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#18835 - 03/11/07 02:59 PM Atemporal Universe?
MrBiGG78 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 30
Loc: Gatineau, QC
I would like to discuss the possibility that the Universe is an atemporal one and any proof against the idea...

Would it be correct to say that the entire Universe and it's constituent can be described without a time dimension. The universe would be the sum of all the mass and energy particle it includes in a dynamic arrangement. The rearrangement of these particles would be motion and not actual time.

Time is a measurement of motion relative to some other motion. Isn't time just a creation of the mind, a classification system in our memory to store events where every action precedes it's reaction and expectation of future events.

If the nothing (matter/energy) ever gets created or destroyed is true, then everything is eternal. Everything that was, still is and ever will be. Things just get rearranged not creating a new reality but just a rearangement of the same reality. Whatever we observe is always happening now. We see light that has been shun ages ago from distant stars but we experience it now (unaccounting for brain processing delays and such).

If we were to create a watch that always diplays the word 'NOW' wouldn't that be considered more or a less Universal time?
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What was, still is, and always will be such is the truth of the eternal now.

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#18837 - 03/11/07 05:24 PM Re: Atemporal Universe? [Re: MrBiGG78]
dr_rocket Offline
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Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 196
Loc: Palo Alto, CA, USA
Greetings Mr. Bigg78,

This should probably be in the physics forum.

The idea of infinity usually carries some baggage about sequences and order. This most likely stems from studied of natural numbers where we have an infinite ordered sequence of quantities. This carries over into space and time where each of these dimensions are linear ordered sets.

In the mathematical treatment of infinity sequence and order are not implicite in the concept. A set is said to be infinite if and only if it can be placed in a one-to-one correspondence with a proper subset of itself. There is nothing in this that involve sequences, order or quantitiy.

In fact there is nothing inconsistent with a-temporal or a-spatial infinities.

As for your question: "Would it be correct to say that the entire Universe and it's constituent can be described without a time dimension."

Maybe. Some physicist hold that the universe is a collection of nothing more than relations and that time is an emergent property.

Yes, time is a creation of the mind, but so is temperature. The next time you burn yourself you might reflect on creations of the mind. You might also look up the notion, from philosophy, of Universals.

Dr. R.






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#18839 - 03/11/07 06:14 PM Re: Atemporal Universe? [Re: dr_rocket]
redewenur Offline
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Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
Dr.R., you said:

"Yes, time is a creation of the mind..."

So, are you saying that the physical universe is an emergent property of consciousness?
_________________________
"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler

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#18840 - 03/11/07 06:52 PM Re: Atemporal Universe? [Re: redewenur]
dr_rocket Offline
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Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 196
Loc: Palo Alto, CA, USA
Hi redewenur,

I suggest no such thing. In fact I'm an ardent realist. Perhaps you should look up the term Universal.

For example, you might look at:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/universals-medieval/

Universals are properties, relations or types that can be percieved by the mind. In this sense they are created in the mind, but thay are, nevertheless, based on real things. For example, Chicago is north of Atlanta. The the relation "north of" is a Universal, it is also a creation of the human mind, but it is in reality true.


Dr. R.

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#18842 - 03/11/07 07:14 PM Re: Atemporal Universe? [Re: dr_rocket]
redewenur Offline
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Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
Hi Dr.R.

OK, I get the gist of Universals. I do think, however, that answering MrBIGG's question,

"I would like to discuss the possibility that the Universe is an atemporal one and any proof against the idea...Isn't time just a creation of the mind"

with,

"Yes, time is a creation of the mind..."

could be misleading. In fact I think, it evades the question.
_________________________
"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler

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#18846 - 03/12/07 06:37 AM Re: Atemporal Universe? [Re: redewenur]
Wayne Zeller Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 120
Loc: Southern California
Time is the measurement of change in the universe. If one were able to move about freely in time and see the universe as it was and as all the possibilities of what it may become, then the universe might as well be static to that observer.

I picture it as an amazingly -nay, infinitely - complex structure with every possible pathway built into it, sitting on some guy's workbench. This guy can walk around and peer into any part of it and see how things are at the coordinates of his choice.

At one end, he can examine the Big Bang. At the other end he can examine any of the infinitudes of ways in which it might all end.

Thus, to him, it's a solid-state sculpture - all existing at once. No time needed.

