Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Time what is it?

  1. Nov 13, 2003 #1
    O K a quick question , but what is time? i know we make time by using clocks , day ,weeks , seasons , but that is our way , but are there diffrent times (linked) to interdimensal strings are they diffrent from normal time (what we live in now) just a question?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2003 #2
    The future is filled with many possible outcomes, an open samples space, if you like. But the past is completely determined. We know exactly what events lead to other events in the past. But we do not know what the future will hold, only what it may hold. Therefore, time seems to be the process of selecting which samples to include in events. In quantum mechanical terms, time is what collapses the wave function into a particular choice of all the possibilities.
  4. Nov 15, 2003 #3
    In other words, there is something not specified about the future that leaves open many possibilities. There are some generalities that are still valid, but there is something that prevents their application to a specific situation. Could this something be boundary conditions? Does time come along and impose boundary conditions on the generalities so as to force a solution to just one or perhaps a few choices? I suppose that the greater the boundary, the more choices are possible, and the tighter the boundary conditions, the fewer the choice that are left.

  5. Nov 15, 2003 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    absolute balderdash,time is an artificial concept, what is the
    difference from saying one second or one hour, only an artifical
    concept. the rotation of the earth is the only real way we know
    time is passing, all this talk of time as a dimention is total
    rubbish, length is equal to forwards or backwards, hight is
    equal to up or down, so time is equal to????????????
  6. Nov 15, 2003 #5


    I've always imagined that time is the "one" dimension defined by changes in another dimension(s).

    In a universe where NOTHING changed, time would not exist.

    As a particle approaches the speed of light or falls into a gravitational field, our ability to perceive changes along its dimension of travel diminishes causing time for it to slow down with respect to the stationary observer. At these regions in the fabric of space-time, time is warped compared to other regions (such as the observer). One might think of the temporal dimension as being shrunk at these warped regions.

    The temporal dimension shrinks to zero and time stops existing (from our stationary vantage point) for things at the speed of light and in black holes.
  7. Nov 29, 2003 #6
    Time is the measure of difference between two defined points.

    Usually then in common human terms, the difference is the count (a scale, measuring system etc needs to be defined also), the points are two particular dates.

    This "works" for us because if nothing, and I mean nothing, changed, then there would be no sense of time. One would argue that in such a case then only one point exists, two points cannot exist without difference; they are one and the same?

    If somehow, the sun reversed its direction and we all started becoming younger, could you argue that time is going backwards?

    This is not my judgement, just a thought.
  8. Nov 29, 2003 #7
    I actually think that is what time is - (NOTHING CHANGING)
  9. Nov 30, 2003 #8
    Yes, I agree with you, however I don't know enough to explore those thoughts in the correct detail yet... It seems like perhaps time is 'compressed' into a 'singularity' of some kind, but there's a bigger picture to it which I am currently unaware of.

    Basically what I mean to say is that most people cannot fathom the concept of time without change, hence that is a key aspect to what we call time, but I think beginning to comprehend the possibility may be a step towards a better understanding of 'time'.
  10. Dec 2, 2003 #9
    Re: time?

    Not just time, but the spatial dimension parallel to the axis of travel shrinks to/approaches zero as velocity approaches c, as well within black holes.
  11. Dec 3, 2003 #10
    Time only the past

    When speaking of time the only actual true presence of time(past,preasent & future) there is only past in a true sence.i'll explain my beleifs.ok Present cannot exist because of a simple fact for any presence of time to exist you must mention it. Example last week i play foot ball,,,,Today i will play football or Tomarow i will play foot ball. you see i have created the presence of time but with present once you have created the presence of it(mentioned it) it has past making it past.Future cannot exist for a much more complicated reason.With future you must mention it to create the future situation.Once mention you have created a situation that may or may not happen(future).Once mentioned a few things can happen that will change the situation destroying it from being a true future.One thing that can happen is the person can avoid the future therefore changing it and breaking the true future.But if you try to make it happen then you break the true furtue again because you would change the future by trying to create it.No matter what with the furtue after you mention it(and you must for the future to exist in the true sence)it will NOT be the same as when mentioned stopping it from being a true future.Even if the future happens something will happen a thought will enter your mind or you may see something you did not intend on.The only way for someone to create a "TRUE FUTURE" situation is if they can predict every single thought picture or sight that will happen but that is not ever posible due the human thoughts are infinite and one thought can lead to another wich will lead to another. So the only "TRUE" time is past. Now for what time is you could say it is the speed of which reality moves at.
  12. Dec 17, 2003 #11
    Time is simply, "forces in motion," ...beheld, and remembered by the ever-still consciousness. ...Time is an illusion, only a concept. Time is a form of space. Time is the space for an action or motion. Time and space are one, ..."Space-Time."
  13. Jan 9, 2004 #12
    time is a tool used to capture the past and put events on a time line. when in our time the present how do you capture that? You can't for the present is living. no time is perfect for after you state the time it's over, and even still it was not the farthest caculation to that moment for you cant describe life to perfection using math. If times not related to math or measurement then I think time is fictious to life.
  14. Jan 9, 2004 #13
    Quoted by: Herringbone
    Like a result set.
  15. Jan 27, 2004 #14
    Can we experience the past or the future? I wonder if there is only the "eternal moment of now"
  16. Jan 27, 2004 #15
    time's what stops everything from happening at once, right?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook