Is Time Variable?

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Offline thedoc

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Is Time Variable?
« on: 15/06/2012 22:30:02 »
David Spence asked the Naked Scientists:
Hi Chris and NS Team

My question is :

What is Time?

If we are to believe, based on Einstein theories, that time itself is the warping and shaping of gravity in proportion to the particular mass, my question is :

If gravity is responsible for our concept of what we call time in relation to Earth's gravitational influence, would it be the case that time itself is variable and proportionate in relating it to gravity? In others words, our concept of time on a planet which may be smaller or larger than Earth would be different due to differences in gravity, thus our hypothesis of aging the Universe and the Big Bang Theory would also change in value in respect of time? Time itself is not a constant but is variable according to the gravitational influence of mass X.

Hoping you may air this on the show or answer it by email.

Kind Regards

David Spence (that man from Shetland Islands)
p.s. Your radio show is fantastic :)
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 15/06/2012 22:30:02 by _system »


Offline LetoII

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Re: Is Time Variable?
« Reply #1 on: 20/06/2012 00:29:17 »
i think you need to be more specific, this question is so complex that not one show could cover it because it requires too much time to cover all of it's facets.


Offline Robro

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Re: Is Time Variable?
« Reply #2 on: 30/06/2012 22:33:14 »
Time in it's most accurate form , as I understand it, is a measure of the radiation cycles of the Cesium atom as in atomic clocks. This is indicative as a measurement of motion of the electrons involved. As for time being relative, the answer would be certainly, "yes". As matter travels through space, say a cesium atom, the observed radiation cycles decrease in frequency thus time slows for the atom. As the velocity increases there is more time dilation and also a physical flattening of the atom toward the direction of travel relative to the ambient radiation in space. Now, there is a "specific" reason why matter, or more accurately mass, cannot travel faster than light. It is because they are one and the same, as Einsteins equation, (E= MC sq.) points out. Since mass cannot travel faster than light, time can only propagate into the future and never backward. So, time can only be relative in one direction. Time can only relatively equal zero, or any fraction of propagation into the future.
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Offline yor_on

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Re: Is Time Variable?
« Reply #3 on: 05/07/2012 17:26:50 »
No. Your definition of 'time passed' is also mine. Think of superimposing two clocks, assuming them to have the exact same 'vibrational mode' aka 'time keeping'. Assume both clocks to be 'sentient beings' :)

Then separate them and give them different uniform 'speeds' relative some arbitrarily chosen reference point. Let them measure each others 'vibrational mode'. They will find them to differ, but each one of them can also prove that their own local 'time keeping' in no way have changed, although both distance, as well as 'time keeping' for all other frames of reference observed has. Finally let them join up, again super imposed. Do you expect their 'vibrational modes' to differ now?

'Local time' is the same for us all, although observations between 'frames of reference' will present us another definition relative mass/gravity/energy, relative motion and accelerations. Time is not a abstract thing, it exist and we use the same local time to create so called 'repeatable experiments' that is a corner stone of modern science. If it wasn't that way, there could be no 'repeatable experiments' as all rulers and wrist watches, according to whoever measuring another frame of reference, will differ.
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