Alan Alda asks scientists to explain: What's time?

Dec 11, 2012 by Frank Eltman
In this April 19, 2012, file photo, actor Alan Alda attends a screening at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Alda, the host of of PBS's "Scientific American Frontiers," and a founder of the Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, is sponsoring an international contest for scientists, asking them to explain in terms a sixth-grader could understand: "What is time?" (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)

(AP)—Professor Alan Alda has a homework assignment for scientists. Yes, that Alan Alda.

The actor known for his Emmy-Award-winning work on the TV show "MASH," is a founder of the Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University on eastern Long Island.

Alda tells The Associated Press the center is sponsoring a contest asking to explain, in terms a sixth-grader could understand: "What is time?"

Well-known for his for science, Alda is the longtime host of the Public Broadcasting Service's "Scientific American Frontiers."

He says society must have a better understanding of science.

This is the contest's second year. Last year, scientists were asked to explain what a flame is. Alda says he was 11 years old when he asked a teacher that question and got an answer he didn't understand.

Explore further: China's reform of R&D budget management doesn't go far enough, research shows

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Doug_Huffman
1.8 / 5 (16) Dec 11, 2012
Time is the measure of how fast things run down, wear out, get mixed up and broken.

AA/SA join the conspiracy of ignorance that is the lamestream media.
komone
5 / 5 (3) Dec 11, 2012
"how fast"?
LariAnn
1.7 / 5 (6) Dec 11, 2012
Time as commonly understood is not a dimension, but a ratio. Some describe it as "change over time" (change/time) but that is inaccurate because what it really is, is "change over change" (change/change). Using a clock or other chronometric device to measure the "time" it takes an event to happen involves two change events - one is the reference change (the clock) and the other is the measured event. Where is the time? Time is like space - time has no existence itself without changes taking place (if all were static, where is time?), just as space has no existence without objects in it (were space devoid of objects, how could it be measured?).
ItsOnlyMe
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 11, 2012
Ask some kid with a watch.
Mr10001
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 11, 2012
The deeper conundrum that we face is this... Is time an emergent or fundamental property?
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (4) Dec 11, 2012
The deeper conundrum that we face is this... Is time an emergent or fundamental property?

Since it's wholly dependent on the existence of matter/energy and space I'd vote for emergent.
Lurker2358
1.9 / 5 (9) Dec 11, 2012
Since it's wholly dependent on the existence of matter/energy and space I'd vote for emergent.


How so?

Energy is a derived unit, which is derived from multiple integrations (or differentiations) of units of matter, space, and time:

E equals mc^2
Ek equals mv^2

Joules equals kg*(m^2)/(s^2)

Which implies that energy is derived from combinations of matter, space, and time, not the other way around.

Momentum is a derived unit: kg*m/s.

Velocity is a derived unit: m/s.
Acceleration is a derived unit: m/(s^2).
Force is a derived unit: Kg*m/(s^2).

Energy cannot be more fundamental than time or space, because Energy is defined in terms of changes in time and space.

While Energy is a "thing" it's not necessarily what we think it is, and the measure of energy is based on derived units.

This may be a fallacy caused by our present framework of measure, but if it is, fixing the problem would require an entirely new framework of mathematics in physics.
antialias_physorg
3.9 / 5 (11) Dec 11, 2012
How so?

Simple: What time would pass in a completely empty space (devoid of matter and/or energy)? None. There's nothing in such a state that would distinguish past from future from now.

Similarly if there is no space you have no state in which state-change makes any sense.

Time is a description - not a fundamental. Without the context entities meantioned above it doesn't exist. If it were a fundamental it could exist of its own.

Just because we use it as a standard unit doesn't mean it's funamenatla. Standard units are just those units which, under the CURRENT conditions we find ourselves under (i.e. in a relatively uneventful period of the development of the universe) are useful as constants. E.g. time is pretty much linear from our current experience. But we already know that this can become tricky in other circumstances (black holes, big bang, on the quantum level, ... )
Gawad
5 / 5 (1) Dec 11, 2012
And to add to what AA writes, I'd also include space as emergent for very much the same reasons: what is "space" in a "place" with no particles whatsoever, either those referred to as "real" or those referred to as "virtual"? Even if you had a "universe" that consisted of a single photon in a ground state (rather than nothing at all), that would be all there is and there would be no "space", no more than there would be "time".

