Search Keyword :

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Time’s Illusion Of Existence....

Researchers all around are cracking open theirs and each other’s heads in the process of their quest to know the absolute nature of time. But why ?
Foundational problems in Q.M(Quantum Mechanics) and G.R(General Relativity) are a reason. In QM time is assumed to be as it was classically interpreted. No changes are made to it and it exists as the same ‘flow of a river’ kind of analogy which states how time eternally flows in one direction that is from the past into the future. Whereas in General relativity time is dynamical in nature(changes with the geometry of spacetime). So this leads to a problem of merging the two into a single unified theory of Quantum Gravity. We ask how are two definitions of time possible, moreover when its application is leading to so many issues and varied interpretations ?
Inspired from Julian Barbour’s thesis on the ‘Nature Of Time’ I would like to probe towards an answer for this question.

Time as a dimension:
How is it that we accept time as a dimension? Suppose, I want to locate you anywhere in space, which I can using three spatial co-ordinates. Proceeding from there, how would I specify any particular event that includes your interaction and involvement in its occurrence in that space ?  Using the dimension of time to
A.Star at actual position. B. Apparent position
Light bent by gravity of the Sun . Can you use
speed of light as a standard to measure time/duration ?
specify its point of occurrence, in the time coordinate, which eternally flows from the past to the future, from time ‘0’ to time 0+‘tick’ to infinity, where 'tick' the basic entity of time. Now let us assume a random activity by assuming two separate events one after the other occurring through cause and effect, the interaction of the object in this experiment with the surroundings is very minimal such that the spatial coordinates can hardly tell you the difference between two different, separate events involving the same object. Here the spatial coordinates become invalid criteria to completely judge the outcome of the event for this instantaneous period of time, as the movement of the object in that event is almost zero. Here we introduce time to have other criteria of measurement to distinguish the separation between two events within the experiment. Conclusively explaining how one event happened at one time and the other event happened at another time. In another example take a stationary object. The spatial coordinates again become redundant to distinguish between two separate events involving the stationary object (it is interacting with nature at all times) and these interactions constantly fluctuate, the measure of this change could be expressed as the time lapse between two events knowing the initial conditions. Hence the need for time as a dimension.

Need for a perfectly isolated system
for measuring 'absolute' time.
Absolute time:
Every system of measuring and defining time, how much ever isolated interacts with its environment and surroundings in some way or other at some point or another, hence even atomic clocks cannot measure absolute time for that matter as they are affected by gravity. If you say we can use the speed of light as the basis of measurement then I’m afraid that’s not possible either as even light bends under gravity as proved through the postulates of general relativity and through the experiments of gravitational lensing (bending of light by heavy gravity). If light bends, this means that some additional velocity component is added to its  velocity. Gravity exists universally hence it will interact with light more or less at every point or another, depending upon the value of the gravitational acceleration and by how much it changes from place to place. Universally present microwave radiation of 2kelvin again ensure  incomplete isolation of any system to perfectly measure time. No perfectly isolated system can hence exist, to measure the ‘ticks’ time with absolute perfection. Therefore the notion of an measuring the ‘ticks’ of an absolute time duration is wrong and unacceptable. Concluding from this, how can we let this be a dimension if time's very basic entities are subject to change with position and place and forces. Its inclusion in any equation would only allow more errors to creep into it. Which as we see is the current problem along all lines of research. Struggling with different conceptions of time in order to include it in their theory. The zest of the above para could then be summed by asking as to : How is it possible to measure ‘absolute’ time and duration if there is no perfectly secluded, isolated system, not interacting with its surroundings permanently to measure it accurately?

The Nonexistence of time:  
Time as we saw above cannot be absolute, now we’ll shall see how it’s not even a fundamental but just a derived entity. Time is just a result of the various forces and
Gravity causes a warping of spacetime.
objects interacting through cause and effect leading to different events, these events could be easily distinguished using time coordinate. Suppose I were to distinguish two separate events. I could do this in term of listing out all fundamental parameters such as entropy, temperature, energy, mass, etc for each separate event . Two separate events would give me two different lists of values, as these values keep fluctuating owing to the random and probability based nature of the universe. If the two lists differ by extremely small changes in these parameters, displaying some kind of order in change, we could conclude that these two events happened one after the other or any other order in which the lists differs. Thus leading to the notion that one of these events happened after the first event. This is where time takes its roots from. Now on the other hand If I didn’t have these instruments of measurement I would declare these two events are different by specifying the times(or the duration between them) at which they occurred. We have been taking the easier way out so far, using time for understanding the nature of two different events. Problem lies at the fact that it’s not fundamental but derived. As shown above, lot many parameters would affect it's change.

Hence it would make no sense in asking on 'how to measure absolute time' as Time and duration, in the first place do not exist but are merely consequences of a number of events happening in a particular order which being a sub-result of cause and effect. Conclusively time is nothing but an abstraction of the human mind to make it simpler to understand nature.

The Universe as a possible absolute Clock ? :
A question that would hover in the minds of people would be the existence of a perfectly isolated system. Can the whole universe then be this perfectly isolated system ? The possibility of it being, is high because of the law of conservation of energy. No energy could ever escape the Universe making it perfectly isolated from whatever possibly lies beyond it (if there is any sense in asking that question). This would lead to a thought wherein the entire universe's existence could be the fundamental unit of time. The duration of Universe's existence being the 'tick'.

Concluding hence, how could you possibly solve all the errors that enter QM and GR and other fundamental theories of nature? By completely removing time from the equations and replacing it with an equation, this equation would contain the relationship between different parameters that affects time’s change and nature. Proceeding among these lines of research could be advantageous leading to new discoveries and could help in resolving many problematic issues in Physics.