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29-02-2012, 03:08   #151
roosh
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Time is the name given to whats happens as a part of nature. Ive never given alot of thought to why it was called time it was explained to me in a very simple manner via a standard clock as a child and i now i use it as a means of planning out my day. I think i have always had alot more things to be concerned about, and trying to figure out why time is called time was never really top of my list. After saying all of that i know some of the people who spent alot of time (see my use of the word in question) thinking about this have actually used alot of there time considering it all and i have now spent alot of time writing this but its always worth saying whats on your mind as from time to time we make some sense. I hope anyone who might spend the time reading my few lines will appreciate the amout of time i have spent using the word time in this thread about whether or not time exsits and if anoyone can come up with a better way of keeping track of things then let me know but for the Time been im going to stick to the tried and tested clock and hope that im always on time!!
I too use a clock as a tool for organising my life, I recall memories of times past, I project images of times in the future, but never have I actually ever spent any time outside the present moment.

The clock is very useful indeed; originally it was used to measure the apparent motion of the sun around the earth, and to break that motion into more manageable chunks, so that people could arrange things more easily, so that they think more easily about how much daylight they had to carry out the things they needed to do; it allowed them to communicate with others about things that needed to be done. The clock has evolved however, and now we have pendulum clocks, digital clocks, and atomic clocks.

But if I consider any of these clocks, if I open them up and look at their internal mechanisms (or even just think about doing it), I start to wonder, where is this thing that "happens as a part of nature" actually measured? I can see all the parts of the clock that are "a part of nature"; if I think of a sundial, I can see that the sun is a part of nature and so too is the matter that makes up the sundial, but where, oh where, is this mysterious other aspect of nature called time?
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29-02-2012, 10:38   #152
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I too use a clock as a tool for organising my life, I recall memories of times past, I project images of times in the future, but never have I actually ever spent any time outside the present moment.

The clock is very useful indeed; originally it was used to measure the apparent motion of the sun around the earth, and to break that motion into more manageable chunks, so that people could arrange things more easily, so that they think more easily about how much daylight they had to carry out the things they needed to do; it allowed them to communicate with others about things that needed to be done. The clock has evolved however, and now we have pendulum clocks, digital clocks, and atomic clocks.

But if I consider any of these clocks, if I open them up and look at their internal mechanisms (or even just think about doing it), I start to wonder, where is this thing that "happens as a part of nature" actually measured? I can see all the parts of the clock that are "a part of nature"; if I think of a sundial, I can see that the sun is a part of nature and so too is the matter that makes up the sundial, but where, oh where, is this mysterious other aspect of nature called time?
Now thats a reply that i dont mind spending TIME reading! I think the fact that you are so intrigued by it all says alot about you and ive always been the same but with a differience, i wonder more about the mechanical end of things and how they work rather than how they exsist, the evolution of time keeping from sundials to atomic clocks would tick all my boxes.

I hope that you get closer to what it is your looking for!! And that you get plenty of enjoyment from the searching

Gavin
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29-02-2012, 17:22   #153
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Also, just for posterity, it is probably worth highlighting that the notion of an absolute present is perfectly compatible with Lorentzian relativity, which is equally supported by all relativity experiments.
Lorentzian relativity, rejected by the majority of the scientific community for its inelegant baggage of superfluous ad-hoc assumptions.
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05-03-2012, 07:57   #154
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Now thats a reply that i dont mind spending TIME reading! I think the fact that you are so intrigued by it all says alot about you and ive always been the same but with a differience, i wonder more about the mechanical end of things and how they work rather than how they exsist, the evolution of time keeping from sundials to atomic clocks would tick all my boxes.

I hope that you get closer to what it is your looking for!! And that you get plenty of enjoyment from the searching

Gavin
Cheers Gav.

The "searching" can be both sweet and sour, but it can often provide some insights into "the self".

Incidentally, I would say that the question of how a clock measures time is, ultimately, a mechanical one. It is a question of how the mechanics of a clock measure the (physical) temporal dimension. I personally can't see how they do; unless it is assumed they do.
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16-03-2012, 01:31   #155
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I need time for change,

I don't need change for time
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19-03-2012, 05:41   #156
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I need time for change,

I don't need change for time
change doesn't need time, "time" comes from change.
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19-03-2012, 06:07   #157
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Time doesn't exist?

So I wasted all that money on what I thought was a perfectly good wrist watch.

Can I take it back to the shop and ask for a refund under the Trade Descriptions Act?
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19-03-2012, 06:44   #158
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The only thing "psychological" about time is our human perception of it. Time itself is a reflection of the expansion of the universe, which began with the "Big Bang".


Of course, I might be wrong and time is actually only a gimmick invented by the Swiss to help sell watches.
<snip> reproduced comics

Last edited by Black Swan; 19-03-2012 at 15:53.
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19-03-2012, 07:38   #159
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Time doesn't exist?

So I wasted all that money on what I thought was a perfectly good wrist watch.

Can I take it back to the shop and ask for a refund under the Trade Descriptions Act?
You probably could; but it'll be your word against theirs that they they made an ontological claim about the existence of time when selling it to you.

Those crafty watch salespeople!
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24-03-2012, 22:31   #160
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Well if you think about it,

Do things happen because time passes

Or does time pass because things happen?

Imagine, say nothing in the world was changing. Everything was still. No movement, no forces, no anything. Consider one moment. Now consider a minute on from that. Then an hour. A day. A month. A year. It's still the same. Nothing has changed. How do we know how long has passed if we have nothing to gauge it by?

But now the inverse. Say we imagine time isn't passing, but things change. If something started of at point A, then moved to point B, while time isn't changing, did it start at A? or at B? or at some point inbetween A and B. If everything happens simultaneously, then how do you know where it started/finished?

My thoughts on the subject.
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24-03-2012, 22:45   #161
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Imagine, say nothing in the world was changing. Everything was still. No movement, no forces, no anything. Consider one moment. Now consider a minute on from that. Then an hour. A day. A month. A year. It's still the same. Nothing has changed. How do we know how long has passed if we have nothing to gauge it by?
If you're saying that change is time then you can't have a changless universe that doesn't change for an hour or a day. Cause if the change is time, then the static universe isn't static for any amount of time. The idea of it being the same doesn't make sense either, because there's no other event (at a different time) to compare it to.

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But now the inverse. Say we imagine time isn't passing, but things change. If something started of at point A, then moved to point B, while time isn't changing, did it start at A? or at B? or at some point inbetween A and B. If everything happens simultaneously, then how do you know where it started/finished?
I guess here again if time is change then the movement itself cannot be thought of as moving from A to B because there's no time.

I think there's a version of time which takes time to be three dimensional. So the movement from A to B has already all happened already. Our limited perspective only allows us to see one slice of the three-dimensional time-worm. So maybe your example is thinking this kind of time minus the limited perspective we have of individual moments.


I hope that's somewhat clear.

I probably said this before, but this is a cool topic. I don't think it's very widely discussed either. Which is always good!
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10-04-2012, 08:09   #162
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Well if you think about it,

Do things happen because time passes

Or does time pass because things happen?

Imagine, say nothing in the world was changing. Everything was still. No movement, no forces, no anything. Consider one moment. Now consider a minute on from that. Then an hour. A day. A month. A year. It's still the same. Nothing has changed. How do we know how long has passed if we have nothing to gauge it by?

But now the inverse. Say we imagine time isn't passing, but things change. If something started of at point A, then moved to point B, while time isn't changing, did it start at A? or at B? or at some point inbetween A and B. If everything happens simultaneously, then how do you know where it started/finished?

My thoughts on the subject.
We can still order events as A happens before B, this is what we do regardless, and has more to do with the human capacity for memory than it does with the physical existence of time.

We have a present moment which is continuously changing; we remember how the present used to be and label that as A; we label our current experience of the present as B, and say that A happened before B. There is no need for a physical property, called time, to change in any of this. It is the changing present, and our memory of a previous present state, which creates the illusion of time.
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10-04-2012, 08:24   #163
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I think there's a version of time which takes time to be three dimensional. So the movement from A to B has already all happened already. Our limited perspective only allows us to see one slice of the three-dimensional time-worm. So maybe your example is thinking this kind of time minus the limited perspective we have of individual moments.
Are you referring to "the block universe" interpretation there, where spacetime is 4D, and we only experience our "now slice" of the block universe.

That interpretation requires, I think, a number of unjustified assumptions. For example, as you mention, all events have already occurred. This means that "your future" already exists, and that "your past" continues to exist, in some temporal, but acutal sense i.e. your 8th birthday is in progress - without getting into semantical debates about it happening "now".

There is, however, no empirical evidence to suggest that your future already exists, or that your past continues to exist; no such evidence exists for any observer - not least because they can only ever experience their "now slice". This requires the assumption, on behalf of every observer, that their past, present, and future, somehow, co-exist.