For another analogy, watch a movie. It takes a couple hours of time to see the whole thing. Perhaps years or centuries pass in the story. Or, you can go up to the projectionist's booth and see the whole thing at one glance, sitting in a film can. While there, you can take a flashlight and look at any frame and see what's going on there. The film has a temporal component, yet when viewed from outside, that temporal component disappears.

That's how I picture the universe when it comes to time. It has an undeniable temporal component, but only to those unable to step outside and remove themselves from the environment and see it from outside our timeline.

w


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#18847 - 03/12/07 06:52 AM Re: Atemporal Universe? [Re: Wayne Zeller]
redewenur Offline
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Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
Wayne, I query your idea because:

It seems that you place your observer outside the cosmos, which implies a supernatural entity (did someone say "God"?)

If not, then:

Action takes time >> Viewing is an act >> Viewing takes time.

The subjective experience of time may differ, but your scenario doesn't dispense with time for the observer. Does it?
_________________________
"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler

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#18848 - 03/12/07 07:18 AM Re: Atemporal Universe? [Re: redewenur]
Wayne Zeller Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 120
Loc: Southern California
Are we gods to the characters in the film that we see inside the film cannister? (Actually, they might see us that way if the construction of their world was complex enough to allow it. As is, they only get one timeline and no freewill so they can't even think about it unless the script writer wants them to.)

If you have a life simulation on your computer and you can rewind and so forth, and view it from outside it's timeline, then time is a static thing with relation to that simulation. It's simulated denizens only experience it as a function of the program, and all of their activities could be charted out on a complex diagram. So does time exist for them? It does for us, outside their timeline.

So, the guy who owns the workbench experiences his own brand of time. Call him god, if you must, but in this case he only exists as a part of the analogy. The structure may have spontaneously formed without him and may be sitting by itself in some extra-cosmic space. That extra-cosmic space may have it's own brand of time, but that doesn't mean that the universe we know is a changing one. It just means that things around it can change.

And what if there is no extra-cosmic space? The same several-dimension structure could still exist as filling the entire area into which it formed - in which case there is no extra-cosmic space to have it's own brand of time passage.

I just like having the guy and his workbench because I happen to be Catholic, and it is a model that fits well for me in both my religion and my understanding of physics. (The priest who baptized me had a PhD in solid state physics and two bachelor's degrees: Electronics and Biology. I figured if he could get over his scientific hangups, I could too.)

W

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#18849 - 03/12/07 07:44 AM Re: Atemporal Universe? [Re: Wayne Zeller]
redewenur Offline
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Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
Whether or not the 'god' in the analogy created the structure that he observes, the point is that your hypothesis relies on the supernatural viewpoint in order to dispense with time. The cosmos cannot, by definition, exist within 'extra-cosmic space'. There can be no 'things around it' from whose perspective our cosmos is atemporal.

Thanks for informing me that you're Catholic. It confirms my impression that your concepts are upheld by religious beliefs. In the given case that God exists, I would not dispute your argument. I respect your perspectives, and can understand that it may sometimes be difficult not allow them to infringe upon the scientific method.
_________________________
"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler

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#18850 - 03/12/07 11:56 AM Re: Atemporal Universe? [Re: redewenur]
MrBiGG78 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 30
Loc: Gatineau, QC
Ok lets move away from the outside supernatural observer...
Let me restate my orginial hypothisis in a different way...

Why does yesterday, or a second ago no longer exists today, at this moment called 'now'? The sum of all the energy/mass particles in the universe are still the same. Every single particle still exists in some form in a different location in space. Therfore would we say that yesterday is gone because of the passage of time or because particles moved from it's previous known location?






_________________________
What was, still is, and always will be such is the truth of the eternal now.

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#18852 - 03/12/07 03:58 PM Re: Atemporal Universe? [Re: MrBiGG78]
Wayne Zeller Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 120
Loc: Southern California
Let's try this from another standpoint:

There is nothing in current theory that rules out the possibility of the existence of tachyon particles. These super-luminal particles would flow backwards in time. To them, yesterday most certainly would still exist.

If, to some part of the universe, yesterday still exists, then every moment back to the Big Band still exists. We simply don't have the ability to travel that direction on time's arrow.

