Time has to exist, if it can be curved

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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SecularCauses
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Time has to exist, if it can be curved

Post by SecularCauses »

For those trumpeting the view that time is nothing more than a made-up fiction, and that one may contemplate its demise from our existence, then please explain how it is that time is curved.

Most people are familiar with the Einsteinian notion that the faster one travels, the slower time becomes. Most are also aware that a massive objects literally curves the space surrounding it, and that causes objects to fall into that curved space, which gives us the illusion of a gravitational force. Most people, however, do not realize that time also gets curved in addition to physical space by the presence of massive objects. For example, a clock on the surface of the earth moves slower than a clock on top of a tall building because the clock at the surface is closer to the curved time created by the earth's mass. Time itself moves differently between the two locations.

Now, if time can be curved, just like space itself, then what is the reason for arguing that time is an illusion? How does an illusion get affected by mass? If time didn't exist, then massive objects should not be able to curve it.

What say those of you who believe that time is but a figment of our imagination?
tillingborn
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Re: Time has to exist, if it can be curved

Post by tillingborn »

I think some people who question the existence of time appreciate that it is tied up in Einstein’s (actually Minkowski’s) 4 dimensional space-time. The spatial dimensions are most often expressed by Cartesian co-ordinates; so for example an object is left a bit, up a bit and back a bit relative to you. Does that mean that left/right, up/down and back/forward ‘exist’ as dimensions, or are they simply measuring devices? Likewise you mention that “a clock on the surface of the earth moves slower than a clock on top of a tall building”. To me this is proof that material devices behave differently according to the strength of gravity, but it doesn’t follow that time ‘exists’ as a dimension.
SecularCauses
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Re: Time has to exist, if it can be curved

Post by SecularCauses »

tillingborn wrote:I think some people who question the existence of time appreciate that it is tied up in Einstein’s (actually Minkowski’s) 4 dimensional space-time. The spatial dimensions are most often expressed by Cartesian co-ordinates; so for example an object is left a bit, up a bit and back a bit relative to you. Does that mean that left/right, up/down and back/forward ‘exist’ as dimensions, or are they simply measuring devices? Likewise you mention that “a clock on the surface of the earth moves slower than a clock on top of a tall building”. To me this is proof that material devices behave differently according to the strength of gravity, but it doesn’t follow that time ‘exists’ as a dimension.
The reason the clock moves slower is because time itself moves slower. It has nothing to do with the mechanics of the device. No matter the method that is used to measure time, whether it be a wind-up clock, a heart beat, or an atomic clock, all will report a slower time near the earth's surface because the time they measure has slowed. So, how can this happen, how can a mass affect time, if time is simply an illusion?
tillingborn
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Re: Time has to exist, if it can be curved

Post by tillingborn »

It seems to me that to say: “The reason the clock moves slower is because time itself moves slower,” is to beg the question. I don’t know of any means to measure time that doesn’t rely on counting events, atoms vibrating, pendulums swinging, hearts beating and so on. I’m not convinced that time is anything other the passage of events and it seems entirely reasonable that physical events occur at different rates in gravitational fields that we know affect matter. Who needs time?
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Notvacka
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Re: Time has to exist, if it can be curved

Post by Notvacka »

It's usually the notion that time is moving that is considered a fiction, not time itself.
tillingborn
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Re: Time has to exist, if it can be curved

Post by tillingborn »

Notvacka wrote:It's usually the notion that time is moving that is considered a fiction, not time itself.
I'm not clear what anyone could mean by time that is stationary. I think there are theories that hold that everything that we think has or will happen exists in some Parmenidian 'being' and that the perception of time 'flowing' is just us travelling through it. This seems contrary to thermo-dynamics, unless time is the odd dimension out in that it is a one way street.
If something like that is what you mean, I think I would reserve judgement. Newton advocated parsimony, a version of Occam's Razor, with that in mind, the simplest explanation is that the universe exists pretty much as it seems, in other words, stuff exists and things happen to it. We can count these things, but that's all there is, there is no 'time', moving or otherwise.
SecularCauses
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Re: Time has to exist, if it can be curved

Post by SecularCauses »

tillingborn wrote:It seems to me that to say: “The reason the clock moves slower is because time itself moves slower,” is to beg the question. I don’t know of any means to measure time that doesn’t rely on counting events, atoms vibrating, pendulums swinging, hearts beating and so on. I’m not convinced that time is anything other the passage of events and it seems entirely reasonable that physical events occur at different rates in gravitational fields that we know affect matter. Who needs time?
It is not, nor can it be, "begging the question" when it is the result of experimental fact. Time slows down near massive objects, because space-time curves. If time were merely a fictional belief, then it would not be subject to physical laws, it would not curve, as space itself does. If time were merely the passage of events, then it should not be influenced by mass. If time were merely the passage of events, then time should flow for photons, but it doesn't. The photons traveling through space is an event, but the photon does not age, because time does not change for it. Time is a real, physical aspect of the cosmos.
tillingborn
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Re: Time has to exist, if it can be curved

