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Is the empty space between particles or other matter something?
Posted: 27 December 2011 02:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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TimB - 27 December 2011 01:29 PM

Well, it occurred to me that if our space time continuum is finite, and that the begiinning and the end and all the time in between, exists, as is consistent, I think, with some mathematical models, then perhaps we are all just bit actors on the stage of space time, and that, indeed, perhaps our consciousness has no causal effect in how things play out, as the drama of life, the universe, and everything is already contained in the whole of our finite space time continuum.  (My apologies for the run on sentence.)

Well, if these spacetime models are correct they would show rather the reverse than you are supposing: they would show that we have an integral part to play in how things play out, since we ourselves are part of the actual world.

‘Consciousness’ is a separate can of worms, but if as we must suppose our consciousness comes from our brain then our consciousness would itself be part of the actual world, since our brain is.

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Posted: 27 December 2011 02:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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Sorry if I was a little verbose….. red face  But I believe I made the point that IMO time only travels forward and when we look back in time we are not actually reversing time but looking at history going forward and coming towards the present.

Your thoughts are at least as convincing as my own perception that time only travels forward.  However, consider this thought experiment.  We have 3 space probes that are 1 billion light years away from us, but that are stationary in regards to us on Earth.  On each is a communication system that uses an entangled electron communication system (for which we have the matching entangled electron communication devices here on Earth, thus we can communicate instantaneously with each of the 3 probe ships.)  Now one of the probes begins moving toward the Earth.  One remains stationary with regards to us.  The 3rd begins moving away from us.  We can still communicate in our present with the stationary one.  The ones that are moving toward or away, however, can only communicate directly with Earth in the past or future, respectively.  We should, however, also be able to communicate indirectly with our past and our future, through the stationary of the 3 probes, (that will be close enough to the other two to communicate with each of the others more conventionally).  So if we can communicate with our future and our past, from our present, does your thought that time travels only forward, still hold?

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Posted: 27 December 2011 06:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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Tim, see below

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/fabric-of-cosmos.html#fabric-time

IMO, regardless of entanglement, we can only ever look back, but never go there. As long as we are of a physical nature, then, if time can be reversed only at FTL, it would physically impossible to go back.
Moreover, by reversing time we would be reversing universal entropy and that would involve speeding up everything to travel FTL, which of course would be impossible. Thus if an individual were able to travel FTL, he himself would reverse his entropy and if arriving at a point where he would not yet be born, he would if fact no longer exist and his image in the present would fade into a ghostlike condition, or as mentioned before into “vagueness”.

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Posted: 27 December 2011 06:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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Write4U - 27 December 2011 06:49 PM

Thus if an individual were able to travel FTL, he himself would reverse his entropy and if arriving at a point where he would not yet be born, he would if fact no longer exist and his image in the present would fade into a ghostlike condition, or as mentioned before into “vagueness”.

question

I have no idea what this could mean.

If someone traveled into the past, he would have to do so from the present. I don’t know what it means for “his image [to] fade into a ghostlike condition”, but I doubt that a nonphysical entity could manage to travel into the past. This has nothing to do with vagueness, though.

Further, it sounds an awful lot like you’re talking about some confused notion of hypertime, where there’s the present now and then the present while the guy is in the past, which is in some different (hyper-?) time.

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Posted: 27 December 2011 07:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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GdB - 27 December 2011 01:57 AM

Write,

This is all way above your and my head. If laymen could just propose such things as you do, physics would be an easy science. Just a little bit of logic….

What I picked up from Loll’s (and Co.) article in ‘Scientific American’ (I read the German translation in ‘Spektrum der Wissenschaft’) is that the early addition of causality (the cause of an event precedes the event) into the model (that’s why it is called CDT) leads to the geometry of the universe as we know it, including a cosmological constant (dark energy). The theory as Loll presents it has a minimum of theoretical assumptions, and it is robust against variations of the few constants needed. That means that even if the constants are varied, the outcome is about the same. So this could be a step in the direction of a solution of the fine tuned universe. Adding causality as presumption to the theory means time must already exist, otherwise ‘preceding’ could have no meaning.

Picking from another source (Lawrence Krauss) we know from Cobe and WMAP that the universe is flat (i.e. Eucledian geometry is valid in the universe on big scales), and a flat universe means the energy content of the universe is exactly zero: the positive energy of the contents of the universe is cancelled by the negative energy of gravity). So the universe as a whole could be one single quantum fluctuation.

You are right, logic will not solve the science, but the science must be logical. I love her idea of CDT, it’s very simplicity makes the idea a favorite of mine.

However, I have a problem with the logic of her incidental narrative of space and time:

a) time existed before anything else existed.

The NOVA link to Tim above explains that in the absence of anything there is no direction of time, thus the term “passage of time” becomes meaningless. Unless time itself is causal to something, the term has no meaning.
IMO the passing of time (fast or slow) is created in the course and is a result of events and could not have existed before the event of creation of space.

b) there was no space before there was space.

I have no problem with that statement (I am a believer in the BB). But if there was no space, then there could not have been time.

c) space is created through the expansion of the universe.

Again, I have no problem with that, but it begs the question. Regardless of its shape or form, the universe expands but has boundaries and geometry (fractal), which can bend. But what is the medium in which the Universe can in fact perform these feats? Is this the Time Loll speaks of? I think not, unless it is a latency. But again, if time beyond our universe is latent and non dynamic, there can be no passage of time beyond our universe and the term becomes meaningless.

I admit this logic may fail, but I believe that this question of time before space is still a controversial issue, even among qualified scientists.

[ Edited: 27 December 2011 07:55 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 27 December 2011 07:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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dougsmith - 27 December 2011 06:56 PM
Write4U - 27 December 2011 06:49 PM

Thus if an individual were able to travel FTL, he himself would reverse his entropy and if arriving at a point where he would not yet be born, he would if fact no longer exist and his image in the present would fade into a ghostlike condition, or as mentioned before into “vagueness”.

question

I have no idea what this could mean.

If someone traveled into the past, he would have to do so from the present. I don’t know what it means for “his image [to] fade into a ghostlike condition”, but I doubt that a nonphysical entity could manage to travel into the past. This has nothing to do with vagueness, though.

Further, it sounds an awful lot like you’re talking about some confused notion of hypertime, where there’s the present now and then the present while the guy is in the past, which is in some different (hyper-?) time.

That statement was not well thought out. I was trying to tie in “vagueness” with the dissembly (reversing entropy) of physical properties when travelling back in time. As was discussed before, reality starts with a vagueness (potential) and a person travelling back in time would dissemble back into vagueness. If not that would mean that the person is not travelling back but only looking back even as the time inexorably is moving forward for that person.

[ Edited: 27 December 2011 08:01 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 28 December 2011 02:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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Write4U - 27 December 2011 06:49 PM

Tim, see below

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/fabric-of-cosmos.html#fabric-time

IMO, regardless of entanglement, we can only ever look back, but never go there. As long as we are of a physical nature, then, if time can be reversed only at FTL, it would physically impossible to go back.
Moreover, by reversing time we would be reversing universal entropy and that would involve speeding up everything to travel FTL, which of course would be impossible. Thus if an individual were able to travel FTL, he himself would reverse his entropy and if arriving at a point where he would not yet be born, he would if fact no longer exist and his image in the present would fade into a ghostlike condition, or as mentioned before into “vagueness”.

When we think about traveling back in time, the time traveler’s experience of time is just the same a normal. So he gets into his time machine with his watch on at 5pm. Lets say the journey takes 10 minutes. So at journeys end his watch says 5.10pm.

He get’s out of the time machine and his watch continues to tick forwards as normal and he has aged by 10 minutes as normal.

Stephen

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Posted: 28 December 2011 04:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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TimB - 27 December 2011 02:48 PM

Your thoughts are at least as convincing as my own perception that time only travels forward.  However, consider this thought experiment.  We have 3 space probes that are 1 billion light years away from us, but that are stationary in regards to us on Earth.  On each is a communication system that uses an entangled electron communication system…

Now this is above my head. Entanglement cannot be used for instantaneous communication, so I do not get what you want to say with your thought experiment.

BTW I fully agree that for us ‘living in the real world’, time only ‘goes forward’. Time is the direction in which causality works.

TimB - 27 December 2011 01:29 PM

Well, it occurred to me that if our space time continuum is finite, and that the begiinning and the end and all the time in between, exists, as is consistent, I think, with some mathematical models, then perhaps we are all just bit actors on the stage of space time, and that, indeed, perhaps our consciousness has no causal effect in how things play out, as the drama of life, the universe, and everything is already contained in the whole of our finite space time continuum.  (My apologies for the run on sentence.)

