Is There A Universal Now?

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Cyperium, Jun 14, 2022.

  1. Write4U Valued Senior Member


    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Chronologically stacked 2D temporal planes.

    No I didn't. If anything I said "temporal planes" and the chronology of universal NOW is measured in 2D slices (planes) of time. In the illustration "x" and "y" compromise 1 "horizonal " spatial plane of NOW, "t" is the vertical temporal stacking of the horizontal spatial NOWS.
    You introduced the "thought experiment" of placing "observers" (alarm clocks) in relative positions on the horizontal spatial plane, no?
    No no, you can't get away with that.
    The present consists of a single horizontal slice of spatial (physical) existence on the vertically stacked slices of NOWs
    Your introduction of the physical "past" to the equation of the "present NOW".
    Because the "present" is not a 3D object. There is no temporal "past present" except when you introduce a spatial observer. Then you get a spatial past present experienced only by the observer. Remove the observer and there is only NOW.
    That is your argument, not mine.
    But the doppler effect is a good way to illustrate it.

    ======================(train travelling -->)===================
    Observer A<_ _ _ _ _ _ _ [------- Sound source -------] .............> Observer B

    Both observers get a subjectively false experience of the true pitch of the sound. And so it is with time.
    IOW time has an objective NOW . Observers experience a subjective relative NOW depending on their POV.
    It is only real to the observer and not necessarily to the whole. It is relative to the POV.
    That is all you have been talking about.
    Compensate for the relativity introduced with the POV of an individual observer (each clock is adjusted to compensate for time lag SOL over long distances of observation). That is a subjective approach. Objectively there is no time lag over the entirety of the present spatial plane.
    I think I addressed all those questions.
    I am glad you admitted to the introduction of physical observers in the analysis of a temporal dimension, which introduces a differential equation.

    The thing is that your description admits there is no such thing as Time at all, but is merely a subjective experience of observational phenomena.

    Actually I agree with that. I believe time is an emergent property of duration of a chronological event in a timeless permittive nothingness. So you can assign a time frame (timeline) to everything that has an observable duration.

    Question: does time exist without an observer? Can the Universe be its own observer and experience its own NOW?
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2022
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Consider two objects moving relative to each other. Does time exist for either object and can it be said that each object is observing the other, or is observation dependent on an interaction between the two objects?

    That is, do the two objects observe each other if they interact somehow?
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    But that is the wrong question.
    The question is if both objects share a common objective NOW at any time, regardless of their subjective relative observational experience.
    AFAIK, interaction is the definition of observation. Wave function collapse, etc.
    But their interaction (observation) is irrelevant to their common objective temporal existence. Although any interaction establishes a common NOW at that precise moment, no?

    If I see an object in the same frame of reference as mine I see it as it was in a past NOW. But in the same frame of reference, the observed object sees me as I was at that exact same NOW in my past.

    Hence in our mutually observed common PAST, we shared a mutually shared common NOW. Does that clarify my argument?

    When I observe something, I see it as it was in my past. But that does not mean that it did not exist and share a common NOW before my observation of its existence in my present.

    And IMO, all that "observation" is irrelevant to that commonly shared temporal NOW before any observation takes place.

    This is why I believe that the introduction of an observer unnecessarily introduces SR into the equation.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2022
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Ok. How about when SR doesn't get unnecessarily introduced? When for instance it's required by say, modern solid state physics, or whatever?

    How is SR a necessary thing in physics or how is physics, theoretically, a necessary thing?
  8. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    If you want to change the premise, of course. I am NOT arguing against SR.

    As a boy of 15 I read Einstein's explanation of the Doppler effect caused by SR and as soon as I read the example of the sound a motor cycle makes as it passes, I understood the concept of wave contraction and expansion and actually experienced a "eureka" moment of extreme clarity.
    SR is a natural physical expression of a generic universal mathematical equation in reality.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2022
  9. Mike_Fontenot Registered Senior Member

    It sounds to me like everyone who has posted in this thread, except for Neddy and me (and perhaps someone else whose post I've forgotten), has never studied Einstein's special relativity theory. Or if they think they studied it, they definitely didn't learn it. Probably the most fundamental thing Einstein discovered is that, given that the speed of light is the same number (186,000 miles per second) according to every unaccelerated observer, those unaccelerated observers who happen to be moving relative to each other, but who are momentarily mutually stationary at some instant, will NOT agree about the current age of any particular distant person at that instant. I.e., those unaccelerated observers do NOT share the same "NOW-at-a-distance".

