Tuesday, May 25, 2010

does anybody really know what time it is



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.





Jokes.com
Brian Regan - Nova
comedians.comedycentral.com
Futurama New EpisodesUgly AmericansFunny TV Comedy Blog

29 comments:

frigginloon said...

Now you are just messing with my head Lisleman :(

OneStonedCrow said...

... and another clock flies out the window - Great post lisleman - Namiba has entered a little time enclave, the clocks were turned back an hour ... it's confusing because we have a lot of contact with South Africa which just carries on in "old" time ... business and schools should just start an could later in winter ...

TechnoBabe said...

Time is another man made rule isn't it? Who made the calendar? Who decided we needed to know what to call when the sun comes up? It has turned into a prison of keeping track of the time, something that was free until it was determined we needed to live by it and keep track of it.

dave hambidge said...

Pooh, video not available in britland!

lisleman said...

sorry about that - you know we would be able to share better if some lawyers would be sent below the bottom. Did they think of clogging the gulf oil leak with lawyers?
The comedian you are missing is Brian Regan - very funny stand-up guy

lisleman said...

I don't get into the big conspiracy stuff - but maybe it all started as a conspiracy to control everyone's lives. The current calendar used by most of the world came from a pope.

lisleman said...

Birthday saving time would be much better than daylight saving time which is a waste of time.

Charlie Callahan said...

All I know about physics is how levers work and the founding of the Lever Brothers soap company. And something about the Manhattan Project: when they were just about to drop the first-ever atomic bomb, someone yelled, "Okay, everyone, STAND BACK!"

The Urban Cowboy said...

I've been wondering why women always say to me, "I don't have time for you." I always thought it was me, now I know time didn't really exist. :)

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

Wow, some physics, and science and a bit of philosophy too; a real multi purpose blog post. Next you should tackle the meaning of life.

lisleman said...

multipurpose much better than no purpose which I did wonder once about this blog. I think in searching for the meaning of life you can go so deep you come out the other side. It's not the answer but the question and the pursuit that counts. For example what's the meaning of donuts? I might just go and research right now.

thanks

lisleman said...

You see you must be going after those highly educated ones. But I'm not judging because smart and clueless ones can sometimes stop a clock.

lisleman said...

I don't know much about those Lever Brothers. Did they need to develop a better bar of soap because it didn't taste good?

Charlie Callahan said...

Yes. It had a terrible taste, having had my mouth washed out with it so often.

Bearman said...

Ok...most of that was over my head but one question:

Do the physicists who don't believe in time still wear a watch?

Cheeseboy said...

I had a hard time following, but I think that you may have stumbled upon the reason I can't follow what is going on in Lost.

secretagentwoman said...

That guy always makes me laugh.

But beyond that, I'm too tired to consider the metaphysical aspects of time. Probably time for me to go to bed.

lisleman said...

I was lucky to see a live show of his. There's always time of something even if it's sleep.

oceangirl415 said...

Time exist because moon and sun exist. They come and go so we can mark time.

unknownmami said...

Now I don't know whether I'm coming or going, but at least it won't matter what time I get there.

lisleman said...

yeah but what about a place in the universe with no sun or moon. Does time still exist there?
thanks for sharing

lisleman said...

When you use this excuse please let me know how well it works. I'll let you try it first.

oceangirl415 said...

It depends on what the place has to mark its time.

Fantastic Forrest said...

You know, of course, how fascinated I am with time. This post prompts me to share a news clip on the subject of how quickly time moves. Hope it gives you a laugh.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0xnc1iLvRQ

lisleman said...

thanks that is funny but also good to know that the guy is no longer a police officer. I can imagine him telling reporters that the thief was running in slow motion but I still couldn't catch him.

lisleman said...

Good thing I only watched that show once or twice. I would be analyzing it too much.

lisleman said...

Good thing I only watched that show once or twice. I would be analyzing it too much.

lisleman said...

something went wrong with the Disqus system - maybe it got connected to the BP fix

lisleman said...

Good question. Maybe an atomic one. Could be that they wear one but just don't believe it's right.
thanks

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