# Understanding Time

Is "time" something that is a real thing, or is it just a standard/belief of something to guide us humans for a day to day basis, that humans have come to accept as a fictional word, but does not really exist?

## Answers and Replies

berkeman
Mentor
Time enters into all dynamic equations in science. It is measurable, so in a physical sense, I think you can say it is real. Now our perception of time, and the way our memory and thoughts can reach across "time", that is something that you can ponder about....

You should not have asked, now I don't know :yuck:

quid est ergo tempus? si nemo ex me quaerat, scio; si quaerenti explicare velim, nescio

What is then time? If nobody asks me, I do know; if I want to explain it, I don't know.

http://www.victorianweb.org/history/dora/dora12.html [Broken]

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Nature of Time, Fundamental Basis of Physics

All current models of physics, are black box models. The question of what is "t", in the black model is one question. The second more interesting question is what is the physical nature of matter and space. It is surprising difficult to think independent of the black box models, to see the phenomena as clues as to what matter and space are.

The following is a discussion of those questions:

The foundation of physics is interpreted experimental data - the facts - and a set of conceptual primitives - force, field, particle, space, space-time, quark, gluon, dark matter, dimensions, dark energy, string, bane, magnetic monopole, and so on. Physicists have taken a subset of some of the possible primitives and connected them, using mathematical algorithms. Each set of primitives and the associated algorithm is a model. The models of physics are theoretical in that they do not provide a direct, complete, description of the physical world and its processes. For example, most twentieth century philosophers would support the assertion that the primitive force in Isaac Newton's particle/force model is only a mathematical abstraction. Newton, one of the firsts to apply the theoretic methodology, understood and acknowledged its limits.

"For I hence design only to give a mathematical notion of those forces without considering their physical causes and seats" and "consider those forces not physically, but mathematically." Isaac Newton (2)

The theoretical model has enabled physicists to record and analyze observations using a complex type of curve fitting. The laws of physics are a collection of generalized and formulated observations. The word law was used perhaps in an effort for the emerging science to reconcile theological conflicts. The power of the theoretic methodology is that through the use of black box type modeling, it allowed significant progress to be made, at a time when there was only limited knowledge of matter and space. As a result of over 300 years of successful application of the black box models, most physicists and many philosophers have a deep seated belief that the theoretic methodology is the only rational or perhaps the only practical approach to the problems of physics.

A methodology is a means in which to explore the facts. Methodologies unlike theories cannot be falsified. Methodologies are not true or false, but rather effective or ineffective depending on the nature of the problem to be solved. In most other fields of science, direct observation is possible which has enabled the development of models that closely match the physical world. For example, biologists have developed detailed, ontologically correct, models of life at a molecular level. The breakthroughs in biological engineering in the twentieth century were not the result of serendipitous experiments. The development of detailed, ontologically correct, biological models was a necessary prerequisite to allow advanced biological engineering.

I hear my adversaries shouting in my ears that it is one thing to deal with matters physically, and quite another to do so mathematically, and that geometers should stick to their fantasies and not get entangled in philosophical matters - as if truth could ever be more than one; as if geometry up to our time had prejudiced the acquisition of true philosophy; as if it were impossible to be a geometer as well as a philosopher - and we must infer as a necessary consequence that anyone who knows geometry cannot know physics, and cannot reason about and deal with physical matters physically! (5) Galileo Galilei

The Physical and Theoretical Worldviews
A worldview is an implicit and explicit set of interrelated and connected beliefs. Justification of the theoretical models was not necessary to apply the theoretical models and has unintentionally created philosophical barriers which make it difficult to understand and analysis the facts independently from the theoretical worldview. What is a physical worldview? To answer this question it is necessary to explore what it means to “reason about and deal with physical matters physically.”

Whether the physical worldview does or does not exist, and its correct form is absolutely dependent on what space and matter truly are. To understand the problem situation and to re-examine the facts from the perspective of a physical worldview, it is necessary to develop a hypothetical ontologically correct model and then to create a physical world view that is logically consistent with the hypothetical model. The model discussed is an extrapolation of Faraday’s suppositions and understanding of what space and matter are.

In a physical worldview ‘time’ is a concept that has been created to compare and describe physical processes. It is the small "t" that is part of the mathematical apparatus of the model. Time in a physical worldview is not part of physical space or matter. As in a physical worldview ‘time’ is not a primitive, in a physical worldview there is not and cannot be any physical connection between ‘time’ and physical space and physical matter. Physical matter cannot travel through ‘time’ in a physical worldview. Changing the small “t” in the model does not in any manner change the rate of physical processes and cannot cause them to reverse. Time in the physical worldview is not a river that flows. It is a concept. Time dilution and time contraction are not physically rational concepts within a physical worldview. Except for the small set of phenomena associated with Einstein's model all scientific analysis is based on a physical worldview of time. From a physical worldview any change in any process, is ultimately due to a physical change at an atomic or subatomic level. For example, a chemist would not state that the rate of time changed in a beaker, if the rate of a reaction in the beaker changed when an experiment is repeated. If the rate of the reaction changed, there must be a physical difference.

The physical worldview is by definition completely supportive of analyzing the facts using the physical methodology. It is not possible or necessary at the beginning of the physical path to prove the assertion that time is a concept, not part of physical space. The belief that time is a primitive and part of physical space is moved, without argument to the theoretical world view. Allow the two competing worldviews to co-exist in the mind. Now re-examine the facts from the perspective the physical worldview.