    If you want to understand special relativity, the best place to start is with the book "Relativity - the Special and General Theory" by Einstein, translated into English by Robert W. Lawson. The copy I read was published by Crown, but I don't see that anymore on Amazon. However, Amazon does have the same content here: by crown publishers,stripbooks,99&sr=1-1

    for $4.99.
  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    It makes no difference whether anyone has studied SR. It is not applicable in context of the OP question.

    You are explaining what would be necessary for an observer to observe simultaneous events from his relative POV.
    But that is not the question.

    Simultaneity is not necessarily subject to relativity. If you say that events cannot happen at the same time,you are talking about "disjoint events" that cannot happen simultaneously or at the same NOW.

    Mutually Exclusive Events
    What are Mutually Exclusive Events?
    If A and B are the two events, then the probability of disjoint of event A and B is written by:
    Probability of Disjoint (or) Mutually Exclusive Event = P ( A and B) = 0

    This mathematical law clearly implies that simultaneous events CAN happen and therefore have the same NOW.

    This answers the OP question. There is no need to invoke observers. Events can happen simultaneously and have the same NOW independent of observation. I shall refrain from ad hominem.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2022
  11. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    I think I see the problem: you're not understanding what that picture represents. It is showing a particular 2D slice through our three dimensional space at several different times. The space is drawn as 2D slices because we can't draw a four-dimensional diagram but we're used to interpreting 2D diagrams, like this one, as representations of 3 dimensions - in this case two spatial dimensions and one time dimension. The third spatial dimension has been left out of the diagram, because it's impossible to include all four dimensions on a diagram.

    Those are not "2D temporal planes". They are 2D spatial planes: 2D slices of a 3D space.

    It's possible that you understand this and you are just muddling the language up. I can't be sure.
    Those aren't 2D slices of time. They are 2D slices of space. Time is one-dimensional. It is the vertical axis on your picture.

    If those slices show space at several particular moments of time, they are not "universal", but observer dependent. A different observer in relative motion would have his or her simultaneous slices of space at some angle to the ones shown in the diagram. There is no "universal NOW".
    Did I?

    I agree that we could place clocks at various spatial locations. In 3D space, we could, for example, place them on a 3D grid.
    Only for one particular observer, though. An observe in relative motion to that observer would have a different set of events comprising his or her "NOW", which again means that your "NOW" is not in any sense "universal".
    If "the present" is defined as the collection of all events everywhere in space that happen at a particular moment of time, then we get a set of events in a 3D space.
    I don't know what a "past present" is.
    Sorry? What? It's my argument about what, exactly? Got a link to where I put the argument you're referring to? Post number, perhaps?
    What's the "true pitch" of a sound? Would that be the pitch you would hear if you happen to be moving with the source of the sound, perhaps? What makes that "truer" than the pitch heard by somebody watching the source fly past him?

    Aren't you just preferencing a particular frame of reference, for no good reason?
    Experimentally, how would we go about determining the frame of reference in which the "objective NOW" you mention exists? Is that a special, privileged frame of reference? Why? How can you tell?
    I do not believe I have used the term "differential synchronisation of clocks" in any post, other than where I have been quoting something you wrote. I have no idea what the term "differential synchronisation of clocks" might mean.
    It sounds like you believe there is a preferred or "true" reference frame of some sort. Which frame is it? How can we identify it? What makes it the one special frame? How can you tell if you're in that frame or not, as an observer?
    The "present spatial plane" is presumably defined as some set of simultaneous events. If that's your definition, of course there's no "time lag". There can be no time lag between simultaneous events. If there was, they wouldn't be simultaneous, by definition.

    You're talking in circles.
    Do you know what a "differential equation" is?
    Which differential equation are you referring to? Can you post the maths, please?
    Where are you getting this from? Can you find anything I've written that supports the notion that "there is no such thing as time at all"? I challenge you to quote a single post of mine where I made any such statement.

    I think you must have badly misunderstood something I wrote, somewhere.

    I do not deny that time exists. Perhaps you're confusing me with michael 345, or someone. I think the idea that there's no such thing as time is ridiculuous.
    Why am I not surprised that you would think that time doesn't exist?
    How can it not exist and yet also be an emergent property? You can have one or the other, but you can't have both. They are logically mutually exclusive.

