Einstein view of time

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Dinosaur, May 6, 2019.

  1. Asexperia Valued Senior Member

    For me: change creates time, time creates duration. When time stops, duration stops.
    Write4U likes this.
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  3. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

    I think I have the book Invention of Space and Timet on this phone

    Will try to find a relevant section to post
    Thanks for what you posted

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  5. QuarkHead Remedial Math Student Valued Senior Member

    Michael, I would be very interested to see your definition of what you call NOW without implicit reference to time. Note that words like "moment" and "instant" imply time. Likewise "simultaneous".
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  7. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

    NOW is simply NOW

    There is nothing in existence either side of NOW

    PAST? no FUTURE? no

    NOW does not "move" into the future as it has not "come" from the past

    Note that words like "moment" and "instant" imply time. Likewise "simultaneous".

    I would disagree. They act as arbitrary place markers (reference) indicating a particular moment (or NOW) by which a measure of AGE (change) can be guaged

    AGE is not TIME

    I repeat a request

    If you have any reference regarding theexistence of time I am happyt read such

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  8. Asexperia Valued Senior Member


    - Physics is the science of measures that use a number and a unit.

    - Time can be measured by clocks.

    - Therefore, time is a physical entity.

    To think that time does not exist or is an illusion, is an absurd and illogical idea.

    Time is an exhaustible and non-renewable resource.
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  9. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    That's an interesting perspective. "Running out of time"......

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    What if we substitute "running out of space"?
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  10. phyti Registered Senior Member

    What is time?

    The operational definition of assigning a time to an event as mentioned by A. Einstein in his 1905 paper is essentially what it is, and how it's been done since humans appeared.
    It is a correspondence convention, i.e., assigning events of interest to standard clock events, a measure and ordering of activity, with 'time' always increasing/accumulating.
    It is an accounting scheme developed out of practical necessity, for human activities like agriculture, business, travel, science, etc. The unit of measure for time initially referred to relative positions of astronomical objects, stars, sun, and moon, which implies earth rotations and earth orbits. The year equates to the periodic motion of the earth relative to the sun, the month, the moon relative to the earth, and the day, the earth rotation relative to the stars. All units of time are by definition, involving spatial motion or distance. The clock further divides the day into smaller units of measure. The reference in the 1905 paper of the watch hand to a position on the watch face involves nothing more than counting hand cycles (hand motion of specific distances representing subdivisions of a day). Current scientific research requires clocks that generate smaller and more precise periods than those of the past. The second is defined as n wave lengths of a specific frequency of light. Note "n wave lengths" is a distance, but labeled as "time".

    If we use a light based clock to time the speed of an object along a known distance x, what are we actually doing?
    We are comparing the simultaneous motion of an object to the motion of light for a duration (number of ticks). The result is a ratio x/s = vt/ct = v/c or speed. It should be obvious that the ticks serve to correlate the positions of the object with the positions of the light signal, for simultaneous comparisons. If you use Minkowski space-time diagrams the vertical scale is not 'time', but ct, light path distance, i.e. they plot speed. This allows a simple comparison of equivalent entities, without consideration of the nature of those entities.

    In summation: A clock provides a beat or rhythm via a periodic process, to coordinate and measure events.

    quotes by the author of SR
    From 'The Meaning of Relativity', Albert Einstein, 1956:
    page 1.
    "The experiences of an individual appear to us arranged in a series of events; in this series the single events which we remember appear to be ordered according to the criteria of "earlier" and "later", which cannot be analyzed further. There exists, therefore, for the individual, an I-time, or subjective time."
    page 31.
    "The non-divisibility of the four-dimensional continuum of events does not at all, however, involve the equivalence of the space coordinates with the time coordinate."
    page 32.
    "Finally, with Minkowski, we introduce in place of the real time co-ordinate l=ct, the imaginary time co-ordinate..."

    time and perception
    Subjective time requires memory, which allows a comparison of a current state to a previous state for any changes, which lends itself to an interpretation of time flowing. Patients with brain damage to specific areas involved in maintaining a personal chronology, lose their ability to estimate elapsed time, short or long term. Consider the fact that people waking from a comatose state, have no memory of how much elapsed time, whether hrs, days, or even years.
    Consider one of the greatest misnomers ever used, 'motion pictures' or 'movies', where a person observes a sequence of still photos and the mind melds them to produce moving objects where there is no motion. These cases show time as part of perception. SR then alters perception via motion.

    It was Minkowski who advocated the mathematical manipulation of the expression for the invariant interval from an equality to a generalized form of four variables, producing space-time. I refer to the Minkowski version of SR as a 'lines on paper' theory. Time is represented as a line, removing any attributes that would distinguish its identity from other variables, a line is a line.

    Math equations that express a behavior as a function of time, are misleading when the time is interpreted as a causative factor. The time of an event must be assigned after the event occurs, i.e. after awareness! If a nova is observed in 2010, and is 100 ly distant, it didn't happen because it was 1910 on earth. It was the physical processes already in place that reacted to an unstable state. A person dies, not because it's his 'time', but because his biological system reaches a state that can't be maintained. The laws of physics, known or unknown, are in place throughout the universe, so there is no need for 'time'.

    Which imo brings us to the real issue perpetuating the millenia of debating 'time'.
    No one wants to be informed "atomic clock at NIST has a hole in it and time is running out". Time is associated with longevity. People gain some sense of security if they think there is an invisible entity behind the scenes arranging and scheduling more events.
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  11. NotEinstein Valued Senior Member

    (This post appears to be (self?-)plagarized from:
  12. Asexperia Valued Senior Member

    The time of uniform and periodic rhythm (mathematical) is taken as a reference to measure the duration of events.

    All periodic phenomena have a uniform rhythm and can be divided into equal intervals. Time does not come from nothing, you have to use periodic movements to measure duration. Duration is the time interval. Without change there is no time and without periodic phenomena you can not measure time. This will be done for ever and ever.

    Visit my thread: Does time exist? to expand on my point of view. http://www.sciforums.com/threads/does-time-exist.152720/
  13. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

    Arbitrary measurement units RECORDING AGE (change) not TIME
  14. phyti Registered Senior Member

    It's a 12 yr compilation of my own ideas resulting from forum participation. An attempt to remove the fiction and mythology from science. Time is a convention as stated in post #1.
  15. NotEinstein Valued Senior Member

    If it's your own ideas, why are you posting them in a thread called "Einstein view of time", where they are off-topic? Why not create a new thread called "phyti view of time" instead?
  16. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    You've got it, you win! Leave it to the old-timer to get the job done. The situation can be subsumed by the general conception of Eternalism (below). With the supposed "flow" simply being the fact that the 4D-like worm of your brain from birth to death is divided into specific states of neural activity which correspond to each subjective moment you experience. Those distinct but still connected differences can't be aware of anything else other than the limited information each is holding (which takes on the character of a process when you add the other states or differences collectively).

    So no surprise that each neural configuration dim-wittedly believes that only its "now" exists, that only its specious present moment is real. The ontological connection or relationship between the prior state and the next provides the sense of cognition moving (that illusionary time-flow of folk beliefs) which is not necessarily the case since your consciousness from birth to death accompanies all of them (barring periods of dreamless sleep or being comatose via injury). But that overall awareness of your lifetime is again unavoidably subdivided into specific percepts -- awareness consists of narrowing to discrete events, not blurry generalization (even drunks not passed out yet still possess minimum capacity for sensory and temporal discrimination).

    You would not really be a philosophical zombie in the past if magical time-travelers from the future greet you, anymore than you are right now. Weyl's description below of consciousness moving along the worldline of your body is more of a figurative help, since it's easier to grasp that at first.

    But let's not leave out the other two temporal alternatives, even if most applicable physicists don't subscribe to them, apart from rebels like Lee Smolin (he roughly seems to be a "possibilism" or "growing-past" guy).

    Sean Carrol: The Reality of Time (presentism, possibilism, and eternalism)

    Robert Geroch: "There is no dynamics within space-time itself: nothing ever moves therein; nothing happens; nothing changes. [...] In particular, one does not think of particles as 'moving through' space-time, or as 'following along' their world-lines. Rather, particles are just 'in' space-time, once and for all, and the world-line represents, all at once the complete life history of the particle." --General Relativity from A to B

    Paul Davies: "Peter Lynds's reasonable and widely accepted assertion that the flow of time is an illusion (25 October, p 33) does not imply that time itself is an illusion. It is perfectly meaningful to state that two events may be separated by a certain duration, while denying that time mysteriously flows from one event to the other. Crick compares our perception of time to that of space. Quite right. Space does not flow either, but it's still 'there'." --New Scientist, 6 December 2003, Sec. Letters

    Hermann Weyl: "The objective world simply IS, it does not HAPPEN. Only to the gaze of my consciousness, crawling upward along the life line [worldline] of my body, does a certain section of this world come to life as a fleeting image in space which continuously changes in time." --Philosophy of Mathematics and Natural Science

    Philosophy of Time

    1) According to the ontological theory called presentism, only present objects exist. Stated another way: if something is real, then it exists now. Times other than the present are like false stories. The past and the future are not real, so the true statement, "Dinosaurs once existed," must be grounded in some present facts or analyzed in some way that does not imply the reality of the past. Heraclitus, Duns Scotus, Thomas Hobbes, and A. N. Prior are presentists. In 1969, Prior said of the present and the real:
    They are one and the same concept, and the present simply is the real considered in relation to two particular species of unreality, namely the past and the future.

