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January 21, 2018

CATEGORY: The Nature of Time Essay Contest (2008) [back]
TOPIC: Stochastic Time and Temporal Non-locality by Toru Ohira [refresh]
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Toru Ohira wrote on Oct. 30, 2008 @ 10:34 GMT
Essay Abstract

We introduce ``stochasticity'' and ``non-locality'' to the time variable as an attempt to contemplate ``time''. These concepts are normally considered as ``space" concepts. However, we try to consider ways to export these concepts onto the time axis through simple dynamical models. For stochasticity in time, we introduce noise in the time variable but not in the ``space" variable, which is opposite to the normal description of stochastic dynamics. Similarly with respect to temporal non-locality, we consider delayed and predictive dynamics, which involve two points separated on the time axis. With certain combinations of fluctuations and non-locality in time, we show that there appears to be a ``resonance'' effect. We discuss how this line of approach may further develop thinking on the nature of ``time''

Author Bio

Toru Ohira is a physicist working at Sony Computer Science Lab in Japan, which he joined after his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago in 1993. His research interest have been systems with "noise" and "delay" with applications ranging from physiology to economics. At the same time, his first published paper was on the Wigner-Araki-Yanase theorem in quantum measurement theory and questions relating to foundation of physics have always been at the bottom of his heart. He has also served as a visiting professor at Claremont Colleges in the U.S.A, and jointly affiliated with University of Tokyo, Japan

Download Essay PDF File

Dr. E (The Real McCoy) wrote on Oct. 30, 2008 @ 21:25 GMT
Hello Toru,

Thanks for the wonderful paper!

I love some of the concepts you are getting at.

Indeed, the fourth dimension itself is nonlocal!

Consider a photon emitted from a source. Quantum mechanics describes the photon's propagation as a spherically-symmetric wavefront of probability expanding at c.

Relativity tells us that the photon does not age--it stays...

view entire post

Peter Morgan wrote on Oct. 31, 2008 @ 20:23 GMT
Hey Toru,

I'm curious how you intend your stochastic approach. Physicists most often take stochastic models to be derived from other models, which are regarded as more fundamental. Do you see your models this way, and how much difference do you think the form of an underlying model makes, if so?


Toru Ohira wrote on Nov. 1, 2008 @ 02:33 GMT
Hello Dr. E:

Thank you for your comments and interests in my work. I have

just downloaded your paper and started reading it. There are

many points you point out that I should think about. Particularly,

I should really consider "complex" delay: ictau and see what happens

according to your view points. We come across complex delay when

we fiddle around delay differential equation, but often disregard

them as non-physical. Your suggestion have made me think twice

before doing so. I am curious how you would view from your theory

time-energy uncertainty principle; or there may be equivalent

expressions starting from ict.

Thank you again for your insightful comments. I will write as I digest more

of your paper content. (please forgive me of my broken English.)



Toru Ohira wrote on Nov. 1, 2008 @ 04:10 GMT
Hello Peter:

Thank you for your interest and comment. For now I have not

made much thought on the underlying mechanism of

the "noise". I am aware that some consider, as you say, use

of projection operators to project out noise term as in the

derivation of generalized langevin equations. Or maybe more

simple mindedly we can think of mechanism of Brownian motion.

Thanks to your comments, it occurred to me that it may be interesting to think of interacting particles of different scales and

make one of them causal or non-causal and see what happens.

I have downloaded your paper and would like to see if your

random field point of view give me some lights, on the issues

such as breaking of causality with stochastic time etc.



Peter Morgan wrote on Nov. 1, 2008 @ 19:53 GMT
I asked my question, Toru, to see whether you intended your approach as non-causally as I intend mine. I consider my random field formalism to be essentially non-causal, but I felt that there was room for yours to be seen as causal. I think my random field approach will not help you with causal modeling, because in a random field model there is essentially only a representation of correlations, much as is the case in the QFT formalism that my random field formalism derives from (I would say that microcausality, a constraint on algebraic relationships between *observables* in QFT, which represent idealized experimental apparatuses that are outside of space-time, is arguably not about the intrinsic causality of the field). From an empirical point of view, correlations are perhaps all that can be measured, in which case causality can only be inferred (this is a very long-standing problem in Philosophy, by the way, which I have just seen characterized, rather interestingly, as an inverse problem on the resonaances blog, via Uncertain Principles).