In other words, the minimum requirements for "space" and "time" are having at least 2 particles (i.e. 2 mass/engergy entities) and--given the origin of the universe as a singularity (of sorts at any rate)--some sort of momentum (p), with respect to each other, obviously. Without that momentum, you lose both the notion of separation ("space") and change in separation ("time").
antialias_physorg
4.2 / 5 (5) Dec 11, 2012
Yes. Time is relational - as is space (and energy) for that matter.
So it should be an emergent attribute.
The interrelation between space and time aspects also seems to indicate that it HAS to be spacetime. As neither definitions of space or time alone make any sense without the other.
(And neither does the combination make any sense without including at least some form of matter and/or energy).
MorganW
3 / 5 (2) Dec 11, 2012
"Simple: What time would pass in a completely empty space (devoid of matter and/or energy)?"
Without Time, wouldn't Space be meaningless? I mean, it could be both infinitely large or small without any differentiation between the two, since there would be no measure of their scale without time as a fundamental way of scaling them.
Oxensraiser?
1.5 / 5 (2) Dec 11, 2012
Time is the observation of the universe changing from a state of infinite energy/density to that of a state approaching zero energy/density. The fact that we know we are in a flat universe (thanks WMAP!) that is expanding infinitely (Thanks Hubble!)means that one thing will always follow another. There is infinite room to the right of the decimal point)
Gawad
not rated yet Dec 11, 2012
"Time is relational - as is space (and energy) for that matter." That's awefully cleverly put, and I hope you won't ask me to explain why!
Claudius
2.1 / 5 (7) Dec 11, 2012
"A number of blind men came to discuss Time. The blind men asked, 'What is Time like?' and they began to think about it. One of them said: 'It is like a pillar.' This blind man had only touched its leg. Another man said, 'Time is like a husking basket.' This person had only touched its ears. Similarly, he who touched its trunk or its belly talked of it differently. In the same way, he who has seen Time in a particular way limits Time to that alone and thinks that It is nothing else."
Tausch
1.2 / 5 (5) Dec 11, 2012
Drawing from others' input here...
Time is a description agreed upon through convention.
Kids needs a fanciful analogy.
So...
Imagine all the objects here on earth suddenly having a different color.
That happens to you if you moved to mars.
The atmosphere there causes everything to take on a 'new' color.
The description (of color) agreed upon by convention is unchanged.

Atmospheres aren't the best examples of color change.
Motion can change the colors you measure.

We have to agreed about ideas like time so we can talk about changing the accepted description to meet the changes of science.
Shootist
2 / 5 (8) Dec 11, 2012
heh
Lurker2358
2.1 / 5 (7) Dec 11, 2012
Simple: What time would pass in a completely empty space (devoid of matter and/or energy)? None. There's nothing in such a state that would distinguish past from future from now.

Wrong.

laws don't change just because an observer can't tell the difference between two states.

Similarly if there is no space you have no state in which state-change makes any sense.

If it were a fundamental it could exist of its own.


Period is a measure of time on it's own between two events anyway.

If time isn't fundamental than the speed of light postulate is DEFINITELY wrong, because it defines the maximum speed as a definite ratio of a distance traveled(meters) and a time of duration(seconds).

If you had a closed circuit camera synchornized with a clock on the wall and all the camera does is film the clock all day long. Does it mean time stopped existing just because the exact same state happens, or just because you can't tell the difference?

Not at all. It just means you don't know
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (4) Dec 11, 2012
What time would pass in a completely empty space (devoid of matter and/or energy)? None.

IMO the concepts of time and space are intimately and unseparately related each other. The existence of SPACE is based just on the fact, the traveling (of light, particle, whatever) from place to place requires the TIME. There is no space without time and vice-versa. All time arrows definitions do require the space to work in some or another way. In random universe the space-time is the place, where this randomness is violated and after then the largest dimension of this fluctuation serves as a space dimension, the smallest one as a time-like one. The another dimensions are representing material objects moving withing this spacetime.
Zed123
1 / 5 (2) Dec 11, 2012
Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once.
ValeriaT
3 / 5 (4) Dec 11, 2012
Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once.
This is tautological definition, explanation the less. It's lake to say, the black color is the stuff which prohibits the things to appear lighter...;-)
Caliban
3.4 / 5 (5) Dec 11, 2012
Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once.


@Zed,

Sorry to have to be the one to inform you: everything IS happening all at once.

Have another puff and think about it some more...
Infinion
2.7 / 5 (7) Dec 12, 2012
What is time in terms a sixth-grader could understand?

Time is a reference used to observe change.

There are two kinds of time: subjective time and objective time

Subjective time is based on how you perceive change. It is what time [b]feels[/b] like to you and only you. Everyone has a different sense of time, it has a special meaning only to them, and it changes all the time depending how they feel (hungry, tired, in pain, don't talk about drugs to 6th graders, emotional).

Objective time is based on patterns that repeat in a predictable way. It is something that everyone can point to, and something everyone sees in the same way. We use clocks to tell the time and compare how long things take to change because it always takes 1 second for a clock to 'tick' and 60 of those ticks to move around in a full circle. We all use objective time because it is something that never changes, and we can compare something that never changes with something that is changing, a reference.

Sinister1811
1.9 / 5 (13) Dec 12, 2012
"Time" is a linear measurement of duration.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Dec 12, 2012
If time isn't fundamental than the speed of light postulate is DEFINITELY wrong,

Nope. The SPEED of light is actually a very good indication that space and time are completely interlinked (there's a reason why physicists talk about spacetime - and not 'space and time').

That speed may be a fundamental ('May be' are the operative words here. There may be something more fundamental that interlinks spacetime with something else).
GSwift7
2.7 / 5 (7) Dec 12, 2012
A single basic unit of time, the smallest possible unit of time, is how long it takes for the fastest possible event to change from one state to another state. For example, how long it takes light to move the shortest possible distance through space (one quanta of space). This is one Quanta of time. All other events can be compared to this period as a relative measure of how slowly they occur.
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (4) Dec 12, 2012
For example, how long it takes light to move the shortest possible distance through space

If you define one unit (in this case time) via another unit (in your example space/length) then it isn't funamental.
lbh
1 / 5 (1) Dec 13, 2012
@antialias_physorg
imagine that you have nothing in a box (not theoretically impossible to do), do you think there is no time and space in that box?
Tausch
1 / 5 (3) Dec 13, 2012
Time stops when nothing happens.
Time starts when anything happens.

Records of nothing or anything is taunting bookkeeping.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Dec 13, 2012
imagine that you have nothing in a box (not theoretically impossible to do), do you think there is no time and space in that box?

What do you mean by 'nothing'? If you still have vacuum fluctuations then you have something to define spacetime by. If you have the context of the box then you most definitely have something to define space by.

Without vacuum fluctuations and without a context (in your case the sides of the box): No. The notions of spacetime would mean nothing in such (absent) circumstances.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (1) Dec 15, 2012
AWT explanation of kids: the space-time is formed with surfaces of very dense foam with small bubbles, the membranes enable the spreading of energy waves like the water surface.


The real world explanation of kids: they are a consequence of procreation.
Spacefck
1 / 5 (1) Dec 15, 2012
I have to wonder what Einstein would think about this debate, were he alive today. Something tells me that his response would be more along the lines of,

"It's just a f'ing unit of measurement. Stare at your watch for a couple of minutes, if you require further verification."

rather than some of these long-winded and overly elaborate explanations people are postulating in these comments.
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (5) Dec 15, 2012
What do you mean by 'nothing'? If you still have vacuum fluctuations then you have something to define spacetime by. If you have the context of the box then you most definitely have something to define space by.

Without vacuum fluctuations and without a context (in your case the sides of the box): No. The notions of spacetime would mean nothing in such (absent) circumstances.


Silly.

He said "imagine YOU have nothing in a box." He didn't say "imagine there was nothing," nor did he say, "Imagine there was nothing except an empty box."

There is a box. There is nothing in it.

There must be time, else the box would not exist, since atoms cannot exist without time.

Nope. The SPEED of light is actually a very good indication that space and time are completely interlinked (there's a reason why physicists talk about spacetime - and not 'space and time').


You directly contradicted yourself in your reply two posts later.
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (6) Dec 15, 2012
there's a reason why physicists talk about spacetime - and not 'space and time'.


Yeah, it's called "idiot".

Space exists, and plutonic solids exist, yet it's still highly useful to talk about points, lines, planes, circles, and even amorphous objects.

The whole "space-time" thing is entirely over-rated, because the same relationships exist in lower dimensions, and indeed, even SR often disregards two or three of it's own dimensions, because almost all of the so-called "thought experiments" are intentionally giving so little information that objective knowledge can't exist.

Relativity's formulas predict some very absurd stupidity when you have a "real" scenario where both the astronaut and the controller start out at the same point, with controlled apparatuses that have a copy both on the ship and off...such as the Sun gaining 16 times mass in order to hold the Earth in orbit, and other such foolishness we all know can't be true.

Formula without context is foolishness.
ValeriaT
1.3 / 5 (3) Dec 15, 2012
There's no experimental evidence, that the space can exist without time and vice-versa. The space just means, the light requires some time for traveling from place to place. And the time means, some space was formed there, so that event don't occur at the same moment. Therefore in dense aether model space and time are formed simultaneously with compactification of entropy gradient. It's process equivalent to condensation of crystals or foam. This is how the final result appears - it forms the space-time foam. The light is traveling along surfaces of microscopic density gradients and its speed drops significantly - a space-time is formed.
ValeriaT
1.7 / 5 (6) Dec 15, 2012
Please note, that the final space-time is always formed with two entropic gradients of foam mutually penetrating each other. Analogously, the membranes in foam have always two surfaces. It just points to the fact, our space-time has actually two entropic time arrows running against each other. Can we observe, how the time is running backward in the Universe? You bet - the boundary between these two time arrows exist just at the human observer scale. Above 2 cm all massive objects tend to condense mutually with their gravity, bellow 2 cm dimensional scale all objects tend to evaporate and disperse with the pressure of radiation. It means, above 2 cm scale (wavelength of CMBR) the time runs backward in our universe and the Universe should exhibit a blue shift instead of the red one. This insight belongs between predictions of AWT too.
cantdrive85
2.6 / 5 (7) Dec 15, 2012
It's about 9:00 PM MST.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (3) Dec 15, 2012
You can imagine it easily, if you realize, the entropic time arrow is followed with spontaneous evaporation and expansion of particle systems. But at the moment, when these particles are larger than the wavelength of CMBR, the above principle isn't valid anymore and the entropic time arrow changes its sign spontaneously. For larger grains it's normal, they condense with their gravity instead. This threshold can be observed well with the ice particles at the Saturn rings. These particles are roughly of the same size, like the wavelength of CMBR, which means, the quantum mechanical forces are just balancing the gravitational forces there. The larger particles get fragmented, whereas the smaller ones coalesce gradually - and this equilibrium runs there for millions of years without change. If this model is correct, then the ice particles near Saturn should be of slightly smaller size at average, because the time runs more slowly there due the gravity well around Saturn.
david_thomas_94801
1 / 5 (2) Dec 16, 2012
Time starts and shrinks and then stops for anyone who measures it. Time runs out.
Just like an ice cream, it has a start an and end.
Time does not stop even when the icecream does.
Time does not care about ice creams.
Enjoy time with as many good things that you can find.
children understand icecreams
zaxxon451
3.3 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2012
Time does not exist. Motion does not exist. All are One. There is only the Eternal Now that stretches from Beginning to End. Our human experience makes this difficult to understand.
Lurker2358
1.7 / 5 (6) Dec 16, 2012
Time does not exist. Motion does not exist. All are One. There is only the Eternal Now that stretches from Beginning to End. Our human experience makes this difficult to understand.


Ok, Walter Bishop, back in your cell.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (2) Dec 16, 2012
I have to wonder what Einstein would think about this debate, were he alive today.


He'd have his head in his hands trying to understand why, more than a century after he published his key paper, almost nobody in this forum, supposedly dedicated to physics, has a clue what it told us.

Something tells me that his response would be more along the lines of,

"It's just a f'ing unit of measurement. Stare at your watch for a couple of minutes, if you require further verification."


Nope, he said "Time is what a clock measures.". He wasn't referring to the units in which it is demarked, there is a difference.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (2) Dec 16, 2012
Time does not exist. Motion does not exist. All are One. There is only the Eternal Now that stretches from Beginning to End. Our human experience makes this difficult to understand.


That's actually the closest to what relativity implies but cosmological measurements say it will not have an end.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2012
..almost nobody in this forum, supposedly dedicated to physics, has a clue what it told us...
You can explain only the things, which other people are familiar with. I proposed such an explanation being downvoted for it. So that having a clue has no meaning, until the other people have no clue.

Due the large volume of information the contemporary layman people are accepting the as religiously, as the medieval people: they have neither time, neither energy to think about it independently. Most of people are therefore accepting new ideas in very religious manner - they don't accept new ideas, until they're not published, peer-reviewed and accepted with mainstream. After then they adhere on such an ideas blindly. So that the spreading of new ideas exhibits a hysteresis and oversaturation like the crystallization of ice: the water will not freeze, until the water in its vicinity will not freeze too..
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2012
To be perfectly honest, Mr. Einstein was not original founder of the space-time concept (his unpopular teacher H. Minkowski was) and Einstein refused it as blindly at the very beginning, like many laymans here (or like Hawking refused Beckenstein idea of black hole radiation or like Schrodinger dismissed quantum uncertainty). You would be surprised how many ideas were originally dismissed just with people, to whom these ideas are attributed by now...;-) My experience is, in contemporary science the new ideas are dismissed across the board due the jealousy, until their opponents don't find their own usage for them.
Q-Star
1 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2012
So that the spreading of new ideas exhibits a hysteresis and oversaturation like the crystallization of ice: the water will not freeze, until the water in its vicinity will not freeze too..


I think I understand,,, are you saying that the unfrozen water will be ice until the unfrozen ice is in the near vicinity of the crystals?

And when the flat surface of the waves becomes the polyunsaturated hysteresis then it will exhibit the longitudinal dimensionless aspect of the aether. Right?
Q-Star
1 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2012
To be perfectly honest, Mr. Einstein was not original founder of the space-time concept


But you will have to admit that Mr.Einstein was the original founder of the longitudinal wave interactions of the transverse aether. He was the first person to successfully describe and model the Zephyr Effect.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2012
..when the flat surface of the waves becomes the polyunsaturated hysteresis..
The random pilling of technical words will not make your comments meaningful in the same way, like the blind combinations of variables in equations. Even the nonformal theories have their rules, as they must fit the laws of predicate logics.
are you saying that the unfrozen water will be ice until the unfrozen ice is in the near vicinity of the crystals..
No, I don't think so...;-))
Q-Star
1 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2012
Even the nonformal theories have their rules, as they must fit the laws of predicate logics.


I may be stupid, but I knew that,,, that's Zephyr Exclusion Effect that Mr. Einstein predicted.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (4) Dec 16, 2012
Mr.Einstein was the original founder of the longitudinal wave interactions of the transverse aether. He was the first person to successfully describe and model the Zephyr Effect
Nope, it was Victorian physicist Oliver Lodge, who had come with the idea of dense aether and duality of transverse / longitudinal waves in it in 1904. Einstein declared the Aether necessary in his famous Leyden lecture, but frankly he never explained for what such an Aether could be good for - and later he retracted his stance completely. IMO he didn't understand the Lodge's ideas at all - after all, in the same way, like many aetherists of his time (like T.J.J.See and others). So that the dense aether model was ignored and disfavored even with aetherists itself! I'm just very first person, who deals with it again after one hundred years.
Q-Star
1 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2012
Einstein http://www.youtub...vAIdMqng in his famous Leyden lecture, but frankly he never explained for what such an Aether could be good for - and later he retracted his stance completely.