At the turn of the twentieth century, it was discovered that there are discernable physical differences between atoms or subatomic particles that are moving slowly from the same or the same type of atoms or particles that are moving rapidly. For example, the rate of atomic processes slows down, when matter moves. It is possible and likely as there are discernable changes at an atomic and subatomic level, which occur when matter moves, that there is a fundamental change at an atomic and subatomic level, when matter moves. The assertion that if there is a discernable difference then there is and must be a change at an atomic and subatomic level is what Leibniz (9) would have called the principle of discernable differences, which is the foundation of the physical worldview. The corollary to the principle of discernable differences is the principle of predictability or equivalence, which is the observation that matter reacts, in exactly the same manner for identical conditions at an atomic and subatomic level.

From the perspective of a physical worldview, the fact that matter changes when it moves is a clue as to what matter and space is. Is it possible that it is not the motion that causes atomic processes to slow down but rather the change in matter at a subatomic level that is associated with motion that causes the atomic processes to slow down? Is it possible that matter moves and continues to move due to a change at a subatomic level? Using the principle of equivalence, if it was possible to place constrained matter in the same subatomic state as moving matter, atomic processes in the constrained matter would slow down. What would happen when the constrained, sub-atomically altered matter was released?

From the physical worldview there is a difference between model space - which can be mathematically defined to have almost any form - and physical space. In Newton and Maxwell's models there are two general primitives, model “space” and model “particle”. In classical and modern physics the term particle has an abstract meaning that differs from the common macro understanding of a particle. A macro particle, such as a physical grain of sand, appears to have a surface. The appearance of a surface is an illusion. As was discovered at the turn of the 20th century, matter is comprised of atoms. Each atom consists of a nuclide of closely connected protons and electrons that is surrounded by a periodically changing 'cloud' of electrons. Fast moving free electrons (Lenard, 1903) and protons (Rutherford, 1913) readily pass through the electron cloud. There is no experimental evidence to support the proposition that free electrons or the electrons in the atomic cloud have a surface. Experimental evidence also does not support the existence of a protonic surface, however, as Ernest Rutherford's scattering experiment demonstrated; one proton cannot readily pass through another. Is it a fact that atoms, and their constituents, the electron and proton, do not have a surface? If it is, might they rather be called the electronic and protonic disturbance, as opposed to particles? What is the difference between a disturbance in the condition of space and a particle? A disturbance in the condition of space is a three-dimensional, time variant entity. It is not a static entity, such as Newton's corpuscles or a mathematical entity such as Boscovich's force points. Can the facts be used to determine if electrons and protons are time varying disturbances, corpuscles, or force points?

From the perspective of the classic models and the modern models, the model component “particle” is something that has the capability of carrying properties through space. Assume that electrons, protons, and photons are disturbances in the condition of physical space, as opposed to particles that carry properties through physical space. If that assumption is correct, Maxwell’s model’s charge and Newton’s model’s mass are theoretical concepts, as in the physical world there is nothing to carry charge, gravitational mass, or inertial mass.

The exploration of the possibility that physical space has properties and matter is a disturbance in the condition of space is blocked by the misinterpretation of the American scientists, Michelson and Morley’s mirror experiment which confirmed that there is not a space wind created as the earth moves about the sun. At the time of the mirror experiment, physicists believed as they still do that matter is particular. If matter is particular and space is not empty there can be a space wind. If matter is a disturbance in the condition of space there is not and cannot be a space wind. The result of the mirror experiment confirms that there is not a space wind and that there is a change in matter, the Lorentz contraction, in the direction of motion.

Does, the observed physical change in matter the Lorentz contraction as well as the ‘time contraction’ and ‘mass changes’ associated with motion provide support for the assertion that matter is a disturbance in space not particular? Does, the conversion of particle pairs – proton and antiproton for example – to photons and photons to particle pairs also provide support for the hypothesis that matter is a disturbance in space? Is the conversion of matter to energy, the conversion of one type of disturbance to another, rather than the conversion of primitives?

ZapperZ
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
1. So where did you copy-and-paste this from?

2. Did you ignore the whole aspect of gauge invariance in physics? Or do you not know the significance of that?

3. Do you not know the difference between phenomenology and theory model in physics?

Zz.

Metaphysics & a thought Experiment

Hi Zz. In reply to your questions.

1. So where did you copy-and-paste this from?

The method is Faraday's. I simply applied his method to analyze the modern facts, and then described the resultant. Some of the other ideas are from other scientific philosophers.

Comment:
Faraday's discussion of the so called “electromagnetic” phenomena in his diary differs from Maxwell's mathematical model. Maxwell in his writings, noted that he was unable to translate Faraday's understanding and description of the phemenona, into a mathematical model, using 19th century mathematics and tools.

Faraday also did experiments with gravity.

2. Did you ignore the whole aspect of gauge invariance in physics? Or do you not know the significance of that?

I do not understand how a super concept can correct a model that is incorrect at the level of primitives. For example, if there are only three dimensions in the real world, I do not understand how the String theorists, can construct a useful model that requires 11 dimensions.

Comment:
Have you read Lee Smolin's "The Trouble with Physics, The rise and fall of String Theory, the fall of a Science and What Comes Next." or Peter Woit's "Not even wrong, The failure of String Theory and The search for unity in Physical Law", also interesting is David Lindley's "The End of Physics, The Myth of a Unified Theory".

Is physics in a crisis? Is String theory akin to alchemy? The Alchemists did not fail due to a lack of intellegence.

3. Do you not know the difference between phenomenology and theory model in physics?

I do. That is why I have written what I have written.

The following is a thought problem.

