Physical Science What is time?

Discussion in 'Physical Science' started by mscbkc070904, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    The concept of time is self-evident. An hour consists of a certain number of minutes, a day of hours and a year of days. But we rarely think about the fundamental nature of time.

    Time is passing non-stop, and we follow it with clocks and calendars. Yet we cannot study it with a microscope or experiment with it. And it still keeps passing. We just cannot say what exactly happens when time passes.

    Time is represented through change, such as the circular motion of the moon around the earth. The passing of time is indeed closely connected to the concept of space.

    According to the general theory of relativity, space, or the universe, emerged in the Big Bang some 13.7 billion years ago. Before that, all matter was packed into an extremely tiny dot. That dot also contained the matter that later came to be the sun, the earth and the moon – the heavenly bodies that tell us about the passing of time.

    Before the Big Band, there was no space or time.

    “In the theory of relativity, the concept of time begins with the Big Bang the same way as parallels of latitude begin at the North Pole. You cannot go further north than the North Pole,” says Kari Enqvist, Professor of Cosmology.

    One of the most peculiar qualities of time is the fact that it is measured by motion and it also becomes evident through motion.

    According to the general theory of relativity, the development of space may result in the collapse of the universe. All matter would shrink into a tiny dot again, which would end the concept of time as we know it.

    “Latest observations, however, do not support the idea of collapse, rather inter-galactic distances grow at a rapid pace,” Enqvist says.

    If you want to know more about the topic, visit Kari Enqvist’s website at

    Source: University of Helsinki
  2. nika00000111

    nika00000111 New Member

    time is a human concept, we created it to keep ourselves from goung crazy because we feel a need for order and control, we want to know everything and time is just a way to feel that we have that. also stephen hawking did just prove that the universe will not collapse back into itself, it will keep expanding at an exponential rate for all eternity however, everything in it will eventually burn itself out and this universe will die.
  3. _Angel_1991

    _Angel_1991 Premium Member

    Time was created at the Big Bang, as you mentioned, and before the Big Bang there was none. Time would then be something like a dimension, like height, width, or depth. You cannot see any of those three under a microscope either. Time is just something we use to measure the world around us.
  4. Young William

    Young William Premium Member

    Without Time, though, were would our emotions be? And when could we flee from them,........
  5. JcMinJapan

    JcMinJapan Premium Member

    Time was created at the Big Bang? But, wouldn't time be needed to make that initial BANG? A BANG would need something to start it off. If no "time", then no bang..... :no::lol::yes:

    Anyways, yes, time is just a way to measure what is happening. The question is why does "time" or whatever you want to call it move in seemingly one direction? We cannot unbreak an egg...... Time has an arrow and it keeps moving in that direction that it is pointing..... Why can it not stop? Are there slices of time like in a loaf of bread and we are just "caught" in this slice of time? If time travel is possible could we travel just by figuring out this slice and then jumping forwards or backwards into a different slice?

    But, generally yes, time is just a measurement of the phenomenon of entropy from our perspective.
  6. blue

    blue Premium Member

    if time was an actual entity- then wouldn't the universe have to constantly be creating itself? it certianly couldnt exist pre-time so to speak. If 5min from now doesnt yet exist- then the earth or u and i do not exist 5 mins from now. so in essence we would have to constantly be "created" to fill that slot in time. unless of course time was a loop in which we have already been created and traveled through, and just continually circle around ourselves until such time as that loop is broken in some fashion. get wot i mean?
  7. accukevin

    accukevin New Member

    Could time be the by-product of energy? I mean, since the Big Bang took place, energy has been transformed from matter and back again in an endless cycle. I know matter IS energy however, could the constant working and reworking of all this simply create time moving foward as the energy continues to expand and exchange?
  8. oddtodd

    oddtodd Premium Member

    My thoughts : if we were not here to experience it , would time , or better yet , the universe exist at all ?
    Do animals expirence time as we do or just eat when they are hungry and sleep when they are tired ?

    Time is not self evident or we would not need clocks ! I do wake up at 6 AM because my work cycle has imposed itself upon me , but if I wake up in a dark room with no clock , I have no idea what time it is , or how much has passed .

    I think it is only a measure of "the moment" we are now experiencing and a record of the past moments.

    I agree it is a man made observation of the moment .