So Mr. Einstein is what is known in American Political Science theory as a "flip flopper".
Q-Star
1.8 / 5 (5) Dec 16, 2012
So that the dense aether model was ignored


One of my more unfortunate shortcomings,,,,, Sometimes I ignore dense modellers also.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2012
Mr. Einstein is what is known in American Political Science theory as a "flip flopper".
Mr. Einstein's approach exhibited conjuncturalist traits often. For example, he adhered on steady state universe model even at the case, when his own theory clearly said, that the Universe would be unstable. So he "fixed" it with ad-hoced cosmological constant. This just indicates - despite the revolutionary impact of his ideas - he reflected the intersubjectivelly accepted opinion of his era way too much. Some people even calling him a larger plagiarist of century, which I personally consider too unfair - but I cannot overlook the "zoon-politicon" aspects of his personal stance.
Q-Star
1.8 / 5 (5) Dec 16, 2012
I'm just very first person, who deals with it again after one hundred years.


Proud of that thing, are ya? (Psst, I'm the first person in over two thousand years to deal again with a flat earth, how about that.)
Q-Star
1 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2012
So he "fixed it" with ad-hoced cosmological constant. This just indicates, despite the revolutionary impact of his ideas, he reflected the intersubjectivelly accepted opinion of his era way too much


So you are not an adherent to the Zephyr Exclusion Effect theory? It was intersubjectivelly transsubstantiated by the ad-hoced revolutionaries.

If you don't conform to that then you must not realize that the transverse water waves only reach super-duper-subluminal speeds when in the presence of the non moving electron.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2012
Proud of that thing, are ya
So far I'm not only the first, but still the only person which deals with dense aether model systematically. The boundary between utter geniality and complete foolishness is very brittle in such case - after all, like at the case of all very general border-line ideas. Actually I do believe, I'm completely average guy in this extent in similar way, like the Universe which blurs the difference between extremes at the very distant/small scales. It's not rocket science at all - it's just pretty extensive and free area of physics like the far side of the Moon or like the Lost world of sir Conan Doyle.
Q-Star
1 / 5 (4) Dec 16, 2012
but still the only person which deals with dense aether model systematically.


It certainly qualifies as dense.

The boundary between complete geniality and complete foolishness is very brittle in such case - after all, like at the case of all very general border-line ideas.


Borderline Personality Disorder is sort of off topic,,,,, but it seems to be an universal constant in your science. Grandiose Ideations is one of the principal phenomena.
Q-Star
1 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2012
Actually I do believe, I'm completely average guy in this extent.


You sell yourself short, there is nothing at all average about you. Zephyr, I mean this with absolutely no sarcasm,,,,, you are truly exceptional, nothing average about you at all.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (4) Dec 16, 2012
but it seems to be an universal constant in your science
Oliver Lodge was completely normal and respectful, if not conformal physicist. In his later life he did experiment with spiritism - but it was quite usual entertaiment in his time too. And I'm incredibly average guy as well. If you want to understand the dense aether model, then the analysis of its authors will not help you at least a bit. Dense aether model is neither abstract, neither overly complex, because its ignorance was solely motivated ideologically, not with technical difficulties of this subject. You're not required to be a lone freaky genius or something similar to pursue it.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Dec 16, 2012
but still the only person which deals with dense aether model systematically.

...without dealing with it mathematically. That's just a useless waste of time.
Q-Star
1 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2012
If you want to understand the dense aether model, then the analysis of their authors will not help you at least a bit.


That is a true thing you say there.

Dense aether model is neither abstract, neither overly complex, because its ignorance was solely motivated ideologically, not with technical difficulties of this subject.


I'm relieved to hear that the technical impossibilities won't stand in the way. I was about to give up on the aether thing.

You're not required to be a lone freaky genius or something similar to understand it.


