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bobc2
bobc2 is offline
#33
Mar7-12, 11:04 PM
P: 848
By the way, it's obvious that we are susceptible to problems with semantics when we try to talk about time in the context of Block Universe. I've tried to avoid saying that Light Brown exists simultaneously at two different events on his world line. That language is self-contradictory in terms of normal usage of "simultaneous" in special relativity.

I noticed that Chestermiller, in his original post used a qualifier something like "in the 4D sense." I knew immediately what he meant but noticed some push-back from some here.

When referring to the block universe, Brian Greene uses language something like, "It is just all there at once." Right away he has given some physicists something to fuss about. Other physicists use similar language. I think it was Hermann Weyl who said something like, "...things don't happen--they just are." Maybe that is a little better than Greene. Einstein simply remarked something like, "...We physicists make no distinction between the past, present and future." And he remarked to Rudolf Carnap that he was "...very troubled by NOW." He indicated that NOW has no place in physics, and yet it is such a strong and compelling part of our experience. Paraphrasing Einstein somewhat: "Time is a stubborn persistent illusion." Reading Stephen Hawking's book by that title I anxiously anticipated Hawking's discussion of "Block Time" only to discover I could not find one reference to Einstein's comment anywhere in the book (what a bait and switch!).

Perhaps someone here can suggest some terminology we could adapt so that we all know what we are talking about. One physicist has published a paper about why so many physicists don't accept the block universe concept. He claims it is because there are two different kinds of time being used. So he recommends the time of physics be called "pime" and the other time just "time." I don't like his idea at all. And I don't accept his premise.

I think the real problem is that physics does not yet understand time at the most fundamental level. The logical positivists and operationalists offer the solution that you only talk about time measurements using clocks, etc. But that seems to fall short when attempting an understanding of the block universe.