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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.

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

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

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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.

March 17, 2018

CATEGORY: The Nature of Time Essay Contest (2008) [back]
TOPIC: The Riddle of Time: R = t by L Riofrio [refresh]
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L Riofrio wrote on Dec. 2, 2008 @ 14:46 GMT
Essay Abstract

Though time is central to our lives, its nature has been a riddle. Einstein's Relativity considered space and time as one phenomenon, where the conversion factor is the speed of light. Observations showed that the Universe expands with time. This can be expressed as R = t. Cosmology and thermodynamics are two arrows of time. Solving their riddles could be simple as M = t, a matter of time.

Author Bio

L. Riofrio's education is in physics and astronomy. Time and cosmology have been interests since childhood. The author's position is Scientist at Johnson Spaceflight Center in Houston, Texas. Present research prepares for settlement of the Moon.

Download Essay PDF File

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Marni D. Sheppeard wrote on Dec. 2, 2008 @ 19:56 GMT
Great sense of timing, Louise! And good luck.

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Ryan Westafer wrote on Dec. 2, 2008 @ 20:04 GMT

If you're referring to the Dec. 2 posts, perhaps these authors are traveling backward in time... their future is our past. This way, their Nov. 30 appears to be our Dec. 2.

I was hoping the new essays would stop arriving; there is so much to read!


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Carl Brannen wrote on Dec. 2, 2008 @ 22:03 GMT
Jeez Louise! I was beginning to think you weren't going to be writing up an essay. The contest has been open since August.

I'm busily typing up a submission for Foundations of Physics for the flat space gravity that is related to your cosmology.

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Brian Beverly wrote on Dec. 3, 2008 @ 02:43 GMT
I enjoyed your essay it was thought provoking and you covered nearly every aspect of time. My only question involves the equation R = t. It is referred to as distance in your paper but has no other variables or constants to give the correct units. R = t is a trivial equation and would be unable to account for inflation or the acceleration in the expansion of the universe. The change in the expansion of the universe would be dR/dt and dR/dt = 1, a constant. I don't know if I'm being naive and R is something more complicated, I'm not a cosmologist.

If I said H |PSI> = E |PSI> is a trivial equation by rewriting it as H = E I would be wrong. My apologies if my R = t question is something similar.

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matthew kolasinski wrote on Dec. 3, 2008 @ 04:12 GMT
hello Dr. Riofrio,

thanks for the Tolkien quote.



matt kolasinski

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Dr. E (The Real McCoy) wrote on Dec. 3, 2008 @ 04:21 GMT
Hello Dr. RioFrio!

Enjoyed your essay! You write, "Einstein's Relativity considered space and time as one phenomenon, where the conversion factor is the speed of light."

Einstein wrote x4 = ict, implying that the fourth dimension is expanidng relative to the three spatial dimensions, or dx4/dt=ic. We must always remember both the i and the c in ict, and assess their *physical* significance.

You would enjoy my paper! Time as an Emergent Phenomenon: Traveling Back to the Heroic Age of Physics by Elliot McGucken

"In his 1912 Manuscript on Relativity, Einstein never stated that time is the fourth dimension, but rather he wrote x4 = ict. The fourth dimension is not time, but ict. Despite this, prominent physicists have oft equated time and the fourth dimension, leading to un-resolvable paradoxes and confusion regarding time’s physical nature, as physicists mistakenly projected properties of the three spatial dimensions onto a time dimension, resulting in curious concepts including frozen time and block universes in which the past and future are omni-present, thusly denying free will, while implying the possibility of time travel into the past, which visitors from the future have yet to verify. Beginning with the postulate that time is an emergent phenomenon resulting from a fourth dimension expanding relative to the three spatial dimensions at the rate of c, diverse phenomena from relativity, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics are accounted for. Time dilation, the equivalence of mass and energy, nonlocality, wave-particle duality, and entropy are shown to arise from a common, deeper physical reality expressed with dx4/dt=ic. This postulate and equation, from which Einstein’s relativity is derived, presents a fundamental model accounting for the emergence of time, the constant velocity of light, the fact that the maximum velocity is c, and the fact that c is independent of the velocity of the source, as photons are but matter surfing a fourth expanding dimension. In general relativity, Einstein showed that the dimensions themselves could bend, curve, and move. The present theory extends this principle, postulating that the fourth dimension is moving independently of the three spatial dimensions, distributing locality and fathering time. This physical model underlies and accounts for time in quantum mechanics, relativity, and statistical mechanics, as well as entropy, the universe’s expansion, and time’s arrows."

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F. Le Rouge wrote on Dec. 3, 2008 @ 12:30 GMT
-Time is central in our lives;

-Nature of Time has been a riddle;

-Einstein's relativity considered time and space as one phenomenon;


These are not scientific ideas but religious ideas or Faith. Because:

-One can decide that Time is central, but one can decide not to pay attention at it too much.

-A riddle? What does that mean? From VIth B.-C. and may be more, many different positive answers have been given to this supposed 'riddle' and one cannot make in a sentence Einstein's subjective idea of Time a concrete fact.

-Einstein's relativity does not state anything by itself and Einstein himself had many doubts and said for example that his intuition was that the Universe was spheric.

What is central in my life is that Matter is not only 'a phenomenon' and that 'phenomenon' is often a word for what one cannot explain.

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J. Smith wrote on Dec. 3, 2008 @ 15:59 GMT
I suppose that the restricted vote to your "paper" is a false count due to the background noise affecting this crowdy contest.

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Count Iblis wrote on Dec. 4, 2008 @ 02:59 GMT
J. Smith,

It is not background noise as that would be completely uncorrelated . Marni Dee Sheppeard and Louise Riofrio are good friends and their essays both got 1 restricted vote. Coincidence? :)

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Anonymous wrote on Dec. 4, 2008 @ 22:54 GMT
No, it's not a coincidence, LOL. They didn't vote for each other's essays, at least not yet.

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