Why is it that lone freaky people (or something) are the only ones who can understand it?
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (4) Dec 16, 2012
without dealing with it mathematically. That's just a useless waste of time
At first, every math is based on nonformal ideas, so I'm collecting them first. At second, the dense aether model is something like the lost abandoned garden, so I'm just collecting the easiest fruits first. At third, the dense aether model is based on duality of intuitive holistic and deterministic formal approach like the duality of longitudinal and transverse waves at the water surface. With expanding the scope of view the character of these ripples alternates from indeterministic into deterministic and back again. This is a consequence of the fact, with expanding scope of our view the random indeterministic hyperdimensional character of Universe becomes apparent, the low-dimensional deterministic models are becoming poorly conditioned and the intuitive approach becomes more effective there again. So my ignorance of math is partially motivated even with geometry of the dense aether model itself.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (2) Dec 16, 2012
Why is it that lone freaky people (or something) are the only ones who can understand it?
There is often observational bias introduced with their opponents. As Arthur Schopenhauer once said, "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident". So that the people who bring new ideas are perceived like enemies of freaks naturally, event though they're quite normal people in wider space-time context. Even when these people are perceived as successful, the other people need some excuse for own passivity, so they tend to attribute the exceptional abilities to the people, who decided to pursue some idea systematically. Another people just seek a sensations or mysticism.

Because I do believe in duality of intrinsic and extrinsic perspectives, I don't think, that the founders of exceptional ideas are always completely normal - but I think, their exceptionality is often exaggerated from many reasons
Q-Star
1 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2012
First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident".


After a hundred years, it's still stuck in the ridicule stage. When might we expect things to get interesting with some "violent" opposition?

So that the people who bring new ideas are perceived like enemies of freaks naturally, event though they're quite normal people in wider space-time context.


A new idea that died out a hundred years ago,,, who would have thunk it?

Enemies of freaks should be ashamed of themselves for being wider than space-time.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2012
IMO new galaxies often emerge at places, which are systematically shielded (denied) with other massive bodies (authorities of its time). This is why the galaxies emerge at the connection lines of another galaxies in the fibers of dark matter. The long-term dismissal of ideas helps their spectacular outbreak later, because it cumulated both technical motivations, both social needs for it. The motivations for AWT are many. As the understanding expands, we are understanding the theories better. During time the mainstream physics concentrated many abstract insights, but their intuitive understanding is still missing ("magnets, how they work?"). We have heritage of Tesla and his scalar waves, which are still independently researched (Meyl, Bearden, Dollard..), so that the empirical knowledge is growing. Even mainstream physics cumulated experiments, which point to the aether model (water surface analogies of quantum mechanics by Couder) and it's increasingly difficult to ignore it.
Q-Star
1.8 / 5 (5) Dec 16, 2012
(water surface analogies of quantum mechanics by Couder) and it's increasingly difficult to ignore it.


I do love those transverse analogous quantum longitudinal water waves. You are right, they are difficult to ignore. Especially when the non moving electrons move with superluminal speeds at the flat water surface.
ValeriaT
1.3 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2012
So that mainstream physics not only helped the explanation many real life phenomena, but it concentrated many facts, which simply have no good meaning without some underlying deeper theory or model. We all are intuitively feeling, that such model should exist - but because the complexity of mainstream theories increases steadily, we overlooked the possibility, that this model can be conceptually quite simple and based on geometry of common life physics: the geometry of particle fluctuations and the duality of transverse and longitudinal waves in it.
There are some conspiratorial theories, that this model was understood already before many years, it was researched with Nazi Germany as the natural opposition of "Jewish" science, but because it opened the way for systematical research of scalar waves, anti-gravity an another military-grade applications, it was kept in secrecy with USA or even Russia after defeat of Germany in WWW II..
MrVibrating
1 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2012
I'm with Lurker on this 'un - Antialias's emergent/fundamental poser is a false dichotomy; time being a prerequisite of emergence.

If, as some here suggest, we consider time to be the metric, then we can tie it up as a finite property of the relativistic universe, beginning with the big bang and ending with the heat death.

If we consider the quantum realm however, virtual particle activity will continue after the heat death, and this activity is thus predicated on time being more fundamental than 'this' universe.

Another fun but probably equally false dichotomy is to consider that time has two directions: all the physical matter moves forward through time, into the future. All its activity however moves backwards though time, towards the past.

