Is time a dimension

  • Thread starter boysherpa
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  • #151
A.T.
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I suggest that those who want to know the correct definition of force look to a reliable dictionary.
A dictionary? Is that where you have your physical knowledge from? How about a physics book? Even wikipedia is OK for such basic stuff, and should clear up your confusion.
 
  • #152
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Naty , if physics and maths were not mixed with crazy 'theories' and conclusions , they would be so boring and indigestible . If the moderators here were not 'severe' in considering my posts 'misinformation' , I would go in all the other threads to make them funny and crazy , LOL !
 
  • #153
Al68


Naty , if physics and maths were not mixed with crazy 'theories' and conclusions , they would be so boring and indigestible.
Well, I have always considered math and physics to be very fascinating. And still do. It was all the other subjects that always bored me. Of course most people thought I was crazy. :biggrin: Maybe they're right, but how someone could consider physics boring and literature interesting is way beyond me.
 
  • #154
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Al68 , you are right , I think that literature is the most boring thing in the world , I prefer gazing the roof or the wall than reading literature. Math and physics and generally speaking all exact sciences are to me the most exciting fields for reflexion , pondering, researches or passing positively our 'time' . Simply I think that in an online forum which is not something formal with vital sanctions , expressing funny or 'crazy' things will not destroy or injure someone or something , anyway the moderators are here to remove all sort of non-sense statements .
 
  • #155
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This is a very common claim, but it is simply wrong. Math is the language of logic; if the universe behaves logically then it can be described mathematically. It is as simple as that.

IMO, a non-mathematical treatment of physics is like reading an English translation of Tolstoy. You can get the plot and understand the story, but you miss all of the subtle things that make him great. As divorced from "reality" as our mathematical models are, our verbal descriptions and plain-language models are far worse.
the thing I believe that has to be remembered, is that while math may be the language of logic, it remains merely the manifestation of our understanding of the universe translated into that language, with all the inherent assumptions, both conscious and subconscious. If the underlying assumptions are in anyway erroneous, then the logical conclusions that follow, while they may indeed be flawlessly logical, they will ultimately be incorrect.

I would argue that plain-language models are perhaps more just as accurate, so long as the most accurate description of each word is known, or reference. There is a certain logic to language also, sometimes more than we realise, as, and this goes for myself, we often do not truly understand the words we use, rather have a vague approximation of what they mean, based on a contextual understanding.
 
  • #156
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Well, I'll give it a shot. Distance isn't made of particles or waves. Is distance physical?

Time, like distance, isn't composed of particles or waves, but is used to describe intervals between physical events. This is why time is referred to as a dimension, because, like distance, two events can be separated by it. And this simple fact is the reason time (and distance) are useful concepts.

And any useful definition of time will be very similar to a useful definition of distance, in the sense that both are intervals between "physical things", not "physical things" themselves.

So, yes, time is a dimension instead of a substance.

would that suggest then that time as a dimension, or perhaps a bar measuring time, would be akin to the X, Y, and Z axes?
 
  • #157
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I am not trying to construct a working theory of physics without time. You are adding some requirement to this time discussion. If time was physical then its physicality would not depend on what I thought.

You say time is physical, and have not provided any evidence of how time is physical. If time is physical then it will exist as a particle or a wave. Just explain how you think time is physical.

You need to explain why you think time is physical. The burden of proof lies with you.

My assertion that time is not physical is not speculation, it is based on the fact that there is no evidence to support the idea that time is physical, and the fact that you have not said whether time is a particle or a wave, or given any explanation of how time is physical proves my point. You still have not given any evidence that time is physical.

Lets make this simple. I have told you why I think that time is not physical, you tell me why you think time is physical.
this could quite easily be born out in later posts, but my perception of what you are trying to get at, is the question of how time can be said to make up the "fabric of reality", if it does actually make up the fabric of reality or whether that the notion that it does is purely based on an assumption that is inherent in mankind, based on a misperception of reality.

