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Does the Universe have a Frame Rate ?

  1. Feb 21, 2013 #1
    Does the Universe have a "Frame Rate"?

    Surely, thinking about it, things can't just smoothly transpose from one location to another, there must be regular gaps, (far to quickly for us to notice) where it "jumps" from one point in space to another. I think this because it seems hard to imagine how something can go from one place to another perfectly smoothly with absolutely no "gaps" between "frames". Otherwise, the frame-rate would be infinite, which is impossible. Sorry if this seems stupid it's just something that has intrigued me.

    My physics teacher said this seemed viable, and said it could have something to do with the properties of sub-atomic particles.
     
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  3. Feb 21, 2013 #2

    mfb

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    Re: Does the Universe have a "Frame Rate"?

    No.
    The universe is not limited by your imagination.

    Processes as short as 10-25 seconds can be observed (indirectly), and I think a step size close to that value would seriously influence those results.
    On the planck scale (10-43 seconds), things might look different.
     
  4. Feb 21, 2013 #3

    phinds

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    Re: Does the Universe have a "Frame Rate"?

    To expand on what mfb said, one of the first things that you MUST do if you are going to study either cosmology or quantum mechanics is realize that our "instincts / common sense / intuition / etc" are UTTERLY USELESS for very large and very small scales. We rely on those thing to tell us about human scales, where they ARE useful, but they are not extensible to large numbers of things at very large and very small scales.
     
  5. Feb 21, 2013 #4
    Re: Does the Universe have a "Frame Rate"?

    I mean, faster "gaps" than we could possibly perceive. so if you filmed, say a car going past, and slowed it down hundreds of billions of times, (assuming the camera had no frame-rate limit) would it still appear to be moving smoothly, or would it, (on a sub-atomic level) phase out of, and into existence moving forward as it does so. If I'm wrong, could you explain how, (physically) it's possible that things in the universe move completely smoothly, with no frame-rate what-so-ever because I can't see how that would work
     
  6. Feb 21, 2013 #5
    Re: Does the Universe have a "Frame Rate"?

    I don't see why it shouldn't work. A bit of understanding of calculus, especially differential equations, wouldn't hurt, a lot of it studies "instantaneous" conditions, and solutions to relations between "instantaneous" conditions.

    Note that time being quantized (which is pretty much what you're suggesting) is possible, though, with current observation, if it is quantized, then the "frame rate" is absurdly fast.
     
  7. Feb 21, 2013 #6
    Re: Does the Universe have a "Frame Rate"?

    I've read that Plank time is the amount of time it takes light to travel 1 plank unit, and light is the fastest thing in the universe, and the plank is the smallest thing in the universe, (which we can measure). 1 Plank length is 1.616199 × 10^-35 Metres. The speed of light is 300,000,000 m/s (give or take). There is approximately 6.18735688 × 10^34 planck lengths in 1 metre. Therefore there is 1.85 x 10^43 Plank lengths covered in 1 second by light, so would this be the universal frame-rate 1.85 x 10^43 Fps?
     
  8. Feb 21, 2013 #7

    mfb

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    Re: Does the Universe have a "Frame Rate"?

    I think I understood quite well what you meant.
    Use real numbers to describe time. Actually, all current models of physics do that, and they work extremely well.
    You cannot simulate this perfectly on a digital computer - so what?
     
  9. Feb 21, 2013 #8

    Jano L.

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    Re: Does the Universe have a "Frame Rate"?

    I think one good argument why discrete time is implausible is that it is hard to discretize equations of motion so that energy and other quantities are conserved. While with continuous time, we can write down differential equations, and these then imply the conservation of energy quite easily.
     
  10. Feb 21, 2013 #9

    phinds

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    Re: Does the Universe have a "Frame Rate"?

    No, I don't think so. It is just a particular measure. It IS way smaller than anything we can currently measure, but so what?
     
  11. Feb 21, 2013 #10
    Re: Does the Universe have a "Frame Rate"?

    That usually the justification for atomism, but that type of argument isn't really convincing IMO. Sure, given our limited minds, we cannot conceive of dimensions or processes without viewing them as something discrete, but that doesn't mean that the world we live in necessarily has to be the same. In fact, such "frames" or "building blocks" may not even exist at all for all we know, and may be nothing more than just an artifact of our minds.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  12. Feb 22, 2013 #11

    Dale

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    Re: Does the Universe have a "Frame Rate"?

    Locked pending moderation
     
  13. Feb 22, 2013 #12

    ZapperZ

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    Re: Does the Universe have a "Frame Rate"?

    The problem with this thread and the way it is going is that a lot of the discussion, and the way it started, it based on PERSONAL PREFERENCE. When it is based on that, then this becomes purely speculative and in direct violation of the PF Rules that everyone has agreed to.

    We welcome such topics. HOWEVER, it must be based on either accepted peer-reviewed journals, or based on established physics. If you are arguing for something, and you are simply using what feels OK with you and nothing else, then that is not allowed. If you want to know if time is discrete, or can be discrete, then ASK JUST THAT, without imposing your opinion of it, especially when you don't know much about that subject area. If not, topic such as this will continue to be either locked, or deleted for rules violation.

    Zz.
     
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