Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Time Is Neither Absolute Nor Does It Flow Equably, But It Does Flow

Absolute, true and mathematical time, of itself, and from its own nature flows equably without regard to anything external, and by another name is called duration: relative, apparent and common time, is some sensible and external (whether accurate or unequable) measure of duration by the means of motion, which is commonly used instead of true time ...Isaac Newton
Things always change, as do we ourselves, in our perceptions, our beliefs, our social life, our mortal frame, the latter ultimately to be with clay compounded, or as a plume of smoke and a heap of ashes dispersed.

We cannot pause or rerun the tape.

Or can we?

After writing what I took to be my definitive view of time, I came across this, an essay by Thibault Damour, a French physicist and specialist in General Relativity, wherein the author states:
The paradigm of the special relativistic upheaval of the usual concept of time is the twin paradox. Let us emphasize that this striking example of time dilation proves that time travel (towards the future) is possible. As a gedanken experiment (if we neglect practicalities such as the technology needed for reaching velocities comparable to the velocity of light, the cost of the fuel and the capacity of the traveller to sustain high accelerations), it shows that a sentient being can jump, “within a minute” (of his experienced time) arbitrarily far in the future, say sixty million years ahead, and see, and be part of, what (will) happen then on Earth. This is a clear way of realizing that the future “already exists” (as we can experience it “in a minute”).
So on that view, the future really does "already exists”, while the past continues to exist everlastingly. In fact every instant of time exists, apparently, simultaneously, now, as if set in aspic, in a world where every moment of horror, every seemingly endless geological age, exists, on and on, for ever and ever and ever: the hideous, four-dimensional "block universe." Good God?

"But is that a fact?

Surely not.

The space traveler, with an Earth-bound twin, who returns to Earth "say sixty million years ahead" returns to Earth sixty million years after the death of his Earth-bound twin when the Earth of 60 million years ago is long gone — sixty million Earth years ago, in fact. The travelling twin has not time traveled, he has simply aged well. In fact he has hardly aged at all, but he cannot return to the Earth of his youth because that Earth ceased to exist 60 million years ago.

So no, the Earth of today does not endure for ever, neither has it existed for ever. It exists only for a day. It is possible, however, under the right conditions of gravitation or acceleration for an individual to live very slowly relative to an Earth-bound twin.

This refutes the Newton-Barbour concept of time "flowing uniformly". Time has no reality apart from the events by which it is measured. Thus, in different places, the evolution of like systems, for example the aging of twins, or the ticking of clocks, are not necessarily correlated.


CanSpeccy: The Nature of Physical Reality, Part I: Time

CanSpeccy: The Nature of Physical Reality, Part II: Space


  1. I don't think this is right... Miles Mathis also disagrees with this interpretation of relativity:

    Agreed it makes sense that when moving away from earth at (near) the speed of light time runs faster on earth relative to the spaceship, we all agree on that.

    BUT when moving towards earth (on the return journey) it then runs slower... I.e. the direction of travel makes a difference (of course!). This bit is inexplicably missed by the 'physicists'. Hmmm.

    So when the twin returns to earth, the same amount of time has passed for both. And they're the same age.
    This symmetrical solution makes better sense that the asymmetrical one suggested by 'modern physics'. Which as you know I consider to be about as reliable and authoritative as the Bible.

    Time-travel is nothing more than pseudo-scientific superstition.

    1. I dunno. But the physicists who say they do know, point to the fact that sub-atomic particles accelerated to great speed in accelerators decay more slowly than particles at rest.

      There's also the experiment with atomic clocks, carried around the globe by commercial airliner, which tick a little more slowly than clocks at rest.