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Is time a thing or human concept?

  1. May 10, 2005 #1

    Pengwuino

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    So what do you people think? What are the arguments for each?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 10, 2005 #2
    1905-2005 a hundred years for The Theory of Special Relativity of Albert Einstein. This theory unified time with the other spacial dimensions. time is the fourty diension. If not, fo rexample, how do you explain the curvature of time and space in a a proportional and regular way between both time and space with gravity?
     
  4. May 10, 2005 #3

    Pengwuino

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    Well thats my argument, the space-time theory. Someone said because you cant see it or measure it or "send it out", it cant be real.
     
  5. May 10, 2005 #4
    good we agree.

    If someone says time can't be "real" or fisically exists, then I have two answers:
    1) define what "fisically exist" means for him/her.
    2) look at your clock/whatch. is the arrow moving second to second? then, yes. time exists. you are whatching time fisically.
     
  6. May 10, 2005 #5
    Hast thou heard of thyne theory of relativity?
     
  7. May 10, 2005 #6
    Time is a tool
     
  8. May 10, 2005 #7

    Pengwuino

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    Yah but the people im arguing with dont seem to care... they need more uninitiated examples
     
  9. May 10, 2005 #8
    I think time is simply a distinction from one event to another. Like watching the second hand on a clock tick as guile said. Motion of things sort of define time. Imagine a universe where everything stood completely still; you'd be hard-pressed to determine whether time is flowing or not.

    And guile check for spelling... it gets annoying :mad:
     
  10. May 10, 2005 #9
    So time is a measure of motion?

    Then I have a question, in absolute zero, would time pass?
     
  11. May 10, 2005 #10

    Pengwuino

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    There is no absolute zero though so isnt that ... some word for it... some sort of bad statement, i dunno.
     
  12. May 11, 2005 #11
    I know, I know....

    I'll do it.
     
  13. May 11, 2005 #12
    same as pengwuino,

    but if you think in a theoretical absolute zero, then, time will not pass.
     
  14. May 11, 2005 #13
    Time is both a thing and a concept.
    It is a thing because it has an effect on reality. It follows certain laws.
    It is a concept because all reality that we can perceive with our senses is a concept. All things are concepts.
     
  15. May 11, 2005 #14

    honestrosewater

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    You can't measure time?? What does a clock do then? :tongue2:
     
  16. May 11, 2005 #15
    I don't think time is a thing or a human concept. I would like more items to chose from, please.
     
  17. May 11, 2005 #16
    create your own one!

    if not, you can't just say that you think another one is better to define time, because it's not even yours!
     
  18. May 11, 2005 #17
    I think discussions of time are all hindered by the inability to arrive at a good definition. It is an excruciatingly hard word to define, yet everyone understands what it means.
     
  19. May 11, 2005 #18
    Isn't this the crux? It is the flow of time that may not be real, rather than time itself. Also, the "time is simply a distinction from one event to another" notion... the amount of time between two events cannot necessarily be agreed upon by two different observers. So one person may see the second hand on a clock move as we are used to, while another in a different frame of reference may see it move slower. This definition of time was exactly what special relativity overthrew.
     
  20. May 11, 2005 #19
    Wat is the difference between "the flow of time" and "time itself"?
    Einstein defines time for the purposes of relativity by simply resorting to describing it as the movement of clock hands.
    What definition of time did it overthrow? I don't think it overthrew any definition of time, rather it merely complicated the meager one he presented. Relativity doesn't make time less real, just more flexible.
     
  21. May 12, 2005 #20
    Einstein defined time as another dimension of the universe. Rather than an event taking time, an event occurs at a particular point in space and time. That event is what it is... those are it's co-ordinates [x,y,z,t]. There is nothing particularly special about any one time co-ordinate. The flow of time makes the 'present' special... i.e. a particular event in space-time is in the present, all other events with a lesser time co-ordinate are in the past, and those with a greater time co-ordinate are in the future. We perceive time to be created and destroyed in the present, or the present itself as something that is moving from the past to the future. As a result, we feel we are moving forward in time, that time has a direction and flow. But do x, y and z have direction and flow? This flow is perceived because we remember the past and don't remember the future. I'm no expert but I did read an article explaining how there was no physical demand for this to be the case, and it may be a purely evolutionary device. Entropy probably plays the biggest part in our perceived arrow of time. Systems move from a more ordered state to a more disordered state. Maybe it's not possible to predict something doing the opposite, so entropy forces our hand at what information we can use to make decisions. Who knows? That's why I said the flow of time may be the illusion. But time itself... well, is space a human concept? Same goes for time, I guess.

    Yes, but those clock hands move differently for different observers or, at the extreme, do not move at all for some hypothetical observers. Therefore time can not give you any fixed distance between two events... it can only give you a relative value.

    SR overthrew Newtonian absolute time. It overthrew the notion that the time between event A and event B is set and the same for everyone.
     
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