We can and do construct causal models anyway, because causal models are often more satisfactory as explanations. I consider it to be a much larger task to construct causal models than to construct models of observable correlations, however, and that it's best to hold off causal modeling until we have a better idea of how to think about our non-causal models. I will nonetheless be interested to see how you approach causal modeling from your stochastic perspective.

Best wishes, Peter.

Peter Morgan wrote on Nov. 1, 2008 @ 20:00 GMT
Edit of my previous post: The link to the "Skulls in the Stars" blog is correct; "resonaances" was the blog I thought I'd seen the post on until I checked my reference. Sorry!

Narendra nath wrote on Nov. 3, 2008 @ 13:21 GMT
Dear Toru,

it is nice to see that you consider stochastic approach to work out 'time' out of noise! may i say that silence contains noise but not the other way around. Similarly order contains randomness but not the other way around. To me, time is connected with the start of the Universe and space and time are inseparable in any discussion on a physical phenomenon. The problem comes when we invoke the query how it all began.Philosophically, we need to invoke 'consciousness', a non-physical entity into our picture. Because without awareness, we can not sense anything. The purest consciousness can be the cosmic consciousness that have always existed, is all-powerful and is able to manifest physical objects without any significant loss of its power ! The vibration modulated part of the consciousness is physical and vibration-free is non-physical.

My essay posted 'Mysteries of the Universe - a perspective' is based on some holistic considerations. You may care to comment, as we have some apparent connection that may not appear apparently!

Toru Ohira wrote on Nov. 4, 2008 @ 14:58 GMT
Dear Peter:

Thank you for your comments again. The relation between

notion of causality and correlation is intriguing indeed.

In probability theory, as you know that there is also a

concept of independence, which is stronger than correlation. Based on which kinds of notion to be applied,

it makes a difference. My own model has a bit more

complication as it has a writing over of the past record

built in. The connection to these notions are thus not

as transparent. Thank you for giving me another thinking


Toru Ohira wrote on Nov. 4, 2008 @ 15:29 GMT
Dear Narendra

Thank you for your interest. I have downloaded your work

as well. I have been working with stick balancing experiment by human and time in our minds are one of my motivations behind my work. I take a point of view that past, current, and future in our mind is not as clear cut or ordered but mingled around. I do not know how to express this, but have been thinking about it. Thank you for your inputs.

Narendra wrote on Nov. 5, 2008 @ 05:57 GMT
Dear Toru,

i expect to hear your comments/queries after you go through my essay, as well as two other manuscripts i posted immediately after the essay got posted on the site. Let me say that i totally agree with you that human mind does not separate past, present and future, as the outside world does! It is clear experienced that humans are able to forsee somethings that are yet to happen. Intuition and inspirational thoughts are also time independent, as one can not seek the same as per our own wish. These may come when we may least expect them. Such mysteries open up human beings to perfom even well beyond the expectations. i believe this happens because of the way individual consciousness is able to have overlap interaction with the cosmic consciousness!

Toru Ohira wrote on Nov. 5, 2008 @ 08:55 GMT
Dear Narendra:

Thank you for your posts again. Definition of consciousness, either by human or others, vary in the context we use as well as their relations. I will post to your paper as I go through your works. Thank you for your inputs

Narendra wrote on Nov. 5, 2008 @ 13:21 GMT
Why bother too much about defining things precisely, especially when the parameter is non-physical in nature. Consciousness is a wider word for human awareness through the body sense organs. There are levels/degrees of 'consciousness' that too will differ from one to the other individual. One needs to be much than a scientist in order to appreciate the role of it. It comes better through the Humanity aspect of an individual. After all we are not scientists but humans first!

i look forward to your post on my essay where time is implicit and not explicitly involved!