All this proves is that the 'direction' of time, and its perceived flow, are entirely incidental consequences of simultaneous vs sequential informational reference frames. Type Stuff.

OTOH maybe there really IS two time domains... or more!
Ober
2.6 / 5 (5) Dec 16, 2012
Time is something you do, when you get caught for killing someone.
uhjim
1 / 5 (1) Dec 17, 2012
Time is a number, GONE TO HELL.
Urgelt
1 / 5 (1) Dec 17, 2012
I think Alda must have taken a hit on the head. Scientists have yet to explain 'time' in terms scientists can understand, let alone sixth graders, and Alda, an educated man, ought to know it.
mlz
1 / 5 (3) Dec 17, 2012
Time is a tick of the "clock".
Over time clocks changed from rise of the sun, to sand in the glass, to water in the bottle, to gear wheels spinning, to electronic cloks, but principle of the tick stayed. Scientists measure time in a tick(s). When tick happens, you can know, that time passed by. The precise value of the second is changing with the every new clock invented, so the second is not a fundamental unit.
htoknow
1 / 5 (3) Dec 17, 2012
"Esoptrics: The Logic Of The Mirror" is the cosmological theory I've been honing since 1957. In it, time is objective or subjective. Objective time is "universal time"&"time as the measure of relative duration". Objective time is in units called "alphakaronons" (K ), a minimum segment called "ultimate time" & "u-time" and always c. 10^-96 sec.. Esoptrics thus says all duration is an integral multiple of one alphakronon, such as 2K, 3K . . . . 2^385K. Subjective time is"particular time" & "time as the measure of change". Subjective time results because the Universe's ultimate never change continuously but engage in states of excitation which, for some number of K,are internally changeless. While an ultimate engages in a changeless state, that state's relative duration can be expressed in the terms of K by those able to calculate it; but, for the ultimate engaging in that static state, objective time has no effect upon it. I'm not allowed to say more here.
oaklift
not rated yet Dec 17, 2012
For a beautifully poetic answer (or more than twenty of them) in 179 pages, I highly recommend the fictional book, "Einstein's Dreams," by Alan Lightman.
Tausch
1 / 5 (3) Dec 18, 2012
Objective time is based on patterns that repeat in a predictable way. It is something that everyone can point to, and something everyone sees in the same way. We use clocks to tell the time and compare how long things take to change because it always takes 1 second for a clock to 'tick' and 60 of those ticks to move around in a full circle. We all use objective time because it is something that never changes, and we can compare something that never changes with something that is changing, a reference. - Inf


A sixth grader will ask about the difference between randomness and your objective time.

komone
not rated yet Dec 18, 2012
All the above tautologies aside, the most cogent and believable explanation that I have ever heard for time (and I have heard a few) was from the British physicist Julian Barbour (try wikipedia).
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.1 / 5 (17) Dec 18, 2012
Simple: What time would pass in a completely empty space (devoid of matter and/or energy)? None. There's nothing in such a state that would distinguish past from future from now.
Doesnt matter. Space would still exist and the ability of something to move within it would still exist, whether anything was there to move or not. You can make the comparison to an empty room; all you need to do is redefine 'empty'.

The potential for something to emerge within it would also exist, per M theory. And you would thus have a potential 'before' and 'after' as well.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.1 / 5 (17) Dec 18, 2012
Or you could just assume that an object could appear by magic. Same thing. One could say that space cannot be empty because it is always full of space.

What if there was a single object there but it never moved, never changed state? A single stationary singularity. You would have the ability to measure a distance from where the particle is, to a point where it is not. Now remove the particle. Those points would still exist and the distance between them still measured.

What, how can space be measured with nothing to establish relative position you say? But the existence of space implies that you CAN, that the possibility exists even though you may not know how to do it.

There is ROOM in space for things to exist whether they are there or not, therefore there must be time there for them to exist as well.
Tausch
1 / 5 (2) Dec 18, 2012
All the above tautologies aside, the most cogent and believable explanation that I have ever heard for time (and I have heard a few) was from the British physicist Julian Barbour (try wikipedia) - komone
.

An illusion.
http://www.platonia.com/

You have to appreciate the magician's effort.
(Magician=nature)