# Is the Future Mapped Out ?

by paulselhi
Tags: future, mapped
 P: 25 I have a basic grasp of special relativity and understand why different observers will have different perspectives on the timing of events. My question is this, if Observer 1 sees two events occuring which change in time i.e of 2 lights opposite each other with the same color which change simultaneously, so red-red blue-blue green- green, and an observer moving at speed relative to Observer 1 may see red-blue blue-green green-red due to the change in angle of his time slice Both obervers are justified in saying that their observations are correct ( equivalence principle ?) Does this mean that for a moving observer 2 the observations of observer 1 are his past, and for observer 1 they are his present and the observations of observer 2 are observer 1's future So in effect Observer 1's future as "already occured" as observer 2 is experencing it. Am i living in someone elses past and someone elses future ? If so when does the future stop being mapped out ? Is/Was the whole of all time ( past future and present) concieved at once ? Clearly i am blaberring now and there is a good reason why the future is not already mapped out !! Please enlighten me !!
P: 847
 Quote by paulselhi I have a basic grasp of special relativity and understand why different observers will have different perspectives on the timing of events. My question is this, if Observer 1 sees two events occuring which change in time i.e of 2 lights opposite each other with the same color which change simultaneously, so red-red blue-blue green- green, and an observer moving at speed relative to Observer 1 may see red-blue blue-green green-red due to the change in angle of his time slice Both obervers are justified in saying that their observations are correct ( equivalence principle ?) Does this mean that for a moving observer 2 the observations of observer 1 are his past, and for observer 1 they are his present and the observations of observer 2 are observer 1's future So in effect Observer 1's future as "already occured" as observer 2 is experencing it. Am i living in someone elses past and someone elses future ? If so when does the future stop being mapped out ? Is/Was the whole of all time ( past future and present) concieved at once ?
Good job, paulselhi! Not everyone notices that implication of special relativity. You have nailed it pretty well. And yes, it is all of time as described by Hermann Weyl (Einstein's close friend and colleague at The Princeton Institute for Advanced Studies).

 Quote by paulselhi Clearly i am blaberring now and there is a good reason why the future is not already mapped out !! Please enlighten me !!
You are not blabbering at all, paulselhi. However, that kind of discussion is sometimes not regarded as appropriate for this forum.
 P: 227 Note that the farther away the observers are, the greater their discrepancy, even if they are moving very slowly relative to one another.
P: 25

## Is the Future Mapped Out ?

Does the speed of light limit mean that the possible future-past range may be limited?
So if observer 1 sees an event happening there would be a limit as to how much into the past or future another observer can reside since these differences in observations will be based on the other observers speed relative to observer 1

And as .. err.. the last poster mentioned that distance is relevant, would the size on the universe put a cap on this as well

Thanks BobC for turning me on to Herman Weyl

"The objective world simply is, it does not happen. Only to the gaze of my consciousness, crawling upward along the life line of my body, does a section of this world come to life as a fleeting image in space which continuously changes in time." Hermann Weyl, Philosophy of Mathematics and Natural Science (Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1949)

"What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing
new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, "Look! This is something
new?" It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time."

King Solomon
P: 847
 Quote by paulselhi Does the speed of light limit mean that the possible future-past range may be limited? So if observer 1 sees an event happening there would be a limit as to how much into the past or future another observer can reside since these differences in observations will be based on the other observers speed relative to observer 1 And as .. err.. the last poster mentioned that distance is relevant, would the size on the universe put a cap on this as well Thanks BobC for turning me on to Herman Weyl "The objective world simply is, it does not happen. Only to the gaze of my consciousness, crawling upward along the life line of my body, does a section of this world come to life as a fleeting image in space which continuously changes in time." Hermann Weyl, Philosophy of Mathematics and Natural Science (Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1949) "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, "Look! This is something new?" It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time." King Solomon
Those are pretty heavy quotes there, paulselhi. I was familiar with the Weyl quote but did not realize King Solomon was so knowlegable about special relativity. How did you ever come up with that one? Anyway, nice work.
P: 1,071
 Quote by paulselhi So in effect Observer 1's future as "already occured" as observer 2 is experencing it. Am i living in someone elses past and someone elses future ? If so when does the future stop being mapped out ? Is/Was the whole of all time ( past future and present) concieved at once ? Clearly i am blaberring now and there is a good reason why the future is not already mapped out !! Please enlighten me !!
In my opinion this is no different then saying my future experience of the sun / moon / anything not in the same location as me has happened prior to my experience of it. whoopty doo
(yes this is Galilean transformation, but what do I care of the measure of someone elses proper time/length?)

