baudrunner's space: Let's spend some time on Time
"Philosophy to Science - Quark to Cosmos. Musings on the Fundamental Nature of reality"

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Let's spend some time on Time

Time has always been a favorite subject of philosophers and scientists, and poets and pundits. The earliest philosophical references come from Ptahhotep (c.2650–2600 BCE), vizier to Djedkare Isesi in the Fifth dynasty of Egypt...

"Do not lessen the time of following desire, for the wasting of time is an abomination to the spirit."
"One who is serious all day will never have a good time, while one who is frivolous all day will never establish a household."
People didn't live long in those days so it is easy to forgive him the absence of ethic with regards to his advice on the pursuit of desire.

In the modern world Time is still a favorite preoccupation with scientists (and poets and pundits) for as long as there is science, with no really clear explanation of it in the interim. Albert Einstein established principles regarding time which took the world by storm. These precepts were so revolutionary that even his peers were reluctant to accept them immediately in spite of the fact that his papers were so highly regarded that he was awarded a remedial Nobel prize anyway, but for his explanation of the photo-electric effect. Over time his theories of relativity gained acceptance and the concepts contained therein have been proved in practical application. Time is a relative phenomenon. Einstein's frivolous remark, "The only reason for time is so that everything does not happen at once," actually portends to that greater realm of quantum reality, where theoretically everything does happen at once in the same place. If we humans continue to perpetuate then we will some day apply quantum theory in the practical sense. For now, we will deal with the concept of time.

Time being relative means that one's perception of one's place in time with respect to another's is not the same. Their respective perceptions are a function of motion and velocity and place with respect to gravity. This was proved by resolving certain anomalies that were observed with the original global positioning system (GPS), where real adjustments had to be made to compensate for the passage of time on the satellites' on-board clocks because they are not bound by gravity and because they are moving at a very high orbital velocity. The difference of about 35 microseconds per day was significant enough to require this accommodation to obtain more accurate results of calculations as to more exactly where a thing was on the ground or on the water or in the air.

Both temporal and spatial dimensions can be altered by motion and velocity. In the study of subatomic particles after particle collisions their lifetimes show extremely short durations, but a few particles like muons, which travel at close to light speed, last somewhat longer because they travel faster. Einstein's relativity calculations showed that for an object travelling at light speed time stands still and its mass is infinite. The conclusion is that nothing can travel at light speed.

Furthermore, as described in Wikipedia...
Even the temporal order of events can change, but the past and future are defined by the backward and forward light cones, which never change. The past is the set of events that can send light signals to the observer, the future the events to which s/he can send light signals. All else is the present and within that set of events the very time-order differs for different observers.
Taking all this into account we can draw the conclusion that all time originates and projects outward from every source point of observation and that the properties of time are unique to its point of origin.

All particles at the atomic level are in motion at all times. In fact, the electron, even though it is a particle, is often referred to as the electron cloud orbital, and both its position and velocity can never be accurately determined for any time according to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. We can only arrive at probable values for those two attributes. The velocity of the electron's motion is such that it maintains a temporal value and possesses mass, however little that mass may be, and when we add all the mass of all the particles that make up all the atoms that make up all the molecules that make up our individual bodies we arrive at our own mass, which is their unique sum total. It is the temporal component acquired through the motion of the particles of which we are made and bound within the gravity where we are that allows us a lifetime of experience. Their state give us the temporal framework within and by which we can measure time periods in this, the macrocosm, with tools like clocks and calendars.

In the absence of gravity, time speeds up. In the presence of gravity, time slows down. Every object that has mass has its own gravity (in physics, the terms object and particle are interchangeable). The combined assembly of many particles as opposed to a few constitute a more massive object with a greater gravity. It follows logically then that, biological influences notwithstanding, larger animals generally live longer than smaller animals. Observing the rate of the motion of smaller animals like insects and birds shows that they do indeed seem to relate to a different temporal reality.

It's kind of nice to think that we are each essentially in possession of our very own temporal reality and to which we are each one of us of singular and central in primacy for if we have nothing else we at least have that.

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