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Wandering Towards a Goal
How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
December 2, 2016 to March 3, 2017
Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fnd.

Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
Contest Partners: Nanotronics Imaging, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, and The John Templeton Foundation
Media Partner: Scientific American


How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
Contest Partners: Jaan Tallinn, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, The John Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American

It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American

Questioning the Foundations
Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
May 24 - August 31, 2012
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, SubMeta, and Scientific American

Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American

What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams

The Nature of Time
August - December 2008

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The Complexity Conundrum
Resolving the black hole firewall paradox—by calculating what a real astronaut would compute at the black hole's edge.

Quantum Dream Time
Defining a ‘quantum clock’ and a 'quantum ruler' could help those attempting to unify physics—and solve the mystery of vanishing time.

Our Place in the Multiverse
Calculating the odds that intelligent observers arise in parallel universes—and working out what they might see.

Sounding the Drums to Listen for Gravity’s Effect on Quantum Phenomena
A bench-top experiment could test the notion that gravity breaks delicate quantum superpositions.

Watching the Observers
Accounting for quantum fuzziness could help us measure space and time—and the cosmos—more accurately.

January 21, 2018

CATEGORY: The Nature of Time Essay Contest (2008) [back]
TOPIC: Making Time With Pretty Girls and Hot Stoves by Don Limuti [refresh]
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Don Limuti wrote on Nov. 3, 2008 @ 10:38 GMT
Essay Abstract

Can Time Be Both Real and Unreal? We make appointments in time and pay our rent and mortgages in a more or less timely fashion. We know we have had birthdays in the past and expect a few more in the future. Time seems to be very solid and real. Yet we know that everything we experience is done in the present and the only real time we have is now. All our concepts of past and future are illusory. They are a kind of processing we do with stored "pictures" in something we call a mind. With this view time seems to be something ethereal and unreal. This essay will examine this split objectively and subjectively.

Author Bio

Don Limuti is the president of Communication Panels Co. and creator of He obtained a BSEE degree from The City College of New York and has presented several technical papers at IEEE events. He has been awarded two patents and has several in process. He can be contacted via the website .

Download Essay PDF File

F. Le Rouge wrote on Nov. 6, 2008 @ 11:01 GMT
- The paradox is, and I think you pointed it, that modern Physics is giving BOTH the 'cognition' (thinking) and the matter up.

- Don't you think it is strange that Einstein, as he was interested in the Light 'phenomenon' did not use a sun-dial instead of a mechanical clock?

Clinton "Kyle" Miller wrote on Nov. 9, 2008 @ 08:57 GMT
Don Limuti,

I love the essay! I really like the section about what societies' "time" is based on. One of the most illuminating passages I have seen thus far. (Check out Peter Lynd's essay if you haven't already, really good stuff.)


Don Limuti wrote on Nov. 15, 2008 @ 07:39 GMT

Thanks for your generous comments. It seems to me that your essay and Peter Lynd's essay and my essay have similar conclusions arrived at in different ways.

What a great idea to have this contest!

Don L.

amrit wrote on Dec. 8, 2008 @ 13:27 GMT
time is an observer effect

it exists only when we measure it

universe itself s atemporal

time is born into the human mind

Albert Einstein sad:

»Space and time are modes by which we think,

not conditions under which we live«.

Time--the time that we know through clocks and calendars--was invented.

attachments: 2_The_Concept_of_Atemporality_into_The_Theory_of_Relativity__amrit_2008.pdf

Don Limuti wrote on Dec. 11, 2008 @ 08:31 GMT

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

I find there is merit in much of what you say.

Anonymous wrote on Dec. 17, 2008 @ 07:05 GMT

I am a student at Bellevue Community College and am going into nursing. I found it really interesting how you talked about the way humans store pictures in their minds. You had some fascinating things to say about that. Also, you furthered my knowledge of how there is a universal understanding of the clock, and how everything is related to it. Very well written essay, thank you!

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Don Limuti wrote on Jan. 1, 2009 @ 07:15 GMT
In response to F. Le Rouge:

1. I have to agree that modern physics looks like metaphysics in spite of its claims that it is presenting reality and avoiding superstitions like cognition.

2. A sundial is much like a mechanical clock. The difference is that a mechanical clock has very distinct tics and durations. Einstein needed those sharp tics and durations to develop relativity. Einstein made the offhand definition of time as: that which is measured by clocks.

I believe he could have expanded the definition to: Time is the sequential tics and durations of a clock as recorded by an instrument. The recording instrument can have many forms including human senses. The important point is that time is not just a duration. Durations and tics are required to have time and thus clocks are required.

3. Your essay submission using the point of view of art and aesthetics is most refreshing.

amrit wrote on Jan. 21, 2009 @ 15:49 GMT
Hi Don

It seems that on Planck scale events run without time being needed.

yours amrit

attachments: Indirect_and_Direct_Quantum_Information_and_Quantum_Energy_Transfer_Sorli__2009.pdf

Don Limuti ( wrote on Jan. 22, 2009 @ 08:04 GMT

Yes, the plank scale is where things get "interesting". And this is the area where physicists become very defensive. I'm thinking of Einstein and Heisenberg and just about everyone that followed.

Vlatko Vedral in his FQXi blog summed it up with the statement: All physicists are realists deep down.

I interpret this as meaning everyone assumes the continuity of "stuff" (particles and matter and energy). Quantum mechanics makes this view hard to support. And yet we make "nutty" theories like multiple worlds so that we can have continuity of stuff.

I read your attachment and find I am in agreement with a lot of it, particularly you conclusion that gravity is an entanglement phenomena.

I would say that on the Planck scale everything is a clock (a mass that appears and disappears following the rules of quantum mechanics) and that this clock contains the primordial space and time for the object.

Thanks for you input.

Don L.

Linna Landau wrote on Mar. 16, 2017 @ 11:46 GMT
I decipher this as significance everybody accept . Quantum mechanics makes this view hard to bolster. But then we make "nutty" speculations like numerous universes with the goal that we can have progression of stuff.

cheapessaywriter can provide further details.

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