A number of questions arise from that; if we take the example of your 8yr old self having his/her birthday party, the natural question would be, how did your 8yr old self not age as you aged? You were that 8yr old, and you grew to be whatever age you are now; how did the 8yr old you not age along with you; how can he/she still be having their 8th birthday party?

The answer to that conundrum, I think, appears to be that we, somehow, exist as geometrical "world lines" already plotted out in absolute spacetime. This further gives rise to the question, if we are geometrical world lines, with an absolute existence in spacetime, and not necessarily moving - but moving through time?? - then how is there the illusion of relative motion between observers and objects? How do these non-moving worldlines experience relative motion?

Last edited by roosh; 10-04-2012 at 08:27.
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10-04-2012, 17:44   #164
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Are you referring to "the block universe" interpretation there, where spacetime is 4D, and we only experience our "now slice" of the block universe.
Yup.

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A number of questions arise from that; if we take the example of your 8yr old self having his/her birthday party, the natural question would be, how did your 8yr old self not age as you aged? You were that 8yr old, and you grew to be whatever age you are now; how did the 8yr old you not age along with you; how can he/she still be having their 8th birthday party?
I think you're mistakenly taking the younger and older self to be different, especially when you say the 8yr old should age along with you. Both would be connected as a unity through time. The 8yr old at the 3rd of April is the same as the 8yr old on the 9th of April. The 8yr old on the 3rd of April is always that age, ie. no one ever ages in any real sense of the word, they simply experience the individual moments along the static timeline of their existence.

They are still having their birthday party, but by they it's just you. Your past self is statically frozen as an extended temporal birthday party. In fact the you that is going to reply to this has already done so, it's just that your awareness of that moment has not caught up to it yet. In effect you are always moving into your future self.

I think however, that this doesn't really solve or elucidate the nature of time at all. All that has happened is that there is now something else we have to explain, namely, how the 'now' point moves along the frozen 4-Dimensional time space. Everything exists already, but they don't all exist as 'nows', so why not?

I think you're right on the empirical comment, however I think the notion of 4-Dimnesional time has arisen rather as an attempt to overcome some of the conceptual problems of regular time. (Don't ask me what those are )

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The answer to that conundrum, I think, appears to be that we, somehow, exist as geometrical "world lines" already plotted out in absolute spacetime. This further gives rise to the question, if we are geometrical world lines, with an absolute existence in spacetime, and not necessarily moving - but moving through time?? - then how is there the illusion of relative motion between observers and objects? How do these non-moving worldlines experience relative motion?
I'm not too familiar with relative motion to be honest. Will I even hazard a guess... Maybe if we could furnish a simple example of it for myself. Oh yeah, so the basic example of the twin who travels around the earth a near light speed and returns to his more aged twin.

Would it be possible to explain this in the sense that the progression through time, the consecutive 'nows' for each observer are not progressing at the same speed? You don't need different time lines because the 4-D timeworm is essentially 3-D extended through time, it's not just a line, which is 1-D. The person at near light speed is travelling through the static time faster than the other people. I think you just need to say that there are different 'now' points in 4-D time.

Sorry for my poor explaining!
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15-04-2012, 19:08   #165
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The answer to that conundrum, I think, appears to be that we, somehow, exist as geometrical "world lines" already plotted out in absolute spacetime. This further gives rise to the question, if we are geometrical world lines, with an absolute existence in spacetime, and not necessarily moving - but moving through time?? - then how is there the illusion of relative motion between observers and objects? How do these non-moving worldlines experience relative motion?
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I'm not too familiar with relative motion to be honest. Will I even hazard a guess... Maybe if we could furnish a simple example of it for myself. Oh yeah, so the basic example of the twin who travels around the earth a near light speed and returns to his more aged twin.

Would it be possible to explain this in the sense that the progression through time, the consecutive 'nows' for each observer are not progressing at the same speed? You don't need different time lines because the 4-D timeworm is essentially 3-D extended through time, it's not just a line, which is 1-D. The person at near light speed is travelling through the static time faster than the other people. I think you just need to say that there are different 'now' points in 4-D time.

Sorry for my poor explaining!
A few things to say about this:

The length of a world line interval is a measure of the time experienced across that interval.

For a point particle, the world line is 1D. For a 1D string, it would be a 2D "world sheet" etc. This is one of the reasons why string theory is desirable. World sheets are much easier to deal with in quantum mechanics.

Relative motion manifests as a difference in the shape of two world lines. If we consider the simple case of a globally flat spacetime (I.e. No gravitational pull), two objects at rest with respect to each other will have parallel world lines.
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