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What if time does not exist

  1. Feb 10, 2004 #1
    what if time, rather than being a real thing used by the universe was just a tool we used to relate events to each other?

    reletivity would still stand, as would quantum physics, because in each theory, time is not a fixed element of the universe but is dependent on the frame of refrence of the person making the observations.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2004 #2


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    This is true of non relativistic quantum mechanics, but not of relativity, either kind. In special relativity observers must compare physics using Lorentz transformations, and these mix time and space coordinates in linear transformations. So time can't easily be eliminated or downgraded in SR, or in any theory that dpands on SR, like Dirac's electron theory, quantum electrodynamics, the Standard Model, and all forms of String physics.

    In General Relativity, coordinates, and physics, are subject to very general changes. Both time and space become somewhat "elastic" in definition. In both kinds of relativity, the same event, seen by different observers, can have very different time-space relationships.
  4. Mar 15, 2004 #3
    I've thought of an interesting theory [well, interesting to me] about time being a spacial dimension, but thats for another thread and a later time.
  5. Mar 15, 2004 #4


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    Does your theory involve a metric? If so, what is its signature?
  6. Mar 15, 2004 #5
    Re: Saoshant,

    I don't know enough to answer that. It was just some philosophical musing recently that went too far and started making some sense. To wierd people like me, at least. I'll post about it tomorrow, I guess, as I do not have enough time.
  7. Mar 22, 2004 #6
    Even if time did'nt really exist, it wouldn't metter. We would still be able to change the frames and shapes of the universe to "travel" in time.
  8. Mar 23, 2004 #7
    Time could never not exist, because it is simply the environment and the universe constantly changing. You don't pass through time, you change, and the result of you changing is what we call time. The only way time could not exist is if the universe's temperature dropped to 0 Kelvin. Then, I think, nothing in the universe would be able to move, therefore it can't change, and we would freeze to death.
  9. Apr 2, 2004 #8
    Simple but true.

    If time didn't exist... everything would happen at once.
  10. Apr 3, 2004 #9
    Is time existent where there are no masses?

    Time is not an independent variable. It is strictly related to space. So if time does not exist then also space would not exist.
    Think at "time" as a clock like that one that makes computer CPU run: it is something "orthogonal" to space frame.
    What I mean is that time is a fourth dimension whose spacial projection is the center of any mass (from which actually 3d space cohordinates departs). So "time" is not perceivable nor measurable like "space", rather its measurement is in term of "space modification".
    I think that a further good question could be:
    Does time exist where there are no masses (i.e. in vacuum)?
    My point is that "time" exists only where a mass exists beacuse only there "space" exists. Moreover, when we measure time the measuring meter itself is made of matter, so it is modifying vacuum (and it is making time/space frame to exist).
  11. Apr 3, 2004 #10
    Hi modmans2ndcoming,

    According to SR, Time cannot be separated from space dimensions.

    Space/Time's Signature = changes.

    If there are no changes then nothing can be asked nor answered, because any question is its own answer.

    Therefore there is a basic logical problem to use a question/answer system that contradicts the existence of a question/answer system.

    Shortly speaking, if time does not exist then space does not exist.

    Therefore modmans2ndcoming does not exist and is question cannot be asked.

    In my opinion "What if...?" questions are very important to our evolution, and evolution means changes.

    So, modmans2ndcoming keep use "What if...?" questions.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2004
  12. Apr 4, 2004 #11
    The Beginning of Time

    In this lecture, I would like to discuss whether time itself has a beginning, and whether it will have an end. All the evidence seems to indicate, that the universe has not existed forever, but that it had a beginning, about 15 billion years ago. This is probably the most remarkable discovery of modern cosmology. Yet it is now taken for granted. We are not yet certain whether the universe will have an end. When I gave a lecture in Japan, I was asked not to mention the possible re-collapse of the universe, because it might affect the stock market. However, I can re-assure anyone who is nervous about their investments that it is a bit early to sell: even if the universe does come to an end, it won't be for at least twenty billion years. By that time, maybe the GATT trade agreement will have come into effect.

    http://www.hawking.org.uk/lectures/bot.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  13. Apr 4, 2004 #12


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    Good quote, if a little out of date - both in cosmology and economics!
  14. Apr 4, 2004 #13

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    There is a difference between saying time cannot be separated from space dimensions and to say that if time does not exist then space does not exist.

    We normally think of space as that which exists where there is no mass. Of course, recent decades have shown space to be anything but "absence," with virtual particles popping in and out, dark energy and the Higgs field possibly lurking, gravity waiting to converge, etc.

    One thing we know about space is that outside galaxies, particles etc., it is expanding. We know matter itself is losing integrity, which is why paglren's point "that 'time' exists only where a mass exists" makes sense. If things keep going the way they are (and of course they might not), at some point all will be "space." Yet if you are correct there couldn't be space because there will be no time. Time will have run out.

    Time will have run out because, as Organic says, time is change; or more accurately, it is the measure of the rate of change. Actually, it is the measure of the rate of entropic change because that is the overall direction of the universe. We could say, for instance, that instead of so much time being left before the universe disappears, so many entropic events are left.

    If that is an accurate representation of time, then what seems to contradict the theory that "if time does not exist then space does not exist," is the fact that as time runs out, space increases. I believe the concept of time is tied to space because change can only take place in space. It is simply a way to represent that fact conceptually. It doesn't mean "time" is essential to the constitution of space.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2004
  15. Apr 5, 2004 #14
    I choose this because from the standpoint of historical, the evolution of thinking is being demonstrated throughout these three threads about the question on the beginning of Time, nothing ness and we are also talking about infinites, boundaries and such. There is a interpaly i the universe going on and we are trying to describe it?

