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# Is time merely a concept?

Author Topic:   Is time merely a concept?
Salamander
Junior Member (Idle past 4084 days)
Posts: 5
From: Connecticut
Joined: 11-02-2007

 Message 1 of 2 (432664) 11-07-2007 4:54 PM

Is time an actual entity or just a concept?

We all use time to measure how long things take to move, but is there more to it than that? I thought quite a bit about this a few years ago when I was thinking over Zeno's dichotomy paradox. He states that we can never fully reach any point because to get to the point, we must first go half way to it, but before that, half way to the half way point, ad infinitum. Seeing as how we do reach points all the time (ie, I never have any problem getting to work), it seems there is no real paradox here, yet the reasoning is sound.

I figured the problem with the paradox is that at a constant rate of speed, it would take a body in motion just shorter and shorter amounts of time to reach each consecutive half way point. Then I thought about how much time passes when an extremely short amount of travel occurs. So I wondered what the shortest amount of travel would be. We would have to break motion down into individual atom motions, like electron orbits (or some other subatomic motion I'm yet unaware of). How much time passes from an atom being at one distinct point to the very next possible point in motion? I labeled the first point of travel of an atom as A, and the very next possible point to travel as A prime. How much time passes as this atom travels from point A to point A prime?

Then a thought struck me. Can time progress for a traveling atom, even though no real motion has taken place? On the other hand, can motion occur without any passage of time? Let me try to diagram this in text:

T0 -> T1 -> T2 -> Ai -(T3)> Ap -> T4 -> T5 -> T6 -> Ap -(T7)> Ap1 -> T8
^^ Here, the smallest time units are smaller than the smallest units of motion. The implications of this occurring are that time passes even though motion does not progress. In this case, time could go on indefinitely between the smallest measurements in motion. A whole infinity of them really, and we wouldn’t know the difference. An unlikely scenario.

Ai -> Ap -> Ap1 -(T0)> Ap2 - Ap3 -> Ap4 -(T1)> Ap5 -> Ap6 -> Ap7
^^ Here, the smallest motion units are smaller than the smallest time units. The implications of this scenario are that an object can be in two different spots at the same time. Quantum mechanics has shown this to occur with certain particles. I can’t recall the instance though. I’ll try to find it if I can. So this seems more likely, but one would think the evidence would be more substantial.

I came to the conclusion that time is really just change and doesn’t exist as its own entity. Its how we measure change, certainly, but without motion, would time still pass? If all motion were to stop, it would be like putting the universe on pause. It would not seem possible for time to progress, or if it were possible, it would be indefinable.

What do you all think?

Inactive Member

 Message 2 of 2 (432696) 11-07-2007 8:04 PM

Thread copied to the Is time merely a concept? thread in the Is It Science? forum, this copy of the thread has been closed.
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