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Feb8-12, 04:47 PM
P: 3,187
Quote Quote by sahmgeek View Post
So, are we safe in asserting that "time" itself is no more measurable than "space" itself is measurable? But rather, it is the EVENTS that occur within spacetime, the dynamic nature of physical phenomena, that necessitate measurement. We don't talk about measuring space (or do we?) but rather things in it. The same should be true for time.[..] It's very possible that I am WAY off (my comprehension is mainly conceptual, not technical). If so, please be gentle.
You could be way off, but if so, I don't notice it (yet): for your remark sounds insightful to me.
Early people recorded events by means of positions of Sun and moon, and thus the "time" concept emerged based on observing (and counting in one direction!) the motion of natural clocks.
Quote Quote by sahmgeek View Post
sidenote: for some reason, the reference to "clocks measuring time" never sits well with me. it doesn't bother me nearly as much as "rulers measuring distance" which seems slightly more accurate. it's unclear to me what clocks are actually measuring. I find it easier to have a conversation about the nature of time when the whole notion of "clocks" is removed. Perhaps I am just lacking in proper "history of time-keeping" knowledge.
Clocks actually are a measure of, as you already hinted at, the progress of natural processes. Thus we have the solar clock, (moon) months, water clocks and "radio clocks" such as C14 as well as "atomic clocks". However, people also have an intuition of a "flow of time" that doesn't exactly correspond to clocks; perhaps that difference in perception is what bugs people. In physics we can only deal with clocks.