    Craig Hogan has a interesting perspective, about the universe and the atom, and this thought is in response to Ranyarts post to Erik.

    Consider this seeming paradox: The biggest and smallest things in nature are the same things. At first this statement seems to make no sense, yet it is not an obscure metaphor or Zen koan. It is a profound truth about the universe, exactly and literally. It can even be represented by a picture (Figure 3). When we look at the largest structures in the cosmic background radiation—the largest and most distant things we can possibly see, stretching across the whole sky at the edge of the universe—we are looking at patterns that were imprinted in the first moments of creation, when these patterns were single quanta—the smallest amount of something (anything), according to quantum theory—far smaller than the smallest subatomic structure ever seen in the laboratory. Even though we are used to the idea that everything in the universe is connected with everything else, such a literal connection between the quantum world and the cosmic world is surprising. That is because most of the time when we look at large things—anything you can see without a microscope—they look continuous. There is no obvious sign that they are made of discrete microscopic elementary particles. So it is remarkable that when we look at the very largest things, we start seeing the quanta again. The universe expanding all around us acts like a giant microscope.


    So indeed we are all over the map here but we are speaking about the realities that have always been spoken,and to the degrees that certain conclusions have been drawn based on certain proposals.

    Imagine time from a supersymmertical state? Has any one realized that the quantum reality and the reductionist view has come to certain realizations?

    What about cryptography qubits and such. How will this thinking rearrange the world from the reductionist standpoint so far understood. Dimension in a gravity sense has to be recognized. Numerical relativity?
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2004
  16. Apr 5, 2004 #15


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    Well, ordinary bits have been an epiphany to some - see "A New Kind of Science". I don't buy it, basically because I know that arithmetic is Goedel incomplete and geometry isn't. Since I think it's a requirement for a TOE to be complete in that sense, I stick with real and complex variables.
  17. Apr 5, 2004 #16
    Insights are a strange thing where such tidbits spark recognition of something much more advanced ,then anything we currently understood. Do you remember the Anomalies of perception?:)

    So even given this perspective, I think you recognize, as well as others, that such a mathematical basis is at the heart of all these creations. We are looking for consistancy.

    I found a interesting comment the other day about mathematicians being the architects of reality.:)

    http://www2.dsu.nodak.edu/users/edkluk/public_html/crt_aphys/feynman.html [Broken]

    ...To summarize, I would use the words of Jeans, who said that "the Great Architect seems to be a mathematician". To those who do not know mathematics it is difficult to get across a real feeling as to the beauty, the deepest beauty, of nature. C.P. Snow talked about two cultures. I really think that those two cultures separate people who have and people who have not had this experience of understanding mathematics well enough to appreciate nature once.

    http://www2.dsu.nodak.edu/users/edkluk/public_html/crt_aphys/feynman.html [Broken]

    My early conversations with Doc, helped to reinforce this undertanding, about what a calm mind might percieve, had it not been so busy on so many other things. That we had not recognized the one inch equation for what it is.

    The geometrical basis is also understood from this persepctive, and such consistancy has to be found, expressed, in the reality of these conversations.

    Mike2 attemtps at a logical foundation, is the idea from my perspective as well, and still, we engage, the many facets of the science currently talked about in these points of view.

    GR is part of the consistancy of strings yet it is a theoretical thing that is supported by the maths. We have been taken to the Graviton by Witten in this formulation. Yet the graviational wave situation has not be changed much, and look at all the fabrications we are building to test it?

    Again your restrain has been the anchor for many in terms of this enduring explorations into reality, and we need to be reminded it seems.:)
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  18. Apr 5, 2004 #17
    a global time

    is it possible for humans to start thinking in terms of a global time;a common refrence point,so that we simply start asking each other "what is the time" instead of "what is the time there".i think it could help if we think different and also if we are to determine the motion of celestial bodies and their effects on where we live.
  19. Apr 5, 2004 #18


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    But observers moving with respect to each other will see time passing at different rates and will disagree on whether two events occured at the same time or not. This makes it questionable whether a common time can be agreed on, and what basis we should use for that agreement.
  20. Apr 5, 2004 #19
    Masses and speed light

    This is true only at light speed or close: then space, time and light speed have to be strictly related each other.
    My point is that speed light c is embedded in space-time: as to say that space is "generated" at speed light by the presence of a mass.
    Think of masses as a "condensation" of empty space at c speed. When a mass explodes (or simply doesn't condensate longer) then a lightening is perceived because space is no longer "swallowed" by mass.
    This leads only to a point-of-view change: all rules are respected because they are all relatively stated.
    Yet light would be a still point and mass would be like a pulsating blackhole that is limited in its contraction but that influences all space around at c speed.
    If this is true, then we could affirm that gravitation speed is the same that light speed: each of two (fairly any force and any event in the Universe) could be assimilated to pieces of "information" gathered by a mass-point at c speed.
  21. Apr 5, 2004 #20


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    Without commenting on your suggestions about c generating space or the nature of mass, let me point out that the Lorentz transformation, which make time and space relative, are not just valid at high speeds but at all speeds. We don't notice the variations in our daiily lives only because they are so small.

    But if you had a super accurate kitchen clock, and also a super accurate wrist watch, and you synchronized them when you went out in the morning, then when you came back in the evening, after moving around at a few dozen feet per second during the day, you would find that your watch showed an earlier time than your clock, by a few nanoseconds.

    People have done this with super accurate clocks, moving them at about five miles per second (in orbit), and getting the effect.
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