Imagine a very rapidly rotating cylinder. For example, experimental variable speed motors have achieved; rotating in a vacuum; using magnetic bearing; rpm’s in excess of 100,000 rpm.

Assuming a 2 cm shaft, at 100,000 rpm, the velocity at the edge of the shaft is 2*pi*R/T where T is 0.0006 sec. V = 200 m/s. The centripetal acceleration = V^2/R = 2193245 m^2/sec or dividing by 9.81 m2/s = approx. 200,000 g.

Place a highly radioactive substrate on the surface of the shaft.

As per general relativity's principal of equivalence, time slows down for the substrate at the edge of the shaft. The rate of radioactive decay slows down as one moves from the centre of the shaft to the outer edge.

From the physical world view, there is and must be a physical reason, to explain why the radioactive decay slows down. From the physical world view there is a physical reason for every phenomena change. Time is a concept, not part of physical space.

How do you see this thought experiment from Einstein’s world view?

ZapperZ
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Hi Zz. In reply to your questions.

The method is Faraday's. I simply applied his method to analyze the modern facts, and then described the resultant. Some of the other ideas are from other scientific philosophers.

Comment:
Faraday's discussion of the so called “electromagnetic” phenomena in his diary differs from Maxwell's mathematical model. Maxwell in his writings, noted that he was unable to translate Faraday's understanding and description of the phemenona, into a mathematical model, using 19th century mathematics and tools.

Faraday also did experiments with gravity.

You did not answer my question. I asked you where you copy-and-paste that from! And don't tell me you didn't do that. Your "article" was full of citation numbers, and there are not references at the end.

So tell me where you copied that from.

I do not understand how a super concept can correct a model that is incorrect at the level of primitives. For example, if there are only three dimensions in the real world, I do not understand how the String theorists, can construct a useful model that requires 11 dimensions.

Comment:
Have you read Lee Smolin's "The Trouble with Physics, The rise and fall of String Theory, the fall of a Science and What Comes Next." or Peter Woit's "Not even wrong, The failure of String Theory and The search for unity in Physical Law", also interesting is David Lindley's "The End of Physics, The Myth of a Unified Theory".

Is physics in a crisis? Is String theory akin to alchemy? The Alchemists did not fail due to a lack of intellegence.

And I do not understand what you have written here have anything to do with answering my question. Look at what you wrote earlier, and THEN, tell me why having gauge invariance would not demolish many of what you thnk it true.

I am not here to defend string theory. I don't buy it. However, physics isn't JUST String theory, something you would have known if you have learned physics beyond just reading pop-science books. The largest sector of physics is condensed matter/material science, the SAME area that gave you your modern electronics. Our gauge invariance concept works in there too!

I do. That is why I have written what I have written.

The following is a thought problem

Imagine a very rapidly rotating cylinder. For example, experimental variable speed motors have achieved; rotating in a vacuum; using magnetic bearing; rpm’s in excess of 100,000 rpm.

Assuming a 2 cm shaft, at 100,000 rpm, the velocity at the edge of the shaft is 2*pi*R/T where T is 0.0006 sec. V = 200 m/s. The centripetal acceleration = V^2/R = 2193245 m^2/sec or dividing by 9.81 m2/s = approx. 200,000 g.

Place a highly radioactive substrate on the surface of the shaft.

As per general relativity's principal of equivalence, time slows down for the substrate at the edge of the shaft. The rate of radioactive decay slows down as one moves from the centre of the shaft to the outer edge.

From the physical world view, there is and must be a physical reason, to explain why the radioactive decay slows down. From the physical world view there is a physical reason for every phenomena change. Time is a concept, not part of physical space.

How do you see this thought experiment from Einstein’s world view?

Huh? How is this an illustration that you know the difference between phenomenology and theory? What you wrote is completely irrelevant. If that is what you think illustrate the difference, then you have ZERO clue on what they are.

Please find the physics definition of "phenomenology" and "theory", and THEN, come back here and tell me what they are. Then, look at what you wrote earlier and figure out if you actually have confused those two.

Note that if you wish to challenge conventional physics with your own pet theory, I strongly suggest you FIRST read the PF Guidelines that you have explicitly agreed to, and THEN, submit it to the IR forum. It cannot be done in the in the philosophy forum, of all places.

Zz.

Metaphysics Vs Blackbox Models

Zz, In response to your questions:

A)
You did not answer my question. I asked you where you copy-and-paste that from! And don't tell me you didn't do that. Your "article" was full of citation numbers, and there are not references at the end.

So tell me where you copied that from.

I did not copy the unquoted text. I am the author. Clearly I have read and thought about the problem situation.

B)
THEN, tell me why having gauge invariance would not demolish many of what you thnk it true.
Your tone is that what I write is not philosphy. I truly do not understand how "Guage theory" solves physics' current problems or negates an alternative methodology. Please explain your point of view. What are you defending? Do you understand why it is difficult to examine the problem situation from a different world view?

C) Do you understand what a primitive is? Physics is the only field were primitives can be created. What pray tell is a "String" or a "Bane". Are they real? I am not the only philospher how believes that Physics is in a crisis. What is your definition of a crisis? Anyone else?

D) Is it OK to discuss parallel universes? How about theories that have 11 dimensions? What is the difference between alchemy and "String Theory"? What is your definition of the true philosphical approach? Any possiblilty you could be mistaken? Is there value in considering a new approach, if the "String" approach might not suceed? If others have failed, to solve a problem, is it possible they failed because of their approach?

E) I am certainly not the only philosopher believes a re-examination of the fundation of physics is viable and necessary alternative to the pure mathematical approach.

