Change that song title by dropping one word.
Does anybody really know what time is?
The answer is NO.
In my last post I mentioned that the current issue of Scientific American had an interesting article I wanted to share. I wish I could share a deeper understanding of it but while I have read many physics books and have visited a particle accelerator I don't know the theory that well. (maybe they could accelerate me) I'll just point out a few things I found amazing and maybe you will find it amazing too.
Part of the physics world believes time does NOT exist. (well who has time for those guys?)
Good news you can't be late anymore but then since many are paid by a time factor your paycheck might not exist either. Thinking of money is a good analogy for this because money doesn't exist. No, I'm not referring to a parent's wallet who has teenagers. Money is an invention of man. It's been around for a long time but not from the beginning of time. Oh wait, there is no time. Time is really so interwoven into our experience that it's hard to talk about it not existing.
Like the value of money some think time is an invention within our minds or an illusion. They did change the definition of a second back in the sixties. That is when they based time on the cesium atom. Given that it was the sixties I hope they got it right and weren't influenced by any drugs. I guess it was cesium and not LSD.
Back when Newton's laws ruled (they are still good but they fall apart at high speeds or large gravity) time was a master clock that ticked the same everywhere. Einstein comes along with general relativity in 1915 and we get spacetime. Now time can be changed by speed or gravity.
In another article or documentary I learned that time would stop - just freeze - at the edge of a black hole.
Now any of you with teenagers have probably witness this when you approach the entrance to their room. Certainly cleaning stops in their black hole rooms.
Then we get advances in quantum mechanics and things just get worst. Someone blows off a bomb. People worry about the China Syndrome and that was before China was even the big economical power of today.
It turns out (I don't know but I'll assume they are being honest) that quantum mechanics and general relativity don't mix together well. So in the pursuit of unifying the physics it looks like time might be thrown out. (could you imagine a prisoner doing time hearing this?)
Back in the sixties (again I'm suspect of this sixties work) two physicists (Wheeler, DeWitt) took a different approach to Einstein's gravity equations. Their result didn't have time in it anymore. I wonder, how much time did it take to get rid of time?
Here's an idea for you. Since we invented it and defined it, why not double the length of the year so we will all age at half the current rate. We could call it birthday savings time. It would work until everyone got used to it.
Well thanks for giving me your time even though it's just an illusion. Oh since time isn't, you won't be too rushed to leave a comment.
I also have watched countless Nova programs, so this clip was especially funny for me.
|Brian Regan - Nova|