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Two kinds of time

  1. Jan 23, 2004 #1
    I originally posted this in Relativity, but I thought it might get more responses here (terribly sorry to have double posted, I beg your forgiveness moderators). Now, onto the fun stuff :D.

    A gravitational field condenses space while slowing time. If we look at space and time as comprised of finitely-sized "points" (rather than geometric points), we see that the effect is opposite for each one. In space the points are condensed in the direction leading to the gravitational field, getting more condensed the closer you go to the center of gravity of the object exerting the force of gravity. In time the points are expanded in the same direction, getting more expanded the closer you go the center of gravity. What this means is that the closer one is to the center of gravity of an object, the more length contraction (lengths getting smaller relative to areas away from the gravity) and time dilation (time moving slower relative to areas away from gravity). Gravity's curvature of space is often represented as an indention in a plane.

    I propose that "flowing" time is different from dilatable time. Gravity's effects on time seem to be opposite of its effects on space- if we represent space's curvature it is an indention, time's curvature a bump (the same thing we would expect to find in space as "antigravity"). Here are two diagrams of space and time (1-dimensional representations in a 2-d diagram):

    Figure One
    Figure Two

    Figure One- The blue line is flat spacetime (how it would look if there was somehow no gravity). The black line is actual spacetime (how it looks WITH gravity). Above the black line is space (gravity indents it, condensing it), and below the black line is time (gravity bumps it, expanding it). As is apperent, the black line is spacetime, and when percieved from the top it arises in space, from the bottom it arises in time.

    Figure Two- The blue line, again, is flat spacetime, and the black is actual spacetime. This time, however, there are two additional lines- a purple and a dark blue. The purple line is an imaginary divide between time and space. Below the purple line is time, above is space. Space is experienced from the exterior of the circle, time from the interior of the circe. The dark blue line shows a space point corresponding to a time point. This was the original concept I came up with, but Figure One (probably wrapped into a circle) seems a more likely scenario, lacking a repeat of the same information twice.

    This explains length contraction and time dilation (relativity, essentially), but we lack "flowing" time, time which has a corresponding time point for every instant in time. For this reason I have labelled the time of spacetime "Time A" and the time of flow "Time B". Here is Figure Two with alterations to depict Time B:

    Figure Three

    Time B is NOT relative- it flows at the same rate for all things. This model eliminates the need for an existing past or future. In relativity, if there was no past or future but only a present, moving onwards, a part of the present with time dilated to be slowed down relative to the rest would find itself isolated in its own section of time with nothing else present (since the slow-moving area would be outpaced by the fast-moving area). A concrete past and future must EXIST in order for this not to occur.

    However with Time B this is not required. Time A deals with time dilation, but Time B moves at a fixed rate; meaning that an object with "slowed-down" time is still moving through Time B at a fixed rate, but time points (shabon-damas) in Time A have expanded, slowing the object's experience down. This model also seems to effectively prohibit time travel, seeing as only Time A is relative and the location of the present only concerns Time B.

    As a final note, Time A has the same number of dimensions as Space, whatever that number may be. A three-dimensional model of Space and Time B would be a sphere, and a three-dimensional model of Space, Time B, and Time A is, of course, impossible- we require four dimensions for that.

    Any comments, additions, subtractions, etc?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 24, 2004 #2


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    What do clocks measure, under your idea?
  4. Jan 24, 2004 #3
    Clocks measure Time B in relation to their location in Time A. Meaning a clock near a gravitational field (where shabon-damas, Time A points, are expanded relative to their vacuum-dwelling counterparts) measures passage through time B with reference to the size of the shabon-damas it is occupying. Since the shabon-damas are expanded, the clock's measurement of Time B will be based on larger units than a clock in a vacuum (with unexpanded shabon-damas).

    Let a vacuum shabon-dama's size be assigned the value of "1", and let the shabon-damas near a particular massive object be assigned the value of "2". One clock is in the vacuum, one clock is in the gravitational field. The vacuum clock will measure its passage through Time B using local shabon-dama size, 1. The gravitational field clock will measure its passage through Time B using local shabon-dama size, 2. So from the perspective of the gravitational field, the vacuum clock appears to be running fast (twice as fast in our example). From the perspective of the vacuum, the gravitational field clock appears to be running slow (half as fast in our example). The ACTUAL speed at which the clocks are moving through Time B, however, is the same.
  5. Jan 24, 2004 #4


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    Can you construct a thought experiment, involving clocks, that would show a difference from what GR would predict?

    My guess is that you could, by moving around in a binary system (whether planet, star, pulsar, or SMBH).
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