From William Berkson's "Fields of Force, The Development of a World View from Faraday to Einstein" published 1974 by Routledge and Kegan Paul.

There is a long antimetaphysical tradation, the latest expression of which is the belief that the search for a world picture is old fashioned, since the advent of quantum theory. I do not agree with this view, and this book is, in one aspect, one long argument against it....It is also possible that a study of old problem situations may help to reveal that science took a 'wrong turn'. Let me explain. Old theories like Newton's or Maxwell's are supposed to be correct only in certain limited circumstances. These limitations are ... by the present theories, relativity, and quantum theory. It is often expected that the advances well be made in the 'fringes' of the present theories, and not ...Of course the claim may always be made that the existing theories are rotten to the core..

Or physicist and Nobel Laureate, Sheldon Glashow's comment concerning string theory
"contemplating superstrings may evolve into an activity as remote from conventional particle physics as conventional particle physics is from chemistry, to be conducted at schools of divinity by future equivalents of medieval theologians."(3).

Glashow's comment questions not only where physics is headed, but also where it has been. What is the nature of the theories discussed in Steven Weinberg's December, 1999 Scientific American article entitled, "Can Physics be united"?
... But no one knows how to write down the equation of this theory." Does it appear a solution by application of the theoretic methodology is imminent? Steven Weinberg writes (same article); "It is impossible to say when these problems will be overcome. They may be solved in a preprint put out tomorrow by some young theorist. They may not be solved by 2050, or even 2150. ... we will not have any trouble recognizing a fundamental unified theory. The test ... (is when it) successfully accounts...(for the) constants of the Standard Model, along with whatever other effects beyond the Standard Model may have been discovered by then....

ZapperZ
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Zz, In response to your questions:

A)

I did not copy the unquoted text. I am the author. Clearly I have read and thought about the problem situation.

I didn't say you were or were not the author. I asked you where you copy it from. Noticed WHY I asked that. Re-read your original post. It contained REFERENCE NUMBERS to something, which you never also bothered to copy. Now, unless you are in the habit of writing something off the top of your head that had "numbers" suddenly appearing at various parts of your essay, then I'd say that this was part of something previously written. I want to know where it was previously written. Why is this so difficult to clarify?

B) Your tone is that what I write is not philosphy. I truly do not understand how "Guage theory" solves physics' current problems or negates an alternative methodology. Please explain your point of view. What are you defending? Do you understand why it is difficult to examine the problem situation from a different world view?

I didn't say it SOLVES anything. I made the assertion that it contradicts what you wrote orginally. Note that you made zero mention of invariance when you talk about the consequences of special relativity. Why is that?

C) Do you understand what a primitive is? Physics is the only field were primitives can be created. What pray tell is a "String" or a "Bane". Are they real? I am not the only philospher how believes that Physics is in a crisis. What is your definition of a crisis? Anyone else?

Do you know the percentage of physics who actually work in String/Quantum Gravity? What do you think is the LARGE division under the American Physical Society? Peole who work in "Branes"?

String theory is NOT taking over physics. In fact, they have a severe PR problem right now. The percentage of physics that have a direct connection to String/quantum gravity field is 10% or less! The rest of us don't even work anywhere near that field. It is the general public who are mostly seduced by it, causing several physicists to go on the "offensive" to get the public back to reality!

So no, physics is NOT under a "crisis". Maybe YOU think it is, but considering that I work in that field and you don't, I'd say that I have a clearer view of it than you. Or do you dispute this as well?

D) Is it OK to discuss parallel universes? How about theories that have 11 dimensions? What is the difference between alchemy and "String Theory"? What is your definition of the true philosphical approach? Any possiblilty you could be mistaken? Is there value in considering a new approach, if the "String" approach might not suceed? If others have failed, to solve a problem, is it possible they failed because of their approach?

E) I am certainly not the only philosopher believes a re-examination of the fundation of physics is viable and necessary alternative to the pure mathematical approach.

Examine all you want. But if you base it on ignorance of what the actual physics is, then you are starting on a faulty premise. As a "philospher", you of all people should know that a faulty starting premise can give you nonsensical conclusion. That is why I ASKED you to define the difference between "phenomenological" and "theory" as used in physics, because from my perspective, you seem to not know of it. You also made several strange conclusion about what can be drawn from special relativity, and somehow, our ability to have a series of "invariant" quantities escapes you.

Here's what it boils down to. You are attempting to use physics to draw up your conclusion. Do you think it isn't imperative that you should understand the physics as well as you can beyond JUST a superficial knowlege of it? Have you see what happened when a superficial knowledge of physics is applied without regards to accuracy? Did the Sokal Hoax and what it was trying to illustrate missed you completely?

Zz.

What is Metaphysics?

ZZ in reply to your questions:

I didn't say you were or were not the author. I asked you where you copy it from. Noticed WHY I asked that. Re-read your original post. It contained REFERENCE NUMBERS to something, which you never also bothered to copy. Now, unless you are in the habit of writing something off the top of your head that had "numbers" suddenly appearing at various parts of your essay, then I'd say that this was part of something previously written. I want to know where it was previously written. Why is this so difficult to clarify?

The Isaac Newton quote is from Concepts of Force by Max Jammer, Dover edition, 1999 page 124. The Galieo quote is from the popular book Galieo's daughter. The comment concerning Leibniz's view is based on what he wrote in the "The Leibniz-Clark correspondence."

String theory is NOT taking over physics. In fact, they have a severe PR problem right now.