    What is a "timeless permittive nothingness"? Where could I find one of those?
    Observing a duration is necessarily concerned with "assigning a timeline". You're spinning in circles again.
    That's two questions.
    My answers are:
    1. I have no idea. I only know about a universe that has observers. I have no experience of observerless universes.
    2. I think you need to define what you mean by "observer" before you can answer the question of whether the universe qualifies as one. Same for "experience". Is the universe the sort of thing that can experience things? You need to define your terms clearly. That's a major problem I continually encounter in trying to discuss just about anything with you. You use technical-sounding terms in what seems to be an entirely idiosyncratic way. But when I ask you directly what you mean, you can never seem to explain yourself.
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    And all coordinates on that spatial plane are the same NOW.
  13. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Image "Nothing", permittive of everything.
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    All events on that plane have the same time coordinate. Is that all you're saying?
    You're revolving in circles again. I ask you to define "timeless permittive nothingness" and you just tell me to imagine a nothingness that is timelessly permittive.

    Do you have anything specific in mind, or is it all just random word salad?
  15. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    But that is not my NOW, it is your NOW.
    My NOW is not a result of observation from a POV inside the Universe.
    And a timeline is a chronology of NOWS of a single object, regardless if there is an observer.
    Oh yes you can and no they are not mutually exclusive.
    You are interpreting the expression "how can it not exist" incorrectly as "it cannot exist"
    Something does not have to exist before it emerges, like for instance Life
    or the Universe itself. See Lawrence Krauss' book; "A Universe from Nothing."
    The altered pitch is an emergent phenomenon of relativity and did not exist until it was observed from a specific POV.
    Let's look at the definition;
    It is you who assigns consciousness and observable clocks to the experience of NOW.
    All you need is ask. I have never refused to answer a question about a term I used, without reference to a formal definition.

    Such as :
    Is that clear enough? I used both terms "observer" and "experience" in a scientific context and not in context of human consciousness. It seems to me that is what you are doing, by placing conscious observers at different POV that yield different experiences.
    Differential Equations

    Differential Equation
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2022
  16. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Not only that, here is a picture of a differential:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    And here is a definition of differential pricing:

    So, we can all pull examples of "differential" this, that and the other off the internet (or out of our arses). If you think the use of the term in the expression "differential synchronisation of clocks" relates to differential equations, you should be able to direct us to the differential equation you have in mind. (You can't of course, because it is mad bullshit.)
    Neddy Bate and QuarkHead like this.
  17. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    Is there a Universal NOW?

    NOW is in blue (not shouting) capitals due to it being fundimential

    Yes. Throughout the Universe everything happens in a singular NOW

    Arising in language there came labelling of ideas

    Many of the ideas had no backing of stuff ie did not exist ***

    (Being disrupted here. Back soon I hope

    Ummmmm back in time to edit. Since the next bit was written few days ago when off line it might not flow smoothly from above text)

    *** Another way of saying Only in the Mind of the Thinker

    I have been asked

    What would a "non-fundamental" existence of time look like?

    The example I would give would be the human version - synchronisation with a arbitrarily picked regularity

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Last edited: Sep 19, 2022
  18. phyti Registered Senior Member


    Around the 14th century various countries used a system of 24 hr, with different starting times. That evolved into two 12 hr divisions by the 16th century. By the 17th century, pendulum clocks were accurate enough to maintain smaller divisions of time.

    The Babylonian astronomical division of a degree was further divided (base 60) into the first small division or minute (prima minuta) and the second small division or second (secunda minuta).

    The timekeeping units were defined, as are all standard um. They have no properties other than being integers. They are used for measurement purposes, in its simplest form, counting.
    Using light frequencies (a fundamental process) for 'time' measurements doesn't make
    the um fundamental! The definitions were most likely the result of a committee.
  19. phyti Registered Senior Member


    Once light propagation was known to be finite, a universal 'now' is not possible.

    Minkowski's concept of 'spacetime' implies you can't track a large composite object using an imaginary center of mass. You have to track it element by element. That is how we perceive objects, different elements as they exist at different times. The greater the spatial difference between the nearest and farthest elements of a composite object, the greater the difference in time.
  20. phyti Registered Senior Member


    Simultaneity is based on communication using light, not sound.
    Who makes the clocks?
    Who synchronizes the clocks?

    A clock doesn't need a dimension since it moves (with or without an observer) in the direction of motion.
  21. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    So the second was not discovered but defined by a committee or individual it matters not

    I'm guessing all of the time divisions came into being (Defined - not Discovered)

    Don't see why not. The propagation finite speed of light affects the transfer of information across the universal now there being one

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  22. Mike_Fontenot Registered Senior Member

    The OP's question was incoherent. What matters is that if a statement violates special relativity, then that statement violates physics, and thus the statement is nothing but mumbo-jumbo.
    Write4U likes this.
  23. Mike_Fontenot Registered Senior Member

    Light speed is known to be finite in both Newtonian physics and in special relativity. In Newtonian physics, there IS a universal "now at a distance". In special relativity, there is NOT a universal "now at a distance".

Share This Page