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What is the force propelling us through time?

  1. Dec 31, 2003 #1
    I'm just wondering, since we are traveling through time constantly. If time is a dimension, then should be some sort of force pulling everything through time, right? I guess it would have to be proportional to mass, since particles with zero mass do not travel through time at all.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 31, 2003 #2
    If time is a physical dimension, I'm not saying it is or is not, then no force would be required for you to move through it. A massive object's motion in space will remain constant unless an outside force acts on it. A force is not required to keep an object in motion. If we have a constant motion in time, then a force is not necessary to maintain that motion. That is if time can be viewed as a physical dimension like space.

    If time is just an abstraction, however, then the need of a force to propel us through time is not necessary.

    Added later:

    Of course, an initial force would be required to set our motion in the first place. If I had to guess, I would say the big bang would have provided that force. That's just a guess. Deep theories of cosmology are pretty much beyond my understanding.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2003
  4. Dec 31, 2003 #3
    "What is the force propelling us through time?"

    Peanut butter.
  5. Jan 29, 2004 #4
    We are not all traveling through time constantly. It may appear to be the case since we are moving at approximately the same velocities through the universe and perturbed by approximately the same amounts of gravity by surrounding bodies. So, more or less, we (as in, slow-moving earthlings) are traveling through time similarly. But, the notion of traveling “through” time is based entirely on the concept of time itself being a dimension that can be moved through in the first place. While it is a pleasant fantasy to hold on to this idea, which allows for the forward (or positive) and backward (or negative) movement through time, it should be viewed as the ability to observe physical differences in systems: a simple abstraction. The conversion and/or transfer of energy are at the very foundation of observing such physical differences in systems. Gravity waves emitted from all massive objects affect how slowly (or less slowly) these transformation processes take place, and consequentially when changes in a system can be measured. Varying gravitational forces at different points in space can therefore create different rates of time for surrounding massive objects.

    The simple answer is that the force of gravity in contention with the energy supplied by the big bang allows us to observe the changes in systems and thus abstract the concept of time.
  6. Jan 29, 2004 #5
    or more simply....we don't really know. Time is perhaps better viewed as a property rather than a dimension. Always increaseing, except at different rates depending on the gravitational force acting on it (there are several logical issues there that i'm aware of, just pondering not proposin here, so please don't attack me for them).
  7. Jan 29, 2004 #6


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    A "force" applied would mean that we would be accelerating through time. As long as the "time velocity" is constant no force is needed.

    Remember F=ma
  8. Jan 29, 2004 #7
    Except that under general relativity time velocity IS NOT constant, and it does not follow F=ma, since in GR there is also no gravitational "force" per se.
  9. Jan 31, 2004 #8
    Yes! That is a great way to look at it.
  10. Jan 31, 2004 #9
    "Force" was meant not only in the sense of a fundamental force, but to frame the answer in a similar form to which the question was asked.
  11. Feb 3, 2004 #10
    I see your uncommon mind, Binary Star. You have the thin feel of interrelations existing in the nature, though the real picture is looked a little differently. You are not surprised with the fact, what all events in the universe are synchronized, i.e. time is propagates without delay? You are not surprised with the fact, what even by elementary calculations a force of gravity would not have any delay in propagation otherwise it will not allow one object to keep in an orbit another object (the Sun and the Earth, for example) i.e. gravity force is propagated without delay too. It means, that these two phenomena having identical property have the general origin too. How it is possible to do the association of two such "absolutely different" phenomena? Here I’ll make a pause to miss a stream of the indignant retorts.
    To be continued.
  12. Feb 4, 2004 #11
    I am slightly surprised with absence of objections, nevertheless, I continue further.
    How it is possible to present gravity and time as two essence having the general origin? What a secret? May be it is one essence actually? Let's compare their action. Gravity is directed on reduction of intervals between the objects having rest mass. It is shown as the action of attraction force between objects.
    Except it a gravity operates on object. This action is directed on reduction of object’s energy (frequency of vibrations) and shown in emission of photons. If regeneration due to absorption of other photons is absent, the object "grows old", degrades i.e. loses mass and then stops the existence.
    It is possible to say “ the object has died ”. This a picture precisely corresponds how the time works. Our clocks are the counters of seconds (hours) and does works on accumulation. The people have decided so, because it is convenient and logical. The nature uses the clock , tick of which reduces initial energy = time cycle = frequency of vibrations = a data set of an object . An interval between objects it is the object too. Each an object lives in its own time cycle from a birth to death. Clock of the nature ticks with a frequency 1/Planck Time. It is the maximum frequency existing in universe. Action of these subtracting pulses (time = gravity) is simultaneously for all objects of universe .
  13. Feb 4, 2004 #12
    SR deals with Mass and Time in the absence of Gravity

    If Gravity = Time then SR would have to account for Gravity when dealing with Time. It doesn't, but GR does.

    Your statement may be close for GR, but not SR and since everything in our Universe appears to be in motion, it doesn't hold up at all.

    Time has a relationship to Gravity, but Gravity does not have a relationship to Time.
  14. Feb 4, 2004 #13
    I have own opinion on the device of universe.
  15. Feb 5, 2004 #14
    For all the wonderful new theories that individuals come up with, there is one underlying criteria that needs to be common to all of them, they must fit the facts.

    GR has been proven numerous times, as has SR.

    I personally don't agree with the reasoning behind GR and SR as far as SpaceTime is concerned, but I do agree with the results.

    As to your device of the Universe, if it's to be taken seriously it will need to fit the facts, albeit using some different reasoning.
  16. Feb 5, 2004 #15

    but by definition crackpots refuse to recognize reality, their theories need only match their own platonic constructs to please them. /rant

    Yeah question old theories is one thing, reinventing reailty is another.
  17. Feb 5, 2004 #16


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    Good attitude - you accept that it works but are looking for a better explanation for why. That means any idea you come up with will be consistent with observed reality - a rarity in the TD forum.
  18. Feb 5, 2004 #17
    Thanks for that Russ.

    I believe the answer will come in the form of a Rosetta Stone.

    One small discovery that will make sense of everything.
    And it proberbly won't be found in the debrit of an particle accelerator. It may be right in front of our faces.

    Can't see the wood for the trees.
  19. Feb 6, 2004 #18
    Are you sure on GR, SR or other existing theory answers a question that the time and gravity are?
    If you are informed on it, then I would like to hear definition of these phenomena. Or, may be, you have own theories? Then we’ll have a base for comparison.
  20. Feb 6, 2004 #19
    I have always had a problem with the concept of SpaceTime.
    I feel it is on a par with Creationists in that it requires faith.

    SpaceTime is considered to be a 4 dimensional manifold which will not be flat if gravity is present.

    Alternatively, space is a 3 dimensional medium that undergoes compression due to gravity. Time is relative to the amount of compression.

    Using Occam's Razor, I know which one I would pick.
  21. Feb 6, 2004 #20

    Except the creationists can't predict the perihelion shift of mercury. It doesn't really require faith. It doesn't answer the question what time is, but it does answer the question of what gravity is (referring to GR), a warping of space and time, not just space. And in terms of its predictions, it is very veryy accurate. Its assertions about the nature of space and gravity might be incorrect, but its mathematics are very close to the real thing. So it is not really a fair comparison.
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