Alchemy also had a PR problem. The question is why a 1000 scientists have spent roughly 20 years working on String theory.

I didn't say it SOLVES anything. I made the assertion that it contradicts what you wrote orginally. Note that you made zero mention of invariance when you talk about the consequences of special relativity. Why is that?

If I stated that the world is flat, facts and logic contradict that assertion.

When I stated that time cannot be part of space, unless it is a primitive, I am not sure what fact disproofs that assertion. Also as I stated, the objective is to re-examine the facts or phenomena. I believe you will find the phemonena changes if it is viewed from a different perspective.

I truly do not understand why you believe that there is no value in re-examining the facts. When I stated that matter changed at an atomic and subatomic level when it moved, based on the fact that "time slows down". That is a logical conclusion. That length is reduced in the direction of motion, is also indication of change at an atomic level. Do you think that it is impossible that a physical change is causing the phenomena?

Note I am asserting that space is not empty. How can that be with the results of Michelson and Morley's experiment?

Physical reasoning is the method that Galieo, Leibniz, or Faraday would have used, however, there were not sufficient facts available, to make progress with a physical analysis, in their time period. Whether it is or is not possible now, I can not say. I am certain only that no one has tried.

Lastly, as to whether physics is or is not in a crisis. What is dark matter? What is dark energy? Why are there anomalous very high temperature gases, in intergalactic space?

ZapperZ
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
ZZ in reply to your questions:

The Isaac Newton quote is from Concepts of Force by Max Jammer, Dover edition, 1999 page 124. The Galieo quote is from the popular book Galieo's daughter. The comment concerning Leibniz's view is based on what he wrote in the "The Leibniz-Clark correspondence."

I still do not understand why you refuse to indicate where you cut-and-paste that from. You leave me no choice to think that you have something to hide. That in itself clouds the credibility of what you have to say.

Alchemy also had a PR problem. The question is why a 1000 scientists have spent roughly 20 years working on String theory.

Ask them! But you are making it sound as IF ALL of physics is doing that. Considering that barely 10% of physicists actually are involved in such field, there is no crisis contrary to what you imagined. I don't do string theory, and in fact, I can't since I'm an experimentalist (there are no experimentalists in string theory). I've criticized that field several times, but not because it is invading physics, but because people like you think physics is nothing but string theory. Nothing could be further than the truth. So I don't understand why you are even bringing it up.

[quoteIf I stated that the world is flat, facts and logic contradict that assertion.

When I stated that time cannot be part of space, unless it is a primitive, I am not sure what fact disproofs that assertion. Also as I stated, the objective is to re-examine the facts or phenomena. I believe you will find the phemonena changes if it is viewed from a different perspective.[/quote]

I truly do not understand why you believe that there is no value in re-examining the facts. When I stated that matter changed at an atomic and subatomic level when it moved, based on the fact that "time slows down". That is a logical conclusion. That length is reduced in the direction of motion, is also indication of change at an atomic level. Do you think that it is impossible that a physical change is causing the phenomena?[/quote]

This is the WHOLE reason that I brought up the concept of INVARIANCE in physics. Just because something APPEARS to be different under different circumstances does not mean that there aren't a set of description that are INVARIANT across various changes, and which physicists use to eliminate such ambiguity. You are trying to argue that it is a different coin just because you see heads on way and tails the other way! This is absurd! You are just seeing different PROPERTIES of the object. Length contraction and time dilation is really, NOT the property of the object, but rather the property of light and HOW WE DEFINE LENGTH AND TIME! The atom appears to "contract" only because of the way we would measure it, and we know this because we can always get INVARIANT QUANTITIES out of it no matter where it is. You are paying attention to the shadow of the object here and mistaken it FOR the object!

Note I am asserting that space is not empty. How can that be with the results of Michelson and Morley's experiment?

And this is now a physics question, not "logic". If you wish to do this, do it in the physics forum where the same scrutiny with regards to the validity of your "assertion" will be imposed.

Lastly, as to whether physics is or is not in a crisis. What is dark matter? What is dark energy? Why are there anomalous very high temperature gases, in intergalactic space?

.. and what is "research-front activity", and what is "phenomenology"? It comes to the root cause here, that you simply have no idea how physics works and the difference between phenomenological and theoretical ideas. It is as if difficult problems in physics are solved in the blink of an eye.

This whole series of replies that you have made is filled with errors and misinformation. Rather than getting clarification, or even trying to learn on what actually is contained in the physics that you think you understood, you simply make use of them in rather strange fashions. While this is the philosophy forum, such misleading and mistaken usage are STILL not allowed, per our PF Guidelines that you have explicitly agreed to.

Zz.

Nature of Matter and Space

ZZ in answer to your question:

I still do not understand why you refuse to indicate where you cut-and-paste that from. You leave me no choice to think that you have something to hide. That in itself clouds the credibility of what you have to say.

What I copied above is an excerpt from my own unpublished paper. The following is additional material from the paper.

The Nature of Matter, Space, and the Pursuit of Ontological Correctness, by William Astley.

Ultimately, however, facts are the only things, which are worthy of trust. All of our theories and explanations of laws that govern them, whether particular or general, are necessarily deduced from insufficient data. They are probably most correct when they agree with the greatest number of phenomena, and when they do not appear incompatible with each other. Hence, I should recommend the practice of generalizing as a sort of parsing in philosophy. It occasions a review of single opinions, requires a distinct impression of each, and ascertains their connection and government. And it is on this idea of the important use that may be made of generalization that I venture to propose for this evening, a lecture on the general states of matter. Michael Faraday, 1819 (1)

Introduction
The foundation of physics is interpreted experimental data - the facts - and a set of conceptual primitives - force, field, particle, space, space-time, quark, gluon, dark matter, dimensions, dark energy, string, bane, magnetic monopole, and so on. Physicists have taken a subset of some of the possible primitives and connected them, using mathematical algorithms. Each set of primitives and the associated algorithm is a model. The models of physics are theoretical in that they do not provide a direct, complete, ... (see above for my comment above for this section of the paper.)

