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Are there gaps in time

 
 
Relative
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2004 10:33 am
The best that classical mechanics could determine was that time is a continuum.
In a single moment in time (a point on the time axis), an arrow occupies a single position (a point on the spatial axis).

Therefore, it is stationery in any single point in time, and is moving in any time interval (open or closed).

Where's the problem?

Relative
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McGentrix
 
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Reply Fri 4 Jun, 2004 10:45 am
I have definite gaps of time from my college years...
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stuh505
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2004 12:07 am
Quote:
Perhaps the best term is wavicle.


Razz what a great sense of humour.

Quote:
The best that classical mechanics could determine was that time is a continuum.
In a single moment in time (a point on the time axis), an arrow occupies a single position (a point on the spatial axis).

Therefore, it is stationery in any single point in time, and is moving in any time interval (open or closed).

Where's the problem?

Relative


Indeed, in fact time is a continuum according to Dictionary.com.

What is the problem, you ask? Well, Mr. Relative, I think the problem is the theory of general relativity, which contradicts this, according to Asimov's the Universe in a Nutshell.

"in Newton's model, time was separate from space and was considered to be a straight line, that was infinite in both directions....a completely new model was put forth by Einstein: the general theory of relativity...general relativity combines the time dimension with the three dimensions of space to form spacetime...the theory incorporates the effect of gravity by saying that the distribution of matter and energy warps and distorts spacetime, so that it is not flat...objects try to move in straight lines, but their paths appear bent [around masses such as planets]...as if affected by a gravitational field"

The evidence given for this in the book is that light bends when passing by a planet...therefore, the 4 dimensions of spacetime must be bent around this planet.

But it seems to me a more logical guess to me that photons have a small amount of mass, which causes them to actually be affected by gravitational fields. So I don't get how they can conclude from this that time and space are bent.

I also do not understand why relativity would nullify an "overall time"...it seems to me that an "overall time" would simply be time relative to any particular coordinate in the three dimensions of space (all of which would be the same).
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JLNobody
 
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Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2004 11:34 am
Relative, can we really talk about POINTS in time?
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Miller
 
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Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2004 11:35 am
Re: Are there gaps in time
carditel wrote:
If an arrow is stationary at any instant in time? It must follow that it is stationary at every instant of time -- so when does it move?


How does "any" suddenly become "every"? Confused
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stuh505
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2004 04:11 pm
Quote:
carditel wrote:
If an arrow is stationary at any instant in time? It must follow that it is stationary at every instant of time -- so when does it move?


How does "any" suddenly become "every"?


Miller, although the statements are not grammatically synonymous, the meanings of the statements imply each other.

The only way for the arrow to be gauranteed to be stationary at a randomly chosen time is for it to be stationary at all moments in time.

I think the problem here is more a definitional problem. By stationary, we mean not moving. But since the object is moving through time, if we freeze time to examine a particular moment, the object would freeze with time. It's stupid.
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Relative
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jun, 2004 05:39 am
stuh505:
In General Relativity time is still a continuum, containing points.
In quantum physics, on the other hand, continuum is expelled (below the Planck world anyway).

JL : In a classical sense we can. Einstein talked about 4-dimensional 'events' , essentially points in space-time, with three spacelike and 1 timelike dimension. A clock is the device to determine the time point of an event. An essential property of a point is it's dimensionless - having no duration in case of a time point.

Relative
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thethinkfactory
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jun, 2004 06:45 am
A new theory in M-Theory - or String theory as it used to be called - is that time is Atomistic.

The smallest unit of time is 10-42 seconds. THis also mirrors the Planck era for those who are entheusiasts of Big Bang Cosmology.

Thus at any discreetly small unit of time (10-42 seconds) the arow is is still not still it moves for the duration of that discreet unit of time. The only way we can get that sucker to sit still is to go with a Augustinian concept of time and believe that the present is durationless - and thus when we 'stop' time - the arrow 'stops' - but as Rufio says - this is just a way for us to understand time and make equations simpler - it does not mean we are acuratly representing time.

TF
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BoGoWo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jun, 2004 07:48 am
carditel wrote:
Maybe time is a single unit, all time existing at the same time. we just move through it , time itself is stationary.


now you are getting somewhere, but consider the other option; time does not actually exist, at all.

[theory must be devised to explain 'evidence, not refute it!]
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thethinkfactory
 
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Reply Mon 7 Jun, 2004 06:35 pm
This sounds like a STRONG Augustinian position - that time is simply a clock. It all exists in our head.

I am leaning toward the atomistic version of time myelf.

TF
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