# What is time?

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An interval separating two points on this continuum; a duration: a long time since the last war; passed the time reading...A nonspatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future....How is it in anyway "physical"?

Can you touch time? can you feel time? can you see time?

the space-time concept based on the theory of relativity...and it clearly states that spacetime is hyperdimensional consisting of 4Ds x,y,z and time. I can move in the X, I can move in the Y and I can move in the Z, but where is t...can you plot a point having coordinates xyzt? is there a vector to represent it?

does it have a quantity? when did it start? when will it end? how fast is it going?

Why does it exist?

According to the theory of relativity, in the high-speed particle's frame of reference, it exists for the same amount of time as usual, and the distance it travels in that time is what would be expected for that velocity. Relative to a frame of reference at rest, time seems to "slow down" for the particle. Relative to the high-speed particle, distances seems to shorten. Even in Newtonian terms time may be considered the fourth dimension of motion; but Einstein showed how both temporal and spatial dimensions can be altered by high-speed motion.

That is something i can comprehend since it all has to do with relativity, and two non existant things can be made relative...so that still doesn't answer my question....where is it?!?!

This is really mind-blogging...since I don't belive in the concept of time being a continuum and that we live in a world where space and time are relative...I don't know what time truly is...Can soemone help plz!

Edited by _sphinx_
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according to creatonism, it is the god of evolution

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according to creatonism, it is the god of evolution

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Quick answer, I would say that the passing of time is probably not a lot more than this dissipation of heat. Or the tendency of a system to go from a state of 'order' to 'disorder'. Look at your favourite encyclopedia for an explanation of 'entropy' to understand this better). In this sense if we view the Universe as a giant coiled spring, we can see that there is a definite net amount of energy/work/heat contained within the system and that as that energy is 'released' the net amount of energy, or work that this system can do will gradually dissipate also - until the entire system reaches a state of equilibrium. (This is what is also often referred to as the heat death of the Universe. Heat death however does not quite mean that the Universe will ever loose all of its energy - although the final state is likely to be something very close to absolute zero - as clearly this would contradict the first law of thermodynamics - which states that energy cannot be created or destroyed).

There are of course several disputes and difficulties concerning this view of time - but certainly since everything we know of and everything we can observe, when reduced to its bare constituent parts, is about higher energy states entering lower energy states over time, the the process of heat dissipation is also likely to be responsible for a large part of what we view as the passing of time. (Of course one can 'borrow' or add energy to a system temporarily, but eventually you will either have to pay that energy back, or allow that system to gradually reach a state of comparative equilibrium with system that it originally borrowed that energy from).

It seems then that everything we can see in the Universe is constantly striving to reach the same energy state - and that this is very much a part of what we understand the passage of time to be. Of course this is not the whole answer, it is really just a simple engineers answer - but nonetheless, I do feel that when the ultimate answer to questions like this are finally revealed to us, the second law of thermodynamics will have played a very large part in enabling us to reach that point. (As of course will have Albert Einstein).

GJ

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"Einstein pushed against Time and felt it give."

Time is an Illusion that we have adopted to view events. It keeps things 'seperated'.

There is actually, one big NOW. :happy:

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And your evidence for this assertion is?

GJ

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how so?

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Erm... well particularly since God and evolution aren't normally mentioned in the same sentence - and that the 'God of evolution' is just a complete non sequitur (it does not flllow). Its like saying even tall people can sometimes be short, or that drinking makes you dry, or that eating junk food is good for you - or even (on a much more unlikely note) that George W. Bush can sometimes talk sense - they are clearly absurd and incompatable concepts.

Evolution is a mechanism that specifically does not require a God - so to say that there is a God of evolution is extremely contradictory.

GJ

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yes, i understand this, i was kinda being a smart ass as creationists say that people who understand the fact that is evolution and how we got where we are today is because they believe in the "God" of time because we say Earth is 4.6 billion years olds vs their 6,000 year old nonsense

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I still don't understand your point.... but never mind... ;)

GJ

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Erm... well particularly since God and evolution aren't normally mentioned in the same sentence - and that the 'God of evolution' is just a complete non sequitur (it does not flllow). Its like saying even tall people can sometimes be short, or that drinking makes you dry, or that eating junk food is good for you - or even (on a much more unlikely note) that George W. Bush can sometimes talk sense - they are clearly absurd and incompatable concepts.

Evolution is a mechanism that specifically does not require a God - so to say that there is a God of evolution is extremely contradictory.

GJ

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There is a god of evolution in the Discworld books.

That is neither here, nor there, though.

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We'll, theoretical physics says there are more then 3 dimensions (x/y/z)...

If you ask me, time doesn't exist. Or maybe it does. Itsused as a measuring device but doesn't really exist. I don't believe you can time travel. I have my own theory on that.

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one interesting theory that has been put forward recently adopts time as a potential, much like a gravitational potential. one consequence of this theory is that the "direction" of time can be justified by appealing to the nature of potential.

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What is the name of the theory - and more importantly who was the guy proposing it?

GJ

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We'll, theoretical physics says there are more then 3 dimensions (x/y/z)...

If you ask me, time doesn't exist. Or maybe it does. Itsused as a measuring device but doesn't really exist. I don't believe you can time travel. I have my own theory on that.

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It is interesting to say that time doesn't exist, but there are several different measures of time that would suggest differently. Heat is one of those measures, as I discussed previously, but so also can in their own right electromagnetism, the weak nuclear force, and the strong nuclear force. Also the expansion of the Universe itself can equally be used as a clock. (The rate of which is given by Hubbles law; eg: v = H0 x d). So while it is possible to say that perhaps one day we will find a theory that shows all of these different forces to simply be different aspects of the same coin (or that they are simply different aspects of the same single ;unified phenomenon) it is not quite so easy to say that time does not exist - or that it only exist because we percieve it to exist.

GJ

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What is the name of the theory - and more importantly who was the guy proposing it?

GJ

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christensen (1993), weingard's "time-ordering field" (1977).

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/time-thermo/