Have theoretical physicists reached the end of physics, the limit of the human mind to comprehend the physical world, as John Hogan asserts in his book "The End of Science" or have physicists reached the limitation of the theoretic methodology? The human imagination is the only limit to the number and type of new theoretical models that can be created. Are the new theories, mathematical abstractions, theoretically redundant and irrelevant? Is the creation of this type of theory, merely an academic exercise, theoretical science, irrelevant science, or as Hogan chose to call it, ironic science?

The social character of scientific work is the source of its strength; the limited power of the individual is supplemented by the resources of the group, the slips of the individual are corrected by his fellow workers, and the resultant …(is) to discover answers that a single individual could never find. (4) Hans Reichenbach, The Rise Of Scientific Philosophy, 1951

Reichenbach believes that a group can amplify the efforts of each individual in the group. This is true with certain limitations. In the case of physics, if the assertion that the theoretic methodology is limited is correct, the probability of success or a breakthrough is not necessarily proportional to the number of people creating theoretical models. Is it possible that the theoretic methodology has enabled physicists to reach a plateau, a type of crisis, in which the creation of a specific type of model no longer advances physics? What are the limitations of a model that is flawed at the level of primitives?

What are electrons, protons, and photons? What is physical space? What is the physical relationship of electrons, protons, and photons to physical space? If it were possible to definitively answer these questions and then construct a model, how would the ontologically correct model differ from the theoretical models? What is physically possible and impossible? What are the limitations of applied physics? Can these questions be answered? If they were answered, how would atomic philosophy change?

Methodology Conservatism

ZZ,

Scientific philosophy is the critical examination of the foundation of science. The objective is to critically discuss and compare alternative views. A philosophical viewpoint is not true just because it is adamently stated. I have a deep understanding of "theoretical philosophy" the philosophy of theoretical physics. I also have a fairly strong understanding of the associated mathematics of the underlying theoretical models of physics. (I have a degree in mathematics, with a minor in physics.)

I am critically examining "theoretical philosophy" and providing an alternative philosophy. You are trying to stop me from discussing the alternative competing philosophy, which is "Methodology Conservatism". My very point is that physics has failed to advance due to "Methodology Conservatism". You are demonstrating the problem.

You sincerly believe your methodology and its associated philosophy is the correct or true interpretation of the facts. Is it possible there could be another method to examine the facts?

The following is an excerpt from your above comment:

This is the WHOLE reason that I brought up the concept of INVARIANCE in physics. Just because something APPEARS to be different under different circumstances does not mean that there aren't a set of description that are INVARIANT across various changes, ... This is absurd! You are just seeing different PROPERTIES of the object. Length contraction and time dilation is really, NOT the property of the object, but rather the property of light and HOW WE DEFINE LENGTH AND TIME! The atom appears to "contract" only because of the way we would measure it, and we know this because we can always get INVARIANT QUANTITIES out of it no matter where it is. You are paying attention to the shadow of the object here and mistaken it FOR the object!

The following is an excerpt from Lawrence Sklar's book "Philosophy and Spacetime Physics"

Chapter 1, Methodological Conservatism

Don't let yourself get stuck between alternatives, or you're lost. You're not that strong. If the alternatives are side by side choose the one on the left; If they are consecutive in time, choose the earlier. If neither of these applies, choose the alternative whose name begins with the earlier letter of the alphabet. These are the principles of Sinistrality, Antecedence, and Alphabetic Priority - there are others, they're arbritary, but useful. Good-by
- John Barth, The End of the Road

You do not need to defend theoretical physics. It is what it is. Breakthroughs are breakthroughs because there is a resistance to change. Let's move on and develop the alternative philosophy, which requires the examination and discussion of the facts, as the alternative philosophy is a scientific philosophy, not an ethical philosophy.

Does that make approach make sense?

ZapperZ
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
ZZ,

Scientific philosophy is the critical examination of the foundation of science. The objective is to critically discuss and compare alternative views. A philosophical viewpoint is not true just because it is adamently stated. I have a deep understanding of "theoretical philosophy" the philosophy of theoretical physics. I also have a fairly strong understanding of the associated mathematics of the underlying theoretical models of physics. (I have a degree in mathematics, with a minor in physics.)

I am critically examining "theoretical philosophy" and providing an alternative philosophy. You are trying to stop me from discussing the alternative competing philosophy, which is "Methodology Conservatism". My very point is that physics has failed to advance due to "Methodology Conservatism". You are demonstrating the problem.

And since when has philosophy actually have made any advances in physics in the last century or so? Philosophy never made any prediction of the paradigm shifts that resulted in both Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. In fact, it is the OTHER way around, whereby physics and our new understanding of what Mother Nature is telling us seems to shape the discipline of philosophy. The majority of physicists are absolutely ignorant of formal philosophy, be it in their education, or in their profession. It does not guide nor assist them in their ability to make a series of mind-boggling discovery.