    (2) Advocates of a growing-past agree with the presentists that the present is special ontologically, but they argue that, in addition to the present, the past is also real and is growing bigger all the time. C. D. Broad, George Ellis, Richard Jeffrey, and Michael Tooley defended the growing-past theory. William James famously remarked that the future is so unreal that even God cannot anticipate it. It is not clear whether Aristotle accepted the growing-past theory or accepted a form of presentism; see Hilary Putnam (1967, p. 244) for commentary on this issue. The growing-past theory is also called "now-and-then-ism, the "becoming theory" and "possibilism."

    (3) Advocates of eternalism say there are no objective ontological differences among the past, present and future, just as there is no objective ontological difference between here and there. The difference is not objectively real; it is subjective, depending upon which person's experience is being implicitly referred to—yours or Julius Caesar's, say. Eternalism conflicts with the manifest image. Bertrand Russell, J. J. C. Smart, W. V. O. Quine, Adolf Grünbaum, and David Lewis have endorsed eternalism. Eternalism is less frequently called the tapestry view of time.

    "On the Two Aspects of Time: The Distinction and Its Implications“ in Foundations of Physics (1988), Horowitz, Arshansky, & Elitz: It seems that Einstein's view of the life of an individual was as follows. If the difference between past, present, and the future is an illusion, i.e., the four-dimensional spacetime is a 'block Universe' without motion or change, then each individual is a collection of a myriad of selves, distributed along his history, each occurrence persisting on the world line, experiencing indefinitely the particular event of that moment. Each of these momentary persons, according to our experience, would possess memory of the previous ones, and would therefore believe himself identical with them; yet they would all exist separately, as single pictures in a film. Placing the past, present, and future on the same footing this way, destroys the notion of the unity of the self, rendering it a mere illusion as well.

    Belated Note: That last part of the quote is a rather ludicrous conclusion, since one global state of the world being annihilated as it is replaced by another (in the presentism view of time) would far more destroy this so-called unity of the self. In Eternalism each co-existing different state of the body would be ontologically joined to the former and next, as opposed to ephemeral changes in a magical blinking in and out process.
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
  17. Asexperia Valued Senior Member

    In a dead end street we can turn back.
  18. phyti Registered Senior Member

    A better choice of words would be 'my conclusions', based on some elaboration and factual detail that support his view. It's not an alternate theory. It shows how 'time' is related to other aspects of life. No need for a new theory, SR works just fine.

    Example per Minkowski, space and time are combined as space-time (with or without the hyphen).The reason: motion in space alters the rate of processes mediated by em transactions. That includes clocks, mechanical and biological. Since the observer has a biological clock, his sense of time will slow at the same rate as his mechanical clock, and he will not be aware of any change.
    In agreement with:Einstein: "There exists, therefore, for the individual, an I-time, or subjective time.
    "Time measures the amount of activity (events) between two reference events, just as a ruler measures the amount of space between two objects. The fundamental difference, the time measure for humanity as a whole is cumulative. Duration is just an interval of time, like 'how long does it take for an ice cube to melt'.
  19. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

    What you are measuring is AGE

    ÀGE is not TIME

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  20. NotEinstein Valued Senior Member

    Ah, so they aren't "your ideas", as you claimed. OK.

    To whom refers "his" here? I'm guessing Einstein?

    I never claimed that it was?

    (Irrelevant to our discussion.)

    Good, because Einstein's view on time might have some correlation to SR's concept of time.

    (Irrelevant as well.)
  21. Mike_Fontenot Registered Member

    Robert A Muller recently wrote a very interesting book titled "Now", with the subtitle "The Physics of Time". Near the end, he gives his own answer as to why our own perceived flow of time only goes toward the future, and never the past. And earlier, he gives a counter argument to the usual reason that is given for that, namely the entropy argument.
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  22. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

    And we measure DISTANCE.

    DISTANCE is not SPACE.

    So I guess space doesn't exist either?
  23. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    That's interesting. It is possible to summarise?

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