The next step in the concept is to realize that past, present and future are relative terms, all from the perspective of assigning an arbitrary "now".

The only part of the future that's "mapped out" is it will become your "now" & then your "past".

When thinking of SR you should ditch the common conceptions of past / future and now. And think more in terms of cause & effect. From there (cause & effect) consider the constancy of the laws of physics and relativity of simultinaity.

Cause (present) and effect (future) all according to the laws of physics (mapped out). Relativity of simultinaity; "now" is a relative term, and inturn "future" & "past".
 P: 25 I assume that is KS from Israel and not some enlightened Rasta who has been " 'erbing it out"
P: 847
 Quote by nitsuj In my opinion this is no different then saying my future experience of the sun / moon / anything not in the same location as me has happened prior to my experience of it. whoopty doo
I think he hit on something far more profound than that.

 Quote by nitsuj (yes this is Galilean transformation, but what do I care of the measure of someone elses proper time/length?)
His insight is directly related to Lorentz transformations, not Galilean. And of course no one has to care about implications of special relativity. Some are passionately curious about them and others shrug their shoulders. And no value judgement is involved.

 Quote by nitsuj (When thinking of SR you should ditch the common conceptions of past / future and now. And think more in terms of cause & effect.
But, cause & effect just becomes a definition with Weyl's model. One event does not cause another event in the sense that you imply, because it is all there at once. As Weyl said, "The objective world simply is, it does not happen..."
 Quote by nitsuj ... relativity of simultinaity.
But, it was the relativity of simultaneity with the different angles of the slices of the 3-D cross-sections across the 4-D universe that let to his recognition of the implications of special relativity.
 P: 1,071 It is not more profound, that is the problem. Thinking it is profound. The profoundness is a consiquence of having a brain, in that we can consider other FoR and think but they have a "now" momnet too and that persons "now" moment is in my past, wow cool!" That is my point of who cares if another observers proper time length is of different measurements then mine, what is the implication in the context of past & future? The words their "now" is my "past"? It is of no consiquence to cause/effect. So no his insights are not strickly lorentz, it is strickly about overextending a "now" momment to beyond local, where it starts to loose meaning in the more common sense of "now". These are measurements we are talking about. You're stretching this to the universe is static via words such as "now" past future. A quote such as "The objective world simply is, it does not happen..." without strickly defining the words I think is nonsense. The universe IS 4D, there are no "now" "slices", so anything you derive from these "slices" is not speaking of the "nature" of a 4D continuum. The direction of this discussion is transparent bobc2,
P: 1,071
 Quote by bobc2 it was the relativity of simultaneity with the different angles of the slices of the 3-D cross-sections across the 4-D universe that let to his recognition of the implications of special relativity.
He/she needs to recognize the implication of SR in this context is redefining the concepts of past, present & future. Specificaly "now" / relativity of simultinaity.
 P: 847 From "The Fabric Of The Cosmos" - Brian Greene (pg 141 hard copy): "A particular moment can no more change in time than a particular location can move in space: if the location were to move, it would be a different location in space; if a moment in time were to change, it would be a different moment in time." "Under close scrutiny, the flowing river of time more closely resembles a giant block of ice with every moment forever frozen into place."
P: 847
 Quote by nitsuj The universe IS 4D, there are no "now" "slices", so anything you derive from these "slices" is not speaking of the "nature" of a 4D continuum.
Special relativity gives us many "now slices." But the "now slices" for different observers moving at different velocities cut the 4-D universe at different angles--that was the clue that led to the understanding of a 4-dimensional continuum.

That's why Brian Greene, in his book "The Fabric Of The Cosmos" spent so much time developing the loaf of bread analogy with the slices of bread sliced at different angles. He associated physical reality (the entire 4-dimensional universe) with the whole loaf of bread and associated the different slices with the different 3-D universes that different observers live in at any given instant of time (different "now slices").

