing we call time is measured and defined using motion through space, you get a better concept of say gravity and electromagnetism, and you don't get distracted by science fiction such as time travel.

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Offline Geezer

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Come to think of it, if, as you say, time is a function of motion, then motion, by definition, is a function of time.
There's no justification for that. 

If A is a function of B, B is automatically a function of A. The justification is inescapable.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force śther.

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Offline JP

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Couldn't agree more Graham. I think Amrit and Farsight are not accepting that the received conception of time is axiomatic to current physics, as is our conception of space. As axioms, these concepts are fundamental and beyond proof - the first sections of Einstein's easy guide to SR and GR explains this concept of axioms beautifully; I am sure I have seen a link to the text recently and will post when I find it. Got it http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Relativity:_The_Special_and_General_Theory/Part_I
I have no issue with space, Matthew. But that received conception of time is to be blunt, wrong. It's unsupported by scientific evidence. There is no proof whatsoever that we "travel in time" or that "time flows". Have a look at "A World without Time: The Forgotten Legacy of Godel and Einstein" re the view Einstein adopted in 1949. I like to think that I'm fully in line with this view, but do note that the front flap is a little misleading. Time as we ordinarily understand it does not exist. That's not to say that time doesn't exist. It just isn't what people think it is.

Before someone goes out and spends money on a book that's been poorly reviewed, I would suggest they read up on it.  This seems like a pretty good review: http://www.ams.org/notices/200707/tx070700861p.pdf

Also, you certainly have very little evidence for telling people that the mainstream view of time is "wrong."  What you're claiming is philosophy with no mathematics to back it up.  Science is about making predictions and observations--the validity of a theory is based on how well it seems to model reality and how well it matches experiments.  Your philosophy doesn't offer any predictions, so it isn't science.  It's not even clear that it's consistent with the mainstream view of time as a dimension space-time.  Therefore, claiming that your philosophy is a scientific fact supported by evidence is misleading.

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Offline Farsight

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Before someone goes out and spends money on a book that's been poorly reviewed, I would suggest they read up on it. This seems like a pretty good review: http://www.ams.org/notices/200707/tx070700861p.pdf
I'm afraid it isn't. Stachel muddies the water and evades the essential point in order to defend an unsupported position via circular argument.

Also, you certainly have very little evidence for telling people that the mainstream view of time is "wrong."
I've given ample evidence in Time Explained. If you disagree, try to show where the evidence I offer is incorrect.   

What you're claiming is philosophy with no mathematics to back it up. Science is about making predictions and observations...
As I've said, the mathematics is unchanged. And it certainly isn't philosophy, it's phenomenology. Because science is about observations, and there are no observations whatsoever to support the idea that time flows or that we travel through it. If you beg to differ, I challenge you to offer some. 

The validity of a theory is based on how well it seems to model reality and how well it matches experiments. Your philosophy doesn't offer any predictions, so it isn't science.  It's not even clear that it's consistent with the mainstream view of time as a dimension of space-time. Therefore, claiming that your philosophy is a scientific fact supported by evidence is misleading.
No it isn't misleading, and again it is not philosophy. The observational evidence tells us what's scientific fact, and I adhere to it whilst adhering to special relativity. See page 31 of The Meaning of Relativity where Einstein says "The non-divisibility of the four-dimensional continuum of events does not at all, however, involve the equivalence of the space co-ordinates with the time co-ordinate". I'm giving you the science. The flow of time and travelling through time is the philosophy that leads to the reductio-ad-absurdum of the grandfather paradox.

Time travel isn't mainstream, JP. It's science fiction. The "stasis box" is science-fiction too, but it's useful to point out the obvious: get in the box, and the "stasis field" prevents all motion, even at the atomic level. So you can't move, your heart doesn't beat, and you can't even think. When I open the box five hundred years later, to you it's like I opened the box as soon as you got in. You "travelled" to the future by not moving at all. Instead everything else did. And all that motion, be it the motion of planets or people or atoms or light, was through space.
« Last Edit: 05/06/2010 16:14:15 by Farsight »

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Offline Farsight

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If A is a function of B, B is automatically a function of A. The justification is inescapable.
Not so. The temperature of a gas is a function of molecular motion involving an average. The opposite is not true, because a single molecule has a velocity, not a temperature. Your assertion puts cause on an equal footing with effect, and places emergent properties on a par with fundamental properties. It doesn't hold.

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Offline PhysBang

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If you disagree, try to show where the evidence I offer is incorrect. 
Over the breadth of the internet there is a veritable book about how wrong your argument is.

The funniest is that the same "mathematics" that you use to show that time is circularly defined shows that space is circularly defined and shows that every physical quantity is circularly defined. But philosophers of science have known this for decades if not centuries.

The best argument against your argument is that you ignore your own circularity as pointed out by your favourite source for quotation  mining: Einstein. As Einstein points out in 1905, we cannot provide a measurement of space without providing some definition of what it means to be "the same time" as different points that are separated by a distance. Only once we do that can we have a real physical definition of measured distance and only then can we have a definition of motion and at rest. But Einstein also points out that we are perfectly free to chose from an infinite number of ways of setting up, physically, what is "the same time" at different distances. This means that there are an infinite number of measurements of space and thus an infinite number of ways of defining any given motion (or even whether or not there is motion). But we cannot have a physical idea of motion without some previous definition of space and time. This is just the conceptual facts.

