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Represent the concept of Time best?

  1. [URL=http://homepage.mac.com/aglaser/time.swf]A.[/URL]

    6 vote(s)
  2. [URL=http://homepage.mac.com/aglaser/time2.swf]B.[/URL]

    8 vote(s)
  1. Aug 27, 2003 #1
    Which of these flash animations do you think represent the concept of Time best? Why?

    A. http://homepage.mac.com/aglaser/time.swf [Broken]

    B. http://homepage.mac.com/aglaser/time2.swf [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 29, 2003 #2
    I voted for animation "A". It seems like the traditional represention of Time. How events happen on a timeline in orderly fashion, one after the other in perfect concession. kikuchiyo, could you explain your idea of representation "B"?
  4. Aug 29, 2003 #3


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    version "B" is more like what Fotini Markopoulos talks about
    and she is prettier than you or me, so we have to consider it :wink:
    there was a profile of her and her 'quantum causal histories' research in
    the SciAm a couple of months ago and had a photo of her

    maybe kikuchiyo is on to something
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2003
  5. Aug 29, 2003 #4
    My original thoughts behind example B. was, what if time overlapped allowing a bit of the past to show through if you could look at it flat. Instead of the traditional linear explanation (A.) Being a graphic designer I'm forced to think about these things in a visual manner.
  6. Aug 29, 2003 #5


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    in convential quantum mechanics a particle can get from point X to point Y without having a continuous trajectory
    the continuous trajectory is a classical idea (very good as long as you don't push it past the limits of applicability)
    but in quantum mechanics there are only observations along the way and probabilities of getting from here to there---no smooth trajectory

    the timeline or time axis in a naive spacetime diagram is a
    trajectory idea
    and in what I've seen of quantum models of the world
    there is this kind of hopping from one spatial configuration to
    another, with a history of causality that lets a spacelike slice at the bottom of the pile influence those that cover it, but there is
    no one preferred trajectory

    this is just one reading of your animation "B"
    but it works for me at least---agrees with what I see
    people struggling to say about time when they are
    trying to quantize general relativity

    let's think of as many interpretations as we can, there is often more than one interpretation of a graphic
  7. Aug 29, 2003 #6


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    Why does kikuchiyo's intial post say it was last edited by Greg Bernhardt on 08-27-2003 at 02:49 PM?
  8. Aug 29, 2003 #7
    kikuchiyo is a work friend of mine and his orginal format and wording of his question was confusing, so he let me help him out to make it more clear. Now back on topic! :smile:
  9. Aug 29, 2003 #8
    Each example is good for different purposes. The first one more clearly represents motion rather than time per se, while the second one represents change. A three dimensional combination of the two would be more complete imo, but which is better just depends upon the context in which you use it.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2003
  10. Aug 31, 2003 #9
    I follow Wuliheron in that there is the human defenition of time and then the physics defenitions of time, which is better depends on what entanglement you find yourself in and which solves it better.
    I like the patchwork idea in that history affects history, not a continuous static line of events as the other suggests.
  11. Sep 2, 2003 #10
    Is A supposed to be repeating? Is B building "up", in other words, are those pieces building on top of each other or are they replacing each other?
  12. Sep 2, 2003 #11
    The graphics repeat but only to keep the file size down. You should consider only one cycle of the animation.
    Animation B. builds on top of the older tiles. So they overlap not replace.
  13. Sep 3, 2003 #12
    I think I have to go with "A". You see, "B" implies a second dimension of time, and I've never been comfortable with such an idea.
  14. Sep 3, 2003 #13


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    nice thing about a graphic (animated or not) is that one sees in it what one sees in it

    I dont understand how you see 2 dimensions of time but that is all right. I see only one----the leaves are piling "up"

    mathematical idea of partial ordering

    of spacelike slices if you want
  15. Sep 4, 2003 #14
    The reason I see two dimensions of time, is because these "spacelike slices" are not falling directly on top of each other. That is actually the point of that graphic (which differentiates it from option A): it doesn't require that all events fall orderly, in a series.

    IOW, since these "slices" are falling in a way that allows one to see th previous "slice", they are not falling in a "straight line". And if they are not falling in a "straight line" then you imply another "direction of movement" which is what "dimension" means.

    I had the same problem with the idea of "pretzeling time". In order to "bend" time so that you can go back to the past, you have to move in a different dimension of time (an "upward" one, in my mental picture).
  16. Sep 6, 2003 #15
    i have no physics real background to suggest this but ideas i hear, but i agree with neither :)

    i tihnk time is a straight track which you can turn around on and go back. like stephen hawking suggested in a brief history of time (?). Being an optomist i want to belive thats possible, and i tihnk as long as there is a limit to something (super-strings being the current favorite) then there has to be a defining thing (the smallest thing). When we learn more about the strings (i know, hundreds, perhaps thousands of years in the future) then we will learn every answer we want!

    after all the laws of physics have to be held somewhere, they cant just BE!
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