Quote:
your hypothesis relies on the supernatural viewpoint in order to dispense with time. The cosmos cannot, by definition, exist within 'extra-cosmic space'

I didn't say it had to. In fact, I specifically explained why it didn't have to: "The same several-dimension structure could still exist as filling the entire area into which it formed - in which case there is no extra-cosmic space"

The analogy is not dependent on an outside figure. My point was that any "time traveler" that isn't bound to the same inexorable time dimension as us, be it a guy in his extra-cosmic workshop or a humble tachyon particle, can only exist if time is a static dimension.

I mentioned my Catholicism in the spirit of full disclosure. I'm well aware that it puts a sudden suspicion on all I say, but don't do yourself the disservice of assuming that my viewpoints ever are influenced by it to the point of not accepting scientific fact. When science produces information seemingly contrary to my faith, I ponder it until figuring out how they fit together - I'm not one of those folks who denies science for folly. I only brought up my Catholicism at this particular time because it just happens that the nature of time is something that I've had to ponder on quite a lot in order to reconcile my faith with science. The tachyon particle is key to that reconciliation. It hasn't been found yet, but it hasn't been ruled out yet, either.

w

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#18853 - 03/12/07 04:30 PM Re: Atemporal Universe? [Re: Wayne Zeller]
MrBiGG78 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 30
Loc: Gatineau, QC
I've read about tachyons and still can't see how going faster then light relates to going backwards in time.

Take for example sound and light. Light is faster then sound therfore if I were to be blind. You'd be able to see events happens before I were to hear it. I think same would apply to superluminous particles. Someone detecting these emmited particles would be able to detect an event hapening before you can visually see it with your eyes. Therefore you would wrongfully think this person has knowledge of the future, just because you haven't seen the event with your own eyes yet.
_________________________
What was, still is, and always will be such is the truth of the eternal now.

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#18855 - 03/12/07 04:58 PM Re: Atemporal Universe? [Re: MrBiGG78]
redewenur Offline
Megastar

Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
MrBiGG

Referring to your original question: What we have, so we have been told by Einstein and Minkowski, is not space plus time as separate entities, but as a 'space-time' continuum to be considered as one entity.

What you are now discussing sounds quite different from the 'atemporal' idea:

"Why does yesterday, or a second ago no longer exists today, at this moment called 'now'? The sum of all the energy/mass particles in the universe are still the same. Every single particle still exists in some form in a different location in space. Therfore would we say that yesterday is gone because of the passage of time or because particles moved from it's previous known location?"

Yes (twice). The passage of time and the motion of a particle are inseparable, but I think there are two parts to the answer. Firstly, as you say, since yesterday or a moment ago the space-time coordinates for every particle (or String?) in the cosmos have changed. Secondly, we experience time, by virtue of the nature of our consciousness and memory, as progressing from past to future.
_________________________
"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler

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#18857 - 03/12/07 05:08 PM Re: Atemporal Universe? [Re: redewenur]
MrBiGG78 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 30
Loc: Gatineau, QC
That's the thing, I don't fully buy the space-time continuum theory. I believe in the possiblity that space-time is just a mathematical construct. That the universe as a whole doesn't have a time property therfore is atemporal. That it has no beggining, no end. Just a series of different positioning of the entirity of it's constituents where the new positioning continuously replaces the previous.

And yes, I believe in the possibility that time is just a mind construct.. from memory of past events and expectation of the future events to come.. And that conciousness is nothing more then the result of highly advanced biological computation through the movement of basic paticles inside our brain.


Edited by MrBiGG78 (03/12/07 05:14 PM)
_________________________
What was, still is, and always will be such is the truth of the eternal now.

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#18858 - 03/12/07 05:16 PM Re: Atemporal Universe? [Re: MrBiGG78]
redewenur Offline
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Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
MrBIGG

"Just a series of different positioning of the entirity of it's constituents where the new positioning continuously replaces the previous."

You use the phrase "the new positioning". Should I take it that you mean the position of the entity at a later time than "the old positioning"?
_________________________
"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler

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#18859 - 03/12/07 05:22 PM Re: Atemporal Universe? [Re: redewenur]
MrBiGG78 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 30
Loc: Gatineau, QC
What I mean is that the current postioning of all the universe constituents replaced the positioning they had at now minus 1 planck time unit where time is just a relative measurement of motion and not an actual dimension of space.
_________________________
What was, still is, and always will be such is the truth of the eternal now.

