Search FQXi

If you are aware of an interesting new academic paper (that has been published in a peer-reviewed journal or has appeared on the arXiv), a conference talk (at an official professional scientific meeting), an external blog post (by a professional scientist) or a news item (in the mainstream news media), which you think might make an interesting topic for an FQXi blog post, then please contact us at with a link to the original source and a sentence about why you think that the work is worthy of discussion. Please note that we receive many such suggestions and while we endeavour to respond to them, we may not be able to reply to all suggestions.

Please also note that we do not accept unsolicited posts and we cannot review, or open new threads for, unsolicited articles or papers. Requests to review or post such materials will not be answered. If you have your own novel physics theory or model, which you would like to post for further discussion among then FQXi community, then please add them directly to the "Alternative Models of Reality" thread, or to the "Alternative Models of Cosmology" thread. Thank you.

Contests Home

Previous Contests

What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
Sponsored by the Fetzer Franklin Fund and The Peter & Patricia Gruber Foundation

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 Fund.

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

Forum Home
Terms of Use

Order posts by:
 chronological order
 most recent first

Posts by the author are highlighted in orange; posts by FQXi Members are highlighted in blue.

By using the FQXi Forum, you acknowledge reading and agree to abide by the Terms of Use

 RSS feed | RSS help

Paul N. Butler: on 1/5/09 at 7:57am UTC, wrote Chris, I am glad to see that you would turn down the first choice, but I...

Chris Kennedy: on 1/3/09 at 16:20pm UTC, wrote Paul, You said: "So, if you are ever offered to be the first man to go to...

Chris Kennedy: on 1/3/09 at 16:12pm UTC, wrote Sherman, Thanks. I like your concern about charge in your essay. What is...

Sherman Jenkins: on 1/1/09 at 17:59pm UTC, wrote You have my vote.

Chris Kennedy: on 1/1/09 at 6:17am UTC, wrote Brian, Thanks for not only reading the essay - but taking the time to...

Paul N. Butler: on 1/1/09 at 4:17am UTC, wrote Chris, Although I was foolish enough when I was young that I smoked for...

Brian Beverly: on 1/1/09 at 0:17am UTC, wrote Chris, I think you deserve a top place within this contest for a couple of...

Chris Kennedy: on 12/31/08 at 1:28am UTC, wrote John, In the tradition of tomorrow becoming yesterday, the day after...


ari saaput: "Pengobatan Penyakit Kencing Nanah Secara medis, Obat Kencing Nanah..." in Summer in Space

ari saaput: "Berikut Kumpulan nama obat antibiotik gonore : ciprofloksasin dapat..." in The LHC rap!

ari saaput: "Antibiotik Obat Kencing Nanah untuk penyakit gonore di apotik dengan yang..." in Is the world made of...

ari saaput: "Keluarnya cairan kuning, Obat Kencing Nanah kehijauan, putih atau bening..." in New Online Course:...

ari saaput: "Oleh karena itu, jangan lupa menerapkan gaya hidup sehat agar terhindar..." in What if string theory is...

ari saaput: "keladi-tikus keladi Tikus Rodent tuber adalah istilah ilmiah bagi keladi..." in Why This Universe?

ari saaput: "Kunyit putih memang terdiri dari 2 jenis, pertama kunyit putih gombyok atau..." in Do we really have free...

peter cameron: "screensnap of the SciMeter thread on Sabine's blog. Point is that it is..." in SciMeter: A New Way to...

click titles to read articles

Usurping Quantum Theory
The search is on for a fundamental framework that allows for even stranger links between particles than quantum theory—which could lead us to a theory of everything.

Fuzzballs v Black Holes
A radical theory replaces the cosmic crunchers with fuzzy quantum spheres, potentially solving the black-hole information paradox and explaining away the Big Bang and the origin of time.

Whose Physics Is It Anyway? Q&A with Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
Why physics and astronomy communities must take diversity issues seriously in order to do good science.

Why Time Might Not Be an Illusion
Einstein’s relativity pushes physicists towards a picture of the universe as a block, in which the past, present, and future all exist on the same footing; but maybe that shift in thinking has gone too far.

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

July 17, 2018

CATEGORY: The Nature of Time Essay Contest (2008) [back]
TOPIC: Is there a physical mechanism responsible for what we perceive as time? by Chris Kennedy [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Chris Kennedy wrote on Nov. 19, 2008 @ 09:36 GMT
Essay Abstract

Can we determine what "time" really is at its most fundamental level? This essay discusses the relative nature of time as a possible clue to understanding what time really is.

Author Bio

Chris Kennedy has worked as a Science Education Consultant for over fifteen years. Additionally, he has ten years experience as a Career and Training Consultant.

Download Essay PDF File

Bookmark and Share

John Merryman wrote on Nov. 19, 2008 @ 17:45 GMT

You are making good argument for a point that has been running through various threads in this debate; Which is that time is an effect of motion, similar to temperature, so that if something affected the level of activity which is generating the unit of duration, it affects the measure of that duration. In Carlo Rovelli's comments, a hotter candle burns faster. Gravity and acceleration work to slow atomic activity because the combined rate of atomic spin and velocity can't exceed C. A photon is timeless because it cannot have any internal motion.

What I've always wondered, is what does that really say about space? It does seem as though space exists as some fixed void which sets the upper limit of velocity.

Bookmark and Share

Chris Kennedy wrote on Nov. 21, 2008 @ 01:29 GMT

Thank you for reading the essay. I just recently discovered this contest and since then have put my effort into completing my essay. Now that it is submitted, I have the “time” to read what others are saying. It looks like you have got the main point (and I think we are in agreement based on what I got from your essay) but I will add this to be sure, since I could have gone on for another 5000 words: I think that time is a macro effect of the most fundamental behaviors among particles, forces and fields. I think these behaviors define time and in fact are time. Now, if the most fundamental behaviors can all be accurately described as motion, then – okay by me. But if some behaviors on the quantum level (maybe in a gray area around uncertainty and entanglement) no longer make sense to be described as motion, then it is safer for me to refer to the fundamental activities as “behaviors.” In either case, committing to that is different than simply using motion to measure time. Because even if time were something other than what I believe it to be, it would still be possible to use motion to measure time and compare times. In other words, if particles, forces and fields existed “in” time in a more passive sense and their behaviors were just a visible symptom of what “time” they existed in due to their local environment, then we could still measure their motion to tell us the rate at which their time is flowing.

I think this contest is great. What a great opportunity to exchange ideas with people who are interested in this and other related issues. My guess is that the next few years will provide some startling answers to some nagging questions. Photons having mass in superconductor experiments – and their similarity to W particles having mass in a Higg’s field will be a concept to keep an eye on after the LHC scientists reports their results.

To answer the space comment – I’m reminded of something a coworker of mine says occasionally: Space exists so that everything doesn’t happen in the same place and time exists so that everything doesn’t happen at once.

Take care,


Bookmark and Share

F. Le Rouge wrote on Nov. 21, 2008 @ 09:42 GMT
Your coworker made a shorter than mine but true demonstration that Einstein's theories are wrong. French Scientists H. Poincaré noticed that the symmmetry which is necessary in 'General Relativity' for making the measurement of 'simultaneity' as Einstein says, this symmetry is based on Space and if Space is 'relative' as the theory is concluding, the measurement of a symmetry is not possible.

H. Poincaré did not go longer in this way like your coworker because he was not clearly understanding what was driving Einstein to this strange ratio of speed (Used by Zeno of Elea to ground exactly the opposite idea 2500 years ago!).

This is the problem around which John Merryman is turning too and I give the answer in my own statement ('Square Wheels or Real Dynamics?').

Therefore Carlo Rovelli is falling from Scylla into Charybdis because changing the speed scale for the temperature scale to avoid metaphysics or cognitive questions is nothing else than an illusion that these two different scales are different. Best proof is that Helmholtz used this thermic scale to study 'gas particles motion/behavior', just because it was more practicle in the case of gas. Why not ‘music scale’? In fact Superstring theory is related to music and Einstein himself made analogies with an organ’s pipes.

It is a very surprising attitude in my opinion to try to avoid the question of the Nature of Time, because of the subjectivity that Time is introducing... without trying to understand from where Einstein's or Quanta Physics' subjectivity is coming from! Because the subjectivity of an 'informational Time' is obvious -see the short but precise statement or our Russian colleague Gunn Quznetsov on this point.

Bookmark and Share

John Merryman wrote on Nov. 22, 2008 @ 01:47 GMT

I can understand why "motion" might be best applied to macro effects and quantum behavior might be less distinct. Here is a thought to consider; There are natives of South America who view the past as in front of them and the future as behind them. This is because their point of reference is the energy, not the observer. So the arrow of time is that an event happens, then it is observed, then the energy goes past the observer. As opposed to our view of the observer as the point of reference, traveling from past events to future events. Put this in the context of Schrodinger's cat; The timeline goes from the quantum event, to the poison, the cat, the door of the box, then the observer. Just as tomorrow becomes yesterday, the future becomes the past. The only reality is the earth rotating.

It is an interesting contest, with a broad range of perspectives. Welcome to the fray.


Bookmark and Share

matthew kolasinski wrote on Nov. 22, 2008 @ 20:23 GMT
Hello Chris,

i enjoyed reading your paper. like you, i'm finding the wide range of perspectives here very rewarding. i've occasionally found myself a little intimidated by the depth of scholarship in some of the work and the mere language involved [thank you for writing in plain English], but it's not possible for one person to know all this stuff and it's the entire body of work here as a whole that i'm finding most interesting.

there's a lot of reading here...

re: gravity and velocity being two distinctly different influences on time, this isn't entirely so. what happens under both gravity and velocity is a change in the mass of matter - energy stored in matter changes and is represented by what we call mass. it has been observed elsewhere here that there is a relationship between mass as it changes with velocity and the metric of time.

Cantor's 'Coherent Space-Time' paper has an interesting modeling of this derived from electrical engineering, ascribing an 'electrical resistance' equivalency to mass. works kind of nice.

thanks for your paper.

re. John's:

"What I've always wondered, is what does that really say about space?"

hey, John.

seems the answer to that depends on what flavor of physics you prefer.

going with Relativity here, which seems to have had the most to say about such things:




-'time' emerges from velocity,



i'll leave you to fill in the blank.

coming to suspect that matter arises from the same source.

and suspecting a potential for a happy resolution of the gravity question between Relativity and QM might be had with a new term for some a priori sort of 'velocity'.

re. Dr. La Rouge's:

"...that Einstein's theories are wrong."

not to dismiss them entirely, they're still extraordinarily 'useful', but without a doubt not without some significant dubiousness as a 'last word'.

Bookmark and Share

matthew kolasinski wrote on Nov. 22, 2008 @ 20:40 GMT
Hello Chris,

oh, PS,

i especially appreciated the notes about the challenges with the GPS satellites; it goes a long way to explaining why my satellite set clock is occasionally off by hours, days, months...

they must have a bunch of druids working double-time or something keeping up with the corrections...


matt kolasinski

Bookmark and Share

John Merryman wrote on Nov. 23, 2008 @ 16:04 GMT

There is the vacuum and there are fluctuations. Dimensions and volume describe the vacuum. Time and temperature describe the fluctuations.

Bookmark and Share

Dr. E (The Real McCoy) wrote on Nov. 23, 2008 @ 21:33 GMT
Hello Chris,

Nice essay!

You ask, "Who knows? At high velocities, different particle behaviors may not all be affected to the exact same degree? An inertial frame which contains all types of particles and their force carriers moving through various fields at near-light velocity, may one day be able to detect its own inertial motion by observing various fundamental behaviors operating...

view entire post

Bookmark and Share

F. Le Rouge wrote on Nov. 24, 2008 @ 17:19 GMT
Einstein's theories are useful indeed in the Hollywood movies for Superheroes to travel in Time like on a Highway.

But other industries, weapon industry for example does use tests to check the new products because the equation that says that Energy is involving mass and speed is a little bit too empty.

Bookmark and Share

Chris Kennedy wrote on Nov. 25, 2008 @ 01:24 GMT
François – What an essay!

It’s not every day that you see someone discussing the limits of relativity through the analysis of Bugs Bunny, Tweety and the Pussycat (who I assume you mean to be Sylvester). And here I thought you guys sat around watching Jerry Lewis movies all day. Man, was I wrong. While we are at it, we could show the limits of Quantum Mechanics by knowing that Sylvester the cat will live before the piano actually falls on his head. This premature collapse of the cat’s wave function is not really allowed, yet somehow we know he will live to see another day in advance of the unfortunate accident. (That is Blanc’s constant.) However, my favorite line from your essay is: Dynamism leaked from this, as the Olympic Games became an absurd competition for a handful of space-time dust.

Are you sure you’re not Jim Morrison? He was last seen in France you know? Anyway, I am doing my best to read as many essays as possible. I know you mentioned Rovelli’s essay – I read it quickly, but to be honest, I need to read it again before I can form some sort of opinion. I do appreciate the Scylla and Charybdis reference though, especially since I haven’t heard it since The Police song - Wrapped Around Your Finger. Some might have a better appreciation for a Rolling Stones: Rock and a Hard Place reference, but not me. Do you have other writings?


Bookmark and Share

Chris Kennedy wrote on Nov. 25, 2008 @ 01:30 GMT

The South American natives you refer to sound familiar? I think I remember running into them a few years from now.


Bookmark and Share

Chris Kennedy wrote on Nov. 25, 2008 @ 01:40 GMT

I liked your essay. A nice job covering the history, physics and philosophy of time. You covered a lot of ground. I read Cantor’s Essay too. Interesting. It hinges on two hidden dimensions though. I may ask him if the velocity simultaneously affects mass and time or if he is proposing that velocity affects mass which in turn affects time?


Bookmark and Share

matthew kolasinski wrote on Nov. 25, 2008 @ 05:15 GMT
Hello Chris,

glad you liked my paper, thank you.

re: Cantor, the two hidden dimensions didn't i didn't find terribly disturbing; while there's a lot that is useful in much of the modeling, none of the models are 'it' - nothing to get all religious about. it was thinking about the data in a different sort of context that seemed very interesting; a different and constructive way of thinking about the dynamics involved.

about his views on the order of chickens and eggs, you'll have to check with him. still thinking about that myself, but at least to say velocity is saying something.

John had cited an article about fluctuations of a vacuum... tiny velocity... where's it come from? it's right on the edge...

and a nagging sense that what adds up to macro 'gravity' needs to not be overlooked in this.

happy hunting,



Bookmark and Share

Chris Kennedy wrote on Nov. 25, 2008 @ 14:23 GMT
Dr. E,

Thanks for reading my essay. I found yours very interesting. Regarding your comments on mine, I’ll say this: If I went on a high-speed journey and brought with me, a suitcase full of muons and other suitcases filled with various unstable particles – would my ultra-high velocity affect all behaviors for these various particles to the same extent? If not, that fact may present itself more clearly if me and all of my particles are moving together as the same system. My muons may live a little longer right before my very eyes (or shorter). I could then turn on a radio in my space ship and hear you singing "Welcome to the Jungle." But if I don’t detect any differences – that does not disprove my theory, it simply means that if my theory is correct then all behaviors are affected equally as they rip through the Higgs field (or whatever) at high velocity. That’s not too much of a stretch considering that any suspected force unification would imply some commonalities anyway. Interestingly – if we become aware of the field we are moving through, but have no way to detect its effect on the particles, forces and fields moving through it, this would mean that Galileo would be right and wrong at the same time. The laws of physics would still appear to be the same for the traveler even though something different is in fact happening.

Regarding your theory: Does this mean that objects accelerated to high velocity are in fact slowing (or coming closer to surfing) with respect to the expanding dimension? If that is true – can you clarify how a gravitational field slows time in your theory?

Take care,


Bookmark and Share

Dr. E (The Real McCoy) wrote on Nov. 25, 2008 @ 16:51 GMT
Hello Chris,

I see what you're saying! You write, "The laws of physics would still appear to be the same for the traveler even though something different is in fact happening."

Yes! For the photon really does not age! A moving clock really does run physically slower!

Now because of all the tautologies that reside in the act of measurement--because the velocity of light is linked to space and time, and the measurement of space and time are linked to the velocity of light--there is no way for an inertial observer to tell immeidately, in their frame, that their clock is running slow. But running slow their clock is! So I agree with you!

All this reality comes from a 3D universe in which the fourth dimension is expanding at the rate of c.

If you look at Einstein's RELATIVITY,

you will see





Ergo x4 = ict, naturally implying MDT's postulate and equation reflecting a hitherto unsung universal invariant: dx4/dt = ic--the fourth dimension is expanding relative to the three spatial dimensions at the rate of c.

How else would one weave change into the fundamental fabric of spacetime (where it has been longing to be, as without change there is no measurement, and thus no physics), unfreezing time and liberating us from the block universe and granting us free will, while also accounting for quantum nonlocality and entanglement, while providing a *physical* mechanism underlying relativity, entropy, and time and all its arrows and assymetries, thusly unifying physical reality with a simple postulate and equation?

Bookmark and Share

Dr. E (The Real McCoy) wrote on Nov. 25, 2008 @ 16:55 GMT
Hello Chris,

Regarding your questions pertaining to MDT: "Regarding your theory: Does this mean that objects accelerated to high velocity are in fact slowing (or coming closer to surfing) with respect to the expanding dimension? If that is true – can you clarify how a gravitational field slows time in your theory?"

Yes! A photon is remaining in one place in the fourth expanding dimension! Thus it is timeless and ageless!

And attached please find a paper in which I "clarify how a gravitational field slows time" in Moving Dimensions Theory.


Dr. E (The Real McCoy)

P.S. And I promise not to replace Axl singing Welcome to The Jungle, no matter what form of entropic fluctuations this universe encounters. :)


Bookmark and Share

F. Le Rouge wrote on Nov. 26, 2008 @ 14:22 GMT
I do appreciate your socratic Irony Mr K., which is the first step of Quantic Metaphysics. Of course I was as serious as possible taking the example of 'strong block time' or 'vacuum space' in Looney Tunes.

To each Science there is an Art corresponding. Look at XVIIth century art and you will see mirrors, circles, illumination, music, algebra (new 'ton' is musical 'tune', not color.

The best correspondence I found for Modern Quanta Physics is Bugs Bunny without any socratic irony.

You are true on the point that I do appreciate authors that Jim Morrison loved too (Ezra Pound for example). But 'Rolling Stones' are of course 'platonists' due to their positive idea of motion.

Bookmark and Share

John Merryman wrote on Nov. 27, 2008 @ 14:43 GMT

I'm not sure how to interpret your response, since the example wasn't about seeing the future, but seeing the past, as we all do, whether it is looking across the room, or across the universe.

Bookmark and Share

Chris Kennedy wrote on Nov. 28, 2008 @ 19:58 GMT
Dr. E,

Thank you for the link to your paper on the role of gravity in your theory. I am reading it and rereading your essay as well. I believe one of your comments about this forum was that you likened it to a poker tournament. I couldn't agree more. Our entire planet could learn some valuable lessons from the world of poker. The poker world is filled with many very gifted and seasoned professionals, but on any given day a relatively unknown player can win at a table full of pros if he is intelligent and knows what to do with decent cards. Poker pros are very aware of that and have enormous respect for that fact. We are fortunate that, like the poker world, this forum has such respect for good ideas that they have made this contest open to the public because on any given day....

Altough I like my theory in the essay I submitted, I am reading as many others as I can with the approach that their ideas could be the best ones that lead us to a better understanding of time. I will give equal consideration to the essays I read (until I find inconsistency within their theory or something in the theory that can not be true based on known evidence). I am going to go through your material very carefully and then try to form some intelligent questions for you. When I do, I will put them on your thread. In the meantime, in the words of Mike Sexton: May all your cards be live, and your pots be monsters.


Bookmark and Share

Chris Kennedy wrote on Nov. 28, 2008 @ 20:24 GMT

To revisit an earlier point of yours: Are you having trouble with some of the arguments because you find inconsistency in the role of subjectivity in time and quantum mechanics? Smolin's book: The Trouble With Physics seems to address this (regarding the quantum part) in the first chapter. For me it sparks some good questions: What would be considered an observer anyway? Can an "event" cause a wavefunction to collapse without the event involving a conscious being considered to be the observer? Why not? What is so important about us?

Oh, and the Rolling Stones? Maybe it is ther positive idea of motion that allows them to gather no moss?


Bookmark and Share

Chris Kennedy wrote on Nov. 28, 2008 @ 20:27 GMT

Everything we see is the past. My comment on the future was a lame attempt at a joke - but anyway, that's all behind me now.


Bookmark and Share

Chris Kennedy wrote on Nov. 29, 2008 @ 16:18 GMT

Good point on "what adds up to be macro gravity." Fqxi could have another contest on "The Nature of Gravity." I have often suspected that gravity is somehow a macro result of effects from strong and/or electromagnetic forces at large distances. Kind of like a "London force" if you will. I remember googling gravity and london force and finding others already discussing that possibility on some physics sites. Wouldn't it be a scream if it were something that simple!


Bookmark and Share

matthew kolasinski wrote on Nov. 29, 2008 @ 21:41 GMT
Hi Chris,

thanks for leaving a note for me; it's getting challenging to keep up with things here, just downloaded 9 more papers, still haven't read all the last batch. efforts at being conscientious here are getting a bit swamped.


"london force... Wouldn't it be a scream if it were something that simple!"

i expect to find gravity so simple as to be 'trivial' as they say in math, nearly to the point of incomprehensibly so. ya, it would be quite a hoot. :-)

an impression that gravity precedes emergence of that from which we derive an impression of time - motion. or is identical with that source. (there was some research in 2001 or 02, suggesting that gravity extends in time, accounting for the low apparent force when greater strength might be expected - which, while not mentioned in the research, also suggests it emerges before what we typically call 'time' - i'll see if i can find the notes on that if you're interested.)

could london force be found also in a vacuum fluctuation?

it may seem overly simplistic, but i'm actually very partial to Steven Abram's treatment of gravity in "absolutely - the nature of time and beyond?" while the 'cause' may not be entirely accurate, the depiction of the process works wonderfully, at least to my thinking. lol, that may not be saying much.

ya, gravity would be a good topic. :-)

i suspect it should have come before time as a topic - gravity is what produces the geometric framework which so shapes our perception of time...

london force... hm.

fun :-)



matt k.