Also, whether or not this is borne out in the extrememly logical mathematics that have as a starting point, this potentially erroneous "axiom".
 
  • #158
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Well, I started this thread, and dropped out, and came back to see what had occurred. It is clear that there was no general agreement reached regarding my original question. This original posting was not an idle question, but rather, it was a real question into the way we investigate nature today. The volume of responses indicate that there is some disagreement and confusion regarding time in commonplace and advanced physics. Also, the general level of understanding of the use of mathematical modeling in science seems to be below standards. It is easy to quote equations and their use - but do you understand what they are modeling? I have taught this for many years

One thing did catch my attention - the understanding that the concept of time, and mass, and other physical quantities, are sometimes difficult to pin down in a specific sense. It is difficult to define mass in a manner such that it can be understood other than some intrinsic property, tied up with forces. To say that mass is defined by mathematics seems to me to be illogical, as the universe does not seem to be run be mathematics. Rather there interacting forces and particles which seem to obey laws and principles. Mathematics is an excellent language to express these laws and principles. Those who view the universe otherwise (run by mathematics) have, to me, an egocentric view of nature. They also normally do not understand mathematical modeling, which is invariably only an approximation to nature.
 
  • #159
Fredrik
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Well, I started this thread, and dropped out, and came back to see what had occurred. It is clear that there was no general agreement reached regarding my original question. This original posting was not an idle question, but rather, it was a real question into the way we investigate nature today. The volume of responses indicate that there is some disagreement and confusion regarding time in commonplace and advanced physics.
I made lots of posts in this thread, and I honestly don't remember even seeing your original question. The volume of replies here was caused by a number of bizarre claims made by a few individuals, in particular john 8, and most of the thread has been about those things.

Regarding the concept of spacetime, I can assure you that there are many people here with a solid understanding of it. This is not a controversial subject.

Also, the general level of understanding of the use of mathematical modeling in science seems to be below standards. It is easy to quote equations and their use - but do you understand what they are modeling?
Yes.

By the way, there is absolutely no way that anyone can understand an aspect of the real world (that can be studied scientifically) better than a person who understands the best theory about it. To "understand the theory" means to understand both the mathematical model and the axioms that tell us how to interpret the mathematics as predictions about results of experiments. Also, the only way to answer a question about something in the real world is to explain what some theory says the answer is. This is because science is the only way to learn anything about the real world, and science is essentially just the process of finding new theories and doing experiments to find out how accurate the theory's predictions are.

Please keep these things in mind when you read answers like my post #21.

To say that mass is defined by mathematics seems to me to be illogical, as the universe does not seem to be run be mathematics. Rather there interacting forces and particles which seem to obey laws and principles. Mathematics is an excellent language to express these laws and principles. Those who view the universe otherwise (run by mathematics) have, to me, an egocentric view of nature. They also normally do not understand mathematical modeling, which is invariably only an approximation to nature.
This suggests that there's something lacking in your understanding of the concept of a theory, in particular regarding the connection between the mathematics and the real world. You seem to think that someone who uses an exact mathematical definition is confused and doesn't understand that theories are at best approximate descriptions of reality. This isn't the case at all. Every concept that has any relevance in any successful theory of physics has an exact mathematical definition. This is necessary to ensure that everyone who uses a term like "mass" is talking about the same thing (assuming of course that they understand these things). Also note that a theory can't make predictions about results of experiments involving a concept that's been defined without mathematics). This is because a theory is defined by a set of axioms that tells us how to interpret the mathematics as predictions about possible results of experiments. In particular, if you define "mass" as something other than a mathematical term, the theory isn't making any predictions about it.
 