Post by tillingborn »

SecularCauses wrote:It is not, nor can it be, "begging the question" when it is the result of experimental fact.
The point I am trying to make is that the observable ‘result of experimental fact’ is that if two initially synchronous clocks are separated and placed at points of different gravitational strength, when they are brought back together they will no longer be synchronized. The experimental fact is that the clocks now differ. One explanation, as you say, is that “Time slows down near massive objects, because space-time curves.” But what is space-time? What does it mean for it to be curved? By what mechanism does it interact with matter?
SecularCauses wrote:Time slows down near massive objects, because space-time curves. If time were merely a fictional belief, then it would not be subject to physical laws, it would not curve, as space itself does. If time were merely the passage of events, then it should not be influenced by mass.


All we know for certain is that the two clocks differ, it is mathematically convenient to explain this by introducing 4 dimensional curvy space-time, but the question of how mathematical objects ‘exist’ is almost as old as philosophy.
SecularCauses wrote:If time were merely the passage of events, then time should flow for photons, but it doesn't. The photons traveling through space is an event, but the photon does not age, because time does not change for it.
Practically everything that we are aware of happening is due ultimately to the exchange and movement of particles, virtual or real. The particles themselves don’t change, time doesn’t flow for electrons and quarks any more than for photons. What changes is the position and arrangement of what are for all practical purposes immutable sub-atomic particles. It is these changes that we can count to get a sense of time.
SecularCauses wrote:Time is a real, physical aspect of the cosmos.
Maybe so, but I think the evidence is circumstantial
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Cerveny
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Re: Time has to exist, if it can be curved

Post by Cerveny »

It is really interesting question whether the „time“ is a real dimension of the Universe. Because of many physical phenomena (behavior of matter) depend on some time derivation, I am personally willing to accept that some (Planck) time layers (sediments) in Universe exist (as a real “material” cause of matter behavior) – but only as a history. I have deep doubts about Einstein’s time-space continuum where the future is somehow already ad-hoc given and settled and where the metrics does not meet triangular inequality.
tillingborn
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Re: Time has to exist, if it can be curved

Post by tillingborn »

Cerveny wrote:It is really interesting question whether the „time“ is a real dimension of the Universe. Because of many physical phenomena (behavior of matter) depend on some time derivation.
Could you give an example?

Cerveny wrote:I am personally willing to accept that some (Planck) time layers (sediments) in Universe exist (as a real “material” cause of matter behavior) – but only as a history.
I'm afraid I have no idea what this means. Can you put it another way?
Cerveny wrote:I have deep doubts about Einstein’s time-space continuum where the future is somehow already ad-hoc given and settled and where the metrics does not meet triangular inequality.
Why does the metrics not meeting triangular inequality bother you? Sorry, I'm trying to sound as if I understand what you are talking about. Your English is very good, but I still can't understand you.
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Cerveny
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Re: Time has to exist, if it can be curved

Post by Cerveny »

tillingborn wrote:
Cerveny wrote:It is really interesting question whether the „time“ is a real dimension of the Universe. Because of many physical phenomena (behavior of matter) depend on some time derivation.
Could you give an example?
Cerveny wrote:I am personally willing to accept that some (Planck) time layers (sediments) in Universe exist (as a real “material” cause of matter behavior) – but only as a history.
I'm afraid I have no idea what this means. Can you put it another way?
Cerveny wrote:I have deep doubts about Einstein’s time-space continuum where the future is somehow already ad-hoc given and settled and where the metrics does not meet triangular inequality.
Why does the metrics not meeting triangular inequality bother you? Sorry, I'm trying to sound as if I understand what you are talking about. Your English is very good, but I still can't understand you.
Examples, where the denominator of the fraction is "dt", in physics are many. For example the force: “F = m * dv / dt” or electric current: “I = dQ / dt”. Many phenomena depend on difference between the status of “now” and the status of “before”, on some “tense”, on some inhomogeneity spread along the time axis…

