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

Understanding of physics is slim to none

  1. Dec 10, 2011 #1
    After reading some of the threads, I realize that my understanding of physics is slim to none. However, I am a law student (currently studying patents), and I have become very curious about the subject of time and space. My question is this:

    1) Is time stationary, e.g., a time line, and matter is just moving along the line in a linear direction?

    2) Or, the same concept, except that time is circular and matter is just drifting around in time's orbit.

    3) In contradistinction, matter is stationary, and time is moving past all matter, giving the appearance that matter is moving along time, i.e., the effect of seeing a moving train, when on a stationary train, making it appear as though one is moving backwards.

    4) I also read that time is expanding, but could time be expanding while also contracting, similar to the motion of air in the vortex of a tornado?

    I appreciate any insight that may help to satisfy my curiosity. Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 10, 2011 #2
    Re: Time

    Classically, yes, time can be seen as a time-line with matter moving in a deterministic fashion. This perspective works for euclidean geometry, but not for complex spaces.

    I am assuming you are referring to a sort of "grandfather-paradox" style scenario, where *if matter could affect the (deterministic) past, it would affect the origin of itself and could only exist in conjunction with itself in the past? I am not sure I made any sense there hahah, but anyways from my interpretation QM forbids this, because randomness caused by the "movement" of matter makes the past only a memory, not a tangible dimension, simply because when you "rewind" the system (or even individual particle) you get an entirely different past than what you remember, due to the accumulated randomness of the system.

    To be honest I am not understanding this, but that might just be because I am sleepy hahaha, hopefully someone else can enlighten us.

    Well, mindowski space and all of relativity supports the concept of time actually being twisted by matter, and selectively by the distance/time an object is traveling, I suppose you could look at this as expansion and contraction.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook