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Can time be a function in any parameter?

  1. Oct 30, 2008 #1
    It is the question ,I had posted some threads but i couldn't clarify my idea but now i came with the question . Can time be T=f(p) ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 30, 2008 #2


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    I have no idea what you mean by that. If you have some particular application in mind, yes, you could write time in terms of some parameter. You can write any variable in terms of a parameter. For example, if I am filling a square container, with sides of length 1 cm, with water coming in at, say, 2 liters per second, then the height of the water in the container is h= 2t/1000= 0.002 t. Since that is a one-to-one function of time, it is invertible: t= 500h and I can think of time as a function of the parameter h.

    Surely that's not what you meant!
  4. Oct 30, 2008 #3


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    that is the time in one reference frame as a function of the time in the other reference frame, it's speed and position.

    (check out Special Relativity)
  5. Oct 30, 2008 #4
    what is that equation and what is t' ? and also if i say that velocity depend on time i can write an equation of time and velocity but i cant say that time depends on velocity .I meant something that time depends on.( in your example i can say that h is directly proportional to t but i cant say the opposite)
  6. Oct 30, 2008 #5


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    This is why it is physics and not mathematics. You need to know (based on the physics), which one is the dependent variable and which one is the independent variable.

  7. Oct 30, 2008 #6
    The equation, posted by ibc, demonstrates that time is a variable in relativity, while the velocity of light is the only constant. In that context, time can be considered as a function of c.
  8. Oct 30, 2008 #7
    I'd recommend searching for a philosophy paper by Richard Taylor titled Spatial and Temporal Analogies or something close. He argues that time is like space but at the very least you'll encounter a few arguments that are, in sum, ridiculous-sounding. However the point is, you find it hard talking about time in the same sense you would some spatial dimension.

    Worth a gander in this direction anyway.
  9. Oct 30, 2008 #8


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