Jump to content

The Time Thread


Rubin Farr
 Share

Recommended Posts

This is a companion thread to the Space Thread I started a while ago, and I've been thinking about it for a while. Time is one of the great mysteries of the universe, physics gives us a basic understanding of it, but in human terms, time is a major fundamental of our lifetimes. We measure our lives in terms of time periods, we (at least in the Gregorian calendar) measure years in terms of one man's life, Jesus. Muslims for example, measure time on a lunar calendar, and have a completely different timetable. It is fascinating to me what our understanding of time might become in the future, as we begin to understand our surrounding universe more, and the rules of quantum physics, spacetime, singularities, frame dragging, relativity, etc. I know some of you are much more science oriented than me, so let's start a discussion here. Starting with:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_in_physics

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everything is happening all at once

 

Well, happening is a property of the relation between different points of time, so I don't think you can say that. Our language and thought is so infused with temporal concepts though, so it's hard to speak accurately about it.

 

All those points in time may all exist as a single totality though (which I guess is kind of what you're getting at), though they may not - in which case the arrow of time may be an actual real physical phenomenon (rather than just a structural feature of a 'static' reality). It would be wrong to view such a universe as a big grid of space and time co-ordinates though, because relativity shows us that there is no universal clock, but it could be a big grid of all the possible matter/energy configurations, time emerges out of them as certain paths through the various configurations which we experience as the passage of time. If that is true then free will is definitely an illusion. Julian Barbour is a physicist who's done work in this area, but he's pretty much on the fringes and hasn't really got very far with his ideas AFAIK. Sean Carroll is another who's done some popular work somewhat related to this, mostly from a cosmological point of view, on where the arrow of time comes from.

 

I think it might depend on the true nature of quantum mechanics - specifically is quantum indeterminacy a true phenomenon (which would mean that not all events have a causal relation to the rest of the universe), or can it actually be explained by a purely deterministic non-local theory (experimental investigations of the Bell Inequalities / EPR Paradox may be able to answer this question, they've already mostly ruled out certain types of answers aside from those two I just mentioned). Bohmian Mechanics would be one formulation of a non-local deterministic theory. But there's also quantum multiverse theories, which would allow for another form of non-determinism.

 

It could all be related to figuring out a working theory of quantum gravity as well.

 

There are also various cosmological multiverse theories, many of which are infinite in nature, which would probably rule out a 'timeless' view of the universe. Such theories don't seem particularly provable at the moment though (they only evidence I've heard of related to the cold spot in the Cosmic Microwave Background, that it was caused by an interaction with a parallel universe, but that's controversial).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Everything is happening all at once

 

Well, happening is a property of the relation between different points of time, so I don't think you can say that. Our language and thought is so infused with temporal concepts though, so it's hard to speak accurately about it.

 

All those points in time may all exist as a single totality though (which I guess is kind of what you're getting at), though they may not - in which case the arrow of time may be an actual real physical phenomenon (rather than just a structural feature of a 'static' reality). It would be wrong to view such a universe as a big grid of space and time co-ordinates though, because relativity shows us that there is no universal clock, but it could be a big grid of all the possible matter/energy configurations, time emerges out of them as certain paths through the various configurations which we experience as the passage of time. If that is true then free will is definitely an illusion. Julian Barbour is a physicist who's done work in this area, but he's pretty much on the fringes and hasn't really got very far with his ideas AFAIK. Sean Carroll is another who's done some popular work somewhat related to this, mostly from a cosmological point of view, on where the arrow of time comes from.

 

I think it might depend on the true nature of quantum mechanics - specifically is quantum indeterminacy a true phenomenon (which would mean that not all events have a causal relation to the rest of the universe), or can it actually be explained by a purely deterministic non-local theory (experimental investigations of the Bell Inequalities / EPR Paradox may be able to answer this question, they've already mostly ruled out certain types of answers aside from those two I just mentioned). Bohmian Mechanics would be one formulation of a non-local deterministic theory. But there's also quantum multiverse theories, which would allow for another form of non-determinism.

 

It could all be related to figuring out a working theory of quantum gravity as well.

 

There are also various cosmological multiverse theories, many of which are infinite in nature, which would probably rule out a 'timeless' view of the universe. Such theories don't seem particularly provable at the moment though (they only evidence I've heard of related to the cold spot in the Cosmic Microwave Background, that it was caused by an interaction with a parallel universe, but that's controversial).

 

 

I appreciate that when I say absurd things you take the time to deconstruct the concept.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Nope, you're in a Rubin Farr thread, if you were posting in a Troon thread the intensifying would be palpable.

 

The arrow of time and entropy are truly fascinating topics though.  Just once I want to see a broken teacup rise, self-assemble and return to the table where it belongs!

Edited by Bob Dobalina
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nope, you're in a Rubin Farr thread, if you were posting in a Troon thread the intensifying would be palpable.

 

The arrow of time and entropy are truly fascinating topics though.  Just once I want to see a broken teacup rise, self-assemble and return to the table where it belongs!

 

Not to forget remembering the future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.