Is time a vector or scalar?

  • #1
1,728
13

Main Question or Discussion Point

Greetings, I have pondered over this question for what seemed ages. I dared not ask for opinions of my fellow classmates for they may mock at me for being a moron.
My question is:
1) What exactly is time? ( scalar? vector? units? force? )


2) How does time past?

( Before 1s passes.. 0.0001s.....0.0000000000001s...etc. ) Does time even past or begin?


2 b) State the acceleration of time.

Nothing could be more wonderful than an intellectual discussion. :rolleyes:
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
905
4
Your first question alone could be pondered for quite awhile. Time is most definitely a scalar, and can be measured in whatever units you like (just as length can be measured in inches, meters, cubits, etc.). But it's interesting to ask what time really is. I remember my very first physics class, in which our instructor posed the question of how we should define time. But she then asked us to write our own individual definitions, which proved to be a somewhat challenging task. The problem with the most basic units, such as time, length, mass, and electric charge, is that they are so simple that they can't easily be defined in any simpler terms.
 
  • #3
russ_watters
Mentor
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  • #4
932
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Operational: time is what a clock measures.

What does a clock measure? What we want it to measure.

So why does the universe seem to be so obsessed about working according to something we have defined? Easy: we were inspired to build a clock to measure something that we knew would be periodic, regular etc.
 
  • #5
Claude Bile
Science Advisor
1,471
19
2 b) State the acceleration of time.
I'll have a go at this one for fun.

dt = dt.
dt/dt = 1.
d^2t/dt^2 = d/dt(1) = 0.

As logic dictates it ought to be.

Claude.
 
  • #6
daniel_i_l
Gold Member
867
0
John Wheeler (a famous physicist) was famous for saying that time is what prevents everything from happenging together.
 

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