# Do the positions of stars determine our position in time,or does our

## Main Question or Discussion Point

Do the positions of stars determine our position in time,
or does our position in time determine the positions of stars?

Last edited:

## Answers and Replies

Related Other Physics Topics News on Phys.org
russ_watters
Mentor

Neither. Position and time are not related (without motion, of course). Position is 3 dimensions, time is a separate, fourth dimension.

If nothing - nothing - moves, does time still pass? How can you tell? Do we always measure time by observing motion? If we were higher dimensional beings, and could observe an object's 4-dimensional 'world line' in it's entirety, as a static graph (like a simple, x vs. t plot looks to us) - would we still be capable of the sensation of time passing?

Is this physics? I dunno.

Neither. Position and time are not related (without motion, of course). Position is 3 dimensions, time is a separate, fourth dimension.
I know that physics has developed to consider time as just another dimension... but can't you tell what time of year it is by observing/measuring positions of stars in the night sky?

Nabeshin

If nothing - nothing - moves, does time still pass? How can you tell? Do we always measure time by observing motion? If we were higher dimensional beings, and could observe an object's 4-dimensional 'world line' in it's entirety, as a static graph (like a simple, x vs. t plot looks to us) - would we still be capable of the sensation of time passing?

Is this physics? I dunno.
Two points here.

1: We could never be sure nothing was moving anyways thanks to uncertainty.

2: The sensation of time passing implies some type of being to experience the sensation and if nothing is moving how can you have a being? (Analogy for humans: nerves are firing which involves movements. Surely there has to be some process necessary for consciousness, so no such sensation could be experienced without motion) This point is less important because point 1 basically covers it, but it's interesting nonetheless.

There are things for which time does not exist despite motion. They are called conserving values - the total energy, momentum, etc. Of course, they are numbers, not objects.

Bob.

russ_watters
Mentor

If nothing - nothing - moves, does time still pass?
Well that's an impossible scenario, but in any case, time exists independent of motion. Ie, if an object is stationary, it still "experiences" time.
How can you tell?
You probably can't.
Do we always measure time by observing motion?
Not exactly. Atomic clocks use quantum mechanics. They do not move in the classical/macroscopic sense. [quote If we were higher dimensional beings, and could observe an object's 4-dimensional 'world line' in it's entirety, as a static graph (like a simple, x vs. t plot looks to us) - would we still be capable of the sensation of time passing?

Is this physics? I dunno.[/QUOTE] That one isn't physics and has no answer.

russ_watters
Mentor

...but can't you tell what time of year it is by observing/measuring positions of stars in the night sky?
Sure, but that doesn't have anything to do with your question.

Sure, but that doesn't have anything to do with your question.
Why not... actually I should say how so?

Last edited: