Godel and The Philosophy of Special Relativity

  • Thread starter bobc2
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I have an alternate interpretation of an object's or particle's continuity into the time direction that may help to resolve some of the controversy.

I envision an army of clones marching through a field in rank and file formation. Each row of clones is older than the row behind it, and the rows are equally spaced. It is night time, and the field is pitch black. But there is a strobe light that flashes on each time a row of clones moves into the position previously occupied by the row in front of them. The differences in age between adjacent rows of clones is exactly equal to the time between flashes. Therefore, when the strobe light flashes, there is no apparent change in the picture one sees.

The field is analogous to “absolute” hyperspace, and the clones are analogous to objects at rest in a single frame of reference. All the clones in a given column of the formation (i.e., file) actually represent the existence of a single object in the reference frame at various proper times during the object’s existence (i.e., travel into the time direction).

This description is the discrete representation of the continuous existence of an object moving through hyperspace. Only if we adopt such a model is it possible in a typical 1D motion problem (e.g., usual train example) for each and every object in one reference frame to encounter each and every object in a different reference frame during their interactions. Otherwise objects from two different frames can only encounter each other in discrete pairs.

Chester, You might try out this idea on the physicists in the physics forum as well as the philosophers here.
 
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I would have to point out that if YOU are a solipsist, then it matters greatly to the way which I observe the world in relation to you, as I am reduced to little more than an artifact of your sensorium.

As for the philosophical implications of special relativity, they are simple: you and I are not in the same "now", we can at best locate ourselves in roughly adjacent slices of the universe, and say they are close enough to agree on simultaneity for our purposes.

If we are moving rapidly, this becomes ever more obvious, as bobc2 pointed out, and the slice of events which rocket A calls "now" differs dramatically from the slice which rocket B calls "now", as illustrated by this gif:
[URL]http://loveisscience.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/relativity_of_simultaneity_animation.gif[/URL]

If you want to speak of a broadly universal definition of reality, you need to step completely outside of the observer/spacetime sort of construct into something more like a configuration space, which an author I'm fond of put rather eloquently:




This is a 2+1D block universe:
[PLAIN]http://www.ipod.org.uk/reality/reality_block_time2.jpg [Broken]

As opposed to a presentist version where the portions beyond the 2D space aren't "real":
[PLAIN]http://www.ipod.org.uk/reality/reality_block_time1.jpg [Broken]

(from: http://www.ipod.org.uk/reality/reality_block_universe.asp [Broken])

Naturally it is absurd to claim that the universe stops existing when you aren't looking at it, who made you the king of observing things? No, our awareness simply orders information in a manner which was useful in an evolutionary sense, being able to perceive time as a whole wouldn't help us pass on our genes, so we don't have that capacity. We can fake it though.


As for Godel, he worked out that if you construct a universe in such a manner that it is rotating, you can follow timelike paths which loop back on themselves, allowing time travel without any particularly stringent requirements like FTL, wormholes, or whatnot.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gödel_metric

Nice post, Max.
 
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