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Do we know that time actually exists?

  1. May 3, 2014 #1
    Does it really exist? I personally think that it doesn't, it's just another thing like math which doesn't exist in reality. Is there evidence that time is an actual real thing?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 3, 2014 #2
    Terms like "actually exist", "reality" and "actual real thing" are not generally meaningful with respect to science. Science is about observations and modeling those observations with theories. Time is vitally necessary for us to model our observations with the predictive and descriptive power that our theories have. In this context its just as "real" as any other vital component of theory.
  4. May 3, 2014 #3
    Yes, we do. It has been measured since antiquity with watches and clocks.
  5. May 3, 2014 #4
    Does "time" stop when the watches and clocks hands aren't moving? I don't think so. If I took the battery out of my wall clock, would "time" stop? No, but the clock would. Clocks do not prove the existence of time.
  6. May 3, 2014 #5
  7. May 3, 2014 #6
    If I break a ruler would space disappear? If I break a balance does mass stop existing? etc...

    You don't really have a point.

    I define time as the physical quantity measured by clocks. Since clocks do measure something, time exists.
  8. May 3, 2014 #7


    Staff: Mentor

    Sure they do. They measure something, that something is time, by definition.
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