Toru Ohira wrote on Nov. 6, 2008 @ 01:22 GMT
Dear Narendra:

Thank you for your post again. I have posted on your essay about

my question regarding consciousness. At lease we agree that our notion

of time may not be as structured as the physical one. Even without being precise, I think we need to know that we are talking about the similar notions

for discussions. Sincerely, Toru

F. Le Roux wrote on Nov. 8, 2008 @ 10:24 GMT
But Einstein's theory is still connected with music, not only with light. Music is Algebra, a language that gives Plenitude.

French Philosopher and Scientist R. Descartes wrote a 'String Theory' (XVIIth century) which was a musical one. And the Quanta Physics has its roots in the Probability theory born at this period.

Toru Ohira wrote on Nov. 8, 2008 @ 14:40 GMT
Dear Dr. Le Roux

Thank you for your post. I have not connected my work with music except that there appears rythmic behavior thorough

fluctuations and non-locality. I did not know about Descartes on music,which I will look into. Sincerely, Toru Ohira

E Prati wrote on Nov. 22, 2008 @ 00:26 GMT
"Stochastic Time and Temporal Non-locality" introduces very interestingly the concept of time fluctuations.

Such view drives to a perturbative theory on the top of a time based framework, indeed the fluctuations are added as random shifts along a time axis.

Such discussion should lead to semiclassical quantitative results, probably capable to predict some deviations from mechanics at sufficiently short times.

Unfortunately the Nature of time problem is about the ontology of such "time axis", in other words one should define a framework where time axis it is not defined still, and something behaving at the macroscopic level (because of the need of a clock in its definition) behave as such parameter time axis.

This fact is clear in the paper of Rovelli, Kiefer and myself, even if they differ for what concers the requirements and the description of the clock.

About the discussion in this section, I have to remind that it is not possible to talk about time at a fundamental level by using words as "propagation" and "speed of light", since they are defined on the ground of time concept itself (see the posts of Dr. E).

Narendra Nath wrote on Nov. 22, 2008 @ 12:28 GMT
There is a big gap in the posting of E. Prati and your last response. i did not see the comments on 'consciousness' that you promised to post on my essay site. Let me provide my own ideas more explicitly in this regard. There are three well-known states of wakefulness, dream and deep sleep. To this may i add the 4th state of Meditation, where one is restful like in sleep but is awake, with eyes open/closed! In this state the degree of consciousness is higher than in the three states connected with body's senses.The time sense in these four states is different on a closer scrutiny. The clock time/physical time is felt only in the wakeful state only. There is possibility of time running into the past or future too when one touches the higher levels of consciousness. The highest level is one in which pure, vibration free consciousness exists permanently, ever existing and non-destructible. The manifested consciousness of an individual(s)also derives itself from the pure consciousness. Even the cosmic consciousness of the Universe may be derived from the pure, in case we allow several independent universes to exist simultaneously. The latter have been postulated and may well exist beyond our limits of identification! Such is truly the Mystery of the Creation of the Universe which can perhaps be conceptualized.

Time thus becomes a definable parameter only for the physical outside world and its meaning for the inner world of a human being depends quite a bit on the state of awareness/consciousness that one happens to be in. Thus Time becomes a mysterious concept in the wider world view , beyond the physical world. Who knows it may have different scales within our Universe that now supposedly exists for the past 13.7 billion years, specially the early universe of first billion years of turbulence. The latter Physics may well be different from the Physics we have evolved in the far far later period of its life! This point has been illustrated in my essay through non-constancy of the physical constants and Strengths of the Force-fields!

Toru Ohira wrote on Nov. 24, 2008 @ 18:38 GMT
Dear Dr. Prati:

Thank you for your posting and interest. If I have taken your points correctly, you are mentioning to define or think about the time axis itself before thinking about the

fluctuation on it. I agree that one can approach from

that direction about time. My position is rather backwards,

by thinking about some concepts such as fluctuations or

non-locality and its relation to time, as "classically"

taken, we may encounter some more insights or problems

which may require to modify what time should be or have.