Bookmark and Share

John Merryman wrote on Nov. 30, 2008 @ 02:52 GMT

"My sense of humor gets a little crazy sometimes."

My sense of reality seems to be crazy all the time. That's why I'm never quite sure what to make of other people, as I assume they are in similar situations. Some of us tend to surf the same wave, so life seems normal, while some of us are buffeted by lots of different waves and just get beat to a semi-comatose state. I'm sort of half way inbetween.

"But anyway, if you enjoy investigating the philosophical nature of time as much the physical nature, you may enjoy Krishnamurti. He has a few books out there that are discussions about time with David Bohm. I don't agree with all of it, and some of it is hard to follow, but there is some value there and it certainly provokes other interesting questions."

Sounds an interesting read. Though my reading time is fragmented at best and my ADD has been exacerbated by the internet. Due to limited time, I'm not a big fan of complexity, for complexities sake. It really has to be method for making an essential point, otherwise it adds to my confusion, rather than clears it up. That why I tried to keep my own essay as short and focused as possible.

Bookmark and Share

F. Le Rouge wrote on Nov. 30, 2008 @ 18:33 GMT
- Event IS the wavefunction. Event is made of informational Time (and informational Space deduced from this informational Time). The same for the blocks used by Carlo Rovelli, Douglas Bundy or Garrett Lisi to try to strenghten the Quanta Theory.

- To sum up my French opinion is that Pacific Ocean is not both wave and water but just water. It is your romantic love for poetry and irony that makes you, Mr K., think that putting the wave on one side is a shame and the comparison of Einstein with Loney Tunes too.

- My opinion is therefore that if you think that Poetry or Subjectivity is part of Physics you must study subjective ideas from where your own subjectivity is coming. Don't you think it is the minimum? In this case, Newton's, H. More, C. Huygens and R. Descartes are concerned, before Einstein, Planck, Bohr or Riemann who inheritated of XVIIth century's Metaphysics. Studying this Metaphysics I am surprised to see that Newton has different subjective ideas of Space in different theories.

Bookmark and Share

Dr. E (The Real McCoy) wrote on Dec. 2, 2008 @ 17:29 GMT
Hello Chris,

Love your words! "Thank you for the link to your paper on the role of gravity in your theory. I am reading it and rereading your essay as well. I believe one of your comments about this forum was that you likened it to a poker tournament. I couldn't agree more. Our entire planet could learn some valuable lessons from the world of poker. The poker world is filled with many very...

view entire post

Bookmark and Share

F. Le Rouge wrote on Dec. 4, 2008 @ 16:26 GMT
What are Scientists doing since the XVIIth with binary Geometry in which Time factor is essential: they are not trying to understand the Universe and the Matter: they are creating it! Their ideology is becoming stronger than the real world. They think their ideology is 'beautiful' because it is symmetric: but Nature is not symmetric! Empire State Building or Eiffel Tower are symmetric.

Even if Smolin and Rovelli do not believe that much that Time is anything more than a conventional binary scale, they although will to keep it: it is Fetishism!

The emergent paradoxes of XVIIth century Algebraic Science are unsolved dualisms of today. I make the proof on my forum but I am afraid that it is too politically uncorrect for Anglo-Saxon Scientists.

Bookmark and Share

Chris Kennedy wrote on Dec. 7, 2008 @ 21:43 GMT

I'm not even sure if you would consider me an Anglo-Saxon since I was born in the US and am half Italian and half Irish. But I can tell you that every time I attend an Italian wedding reception, I am thankful that I am half Irish and every year I attend the St. Patrick's Day Parade to remind myself how fortunate I am that I am half Italian. You come across as someone who is a little worried that certain viewpoints pertaining to time, gravity, strings, symmetry are going to be considered more credible than others based on the professions of those discussing them? I think that this site is proof that no group has a monopoly on the truth. It belongs to you as much as it belongs to Rovelli and some of the others you often mention. If the "wrong" theory of gravity or time becomes adopted by the scientific mainstream, that doesn't mean that you or I have to go along with it. I think that all interested parties have been given an opportunity to voice their opinions and when it is all over - whatever the result, like minded people should stay in touch to expand upon and improve their theories.


Bookmark and Share

Buck wrote on Dec. 13, 2008 @ 15:47 GMT
Hello CJ, Thank you for the kind words. What I understand of the approach you and John share regarding motion is intriguing. I also appreciate your struggle to find the best, safest descriptors by your suggestion of “behaviors”. I look forward to reading your essay, after I post a defense of FTL research. This was recently challenged as an unjustifiably fanciful goal.

While doing that and getting to your essay, I would like to pose the same question to you that I did for John: if your theory is correct, how would observations or theory be different than block time and/or other alternatives?

Bookmark and Share

Chris Kennedy wrote on Dec. 16, 2008 @ 00:03 GMT
Hi Buck (and John),

The best way I can convey how my view of time compares to other theories is to show you what I recently wrote to Carlo Rovelli on his thread:


You argue that the origin of time variable features are not mechanical, rather – emergent at the thermodynamical level. Do you have any thoughts as to how velocity or gravity affect the time...

view entire post

Bookmark and Share

John Merryman wrote on Dec. 16, 2008 @ 22:52 GMT

"Let’s take a system with all of its fundamental behaviors and increase its velocity. These behaviors slow down. If the behaviors themselves “are” time and then become altered as a consequence of their increased velocity- then we need to revisit special relativity. Something is happening on the physical level that we currently don’t have a description for."

This may not be what you are looking for, or you already know it; What seems to be happening is that the internal atomic activity slows so the combination of velocity and spin not exceed C. A photon is "timeless" because it has no internal activity.

In a sense, it is the relationship between time and temperature, if the rate of activity is increased, the temperature is higher and time is faster.

Bookmark and Share

Chris Kennedy wrote on Dec. 17, 2008 @ 01:42 GMT

Yes we could say for the sake of arguement the photon is timeless and let's use your words: The internal atomic activity slows. Why is it slowing? is it proceeding at the same velocity, but in a slower time? Or is it physically slowing down and therefore expressing a slower time as time. I think I know what side you are on for that answer. My point is that if any observed behavior slows down as a result of increased velocity, and we agree that the motion, or thermal activity or behavior is in itself time and is not in need of some unseen dimension to define time, then good luck trying to keep Galileo's principle and Special Relativity in tact!

Also - I'm not sure what you mean when you are distinguishing micro and macro motion or behavior. If I alter macro motion within a system, it may not necessarily dilate time, but if I alter the most fundamental behavior responsible for a particle's time, I will dilate time. I'll go back to my favorite example: The muon. There is a fundamental activity taking place in the muon that gives it a life of about 2.2 microseconds. What is the particular activity that, during high velocity slows down to extend it's life beyond 2.2? That's the big question here! If I'm an Einsteinian - I'll just simply read you a couple of pages out of the Special Relativity handbook and think I've got the whole thing figured out and look at you funny if you are still asking questions after that. However, if I realize that time is a result of motion, behavior, etc. without a time "dimension" then I have to investigate a physical cause and effect elationship.

Bookmark and Share

John Merryman wrote on Dec. 17, 2008 @ 17:47 GMT

While my knowledge is from 25 years ago, the basic explanation seems to be that the electron spins around the nucleus at a fairly high rate of speed. So if the atom is moving in a particular direction, the velocity of the entire atom combined with the internal motion of the electron, on the part of its rotation in the same direction, can't exceed C. This may well apply to internal functions of the nucleus as well. That the velocity through space isn't considered an aspect of time, only the internal functioning, is an issue which leaves unanswered questions, but we play by the rules, if we want to play at all.

I think there is another question raised as to the nature of space and whether there is some absolute state, or vacuum which does determine C, as well as some other questions, but its another issue entirely and one that only raises more ire among physicists, so I'm trying to limit my efforts to what I think is a far simpler issue, that of time.

Bookmark and Share

Paul N. Butler wrote on Dec. 19, 2008 @ 05:39 GMT

Re: your Dec. 16, 2008 post.

You are on the right track. Time is a relationship between the quantity of motion that a motion contains (its motion amplitude) or in simple terms how fast it is going and the distance through which it travels. Once you understand the structure of the dimensional system in which motion entities and extended motion structures (energy photons, matter particles, etc.) exist you can understand that quantum effects result primarily from the characteristics of the dimensional interfaces that exist between the dimensions in the dimensional system and the way that motions interact through these interfaces to generate extended motion structures and their interactions. When these things are taken into consideration, all basic motions (those that are beneath the level of the quantum effects and generate those effects through the dimensional interfaces) can be considered analog in nature. Cause and effect relationships are also restored without any ambiguity or the need to resort to probabilities or chance happenings because the variables that cause quantum effects are then known and can be compensated for to determine the actual outcome that will occur in any interaction.

I like your question of how time (or a flow of it) could be expressed if all entities that exist in space are removed. The answer is that it couldn’t exist let alone be expressed. This is because time requires the existence of two things to allow it to exist. The first is space (distance) for motion to travel through. This would still exist if you removed all energy photons, matter particles, etc. because it is part of the dimensional system. The second is motion to travel through the distance or space to generate time. If you removed all motion you would not only be removing time from existence, you would also remove all energy photons, matter particles, etc. from existence because they are completely composed of motions. The opposite is also true.

You can’t get a much narrower place to start with than T=D/R where T=time, D=distance, and R=rate or motion amplitude. It does take much building to get the complete picture, however.

Bookmark and Share

John Merryman wrote on Dec. 20, 2008 @ 12:45 GMT

(Hi Paul)

Another useful analogy is the noise to signal ratio, where temperature(motion amplitude) is the noise and time is the signal. An interesting point this raises is that what might be noise to one perspective, could be signal to another perspective. On what we perceive as the most basic levels, we, as similar creatures, likely agree what is signal and what is noise, but the holographic effect suggests there could be realities imbedded in the same dimensions we inhabit, but could be perceived entirely differently. As a model, political, ideological, dare I say religious, even differences between the sexes, as well as simply different perspectives of reality by different individuals, mean our interpretations of the signals and the noise are different. The assumption by many people is there is some layer where the same interpretation applies across all perspectives, be it a TOE, or God, etc. My impression is that is like peeling an onion and by the time you remove all layers, there is nothing left. Empty space. ?

Bookmark and Share

Chris Kennedy wrote on Dec. 23, 2008 @ 17:38 GMT

I like your comment:

Cause and effect relationships are also restored without any ambiguity or the need to resort to probabilities or chance happenings because the variables that cause quantum effects are then known and can be compensated for to determine the actual outcome that will occur in any interaction.

But, I think even if we are able to theorize enough info about a cause to predetermine an effect - I'm not sure we will have the necessary data to be able to correctly predict some effects and therefore they would continue to be described as probabilities. I can't imagine hitting a proton 9 ball with a proton cueball and knowing in advance that it would go in the side pocket for that individual shot? In any event it seems like we both appreciate investigating fundamental behaviors to determine which ones might be responsible for what we see as time.


Bookmark and Share

Paul N. Butler wrote on Dec. 23, 2008 @ 23:43 GMT
Chris, and John,

The idea of looking at time as a signal is a good one. A signal transmits or moves information from one place (the transmitter) to another place (the receiver). In our world, all signals are in the form of motion. This makes sense because the purpose of the signal is to transfer (move) information through space (a distance) from the transmitter to the receiver. The...

view entire post

Bookmark and Share

Paul N. Butler wrote on Dec. 24, 2008 @ 07:05 GMT

Thank you.

You are right that the ability to control the interaction between two protons to the degree that one could always predetermine the outcome will not likely come to this world very soon. This is because it is not only necessary to posses an advanced level of fifth vector structuring technology knowledge, but one must also develop many other technologies to allow one to actually process structures on the individual particle size scale with that level of accuracy. I am currently mainly providing basic fourth vector concepts. I once estimated that it would take man approximately twenty-three to twenty-nine years to obtain the first basic practical results from that technology transfer, but that was when I was first beginning my testing phase and was much more optimistic than I now am. A relatively advanced level of fourth vector technology must first be developed to meet the base structural threshold level to allow fifth vector structuring technology to begin to be developed in any safe and useful

Bookmark and Share

Paul N. Butler wrote on Dec. 24, 2008 @ 07:12 GMT

My last post got cut off during transfer. The following is the rest of it.

way. There are, of course, many mechanical and information control technologies that must also be developed. The basic concept is that when you cause a matter structure in one fifth vector structural level to transfer to the next lower level by removing sufficient fifth vector velocity, it will appear in that lower level as an entity much smaller than the matter particles in that level. If at that stage it interacts with a matter particle in the lower level, it can gain detailed information about the structural phasing positions, etc. of the particle’s fourth and fifth vector motions. This information can either be extracted from the transferred matter structure in the lower level or the structure can be returned back to the higher level for data extraction. The end result is that the particles can be made to interact at the point where given known desired phasing conditions are met so that the interaction outcome can be predetermined. That is about the limit of detail that I will go into in that subject at this time because it would not be beneficial for man to know details at this time that could be used to cause great destruction either inadvertently due to lack of other knowledge or purposely by those who are unstable as many are in this world at present. If you can stick around for two to three hundred years, however, I am sure someone will then be able to describe the process to you in detail.

Bookmark and Share

Chris Kennedy wrote on Dec. 26, 2008 @ 17:28 GMT

I know there is some flexiblilty regarding which way we approach the time question (physical-cosmological vs. philosophical-psychological)but I have willingly chosen to avoid discussing the nature of time that includes our perception as part of the equation. That's why your essay (even though it is very short) is still one of my favorites. It gets to a point very quickly - and I agree with your point about the relationship between energy, motion and time. Not that I don't find some of the philosophical aspects of time and space fascinating - but I prefer to stay on one road until January 1st. Maybe after that I could jump in that part of the conversation somewhere on the fqxi site or another forum? Let me know. I have read many of your posting on other threads and I can see you have a lot of great ideas. Due to the holidays (family, get togethers etc..), I may not be on many more times in our last week here but I would definitely like to keep a dialogue going.


Bookmark and Share

Chris Kennedy wrote on Dec. 26, 2008 @ 17:48 GMT

Thanks for the offer but in spite of the fact that I don't smoke or eat red meat - two hundred years is pushing it.


Bookmark and Share

John Merryman wrote on Dec. 28, 2008 @ 16:40 GMT

Keep in mind that 'tomorrow becomes yesterday because the earth rotates' is an observation, not a theory. Are there any other submissions that can make that claim as definitively? I realize I don't draw between the lines enough to be taken seriously, but think the point should be taken into account. The unknown becomes the known. Everyone else seems to be basing their ideas on the assumption time is a dimension along which reality travels from past to future and it gets exponentially complicated. Complexity isn't proof.

Of course, it would be entirely fair if no one votes for me, as I managed to lose my code # and can't vote for anyone.

See you after New Years!



Bookmark and Share

Chris Kennedy wrote on Dec. 31, 2008 @ 01:28 GMT

In the tradition of tomorrow becoming yesterday, the day after tomorrow will eventually become today and this year will become last year. Good luck - and see you on the other side.


Bookmark and Share

Brian Beverly wrote on Jan. 1, 2009 @ 00:17 GMT

I think you deserve a top place within this contest for a couple of reasons:

1) You breakdown the big ideas of relativity and explain them so a layman with no knowledge of physics can get it:

"The first postulate was that Galileo’s principle of relativity would be preserved."

"His other postulate states that the velocity of light should be considered constant, regardless of the velocity of the light source."

"This created a paradox because Einstein had already committed the traveler’s time to run slower than the rancher’s for the entire journey." [They both see the other's time as slower]

"One way is to try to show that something is happening for the traveler during his inertial motion that is not happening for the rancher."

"They would each experience a slowdown from the perspective of the other, so then what happened to the traveler that didn’t happen to the rancher? Answer: he accelerated."

"Einstein equates the acceleration that the traveler experiences (as his train slows down and turns around and reaccelerates toward his stationary friend) as being the lower position in a gravitational field."

2) You get the importance of quantum physics and that quantum mechanical laws lead to the nature of time.

"What if, for example, the true mechanism for “time” is something as simple as the playing out of a bunch of fundamental behaviors on the subatomic level?"

"What if time is nothing more than a bunch of electrons, quarks, W particles, gluons, muons and more, engaging in their fundamental behaviors because there exists the energy to do so? And what if these fundamental behaviors play out in part because of the fields that these particles are swimming in. There are fields that go along for the ride, such as electric fields, and there are fields that may not be along for the ride, like the proposed Higgs field. There could also be other fields that we don’t know about. What if particles that are increasing velocity through fixed fields and dragging their own fields along are somehow affecting the rate in which their fundamental behaviors can occur?"

Thank you! After reading your paper I hope everyone will start to understand “time” in the proper context.

In regard to your comment on my forum involving relativity I have a much easier answer. Acceleration is the second derivative with respect to time d^2/dt^2 = acceleration. The Schrodinger equation is first order with respect to time, d/dt and therefore a non-relativistic equation. The relativistic Klein-Gordon and Dirac equations are second order with respect to time. My idea is “space” changing and I believe the change in the rate of that changing space would alter the probability for the measured collapse. This means at the very least relativity is not prohibited but encouraged.

Thank you for the essay,

Brian Beverly

Bookmark and Share

Paul N. Butler wrote on Jan. 1, 2009 @ 04:17 GMT

Although I was foolish enough when I was young that I smoked for awhile, I have now grown out of that, so I agree with you about not smoking, but I must admit that I do still like to eat smoked red meat. You might live longer if only the amounts of each pure nutrient that your body requires is automatically pumped into you, but it’s not worth it. The quality of life is also important along with the quantity and the food in this world is one of the better earthly pleasures to enjoy as long as it is done with some moderation, so you can remain in good physical condition. So, if you are ever offered to be the first man to go to Mars and you are told that you will have to live for an extended time on a food pack injection system in order to minimize weight and waste generation or if you are offered a position as a soldier and told that you will have to use a food pack continuous injection system to always keep your physical abilities and mental acuity at the maximum for combat, remember to turn the offer down, especially the second offer as combat can also be hazardous to health and long life. The other option if you can’t wait two hundred years is to try to figure it out for yourself. I have given enough information in my paper and elsewhere to give you a good head start, but if you do figure it out, I would not recommend that you try to give it out to others. Not only would it be just a waste of time, it could also result in other undesirable consequences. Everything has its appropriate time. I have found it to be good to know as much as possible about the world that we live in and it is ok to possess knowledge that is out of the current time’s allowance as long as you keep it to yourself, but everything that you do externally out of time will not take hold and will only cause you sorrow and possible losses to you and the ones around you. It is a hard lesson to learn though. Most can only accept it through experience.

Bookmark and Share

Chris Kennedy wrote on Jan. 1, 2009 @ 06:17 GMT

Thanks for not only reading the essay - but taking the time to connect the dots. Regarding your last comment about acceleration - I will say that it is a very interesting part of the relativistic journey. If we view acceleration as dilating time in the exact same way as inertial motion (with the only difference being instantaneous velocity changes along the way thus giving a portion of the journey that has time dilating as its dilation rate is also changing) then the mechanism (or lack thereof) is the same as the one for the inertial part of the trip. This won't undo the symmetry needed to explain the ultimate clock difference upon reunification. And if we consider the acceleration as providing dilation by a different mechanism than inertial velocity (and therefore the same mechanism as gravity via equivalence principle) then that model also falls apart as it is not consistent with specific conditions Einstein established in 1911. So in the end, yes - the time dilation part of relativity is not only encouraged but we can all agree that it is a fact. But Einstein's step by step explanation of how the dilation happens with a mix of inertial and acceleration effects, does not survive detailed analysis.

Good luck and happy new year. I know we are at the voting deadline but I assume the threads will still be active for a while for continued discussion? I hope so.


Bookmark and Share

Sherman Jenkins wrote on Jan. 1, 2009 @ 17:59 GMT
You have my vote.

Bookmark and Share

Chris Kennedy wrote on Jan. 3, 2009 @ 16:12 GMT

Thanks. I like your concern about charge in your essay. What is the smallest "unit" of charge and why that value? It's a key piece of the puzzle that still has some unanswered questions. I once thought it would be better to change the scale so that each electron would be assigned a (- 3) charge but then I thought of all the poor high school chemistry students trying to solve oxidation states on final exams and figured I better keep my mouth shut.

Thanks again.


Bookmark and Share

Chris Kennedy wrote on Jan. 3, 2009 @ 16:20 GMT

You said: "So, if you are ever offered to be the first man to go to Mars and you are told that you will have to live for an extended time on a food pack injection system in order to minimize weight and waste generation or if you are offered a position as a soldier and told that you will have to use a food pack continuous injection system to always keep your physical abilities and mental acuity at the maximum for combat, remember to turn the offer down."

I say: Thanks for the advice. I refuse to be the first person to visit Mars. I will probably wait until there are enough people there to open a restaurant. Can you imagine the reviews the resturant would get? Here's a possible one: Great food - Lousy atmosphere.


Bookmark and Share

Paul N. Butler wrote on Jan. 5, 2009 @ 07:57 GMT

I am glad to see that you would turn down the first choice, but I noticed that you didn’t say that you would turn down the second choice to become a soldier. Do you have a hidden desire there? I suppose whether the restaurant would have a Lousy atmosphere would depend on whether you are talking about the air (that is my guess) or the scenery, etc. There are some great views at various points around the great canyon that would be good for a restaurant’s atmosphere in the other sense, for example. They would have to pump up the air pressure and raise its temperature, etc. to fix the other atmosphere problem I guess.

Bookmark and Share

Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Please enter your e-mail address:
Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.