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Defining time

  1. Jan 29, 2010 #1
    You can call time an unfolding of events... but what if there were no events as in a pure emptyness without objects... or objects present yet never changing in any way? Then there could still be time because you might have a consciousness that was watching the nothingness. That mind might be thinking "well nothing has happened and here I am watching it." here you have an unfolding of events in that mind so time would exist-or what if it was not thinking anything along with no objects or objects changing? Would there be time then-or even awareness? I mean absolutely no thought at all. So maybe all it takes for time is self awareness. Like the 120v outlet that has nothing plugged in-the potential is there but nothing is being done. But what about the awareness of a rabbit that is aware of pleasure and pain? Is there time because things are changing in the consciousness of the rabbit even if there is no mind to register it? Maybe a pure awareness has no time because nothing ever changes-no movement or changes in that consciousness or any observed objects. Maybe this unchanging awareness said "well crap this is getting old I think I'll create something". But could it even say that because at the moment it had a thought that would be like the beginning and at the beginning there could be no boredom because there was no awareness of any past events. Does the answer lie in the word self? It seems to be resolving to where there is no time as an independent entity but that there is only the progression of events. As soon as you have an observer Bingo! Does a dog know time? It certainly has a memory as in what time the kids get home from school and a chance to play. Maybe it takes an intelligent mind to know time. I don't know! Time for another beer.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 29, 2010 #2


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    The scenario you define isn't possible, so it isn't reasonable to ask how time would behave in the scenario. There is no answer.
  4. Feb 2, 2010 #3


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    I define time as a state.

    This would go along with all other states such as hot, lack of heat, gravity, light, no light, etc...

    In this way, time can be seen as just another of many states effecting the present.
    And if you break down time into past, present and future these states can only be observed from the biased point of view of the present. This may be why time feels like a sequence of events. It's only the state of time that causes this sensation. The state of the present is the state that allows us to contemplate the state of the future or the past. And all of these states exist because of the state of time. Its like when a liquid state becomes a vaporous or a solid state. This is made possible by the state of the element that is the liquid, solid or vapor... plus environmental states of hot, lack of heat etc...

    So, if you allow my definition of time as a state, this also allows for asequential event phenomena that would be more along the line of chaos theory. Such as... because there is a state of time there is the states of present and past. These are direct results of the state of time. I could go on but... I'm already getting pretty out there.:redface:
  5. Feb 24, 2010 #4
    The original outward motion from the small twist we now call big bang, or a dilating area.
  6. Feb 24, 2010 #5
    Einsteins intrepertation of time is that time is simply the foward proccess of electricity turning into magnetism viceversa. If there was no observer to observe light itself, time, in this sense would not exist.
  7. Feb 24, 2010 #6
    Does that mean there was no big bang? If time did not start until there were observers, does that mean my mother is right, Adam was the beginning?
  8. Feb 24, 2010 #7
    Or does time exist in something greater than just space-time? Time could exist outside the membrane (correct usage of term? No idea here), and only tied in with space once the "big bang" happened. So time exists everywhere, and space only exists within universes, and within universes time and space coalesce, or exist as a single entity.

    Could this be possible?
  9. Feb 24, 2010 #8


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    In a scenario where events don't happen and objects don't change, your brain would be subject to the same conditions, so you wouldn't be able to think.
  10. Feb 24, 2010 #9
  11. Feb 25, 2010 #10
    Your right time is more then just the unfolding of events. It is time. It will move regardless of whats going on. The real thing of it is if time exists it has to have a starting point but at the same time it physically cannot. It is interesting to say the least.
  12. Mar 2, 2010 #11
    Why does time need a starting point? Motion may need a starting point, existence as a 3-d object may need a starting point, but time? Was big bang the start of time, or the start of the motion we measure as time? Was all the time you can imagine contained in a point of space and now is spreading out as a single dilating area?
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010
  13. Mar 2, 2010 #12
    I like this paper.
  14. Mar 3, 2010 #13


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    Time started when humans developed enough environmental awareness to notice the cycles of the moon and the sun along with the seasons... and made a note of them.
  15. Mar 3, 2010 #14


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    Watching is something happening. Watching is active - it is registering a state of affairs and 'then' (if I may use the word) registering the state of affairs and noting that they are different (or in your hypothetical case the same). If nothing is happening in the brain of this observer he won't get bored - he won't have time!

    Edit: just saw Pythagorean expressed the same point.
  16. Mar 3, 2010 #15
    This may of been the beginning of recorded history but not the beginning of time. Even before big bang there was time, because there was an end of the duration with no motion, and a beginning of our continuum of motion.
  17. Mar 11, 2010 #16
    Time doesn't exist. There is no definition of time outside of the interaction of mass and energy. Memory and reason creates the illusion of time to help us make sense of what we observe.
  18. Mar 12, 2010 #17
    If time does not exist how on earth did you find the time to write this?:confused:
  19. Mar 12, 2010 #18
    This cannot be from Einstein (???) as it seems logically inconsistent.
  20. Mar 12, 2010 #19


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    Since when did time start hiding? :smile:

    Its more a case of utilizing and converting energy into the act of writing rather than "finding time". The changes that take place in the act of converting energy into writing are what time measures. Measuring the dimensions of change is time's job. Changing is ours. And johosaphat knows we need change.
  21. Mar 12, 2010 #20
    If this person does not even think time exists, then it must be hiding from him.:wink:
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