  • #160
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This suggests that there's something lacking in your understanding of the concept of a theory, in particular regarding the connection between the mathematics and the real world. You seem to think that someone who uses an exact mathematical definition is confused and doesn't understand that theories are at best approximate descriptions of reality. This isn't the case at all.
I agree with part of your post, but not this part, as it does not follow from mine. Perhaps I was not stating my position clearly. What I meant to say was that merely stating a mathematical expression is not a definition and cannot explain a physical event or effect (especially since many mathematical expressions, with a simple change of variables, describe a completely different effect). It is a part of the definition or explanation (or theory), but not the definition in toto. What I see too much of in these and other forums in the tendency to merely posit a mathematical expression as proof. The individual then says something to the effect of "math doesn't lie". The mathematical expression is simply a model, and, beyond that, a model of the theory. Furthermore, my position is that nature does not obey mathematics. I was not, and did not, claim that one who uses mathematics is confused. I sincerely doubt this statement shows any lack of understanding of the concept of a theory, as you claim, but opinions do indeed run rampant...
 
  • #161
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What I meant to say was that merely stating a mathematical expression is not a definition and cannot explain a physical event or effect ... It is a part of the definition or explanation (or theory), but not the definition in toto.
Obviously. But we are writing posts on an internet forum, not textbooks. What do you expect? That we write a 10 chapter dissertation rigorously defining each term in response to every idle question?

If someone cites a formula or uses a symbol that you don't understand then ask. But those symbols and formulas are the most compact ways to relate important physical principles. So don't complain that someone uses a one line mathematical formula rather than several paragraphs. And don't make the rather insulting assumption that the person providing the equation is somehow ignorant of anything else.
 
  • #162


I question this also. Disregarding any mathematics used to prove or provide any information. Theoretically math can work it is a specified formula that we made to fit a function, so even given that it works does not necessarily mean that it is correct.

First based off of some of the new ideas by physicists (through the wormhole with morgan freeman). Michio Kaku in particular i believe promoted the idea that anti-matter is matter flowing back in time. When we do look at formulas they consist of time in most formulas concerning distance. It works, however; time is a perception or byproduct of change in an environment. It is then the byproduct of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. It is somewhat confusing. How is time both a value, sometimes a formula, and also a law, in accordance with a dimension. We don't use 1,2 or 3d in that perspective. They are simply a plane in which things exist or work. What if we have it wrong, what if we haven't found the 4th dimension, does it exist.

This is merely a question. I am not attacking physics or any great physicist. Just asking a question to something we have no exact answer for, and additionally we take with absolute faith, we get nowhere without questioning things.
 
  • #163
831
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So, how can we group time with space? It would seem time is something wholly different, and perhaps not of the same substance.

Any help?
Imagine driving from point A to point B along an interstate at exactly 60 mph. Signs are posted at every mile along the highway. Instead of posting the miles traveled since leaving point A, the signs post the time in minutes. So, at every mile post along the way the time is incremented by one minute. Thus, we measure our progress along the highway as time.

Mathematically, the progression along the path is measured as time. Now, does that make the dimension along the path a time dimension? We can always calculate the distance traveled by X = vt = 60t (X = distance in miles).

Does moving along your world line along your 4th spatial dimension at speed c make it a time dimension? We can always calculate the distance traveled by X4 = ct (X4 = distance along the world line).
 
  • #164


In that instance couldn't time be 1d, so time is only relative to the object we look at. It is the distortion of change we measure. So how could a plane specifically designated to time work. By now I have across many ideas of what it is and associates, however; time seems isolated from everything. Yet there is evidence surfacing that time seems to leak backward into current time. Gravity is even being considered as a separate dimension. Taking this idea I had and testing it in math seems somewhat impossible. I recently tried to imagine leaving time out and considering that there is a different 4th dimension. this would be comprised of multiverses so close together that they are woven far beyond a subatomic level where the laws of quantum mechanics might permit it. I then took the idea further thinking that these forces that we find difficult to explain, time or gravity, even anti-matter and tried to picture them as forces exerted from parallel universes that leak through even though they are not able to be seen physically. Could this even be possible?
 

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