And that's why so many physicists have been captivated by the concept of the block universe. Paulselhi, I think you would be interested to google "block universe."
P: 847
 Quote by e^(i Pi)+1=0 Note that the farther away the observers are, the greater their discrepancy, even if they are moving very slowly relative to one another.
That's a really good point, e^(iPi)+1=0 (how did you come up with that interesting handle?). This was dramatized in Roger Penrose's famous Andromeda Paradox shown below (my graphics version).

Bill and Ruth walk past each other. Since they are in relative relative motion, they are living in different instantaneous 3-D worlds. In Bill's world the Andromeda leaders are meeting to discuss whether to attack earth. In Ruth's world they have already made their decision and the attack is under way.
 P: 227 It's Euler's equation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euler%27s_identity
P: 1,071
 Quote by bobc2 Special relativity gives us many "now slices." But the "now slices" for different observers moving at different velocities cut the 4-D universe at different angles--that was the clue that led to the understanding of a 4-dimensional continuum. That's why Brian Greene, in his book "The Fabric Of The Cosmos" spent so much time developing the loaf of bread analogy with the slices of bread sliced at different angles. He associated physical reality (the entire 4-dimensional universe) with the whole loaf of bread and associated the different slices with the different 3-D universes that different observers live in at any given instant of time (different "now slices"). And that's why so many physicists have been captivated by the concept of the block universe. Paulselhi, I think you would be interested to google "block universe."
As if the analogy you quote is the one that got me to stop "learning" SR from Brian Greene's poetic physics books.

I'm pretty sure he "spent so much time developing the loaf of bread analogy" because it sells books. It only confuses the reality that physics "describes".

Lastly, if this is how you believe it is (block universe) then this perspective of a block universe has to also be true for every single bit of anything there is in the universe (that's subject to SR type physics) does it not? Given the relativity of simultaneity this can't be true.
How could anything move? (note spacetime is isotropic)
PF Patron
P: 4,776
 Quote by paulselhi Both obervers are justified in saying that their observations are correct ( equivalence principle ?)
Actually, no, this is just the principle of relativity.

 Quote by paulselhi So in effect Observer 1's future as "already occured" as observer 2 is experencing it.
No. For the time ordering of events to be observer-dependent, the events must be spacelike separated; each must be outside the other's light cone. That means there can be no causal connection between the two events. So what observer 2 is experiencing can't directly be observer 1's "future", because observer 1 can causally affect his future.

As nitsuj has commented, Brian Greene's talk about the "block universe" obfuscates this crucial point.
PF Patron
P: 4,776
 Quote by bobc2 Bill and Ruth walk past each other. Since they are in relative relative motion, they are living in different instantaneous 3-D worlds. In Bill's world the Andromeda leaders are meeting to discuss whether to attack earth. In Ruth's world they have already made their decision and the attack is under way.
But this is only true if the distinction between Bill's world and Ruth's world has no causal consequences; in other words, Bill can't causally affect the Andromeda leaders' decision any more than Ruth can, even though in Bill's world the decision hasn't happened "yet" but in Ruth's world it has "already happened". So this presumed distinction actually has no physical content.
P: 847
 Quote by nitsuj As if the analogy you quote is the one that got me to stop "learning" SR from Brian Greene's poetic physics books. I'm pretty sure he "spent so much time developing the loaf of bread analogy" because it sells books. It only confuses the reality that physics "describes".
Actually, Brian Greene does one of the better jobs of describing what's going on with special relativity for the layman--and also for some physicists who have not thought too much about some of its implications.

 Quote by nitsuj Lastly, if this is how you believe it is (block universe) then this perspective of a block universe has to also be true for every single bit of anything there is in the universe (that's subject to SR type physics) does it not?
Yes. And of course it is.

 Quote by nitsuj Given the relativity of simultaneity this can't be true. How could anything move? (note spacetime is isotropic)
That's the whole point. Nothing does move in the block universe model. And it's the relativity of simultaneity that implies the block universe.

 Related Discussions Linear & Abstract Algebra 0 Cosmology 2 Programming & Computer Science 1 General Physics 8 Social Sciences 119