    I think I may start a thread in the philosophy section about this, this is making me think !

    I have also read of different measurements of time that work better with nature than what we percieve time to be .

    Yep , that's it thread in philosophy on this one , will keep this one here and post a link . feel free to continue this discussion and look for the other !

    Thanks yet again to all who make me think !
  9. Icewolf

    Icewolf Premium Member

    hmm. . . time. . . I have a book on that somewhere, i'll edit this post when i find it
  10. blue

    blue Premium Member

    i know hibranating animals and plant life have bioclocks - but dont think they could tell you precisely wot time of day it was
  11. oddtodd

    oddtodd Premium Member

    yes ! like those frogs you find burried in your yard , strange habbit , may have to give it a try !
  12. blue

    blue Premium Member

    ummm- like i told the police- i dont have any idea how those frogs ended up there
  13. bodebliss

    bodebliss The Zoc-La of Kromm-B Premium Member

  14. bodebliss

    bodebliss The Zoc-La of Kromm-B Premium Member

    I once explained a theory about the abundance of matter vs. antimatter in the universe to a noted scientist, and received back a great letter.

    In the letter, he explained that though my idea sounds great I would need to support it with proofs by mathematical equations and related theories.
  15. accukevin

    accukevin New Member

    Sounds like a yank to get me to give you my own theory on time.

    I wish I had a solid one, with lots of proof in que. But, alas I do not. I was more thinking out loud than anything.

    I think I was headed down the path that energy transitioning to matter and back, and the interactions between the two, may have a sway on how time moves foward.

    I understand how gravity or mass, effects time. I also, understand that time to us is different than to someone or somthing not under the same gravitational influences.

    But we measure time according to our time scale, but what about a universal scale. Is there a way to measure time independant of the gravity that effects it.

    If so, what drives that specific timeline? Could it be a by-product of the energy created by the big bang? (Essentially all the matter in the universe)
  16. Rren

    Rren New Member

    I am just a layman, but isn't time something man simply made up? It correlates more to a measurement of distance as we use it, correct? Seems like trying to explain infinity, it's easy to say never ending and never beginning, but of course when you think about that it cannot be. I guess what i'm saying is, shouldn't time be infinite, one and the same. Meaning it was here before the big bang, the big bang did occur in a certain place at a certain time did it not? And given there may be an infinite number of universes(I think that is string theory), maybe time is the one thing all of them have in common.
  17. bodebliss

    bodebliss The Zoc-La of Kromm-B Premium Member

    All current accepted theories point to the idea that the universe started as a space-time bubble that did not become unstable and pop. There was no space-time that we are familiar w/ now, before that event.

    You can say because of this, the universe has a beginning, and before that beginning there is or were or are conditions that we can know nothing about. Those other conditions were or are outside our universe and understanding and possibly based on completely different laws of physics. If we could somehow contact that area and those conditions we could possibly cease to exist or die or never have been. The only thing we can know according to theory is the inside of our universe.
  18. bodebliss

    bodebliss The Zoc-La of Kromm-B Premium Member

    "I think I was headed down the path that energy transitioning to matter and back. "

    Well there is some proof that neutrinos have some mass and there is also some proof even more recent that space-time has some mass so it can be pulled around by massive gravity wells.

    Now between the two, there is a possibility that all those neutrinos moving at the speed of light might be the force behind the expanding universe and when the universe can no longer produce large quantities of new suns, space-time will collapse.

    You heard it here first. Run w/ it!
  19. spacedoubt

    spacedoubt Member

    Particles moving at the speed of light.

    If you were a particle, moving at the speed of light.
    Would time exist for you?

    If not, would it be possible for you to appear anywhere/anytime in the universe from the viewpoint of those that still had a sense of time?

    And if you could appear that way to others, would there be a need for more than one of you?

    If not, then one particle would be enough to populate the entire universe
    , every atom, everywhere. Appearing everywhere, at once..

    ya think?
  20. oddtodd

    oddtodd Premium Member

    "If not, then one particle would be enough to populate the entire universe
    , every atom, everywhere. Appearing everywhere, at once.."

    Funny you say that spacedoubt , I was watching a video or reading a book that had a question posed as to why the electrons in the universe are equal and stable . The answer was : "because they are all the same electron " will try to find it

    quantum entanglement is something you might like to look into .