Just because what we metaphorically call "movement through time" and "movement through spacetime" is different from what we call movement through space does not obviate us from actually understanding what these phrases mean and it does not make the science and philosophy behind the real meaning of the phrases incorrect.

One incorrect idea about relativity that has its origin in the popular press is that relativity tells us that the universe changes when we are in motion. This is incorrect. In different circumstances, certain descriptions of the universe might be easier to describe or be easier for us to describe using certain measurement devices, but these descriptions are correct regardless of the motion or not of any given observer. To claim that the universe changes because of an observer is incorrect. It is just as incorrect to say that anything changes for a given observer or particle because they are in motion. Time goes on for any given particle just as it always does, what changes is the relationship between events as timed out for one description and events as timed out for another description. Without accepting this, the mathematics of relativity theory simply does not work.

Finally, what Einstein believed or did not believe about relativity theory is irrelevant. What matters is the actual science as handed down to the scientific community and as tested over and over again by careful study. That theory is not a theory without time, it is a theory with a very special relationship between space and time. To trust one's knowledge of this theory to comeone unwilling to actually learn or discuss the mathematics is foolish.

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Offline Geezer

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If A is a function of B, B is automatically a function of A. The justification is inescapable.
Not so. The temperature of a gas is a function of molecular motion involving an average. The opposite is not true, because a single molecule has a velocity, not a temperature. Your assertion puts cause on an equal footing with effect, and places emergent properties on a par with fundamental properties. It doesn't hold.

Farsight:

Apparently my opinion on the subject of functions is a commonly held belief. As Wikipedia is not necessarily the most reliable source, feel free to identify any errors in the following, or did you mean to say something other than "function" when you said that time was a function of motion?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Function_(mathematics)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverse_function

Perhaps you can also reduce your statement regarding gas molecules to a mathematical relationship so that we can test its validity?
« Last Edit: 06/06/2010 04:13:41 by Geezer »
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Offline JP

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Also, you certainly have very little evidence for telling people that the mainstream view of time is "wrong."
I've given ample evidence in Time Explained. If you disagree, try to show where the evidence I offer is incorrect.   

When you have to defend your theory with "show me where it's wrong," it's not a theory.  There's a reason that scientific theories are required to make mathematical predictions that are then verified by experiment.  You still have no mathematics and no physical theory.  You're giving us quotes from a variety of sources with no mathematics to back them up and asking us to overturn a successful theory that has plenty of mathematics and nearly a century of successful quantitative predictions. 

Finally, what Einstein believed or did not believe about relativity theory is irrelevant. What matters is the actual science as handed down to the scientific community and as tested over and over again by careful study. That theory is not a theory without time, it is a theory with a very special relationship between space and time. To trust one's knowledge of this theory to comeone unwilling to actually learn or discuss the mathematics is foolish.
I agree with PhysBang 100% on this.  Einstein also disagreed with quantum mechanics, and yet it would be absurd to claim quantum mechanics was wrong because Einstein once said so.  Quantitative predictions backed up by experiments are needed, not quotes.

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Offline Farsight

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Geezer: you brought up "function", not me. I only used the word in response to your usage. I said time is an emergent property of motion like heat is an emergent property of motion, time being a cumulative measure whilst temperature is an average.

When you have to defend your theory with "show me where it's wrong," it's not a theory. There's a reason that scientific theories are required to make mathematical predictions that are then verified by experiment. You still have no mathematics and no physical theory. You're giving us quotes from a variety of sources with no mathematics to back them up and asking us to overturn a successful theory that has plenty of mathematics and nearly a century of successful quantitative predictions.
I'm certainly not asking you to overturn relativity. I've already said that the mathematics is unchanged. What I'm asking you to do is look at the scientific evidence and appreciate that there is no evidence for travelling through time. The mathematics doesn't support it either, because we plot lines in Minkowski spacetime rather than moving through it.     

Finally, what Einstein believed or did not believe about relativity theory is irrelevant. What matters is the actual science as handed down to the scientific community and as tested over and over again by careful study. That theory is not a theory without time, it is a theory with a very special relationship between space and time. To trust one's knowledge of this theory to comeone unwilling to actually learn or discuss the mathematics is foolish.
I agree with PhysBang 100% on this. Einstein also disagreed with quantum mechanics, and yet it would be absurd to claim quantum mechanics was wrong because Einstein once said so. Quantitative predictions backed up by experiments are needed, not quotes.
What Einstein believed about relativity is most certainly relevant! And I'm  not doing away with time, I'm saying it exists like heat exists, but isn't something you travel through. Observations and scientific experiments back ME up, not time machines. Note that Einstein didn't disagree with quantum mechanics, he was in on the ground floor in 1905. That's what he got his Nobel Prize for. What he disagreed with was the Copenhagen Interpretation, the "meaning" of the mathematics. 

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Offline Geezer

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Geezer: you brought up "function", not me.

Farsight: Then why did you say "time is a function of motion, not the other way around" here? Was that just a "figure of speech" too?

One doesn't need a new terminology for this, just an adherence to the observational evidence and an appreciation that some of the things we say are figures of speech, because time is a function of motion, not the other way around. 
« Last Edit: 06/06/2010 16:42:16 by Geezer »
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Offline Geezer

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Looks like this is going nowhere. Thread locked.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force śther.