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FQXi FORUM
January 18, 2018

CATEGORY: The Nature of Time Essay Contest (2008) [back]
TOPIC: Time Is Local by Sandra E. Baron [refresh]
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Sandra E. Baron wrote on Dec. 3, 2008 @ 11:56 GMT
Essay Abstract

Time is a local background created for and by processes. In the quantum realm, the concept of local does not always hold. That is why the concept of time doesn’t always hold.

Author Bio

Sandra Baron is a biologist with a research emphasis on rare plants. She has a BA in Biology from UC Santa Cruz and an MA in Biology from San Jose State University. She has had a lifelong interest in theoretical physics and all things science, and created a blog for her musings at physicsmuse.wordpress.com

Download Essay PDF File




Iacob Suteu wrote on Dec. 5, 2008 @ 14:22 GMT
To quote you:

"Time is easy to track in the macro world, but it is not so easy at quantum scales. Where

the quantum and macro worlds interact, the quantum parts seem to get dragged along (in

time) with the macro object or process. If time is local, than there will always be a

complex web of local times associated with parts of systems, similar to the complex web

of gravitation between things. These webs may be too complex to crack."

What do you mean by: "the quantum parts seem to get dragged along (in time) with the macro object or process" ?



H.Tin replied on Oct. 18, 2010 @ 04:31 GMT
Sandra said,

"I’ve always thought about time as something that orders and separates events the way space separates objects. It may be possible to go a step further and say that relationships between things create space, and relationships between and within events create time."

What you have written is very similar to what Buddhists have said over 2500 years ago in Abhidhammatha-Sangaha, translated by Shwe Zan Aung in his essay and notes, and edited by Mrs. Rhys Davids in Compendium of Philosophy. One needs to understand the Book called Pathana or Conditional Relations as well.

Space is a permanent concept by which, the mind is enabled to distinguish objects in external perception. What space is to matter time is to mind. Time is the concept by which first and foremost, mental states are distinguished in internal intuition.It is the sine qua non of the succession of these mental states. Time and space are both regarded as subjective elements.




Sandra wrote on Dec. 5, 2008 @ 18:45 GMT
Good question. It was just a reflection on the fact that events seem to happen smoothly without apparent conflicts at different scales. If we scale down from macro to quantum, do we ever see parts left behind, or jumping ahead of the whole? Maybe we do, and that is the quantum time problem. I thought that the quantum elements studied by physicist are generally independent particles or particle collisions. Has anyone tracked an event through time at two or more scales to look for temporal inconsistencies?




Sandra wrote on Dec. 6, 2008 @ 16:00 GMT
Logically, either the local times of the parts of the system have to “add up” to the local time of the system, OR the parts would be in different times relative to the system. But, is this really a problem? If there is no flow of time “out there” no background time, then even if the times of the parts do not “add up” to the time of the whole, if each part is in it own “now” that wouldn’t necessarily cause any conflicts, logical or otherwise.




Suteu Iacob wrote on Dec. 8, 2008 @ 06:46 GMT
In the comment "Sandra wrote on Dec. 5, 2008 @ 18:45 GMT" you have wrote:

"If we scale down from macro to quantum, do we ever see parts left behind, or jumping ahead of the whole? Maybe we do, and that is the quantum time problem. I thought that the quantum elements studied by physicist are generally independent particles or particle collisions. Has anyone tracked an event through time at two or more scales to look for temporal inconsistencies?"

My opinion regarding this is that we can't see any parts left behind or parts that are jumping ahead, because when we measure a particle we see a "frozen frame" of that time from which we can't even predict how the particle will behave in the next fraction of time.

I think that the differences between the macro world and the micro world (subatomic) is that in the first one we can predict how a body will behave, but in the subatomic one if we can't even predict the next position of a moving particle in the next fraction of time, because every time we measure the particle we change its state.




Brian Beverly wrote on Dec. 11, 2008 @ 06:18 GMT
Your essay was very well written. I agree with your philosophy that time is change and I also think time must be considered locally in QM. Although I'm not sure I follow the logic that leads to your conclusions. The arrow of time in the macroworld is due to entropy. In the microworld "measuring" is a touchy word. To describe the state of a system there must be a complete set of commuting observables (CSCO) otherwise physicists run into uncertainty principles. Temporal inconsistencies do occur and often push the science forward like the time reversal violation of the kaon.




Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 15, 2008 @ 05:52 GMT
Dear Sandra,

I liked your essay, with your arguments for time being local. The “complex web of local times associated with parts of systems”, as well as the subtle suggestion of fractal time, are very interesting.

Best wishes,

Cristi Stoica

Flowing with a Frozen River




S. Baron wrote on Dec. 16, 2008 @ 15:43 GMT
Thank you Brian and Cristi for your kind words. I am honored that you read my essay. Brian, regarding the arrow of time due to entropy, I have a big problem with that. I have no issues with the second law of thermodynamics, I just feel that physicists apply it too broadly, to the whole universe for example. It is a huge leap from "the entropy of a closed system never increases" to the idea that the universe started out in a high entropy state and is evolving to a lower one and that creates an arrow of time. I must also mention that the examples that perfectly good physicists use to illustrate entropy - the falling cup, the scrambled egg, are not really examples are they? The cup was pushed!




amrit wrote on Dec. 17, 2008 @ 15:29 GMT
DEar Sandra, you say:

and relationships between and within events create time

i would say: relationships between and within events create motion and material change that we experience into time that is a mind model.

yours amrit

attachments: 2_6._Consciousness_As_A_Research_Tool_Into_Space_And_Time.pdf, 2_Physics_Without_Time_as_a_Fundamental_Physical_Reality__sorli_2008.pdf




Jayakar Johnson Joseph wrote on Jan. 18, 2009 @ 11:38 GMT
When time is local it is relative. Thereby the Time travel is assigned to study the relativity of space and time. Eventually we have ended with grandfather paradox. I think, we may have to work further on, ‘Travel of time-travel’ to determine time on assuming that all matters of the Universe are on relative motion.

Jayakar




Anonymous wrote on May. 17, 2010 @ 13:26 GMT
Time is local... that much is for sure, but i don't agree its an indication that time can somehow be treated on different footings given the data. Time is an invariant of space, it cannot choose when it operates and when it doesn't.

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Astro wrote on May. 17, 2010 @ 13:30 GMT
I meant to also say, that even though time is inavariant, time may not even exist at all outside our measurements. In fact, the Wheeler de Witt equation states that evolution for a universe happens with no duration of time, and so no evolution or changing of energy is seen from the equation.

Fotini Markopoulou showed in her essay that this may be a statement about being inside the universe, or thus, a statement about ourselves. I tend to agree with this, because if we apply time as a perceptionary phenomena, then the two statements work equally hand-in-hand. Time is local, local because it is relative to the observer!




narsep wrote on Jun. 30, 2010 @ 08:45 GMT
Let us suppose that our "space universe" is an unchanged sphere and our perception is a slice that is moving from the one pole to the other. In this case, Time is relative to the observer (whose conceivable "space universe" is flat).

If we examine the whole "space universe" (the sphere) then it is obvious that the "space universe" is static and Time has no meaning.

In our "space universe" the slice is moving in quantum steps and even more in between two quantum steps everything is connected (and interrelated to) everything (through a nonspace dimension).

Is Time local then (even for the observer)? I' m afraid NO.




Mark C wrote on Jan. 28, 2011 @ 04:10 GMT
Time is local, but it is wider and deeper than that alone. With the work I have been doing on the nature of time from the perspective of theoretical sociophysics time can best be understood as the emergent from the interaction of spacetime, meantime and placetime. Within these three elements of time, 'meantime' is the local, with placetime the regional time around us, human recorded and potential...

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wilton.alano@gmail.com wrote on Nov. 14, 2011 @ 22:22 GMT
The major question is "What is time, exactly?" Answered this question, every other relative one is easy to be got.

Time means that matter is moving. Time is an aspect of energy, synonymous of energy action (motion).

Time 'elapses' means that matter is spinning, moving etc.. In an hypothetical not energized 'system' no time is elapsed.

So, time is synonymous of motion, micro or macro, it doesn't matter.

Time is one face of energy, which is motion.

So, time is motion. Its transition means that CHANGES are hapening into nature, all time. Means that moving corpses or particles are changing their spatial position and so the entire world.

So, time means CHANGE also!




tony colocci wrote on Nov. 3, 2014 @ 09:04 GMT
The chair I am sitting on will exist regardless if or not there is a consciousness to witness its existence. On the other hand if there were no consciousness it is reasonable to assume that time would not exist since there would be no one to acknowledge time. Time does not have a separate external existence to ourselves like a physical chair has. Since time does not exist it is reasonable to assume that neither the past or the present exist.

How long is the present ? Is it one second, half second, quarter second one can carry on at infinitum. Trying to define time in this way is very illusory.

Far better to ignore time altogether and liken the present to our consciousness operating a recorder that is permanently on, unless we are in a state of sleep, recording all the human sensory experiences. The recording takes place somewhere in the brain. For those who continue to be fixated with time and still want an answer as to how long the present is in order to give the present some sense of reality. The present is as long as it takes your consciousness to control the appropriate part of your brain in processing the current sensory experience and adding the resulting data to your current data store of experiences located in the brain's memory.

The same reasoning can be applied to the past. The main difference is that some part of our brain now can be likened to a sophisticated projector enabling your consciousness to retrieve from our memory various sets of past images and display them as memories.



One could briefly mention the future and many other associated matters, but it would make this an essay and not commentary

Best Wishes

Tony

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