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Science from the Soap Box

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time

It has been said, by who I do not recall, that when God had the choice between time and existence he (or she), in their infinite wisdom, chose existence.  In hindsight I'd say that was a pretty good choice.

Albert Einstein's calculations for relativity allowed for the possibility that someone could go back to a past time; however, his dear friend, Gödel, proved in counterpoint that if time travel were possible then the past has not yet passed.  Gödel goes as far as to suggest, and correctly so, that time itself may not exist.  It was reported that Einstein did concede to this idea but so far nobody has been listening.

This was reaffirmed by Peter Lynds' paper, Time and Classical Quantum Mechanics: Indeterminacy vs. Discontinuity, where he demonstrates that there is no precise static point in time underlining a dynamical physical process.  The long and short of it is that time, by any measurement, is a span of time and not a precise instant or point. 

Time is not an absolute, nor is it a static measurement, it is a variable observation subjective to the observer and affected by way of velocity or gravitational pull.  Time is measurably different at sea level as compared to the top of a skyscraper.  Time is remarkably different on the surface of the Earth as compared to a spacecraft orbiting overhead.

Time is our effort through various mechanisms (e.g. calendar, dripping water, or the spin of an atom) to parse and measure the continuity of the physical world in constant motion.  Time, as we have always perceived it, is in actuality the physical cadence of a clock—not time. 

How many of you get that?  Not very many so let's take a step back here and ask you what a day is?  A day is the Earth spinning on axis one complete revolution where your point of observation on the equator will leave from a point closest to the Sun and do a complete rotation around and back to that point closest to the Sun.  This means a day is your point of observation traveling around the Earth along the equator a total of 24,901 miles which is the circumference of the planet.  The long and short of it is this is your 24 hour day!

Wait a minute!  What is an hour?  Okay, our concept of an hour is best represented by 1,037.54 miles of rotational motion along the equatorial circumference of the Earth.  With that established a minute is 17.292 miles and a second would be 1,521.72 feet. Get the idea?

So now let's try this one...a second using a quartz dioxide crystal with electricity running through it is 32,768 Hz.  That is 32,768 oscillations every second, but the fact of the matter is those 32,768 cycles is what we call a second.  As of 1960 a second was defined as 1/86,400th of a solar day—so we take that Earth day and split it up by 24 then 60 then another 60 then throw quartz crystal at it and blamo!  There's a second!  Wait a minute...

Since 1967 a second is 9,192,631,770 cycles of a caesium-133 atom.

All of the conceivable measurements of what a second, a day, a minute or hour is are totally arbitrary.  The oscillations of quartz and the spin of an atom and the rotation of Earth are simply mechanical contrivances that we pull out of our ass and say there!  That's time!  The underlining wrongness to all this is the belief in time being physically substantive 'cause when you really step back and look at what we are measnuring you are faced with the undeniable fact that we cannot see or measure time because we cannot see time to measure it!

If you wiki time standards your head will spin from the shear variety of different options to choose from.  Worse yet is when you read on GPS (Global Positioning System) time and relativity errors because of velocity and mass as compared to our current TAI (International Atomic Time) standards.  Being farther away from the Earth the GPS satellite clocks speed up because they are farther away from the Earth's mass, but then GPS satellites are moving so fast they also slow down.  If not corrected they would lose about 10 kilometers a day but as it is the GPS clocks are adjusted twice over to negate the effects of time dilation caused by speed and mass.  Now, I want you to think about this for a spell...if it is mass and velocity that have an effect on the clockwork mechanism then what is really taking place here? 

Time dilation, by any definition, is in reality the slowing of the processes of the physical world (i.e. mechanisms of a clock and the observer) and not time itself.  Sorry to say, on this issue Einstein was dead-ass wrong.

In Einstein's thought experiment called the twins paradox, where one twin flies out for fifty years near light speed and one stays home, I only have to say that there ain't no paradox here!  When the first one comes back he experienced maybe ten years time subjectively where the one that stayed home is now old and infirm after fifty years.  The fact is both of these guys experienced the same span of time—the same continuity of the physical world.  The two just perceived it differently.

In that ten or fifty years the twins were apart they were always at the same time.  That is, they were always at the same now.

Since the twins were always at the same time (the same now) they are logically the exact same age.  Said age of the two all depends on whose clock or calendar you chose to use.  See, no paradox here!

Then there's the problem with forth dimensional space-time because if it's the physical processes that slow with velocity or the gravitational pull of mass, not time, then the theory of forth dimensional space-time fails to ring true.  Time and the distortion/dilation of said time are the critical components for validating what we perceive as space-time, but without time itself being substantive and measurable (i.e. particulate) not even the inviolable Fail Whale can save it.

We have always though of time as some mysterious apparatus with enigmatic properties and it does not make for warm-fuzzy feelings to realize that it did not exist in the first place.  It also follows that forth dimensional space-time does not exist and that does not bode well for those who believe that dimensions exist.

Gawd, I'm gonna catch hell for what follows...

 
nicholas ralph baum
October 23, 2009

 
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