Again, you have completely missed my point. Your discussion of relativity is MISSING A VERY IMPORTANT POINT, and from what I have seen, you don't even acknowledge that it is a crucial point. You took some superficial idea from special relativity without seeing the whole picture and ran away with it. This is NOT an alternative, but rather, a bastardization based on incomplete understanding. THAT is what I was arguing. It is ignorance, not a different philosophy. Unless, of course, that you are arguing that one can come up with a "different philosophy" based on ignorance.

I am not defending anything, and certainly not "theoretical physics", whatever you think that is (you still haven't demonstrated you know the difference between phenomenology and theory). Rather, I am questioning YOUR ability to conclude anything based on your faulty knowledge. If all there is to physics is what we can get out of a "minor" in physics, then going to graduate school and getting a Ph.D in it is a waste of time. They don't teach you about gauge invariance as an undergraduate major, much less as a minor. Somehow, you seem to think that your basic education in physics is sufficient for you to extrapolate that formulating an "alternative philosophy". Why do you not think maybe here, it is YOU who has the faulty "method to examine facts" here?

Zz.

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ZapperZ
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
What I copied above is an excerpt from my own unpublished paper. The following is additional material from the paper.

The Nature of Matter, Space, and the Pursuit of Ontological Correctness, by William Astley.

Then what I suspected was right. Please re-read the https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=5374" that you have explicitly agreed to.

Zz.

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Different View Points

ZZ,

Perhaps we should just agree to not agree.

This thread is entitled, What is time.

I am stating that time is a concept and not part of physical space. I am differentiating between physical space and mathematical space.

ZapperZ
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Perhaps we should just agree to not agree.

That isn't a stretch. I know that I definitely disagree with what you are trying to do.

This thread is entitled, What is time.

I am stating that time is a concept and not part of physical space.

Why is this a "revelation"? Since when is "time" considered as a "physical space"? You didn't notice that they are of different dimensions when you did your minor?

I am differentiating between physical space and mathematical space.

Define "physical space" and "mathematical space". In fact, defined "space", since you appear to be making things up here. And I require exact citation from VALID sources. If not, these are your own personal theory and such a thing should be done in the IR forum, not here.

Zz.

Rade
If I may ask--has anyone read this recent paper by Dr. George Sparling (University of Pittsburgh) on space-time which suggests 6 dimensions ?--any comments:
http://www.physorg.com/news96027669.html

Philosophical Guidelines

ZZ,

The following are the guidelines for the philosophy forum, which are different than those of the physics forum.

In general, one should attempt to flesh out questions and arguments in the philosophy forums adequately enough that readers will have a good understanding of the problem, the backdrop against which it resides, and the justification of one's perspective. This might include

* explicitly defining key terms;
* justifying why this is a valid issue or problem in the first place;
* explicitly stating starting premises or assumptions;
* providing logical or empirical support for such premises or assumptions;
* making subtle logical steps more explicit;
* summarizing previous arguments made on the topic and explaining how they are relevant to your argument;
* etc.

I believe what I wrote is within the guidelines of the philosophy forum. There are other Philosophers who also believe that if time is a concept it cannot be part of physical space.

I am not stating that the world is flat or that there are aliens on the dark side of the moon. I am providing logical arguments to support the specific statements that I have made.

I note the Physics forum includes comments on string theory, multiverses, and so on, which seem to me to be quite speculative. (i.e There are no facts or research that supports the existence of strings, banes, or multiverses.)

The majority of physicists are absolutely ignorant of formal philosophy, be it in their education, or in their profession. It does not guide nor assist them in their ability to make a series of mind-boggling discovery.

Are you familar with Thomas Kuhn‘s “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” ? I am not aware of any recent mind-boggling discoveries in physics. There seems to be a recent outburst of speculative physics theories. Why are there so many speculative physics theories being created?

Dark matter and dark energy are place holders. Physicists did not predict dark matter or dark energy and have no solution to that problem.

From a historical perspective, to me, it seems that physics is in crisis, similar to the crisis at the begin of the 20th century.

What is Time?
Does Time exist?

If Time didn't exist, how come so many people talk about it?

Whether or not, at a deeper level, Time actually exists as we think it does:
1) At some point a baby is born;
2) On the day he is 18 years old, he is called an adult (by society);
3) When he's 65 years old, it's time for him to consider collecting Social Security;
4) There will come a day when he stops breathing (the time of his death).

So living and Time seem to be connected at some level.
It is a common experience.
Most people sleep every day (so Time to sleep may exist).

If a person tries to ignore Time, he will have a difficult time holding onto a Job.
Most bosses believe in the concept of Time, and they won't waste their Time with a person who doesn't show-up when the boss thinks they should be there.

To the people who don't believe in Time:
How old are you?
Have you ever showed up late? How would you know (if there's no Time)?

I am stating that time is a concept and not part of physical space.
Hold that thought, because this could be a very important distinction. What do you mean by physical space?

Well, in one sense there is only right NOW.

This moment -- called Now -- is timeless.
As I remain in Now, I live in my timeless Today, (OH yeah, and, by the way) the clock advances (yawn).
So, Today is always Today. There is no Time. There are just labels of Time (Sun, Mon, AM, PM, ...)

These labels of Time only reduce the amount of Now I can spend doing certain things:
1) My best friend would be surprised if I called-her-up at certain Labels of Time (e.g., 3 AM is less good);
2) Shopping must be done to a different label of Time (e.g., 9 AM to 9 PM)
But, the rest of Now I can live, and love, and learn ... to my heart's content.

