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Question about time and mass

  1. Nov 15, 2008 #1
    Since a photon moves at c has 0 mass, and doesn't "experience" time. Would it "see" everything in 2 dimensions (a frame) .. and could you say it only exists in 2 dimensions?

    Could matter exist without time?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 15, 2008 #2


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    Why 2 dimensions? If "time" does not exist for a photon, wouldn't the three space dimensions still exist?
  4. Nov 15, 2008 #3
    I think the photon would only "see" the frame of time (or 2D space) of when it was created, like a painting, and 3D space or mass wouldn't exist.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2008
  5. Nov 15, 2008 #4
    Don't forget the photon gets dizzy as well since it has spin. :smile:

    Seriously, the question and the answer is useless since photons do not interact with each other, they can only be absorbed and emitted.
  6. Nov 16, 2008 #5

    Jonathan Scott

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    (... except when pairs of photons meet with sufficiently large center-of-mass energy to cause electron/positron pair production, which may not be relevant to this thread, but I'm mentioning it in case anyone comes across this statement out of context).
  7. Nov 16, 2008 #6
    It's believed light, electromagnetic radiation, exists in three spacial dimensions like the strong and weak forces; gravity may be a force which "leaks" (hence weakens) through higher dimensions, if such higher dimensions exist. It seems to "like" x,y,z directions equally moving in all three at "c".

    As far as is known, No.

    As far as is understood, time permits the universe to evolve. The initial energy in the universe transforms with time to the four fundamental forces we observe today, to enable "change" such as mass to emerge. particles, planets,stars, galaxies,etc. Via inflationary theory, time apparently existed before space for maybe 10^-33 seconds during the inflationary phase of the universe when things expanded faster than light. Without time the universe could not evolve. Time permits change.

    An aspect of your question is whether time is fundamental or an emergent phenomena "created" at or near the origin of the universe. I don't believe that issue has been settled. Some theories envision time as having existed before our universe, such as "big bounce" and "bubble" theories, but big bang theories appear to see time as starting or maybe restarting in this incarnation.
  8. Nov 16, 2008 #7


    Staff: Mentor

  9. Nov 16, 2008 #8
    If mass can't exist without time, could it be the Higgs boson interacts with time (frames) to create 3 dimensional objects or space? Or could the Higgs boson be related to time some other way?
  10. Nov 17, 2008 #9
    Another far-out question/thought, since an electromagnetic wave consists of two forces (electric / magnetic), could the three dimensions of 3D space and matter be.. electric fields (x) magnetic fields (y), and time (z)?
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