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Whats the ground breaking research done about sense of time ?

  1. Feb 14, 2008 #1
    Hiii All (:) )

    It feels nice to be back here...

    I have got questions about time...

    --Whats the ground breaking research done about sense of time ?
    As far as i can see time cant be sensed..right ?
    we have got 5 senses but all those senses seem incapable at sensing it..where as on the other hand space can be sensed by vision..etc ..right ?
    So i want to ask ..since both are called fundamental..then why does space gets advantage ?
    I mean time is considered to be scalar whereas we are thinking of space in upto 11 dimensions..right ?

    And the information which i am primarily looking for is Conceptualisation of time from the prespective of linguistics ?

    I cudnt find great papers on this topic which talk about temporal sense .. Please pour some light..
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 14, 2008 #2


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    I don't know about perception / sensing of time, but I wanted to correct two of your remarks:
    In 'modern' physical theories such as relativity, time and space are actually entangled; you can for example arrange to move "slower" in a time direction by moving faster in a spatial direction.

    Normally we are thinking of space in 3 dimensions, and time in one. If you want, space is also just three scalars. In some theories, it turns out to be a good idea to think of space and time connected in a 4-dimensional space-time, in which there is no separate "time" and "space" (you can define a pure timelike dimension for one observer, but that will be a mix of space and time for another).
    For 11 dimensions, I assume you are referring to string theory (there are also variants with up to 26), I think they are actually spacetime dimensions (and I'm also not sure they are all space-like, I heard things like 4 time-dimensions and 6 or 7 space-dimensions)...

    Also, we do have a biological clock which has some feeling of time...
    It's not very reliable though (consider putting someone in a dark empty room), so it kind of depends on our other senses (vision in particular, probably). But that's not my cup of tea, so I'll shut up about this :smile:
  4. Feb 14, 2008 #3
    Hey CompuChimp..interesting name:smile:

    Compu..space can we in both positive or negative direction..but time is always supposed to be positive..right ?

    I would say a messed up clock..which shows huge variation when we are engrossed in something and when we are heavily bored..in engrossed case we want time to stay whereas in bored case we want it to pass..
    and i will like to pass this question to others too..
    Does a child who is born also has this biological clock ? If i try to guess, child is also able to order events..right ? child can say what came first and what came next..how does a child do that ..child must be storing that in memory..and for that transition it got to have a sense of time..so is child born with that ability to sense time ?
  5. Feb 14, 2008 #4
    Tangentially related to the perception of time, this Scientific American article talks about recent research that shows we seem to make decisions a second or more before we're consciously aware we've made the decision.
  6. Feb 14, 2008 #5
    Hiii CaptainQuasar...thats an interesting article i would say..But i really am not able to get the link between questions i have asked and point this article depicts..perhaps you would like to elaborate a bit..
  7. Feb 14, 2008 #6
    Oh, there isn't a direct link. Like I said it's tangential to the topic. I just thought you might find it interesting since you're thinking about perception of time.
  8. Feb 14, 2008 #7


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    It's nice to have you back, my friend. :smile:
    "Time is Nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once."
    I believe that the quote is attributable to John Lennon, but I'm frequently confused by things like that.
    From a matter of either linguistics or perception, time is a human construct. **** happens, and it happens in accordance with Thermodynamics, but our perception of it varies. As Einstein once said when trying to explain Relativity to a reporter... one minute sitting on a hot stove is a lot longer than one minute sitting on a pretty girl's lap. (I didn't put that in quotes because I'm not certain of the exact wording.)
    In any event, our perception is enchanced by time-keeping mechanisms. Medievial nobility were delighted that their hour-glasses told them within half an hour or so of what time it was. I'm irritated that my watch is over a minute slow, and W (who gave it to me for X-mas) tossed the manual so I can't reset it. And perish forbid the wrath of an astronomer or particle physicist who finds that a cesium clock is off by a picosecond! :eek:
  9. Feb 14, 2008 #8


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    "The five senses" is just a popularization. We have dozens, at the very least, and one of them is, in fact, a sense of time.
  10. Feb 14, 2008 #9


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    As a musician, I'm insulted! My internal clock does, of course, have some limitations, but for some tasks, it has milisecond precision!
  11. Feb 14, 2008 #10
    Russ's sense of time may actually be even more precise than his fashion sense. :tongue2:
  12. Feb 14, 2008 #11


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    A tree sloth with a paint brush would be more precise than Russ' fashion sense. He's a bloody engineer... think 'Dilbert' with a closet. :rolleyes:
  13. Feb 15, 2008 #12
    -- heyee Russ...please enlighten abt these more senses if you can..can this IR be a sense..i mean detecting infra red...
  14. Feb 15, 2008 #13
    Yo Danger!:smile: ... pleasure to see you and even greator pleasure to read ur words....

    a human construct...u mean it doesnt exist for animals or other creatures..something of that sort...

    i think time also represents cause-effect sense...when u say thermodynamics here Danger...do u mean going in direction of increasing entropy or something more specific u had in mind...
  15. Feb 15, 2008 #14
    Dint mean to...i respect musicians as much as i respect scientists..Both scientist and musician's passion are motivated by same reason..to feel beauty in their own visions of world..

    hmmm..what might be the reason of that preciseness Russ ?
    do u have that since childhood or out of practise ?


    Guys,,Does anyone knows about the good research done in field of perception of time..or can give me pointers to how to go about it ?
  16. Feb 15, 2008 #15


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    That's exactly what I was referring to. As for the animals, I didn't mean to imply that time doesn't apply to them. What I meant was that the units of time are a human construct. I think that any semi-sentient animal has some sense of cause & effect, even if it's purely instinctual. Hunger--eat--not hungry--take a dump--sleep--hunger... Humans are the only species that I know of who quantify time. Lucy definitely has some intrinsic sense of it, since she will wake me up on my day off if I'm not mobile when my alarm would go off on a work day. That actually saved my ass one day when I slept through my alarm.
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