Though I have not gone into the level of identifying them,

I can imagine of an iterative process between this

type of approach and think about the time axis itself.

Sincerely, Toru

Toru Ohira wrote on Nov. 24, 2008 @ 18:46 GMT
Dear Dr. Nath;

Thank you for your post. I did post on yourforum on Nov. 6

with my questions and you kindly answered.

Sincerely, Toru

N. Nath wrote on Nov. 25, 2008 @ 06:27 GMT
Dear Dr. Ohira,

My post of Nov., 22 awaits your response. As your response was too brief to my earlier post made on Nov.,6, this time i have elaborated my own view point in some detail. Look forward to your response

Toru Ohira wrote on Nov. 25, 2008 @ 14:24 GMT
Dear Dr. Nath

I will post further in a few days in your forum as I try to digest more

of your comments. Sincerely, Toru

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 1, 2008 @ 15:58 GMT
Dear Dr. Ohira,

Very interesting idea of stochastic time, and transferring the stochasticity along the time axis. While I was reading, it passed through my head the idea you express in the discussion section: that this stochastic time may be applied to time-energy uncertainty relations. My guess is that you can also succeed in other problems you suggest in closure, namely transferring non-locality on the time axis, and finding equilibrium of nonlocality and stochasticity between space and time direction, in order to get Lorentz invariance. But with or without these developments, your results are interesting.

Best regards,

Cristi Stoica

“Flowing with a Frozen River”,

Toru Ohira wrote on Dec. 2, 2008 @ 22:27 GMT
Dear Dr. Stoica:

Thank you for your interest and encouragement.

I hope to develope further along the lines of

thought I presnted. I have downloaded your

essay as well. I like your thoughts about

the Quantum mesurement and initial conditions.

Sincerely, Toru

F. Le Rouge wrote on Dec. 4, 2008 @ 10:02 GMT
I do agree with your 'Time dislocation': obviously if Time has something to do with a speed or sound or temperature scale, it has nothing to do with Space or Matter itself.

The mistake of 'Time localization' comes from the very beginning of the 'Light Science' as I say in my own essay ('Square Wheels or Real Dynamics'), very beginning that it to say Newton, Huygens, Descartes, etc. From a metaphysical fuzzy idea of space, seen as much as 'something' or 'nothing' (or full/empty space).

(I think Asian or Indian culture is close at hand to this XVIIth Anglo-Saxon ideology called 'Empiricism' which is typically based on a mirror and music.)

But there is no dynamism in a function! Algebraic geometry is just theory. Factor Time is just a number. Supposed to be dynamic thermic scale was used by Walras in economy to make previsions with the success we can see these days.

Toru Ohira wrote on Dec. 5, 2008 @ 08:20 GMT
Dear Dr. Le Rouge:

Thank you for your post and interests. I also

downloaded your work. I enjoy your titling of sections.

Sincerely, Toru

F. Le Rouge wrote on Dec. 11, 2008 @ 17:57 GMT
- I translated on my forum part of a very interesting letter of R. Descartes (1638) in which he explains that one must exclude Time and Speed in the question of Force (Energy). Why? Because if you keep Speed and Time, you have to solve Metaphysical problems that Descartes does not want to solve in an essay about Ballistic or Statics.

Make the comparison with Scientists on this forum (Carlo Rovelli) who are face to face (350 years after) with the same problem. They suggest to forget time like Descartes, but, the 'nonsense' is here : they keep the Time as a dimension!!!

- No doubt that Poincaré, Einstein and H. Bergson when they are introducing Time are fighting against Descartes empiricism and want to introduce first of all Metaphysics that is for them related to Time idea (Music gives you the feeling that Time existe out of your Mind.)

- I am not only making the link between science and art but between Politics too. Mirror (of Japanese Emperor) is grounding the Christian Culture of Descartes, Huygens and Newton. French King Louis XIV was a kind of Japanese Emperor too. Do you think it is just a coincidence if Statics principles are triumphating in Europe just when State Religion is triumphating in England and France?

Statics in Art, statics in Science and statics in Politics at the same Time!

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