Every quantum phenomenon (interaction, “measurement”) glues to the (4D) Universe new time (Planck) (3D) layer. Every presence is gradually (by quantum phenomena) fixed as new time sediment of the Universe, as the history. But our “future” does not exist, it has not done yet. It going to be condensed, to be crystallized from another (causal) phase of higher reality, let us say from “FUTURE”. Universe is encapsulated (and grows) in not yet ordered FUTURE phase.
For the simplicity consider "cooling" saturated solution as a FUTURE and growing (4D) crystal in as a Universe. Growing surface of such crystal is our 3D physical space. Structural defects on such crystal surface are our elementary particle. Screw dislocations can be our elementary particle with a spin. As such crystal grows such defects are replicated to new structure layers and in our analogy the elementary particles are moved along time axis……………

Every metrics spaces in math meet triangular inequality but Minkowski metrics in common does not

Consider it as an inspiration :) and sorry for bad English :(
tillingborn
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Re: Time has to exist, if it can be curved

Post by tillingborn »

Cerveny wrote:Examples, where the denominator of the fraction is "dt", in physics are many. For example the force: “F = m * dv / dt” or electric current: “I = dQ / dt”. Many phenomena depend on difference between the status of “now” and the status of “before”, on some “tense”, on some inhomogeneity spread along the time axis…
Thanks, that's a bit clearer, but in either instance, how are you measuring time? Is it not through some mechanical or at least material process? Is dt anything other than the number of times some phenomenon has happened?

Cerveny wrote:Every quantum phenomenon (interaction, “measurement”) glues to the (4D) Universe new time (Planck) (3D) layer. Every presence is gradually (by quantum phenomena) fixed as new time sediment of the Universe, as the history.
Sorry; I have absolutely no idea what this means.
Cerveny wrote:But our “future” does not exist, it has not done yet.
Ah yes, you got me again.
Cerveny wrote:It going to be condensed, to be crystallized from another (causal) phase of higher reality, let us say from “FUTURE”. Universe is encapsulated (and grows) in not yet ordered FUTURE phase.
For the simplicity consider "cooling" saturated solution as a FUTURE and growing (4D) crystal in as a Universe. Growing surface of such crystal is our 3D physical space. Structural defects on such crystal surface are our elementary particle. Screw dislocations can be our elementary particle with a spin. As such crystal grows such defects are replicated to new structure layers and in our analogy the elementary particles are moved along time axis……………


Nope. Gone again.
Cerveny wrote:Every metrics spaces in math meet triangular inequality but Minkowski metrics in common does not.
Er?
Cerveny wrote:Consider it as an inspiration :)
I'll try.
Cerveny wrote:and sorry for bad English :(
Nothing wrong with that, it's the maths I don't speak.
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Notvacka
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Re: Time has to exist, if it can be curved

Post by Notvacka »

tillingborn wrote:I'm not clear what anyone could mean by time that is stationary. I think there are theories that hold that everything that we think has or will happen exists in some Parmenidian 'being' and that the perception of time 'flowing' is just us travelling through it. This seems contrary to thermo-dynamics, unless time is the odd dimension out in that it is a one way street.
Certainly time is the odd dimension out.

The problem is the way we divide time into past and future. In space, here is where I am, and there is everywhere else. In time, now is where I am and then is everywhere else. If you go from London to Paris, you don't claim that London has changed into Paris when you get there. Likewise, yesterday has not changed into today. Nothing ever changes but our personal point of view.

Any moment in time is both past and future, depending on our point of view. Any particular moment of "now" must be as valid as any other. If the past is set, so must the future be. Since we have one past only, it figures that we can only have one future as well. And that future must be determined at some point in time. Hence, the future is as determined as the past.
tillingborn
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Re: Time has to exist, if it can be curved

Post by tillingborn »

Notvacka wrote:The problem is the way we divide time into past and future. In space, here is where I am, and there is everywhere else. In time, now is where I am and then is everywhere else. If you go from London to Paris, you don't claim that London has changed into Paris when you get there. Likewise, yesterday has not changed into today. Nothing ever changes but our personal point of view.
It seems to me as though there is a fundamental difference. You can go back to London quite easily, not so yesterday and if you want to go to tomorrow, you'll just have to wait.
It is true that 'time' appears to do odd things locally in gravity and in motion, but the universe keeps expanding obliviously; yesterday it was smaller, tomorrow it will be even bigger. Matter is flying about and where it all is corresponds to a moment in 'time'. For all that we can move the lump of matter which is us relative to others, we cannot so easily move to a time when the universe was much bigger or smaller than it is 'now'.
tillingborn
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Re: Time has to exist, if it can be curved

Post by tillingborn »

Notvacka wrote:Any moment in time is both past and future, depending on our point of view.
Not sure about this. Doesn't a point of view imply someone to have that point of view? To whom is "now" the past?
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