So, my physical space (my surroundings, this body) is not a part of my mind or my spirit.
I can think; I can dream; I can plan; I can remember golden moments, living in my consciousness.
My consciousness is part of that timeless existence.
I still breathe -- to fortify this body -- but I live in timelessness.
My heart lives light-years-beyond all of the labels of Time ... off into the Great Beyond.
Here is a place without physical space, without limits.
My consciousness zooms around the universe -- in an instant -- only slowed down by my imagination.
Beyond the physical space -- beyond the confines of this world -- lives my mind. It's a good place to live.

As I live, and I breathe, and I have attention, my consciousness is free to do as I choose for it to do.
Right here, and right Now. Forever and a day.

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What is Time?

Hi "Solidly-here" In reply to your
Does Time exist?

If Time didn't exist, how come so many people talk about it?

Whether or not, at a deeper level, Time actually exists as we think it does:
1) At some point a baby is born;
2) On the day he is 18 years old, he is called an adult (by society);
3) When he's 65 years old, it's time for him to consider collecting Social Security;
4) There will come a day when he stops breathing (the time of his death).

So living and Time seem to be connected at some level.
It is a common experience.
Most people sleep every day (so Time to sleep may exist).

Time is a concept, physical processes do not occur because of time. It is not physically possible to travel forward or backward in "time". It is possible using mathematics and/or word descriptions to create imaginary processes that are physically not possible and to create using word descriptions with or without mathematics imaginary things/entities that do not existing in the physical world.

Your comments above are what humans define the concept "Time" to be. Certaintly physical process occur which causes the world, the universe to change.

In physics it was discovered at the turn of the twentieth century that processes slow down in higher "gravitation regions of physical space" and that processes also slow down when the absolute velocity of the object, particle, and so forth increases (i.e. The effect becomes greater and greater as the absolute velocity of the object/particle approaches the speed of light.)

Physicists do not understand why processes slow down due to an increase in "gravity" or absolute velocity. They have a black box mathematical model that can can predict how much the process will slow down.

For example the Global Positioning System (GPS) has a number of atomic clocks that are located in satellites, above the earth. As the gravitation "field" of the earth reduces at the square of the distance from the earth's core, the graviational condition of physical space is less the further one moves above the earth. This change in the condition of space causes the GPS gravitational clocks in satellites to run faster, as compared to the exact same type of atomic clock that is running at the surface of the earth. The GPS clocks in the satellites do not run faster due to "time" speeding up as one moves higher above the earth.

The above is a hypothesis to explain what is physically causing the atomic process that it part of the GPS clock mechism, to speed up . That hypothesis asserts that physical space is not empty.

As a physicist-trained engineer I see it all pretty simply - in Newtonian mechanical space:

1. Spatial dimensions are measured relative to some fixed spatial object - this we call a ruler.

2. Temporal dimensions are measured relative to some fixed temporal object - this we call a clock.

The study of Dynamics merely relates the temporal & spatial dimensions & tells us how much of our temporal dimension we have used to move a certain amount of spatial distance.

Every individual is allotted a given storage of allowable temporal dimension - when that is used up, the individual is said to have 'died' (arrived at his/her terminal temporal destination).

mw

Physicists do not understand why processes slow down due to an increase in "gravity" or absolute velocity. They have a black box mathematical model that can can predict how much the process will slow down.

This is a bad statement. The "slowing down" occurs because we expect intervals of spacetime to be invariant under general transformations.

General transformations include those which map to rotating, accelerating, etc coordinate systems. You can compare this principle to the Newtonian assumption that space intervals should be invariant under euclidean transformations, where euclidean transformations are rotations and translations.

Define "physical space" and "mathematical space". In fact, defined "space", since you appear to be making things up here. And I require exact citation from VALID sources. If not, these are your own personal theory and such a thing should be done in the IR forum, not here.

Zz, you are overly concerned with citations. A thorough discussion can be found in Immanuel Kant's critique of pure reason . To summarize: the properties of mathematical space are known analytic a priori, which means that they are universal and necessary and that they follow from a system of definitions (in which sense the truths are empty, they do not apply to the real world but perhaps bear a resemblance by coincedence).

Philosophers until the time of Kant considered our knowledge of physical space to be synthetic a posteori , that is we come to know it by experience and the negation of any statement concerning it is not a contradiction. Part of the Kantian revolution is to treat space (and time) as synthetic a priori, which is something which is universal and necessary but about which the truths that we discovered are new knowledge (not merely analytic truths by definition). In other words, physical space is known a priori (it could not be the case that we would not know it) but our knowledge of it is not the same as our knowledge of analytic truths within a formal system, e.g. mathematical space.

prasannapakkiam
I am going to sleep... Anyway I am writing a PDF called ""The Mathematics of Special Relativity" - it has a Glossary Section. Everything is easy except the definition of time. Can someone help me fill it: __________?

prasannapakkiam
Ooh, I found one! Time is a dimension that defines 3D space parametrically! For example: the way functions can be defined parametricallt with t...

Rade
I am going to sleep... Anyway I am writing a PDF called ""The Mathematics of Special Relativity" - it has a Glossary Section. Everything is easy except the definition of time. Can someone help me fill it: __________?
That which is intermediate between moments IS TIME.

That which is intermediate between moments IS TIME.

Sounds circular, to prove me wrong try to define 'moment' without reference to another time concept. And what do you mean 'in between', is that just a metaphor?

As for a meaningful answer to 'what is time?', I am afraid that you have to face that time references something unique, in a category of its own. How could you DO anything without time? Time is not optional for us, anyone who claims to think of something 'outside of time' is having a delusion, a thought of a thought.

I am not sure whether, without time, everything or nothing would be the case. Indeed, nothing which I can imagine being the case is consistent without time.