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#18861 - 03/12/07 05:45 PM Re: Atemporal Universe? [Re: MrBiGG78]
redewenur Offline
Megastar

Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
MrBIGG

"...where time is just a relative measurement of motion and not an actual dimension of space"

Well, time isn't a dimension of space, but it is the name that's been given to the dimension which, as a function of space, allows motion (and existence for that matter).

Is it possible, in your hypothesis, for motion to occur without a dimension equivalent to time?

I don't mean to be deliberately dense - that comes naturally - but I'm interested to get to bottom of your concept.
_________________________
"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler

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#18862 - 03/12/07 07:54 PM Re: Atemporal Universe? [Re: MrBiGG78]
Wayne Zeller Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 120
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: MrBiGG78
I've read about tachyons and still can't see how going faster then light relates to going backwards in time.


This effect is due to the dilation of time at relativistic speeds. The speed of light is constant to all observers. If you were traveling parallel to and in the same direction as a particular photon, and you were going 185999 miles per second (one mile per second less than the speed of light), what you would see and what people watching you would see are very different:

People watching you would see the photon slowly out-pacing you by about 1 mile per second. You, on the other hand, would see the photon take off at 186,000 miles per second away from you because the speed of light is constant to all observers.

The reason you would see it going so much "faster" is because time will have slowed down for you to a near stand-still. In fact, right at the speed of light, time stops. A photon experiences no time at all. From a photon's point of view, the entire universe is an instant away. Nay, not even an instant. The whole universe is here. (Another reason I favor an atemporal universe.)

So, if time slows towards a stop as you approach C, what happens if you continue accelerating? Well, for one thing, you would need an infinite amount of energy to do it. For another thing, you'd become infinitely massive in the process. But, assuming you're okay wearing the extra weight and you have all the energy in the cosmos pushing you, you'll still only be able to get TO the speed of light, not beyond it. Accelerating beyond it would take MORE than infinite energy, which obviously cannot exist. It would also make you more than infinitely massive, and Richard Simmons would have to pay you a serious house call.

However, if you did get past that barrier somehow, since time has been slowing down more and more until it stopped, as it continues to slow, it begins going backwards. After all, it cannot speed up and it's dilation must change, so the only way to go is back.

Current theory allows for a whole class of energy that naturally exists at >C speeds - they didn't have to accelerate to get that fast, they are just naturally that fast. Just as a photon doesn't accelerate at the speed of light - it just comes into being at that speed. But, if they are going that fast then they are necessarily traveling backward in time.

This time dilation effect isn't a theory - it's a proven fact. Even in your normal, every day experience you accelerate fast enough to cause time dilation. The guys who maintain atomic clocks have to adjust (believe it or not) for the relativistic effects of accelerating in their van to drive between work sites. (Although the adjustments are incredibly minor.) In a more practical example, the GPS satellite network loses accuracy at the rate of about 20 miles per day unless relativistic effects are taken into account and adjusted for constantly. Those satellites are flying in a circle, and that means that they are constantly experiencing acceleration - and any acceleration causes time dilation.

The detection of tachyons is a tricky thing: If one is headed towards your "detector", it doesn't exist yet and by the time it does exist it's already in the past. They basically exist in "imaginary time" which is a real thing but something that we have no idea how to detect or access. It's like thinking of measuring the volume of a twelve dimension object. It's simply unfathomable to us. But, if they ever are proven to actually exist (not just proven to be absolutely possible, but proven to ACTUALLY exist), the implications would be profound.

w

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#18864 - 03/12/07 08:26 PM Re: Atemporal Universe? [Re: Wayne Zeller]
dr_rocket Offline
Member

Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 196
Loc: Palo Alto, CA, USA
Hi All,

Maybe the SciFi forum is the place for this thread.

Has anybody read any good novels lately?

Dr. R.

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#18869 - 03/12/07 10:35 PM Re: Atemporal Universe? [Re: dr_rocket]
MrBiGG78 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 30
Loc: Gatineau, QC
What if time dilation is not the only way to explain the results of the experiments you mention here?

http://www2.rideau.net/gaasbeek/spap5.html

I'm not saying Einstein was wrong but still hold the possiblity that he wasn't entirely right...
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What was, still is, and always will be such is the truth of the eternal now.

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