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Can time have more than one dimension?

  1. Nov 18, 2014 #1
    hi guys, i am new here, not even sure this is right place to put this questions,

    I always understood time as a 4 dimension, just a diferent reference when compared with x,y and z. but is it possible that we r trying to see it in a different way? is it possible that time itself have its own x y and z? I mean I dont even know how that would be possible and for me is impossible to visualize it, but any chance? does any one know any theories about this?

    tks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 18, 2014 #2
    maybe we r not able to go back in time, but is it possible that we can go UP? how could that work?
     
  4. Nov 18, 2014 #3

    Nugatory

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    Staff: Mentor

    There are no such theories (at least none that work in the sense of agreeing with experimental results). If you google for "Minkowski space time" you will find many many good explanations of the mathematical formalism that leads us think of time as a single fourth dimension. Also, google for "space time diagram", and you'll find many two-dimensional pictures that will help you visualize this stuff.

    After you've done that... you'll have more questions. Come back and ask them. :)
     
  5. Nov 18, 2014 #4
    thanks, I will review that, I
    Thanks, i will check on that,

    I do have a pretty good understading I guess on how space time works from what I saw in college ( engineering major ), but it just seems like a lot that was 50 or 100 years ago, is not anymore, and space and time seem to be soemthing we do not completly understand we I am always ( as a curious person not an academic ) seem a lot of new theories about number of possible dimensions and universes.. so this came to me and I had to ask.. I mean could you imagine if we could divide, mesure and use time in more than one dimension?

    Another question that I have is that if theres a more universal way of mesuring time, days, hours years and all that only make sense on earth right? ( due to our rotation on ourselves and around the sun ) if some allien civilaztion came here they would of have a completly different way of masuring it, so is there any universal way did any one already came up with that?
     
  6. Nov 18, 2014 #5

    Nugatory

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    Staff: Mentor

    Google around to see how we define the meter and the second in these modern times... the days when they were tied to things like the rotation and orbit of the earth are long gone. For example, the second is now defined to be a particular number of oscillations of a cesium atom, a quantity that will be the same anywhere in the universe. Your hypothetical aliens probably wouldn't use our standard, but they will have no problem understanding what it is and converting between their standard unit of time and ours.
     
  7. Nov 18, 2014 #6

    cool tks that I did not know.. but will a cesium atom exists and behave the same anywhere in the universe? doesnt factors like gravity, magnetic field and even age of other planets create and/or make diferent atoms be different? or is it possible that time itself changes itself depending on your interaction with a bigger scale? lets say if you are closer to the center of the galaxy or the universe time passes slower? lets say if you are a x distance to the center of a galaxy the time for you to travel on 30º degrees in a orbit will be t and if you are a 2x distance would still be t for the same 30º even with a bigger distance, even assuming that if you are an outside observing it will be very diferent. I ask that because once I saw a theory that if you get cought on an black hole you will never actually get in the black hole cause it will take an eternity for you to get there, even though for someone watching it will only take some secs..
    thanks for the earlier theories, I will try to work my theory of multi dimensional time and come back here, thank you very much for your help especially since I am not on the field I get rare ocasions of discussing my theories, it was pretty fun.
     
  8. Nov 18, 2014 #7

    Nugatory

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    Staff: Mentor

    The cesium near us will behave exactly the same way no matter where we are the universe. It might be that we would see some odd things if we tried calibrating our clocks using cesium atoms in the some far distant galaxy, but that doesn't matter. The important thing is that if our hypothetical aliens look at the behavior of the cesium (or any other element) under their noses, we look at the behavior of the cesium (or any other element) under our noses, and then we get together and compare notes, we'll get the exact same results.

    Now.... stop talking and start googling and reading!
     
  9. Nov 19, 2014 #8
    As for your first question:

    If you are asking if it is possible for more than one time dimension to exist: yes. There is no reason for us to rule that out beforehand. However, like any proper hypothesis in science, you would need to be able to verify or falsify the statement. As far as I know, there are no theories yet that actually require the existence of multiple time dimensions or that would be able to test for them.
    As for your remark that it is impossible for you to visualize: people are not really capable of visualizing anything above 3+1 dimensions, because that is the world we interact with. Still, theories like M-theory predict the existence of ~11 dimensions. It's like visualizing a color that humans cannot perceive, but some animals can. Don't try it, it will just give you headaches. Stick to the mathematical descriptions and you will be fine ;-)

    Your second question about measuring and perceiving time: since you are an engineer I guess you never took any classes in Relativity. If you are interested, I would recommend the Traveller's Guide To Spacetime by Thomas Moore. It's an introduction textbook for special relativity, which can be easily understood by non-physicists as well, and it is actually fun to read ;-)
     
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