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Laws of Time

  1. Feb 26, 2009 #1
    Would any Laws be violated if time was proven not to be real.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 26, 2009 #2


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    What do you mean by time not being real?
  4. Feb 26, 2009 #3
    Time is certainly real. For the time being at least....
  5. Feb 26, 2009 #4


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    I certainly haven't had the time to find any certainty.

    I don't wish to appear ignorant, but my education is limited to college level kinematics, electromagnetism, etc. In my dabbling with higher physics here and there I have not come across any real proof of time. Is it implied by entropy, simply a philosophical question, or is there some other nonsymmetrical physics that serves to define "time?" :redface:
  6. Feb 26, 2009 #5
    I am not asking for an opinion of if you think it is real or not,

    I am saying equations or formulas that would be violated.
  7. Feb 26, 2009 #6
    On the one hand, time's existence is so fundamental to the whole game that it is almost an axiom.

    On the other hand, as is demonstrated by relativity, how time works isn't as straightforward as it seems.

    Are you talking about the arrow of time, in particular? Or just time in general? The arrow of time, no one really understands.
  8. Feb 26, 2009 #7
    Physics without time is just geometry.
  9. Feb 26, 2009 #8
    What i am trying to get at if you prove the existence of Psi ( ie psychic functioning beyond all reasonable doubt ( that any skeptic couldnt criticise))

    Would this violate any theory, from my readings into quantum mechanics and in relativety the answers work out the same if u you use imaginary time in certain equations.
  10. Feb 26, 2009 #9
    You mean real as in a real number (as opposed to complex?).

    If you wanted to describe time as a complex number, you're really talking about a universe with two-dimensional time. You'd have to do a hell of a lot more than "reading" up on QM to convince anyone.
  11. Feb 26, 2009 #10
    This is uselessly ambiguous: there are many alleged paranormal phenomena which don't require time to operate outside normal expectations. For example, if I proved I could hear your thoughts in my head, it would have no bearing on our understanding of time. Likewise, if I proved the spirit of a person who died in 1847 still hangs around the vicinity of where that person lived, it says nothing about time.

    Additionally, proving one paranormal thing (stipulating that's possible for this discussion's sake) does not prove any other paranormal thing: they're not all part of a unified, mutually dependent hypothesis or theory.
  12. Feb 26, 2009 #11


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    Yes, the arrow of time, as that's what I see as the most important aspect.

    This is my understanding from my limited knowledge. I didn't know if any very specialized field had come up with anything.
  13. Feb 26, 2009 #12
    What's not to understand? Time is movement, perception of it is a matter of perspective. Our perspective is governed by chemical reactions in our brain. Our perception of time is directly related to the amount of time it takes for electrical signals to travel in our neurons and how fast certain chemical reactions take place in our synapses. Change those velocities or reaction times and our perception of time and movement will be directly affected. Slow them down enough and we could watch the galaxy spin, slow them even more and we could watch our galaxy and Andromeda dance, slow them a lot more and we could watch the universe go out like a broken light bulb. It's all relative. Time is also meaningless unless you have memory so time only exists for life. There is only now, no past no future (which eliminates the concept of time travel).

    Always remember that time flies like an arrow and fruit flies like a banana.

    If you think I am wrong you have my express unrestricted permission to delete this post by going back in time and killing me when I am a child.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009
  14. Feb 26, 2009 #13
    Lets just be clear here, I am not asking for a pseudo interpretation of time,

    I mean you show tangible evidence for the existence of psi through objective results.

    All i am getting here is that you would need to prove 2 dimensions of time.
  15. Feb 26, 2009 #14
    What would that have to do with time? See my post above.
  16. Feb 26, 2009 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    If you do the thread will be locked. There is no forum at PF that allows such a discussion.

    If wish to present a formal conjecture, then you would need to meet the posting requirements in the Independent Research Forum. You asked if laws would be violated if time is not real, so the thread was moved to philosophy.
  17. Feb 26, 2009 #16


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    Well, pretty much all of them!
    You can call it whatever you want, but if you still use it in the equations, it's still the same time.
  18. Feb 27, 2009 #17
    That's not going to happen. Ever. TIME is a word that refers to pretty much the same thing in physics as it does in ordinary language. It refers to indexes of incongruent spatial configurations -- ordered records of various observations of the physical world which define objective reality.

    I suppose you could define the word, TIME, in such a way as to render it a collection of symbols that don't refer to anything in objective reality. But what would be the point of that? And anyway, that wouldn't obviate its extant de facto and technical meaning.

    The only way to establish "the existence of psychic funtioning beyond all reasonable doubt" is to produce objective records of it -- not just imaginary ones.

    If "tangible evidence for the existence of psi through objective results" is produced, then you can begin to answer the question of whether or not that behavior, that data, violates any extant physical laws or the predictions of any theoretical construction. But, wrt to your original question, that wouldn't prove TIME "not to be real". That wouldn't contradict the operational definition of TIME in physics, or its de facto meaning in ordinary language. And, if you chose to define TIME in unreal or imaginary or physically meaningless terms, then that wouldn't facilitate the production of "tangible evidence for the existence of psi through objective results".
  19. Feb 27, 2009 #18

    Ivan Seeking

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  20. Feb 27, 2009 #19
    But there is still one question, what happens if time becomes REAL (as pposed to imaginary), so the space becomes 4D eucledian. (Interestingly enough, the transformation from Minkowsky spacetime into 4D euclidean space can be done gradually and smoothly).

    4D space is static, but there should some 'static' solution if we try to reapply there all physical laws we know.
  21. Feb 27, 2009 #20
    If somebody could win the lottery on a consistent basis, I think that would be a pretty good indication of psi.
    ( for the heck of it/different state lotteries)

    More than 3 times ( i think that is objective unless somebody would say that is luck)

    so people cant think its a scam.

    Surely this would violate our understanding of time and wouldnt work in our current model of physics.
  22. Feb 27, 2009 #21
    Ivan, who are you quoting here? It's also not clear to me who you're responding to.

    My computer locked up when I clicked on the link to the physicsworld article -- also when I tried to go to the physicsworld.com homepage, and also when I tried to access it from Google.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  23. Feb 27, 2009 #22
    Given the history of the universe all the coming winning lottery numbers are fixed, predetermined, inevitable. Your scenario would simply force a change in our appreciation of how specifically the human brain can calculate coming events, and would not change our view of time at all.
  24. Feb 27, 2009 #23

    Ivan Seeking

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    I was quoting the results of a survey of 500 physicists who apparently can't agree if the direction of time is real or not. The point is that op assumes that physicists treat time as something real, but a significant percentage of physicists surveyed disagree.

    Their site may have been down earlier. The link works for me.
  25. Feb 27, 2009 #24

    Ivan Seeking

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    If a person picks the number from a drum, we have a choice determining the number selected. I don't think it has been shown that "choice" is a Newtonian [predictable] process.

    Ultimately, choice, or good random number generator would rely on processes that, according to QM, are not deterministic.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2009
  26. Feb 27, 2009 #25
    Thanks, I've since got it to work and read the article. It demonstrated the ambiguity of the word REAL. In addition to the "direction of time" stats, it was interesting that a few physicists don't think the Earth is real.

    In my reply to fabsuk I should have started by asking what he meant by the words TIME and REAL.
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