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

Where in the UNIVERSE, if at ALL does the past exist?

  1. Mar 3, 2004 #1
    Where in the UNIVERSE, if at ALL does the past exist?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 3, 2004 #2

    selfAdjoint

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    We can see into the past with telescopes. Check the Astronoomy boards on this site.
     
  4. Mar 3, 2004 #3
    In memories
     
  5. Mar 6, 2004 #4
    but with a telescope, the past does not actually exist we only see the past only because it takes a (long) time for light to reach us.
     
  6. Mar 6, 2004 #5
    well simple question but a hard answer since we haven't established what the universe is or how it works, and plus if we did we would be out side the box and therefore time in the universe wouldn't apply, and you still really wouldn't have an answer.

    oh and i think... garytse86 believes in langoliers ;)
     
  7. Mar 6, 2004 #6

    FZ+

    User Avatar

    Backwards, along dimension four. You can't miss it.
     
  8. Mar 8, 2004 #7
    Could it be said that the PAST we hold in OUR minds as a self referential memory concept doesn't actually exist as physical timespace?

    ken
     
  9. Mar 8, 2004 #8
    Actually, since light takes time to reach any distance, even the stuff you see in front of you no longer exists by the time the images get to your conscious mind. You don't need a telescope to see the past, you only need a pair of eyes.

    As to the main question, since everything we see has taken time to reach our minds and no longer exists, I think the real issue is, where in the universe does the present exist? It seems to me wherever that is, it can't be observed.
     
  10. Mar 8, 2004 #9

    selfAdjoint

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    It takes time for signals in our brain to travel from one part of it to another. The events in your iris are already in the past to your visual cortex, and as is well known, the raising of your attention is in the past by the time you become aware of it. Our consciousness is "smeared" in time.
     
  11. Mar 8, 2004 #10
    the past exists as a probable, potential reality. we view physical reality in a linear sequence so that our brain doesn't short out.

    from the spiritual level, we can visit any time probablity thread. i also suspect that we change the past every time we make a major shift in our present belief system. IOW, in order to accept a new idea, we change our past. past data must be changed to support the present.

    an aside, how many times have you seen relatives debate what 'really' happened at a family event. they were both there and have opposing memories (mary wore a blue dress, no it was green). yet, each believes the other is crazy. now, when mary is asked, she can say it was red, somehow, both will alter their mental picture of the event and see mary in a red dress. simple, i know. sometimes, the best anserws are the easiest. please consider all the implications, before, getting into bad memories, brain chemistry etc.

    all probable pasts and futures exist as potential or probable experiences within infinity. the present is where our consciouness focuses, based on the past and future we hold as currently valid.

    this makes sense to me, hope it didn't get lost, in my rambling.

    peace,
     
  12. Mar 10, 2004 #11
    Originally posted by olde drunk

    Olde Drunk I think you’ve got something there. It seems that in 1915, a guy named Albert Einstein published a description of nature which revealed an extraordinary and seemingly quite unnatural fact: the rate at which time passes is not the same at all places. What?

    It seems that changes in gravity and changes in velocity at which one travels actually change the rate at which OUR time flows. At first such an idea appeared to be highly speculative and so this aspect of nature was referred to as the theory of relativity. But it is no longer a theory. During the past decades, the relativity of time has been tested and verified thousands of times. It is now the law of relativity. Einstein had discovered a seemingly overlooked law of nature.

    If anything in our life seems constant, certainly it is the flow of time. This perception, or rather this misperception, of time is said to result from the reality that the events with which we are familiar all occur right here on Earth, or if not exactly on Earth, then quite close to Earth. Huge changes in gravity or velocity are thought to be necessary to produce easily measurable changes in the flow of time wherever you happen to be will always appear as normal, just as it does right now. It appears normal because we and our biology are in tune with the local system. Only if we view events across a boundary, looking from one location into another location that has a very different gravity or velocity, can we observe the effect of this extraordinary law of nature which was discovered by our friend Albert Einstein. The relativity of time is encountered only when comparing one system relative to another; hence the name the law of relativity.

    The law of relativity tells you and me that the flow of time at any location with a high gravity or a high velocity is actually slower than another location with a lower gravity or a lower velocity. Ergo, this seems to mean that the during the time between the ticks of a clock (and the beats of your heart, and even the time to ripen oranges in the high gravity or high velocity environment is actually longer than the duration between ticks of a clock or beats of our hearts in that low gravity or velocity environment. That is what Mr. Einstein called time dilation.

    If at this point, I found myself saying there is no way I can understand how or why gravity can make time slow down, I did not despair because I am in the company of approximately five or six billions of humans who inhabit this Earth.

    But can we really slow our own life down to the point that we can live for hundreds of years if we travel fast enough or go to a planet where the gravity is so great that time for us allows us to live for hundreds of years? But I too am rambling on...
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2004
  13. Mar 10, 2004 #12
    ah sweet mystery of speed.

    if we travel so fast that we leave and return 100 years into the future, did we age 100 years? the mind boggles. RELATIVE to earth time we did. RELATIVE to our bio-clock we may have only aged 10 years (depending on our speed).

    zounds like allis relative!

    now, view our system from a non-physical, timeless place, we can (IMHO) visit any moment in time. It maybe like a space-time grid in 3D or 4D(length, with, depth, gravity) or whatever. must be a neat place (place?).

    peace,
     
  14. Mar 10, 2004 #13
    Originally posted by olde drunk

    ah sweet mystery of speed. if we travel so fast that we leave and return 100 years into the future, did we age 100 years? the mind boggles. RELATIVE to earth time we did. RELATIVE to our bio-clock we may have only aged 10 years (depending on our speed).

    zounds like all is relative!

    now, view our system from a non-physical, timeless place, we can (IMHO) visit any moment in time. It maybe like a space-time grid in 3D or 4D(length, with, depth, gravity) or whatever. must be a neat place (place?). peace,


    Oh Olde drunk, how I agree with you on this one. Imagine that timeless dimension with no physical properties, or solid reality or the laws (QM or the mathematics used to measure by science today) which we assume to be real. No dimensions, no grids, no borders or anything our senses see in this veil of tears we call life on Earth. An effect that some now know of as a holographic image.

    Good to talk to you again....
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 10, 2004
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Where in the UNIVERSE, if at ALL does the past exist?
Loading...