Well, somehow we are causal agents. What we physically do, has consequences in the physical world. Now, in my opinion, there is only a problem when you define consciousness as something separate from this physical universe. Then you must explain how matter and consciousness interact. Does matter cause consciousness, but the other way round, consciousness itself has no effect on the physical universe? Or is it a two-way process, physical processes have effect on consciousness (observations), and consciousness has effect on physical processes? But both are dualistic.

But if you take for granted that you are conscious (which I hope you do), and we live in a single energy/matter word, then consciousness is just one of the processes taking place in this universe, as ‘living’ is also one of them. It is just a question of seeing it from the correct level: one will not find a living organism in the LHC, one will not find consciousness in a single neuron. As we do not need elan vital to explain organisms, but rather explain living as functions of inanimate matter, we can explain consciousness as (very complex) functions of other processes that are not conscious in itself. Otherwise you did not even begin explaining consciousness. But what you do is the following trick: you suppose that such an explanation exists, and then say ‘but because these processes are not conscious, consciousness plays no causal role’. But that would mean, for every kind of explanation, that explaining something means explaining it away.

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Posted: 28 December 2011 04:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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StephenLawrence - 28 December 2011 02:20 AM
Write4U - 27 December 2011 06:49 PM

Tim, see below

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/fabric-of-cosmos.html#fabric-time

IMO, regardless of entanglement, we can only ever look back, but never go there. As long as we are of a physical nature, then, if time can be reversed only at FTL, it would physically impossible to go back.
Moreover, by reversing time we would be reversing universal entropy and that would involve speeding up everything to travel FTL, which of course would be impossible. Thus if an individual were able to travel FTL, he himself would reverse his entropy and if arriving at a point where he would not yet be born, he would if fact no longer exist and his image in the present would fade into a ghostlike condition, or as mentioned before into “vagueness”.

When we think about traveling back in time, the time traveler’s experience of time is just the same a normal. So he gets into his time machine with his watch on at 5pm. Lets say the journey takes 10 minutes. So at journeys end his watch says 5.10pm.

He get’s out of the time machine and his watch continues to tick forwards as normal and he has aged by 10 minutes as normal.

Stephen

I agree with that scenario as far as time going forward for the traveler. But the traveler is not really reversing time, he his traveling back through time as an observer, similar to turning your car around and traveling back along the road you came from. But when he arrives at his destination it is not the same as it was when he originally passed that point, because it also has aged by 10 minutes, even as it might have been say three days ago.
Perhaps a worm hole to bridge space warps might bring you to an earlier spacetime frame. But I believe that this has been discarded, though I may be wrong.
The third method which in fact reverses time is traveling at FTL, thereby reversing time for the traveler. This would result in the traveler actually becoming younger and reversing his own entropy, until he actually ceased to exist. Of course it would also take cosmic energy to accelerate to FTL.
hehe, I feel like the roadrunner suspended in space for a moment, before the great fall to the bottom of the canyon… cheese

[ Edited: 28 December 2011 04:55 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 28 December 2011 05:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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Write4U - 28 December 2011 04:50 AM

The third method which in fact reverses time is traveling at FTL, thereby reversing time for the traveler. This would result in the traveler actually becoming younger and reversing his own entropy, until he actually ceased to exist. Of course it would also take cosmic energy to accelerate to FTL.
hehe, I feel like the roadrunner suspended in space for a moment, before the great fall to the bottom of the canyon… cheese

In this case he would experience getting younger.

But experiencing getting younger is still experiencing one thing happening after another and so the direction of time is not reversed, is it?

Stephen

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Posted: 28 December 2011 07:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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StephenLawrence - 28 December 2011 05:07 AM

But experiencing getting younger is still experiencing one thing happening after another and so the direction of time is not reversed, is it?

Well, actually you are not experiencing getting younger, but rather “improving health,” since your memories are not erased. And yes, time is still unidirectional.

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Posted: 28 December 2011 08:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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I don’t believe that if you traveled FTL your subjective time would go backwards. It’s rather that your subjective time would be inverted with respect to time of the other parts of the universe relative to which you were traveling FTL. (= your time would go forwards as normal, but everything outside the windows of your space ship would be going backwards in time).

Anyway it’s senseless to imagine yourself traveling backwards in subjective time. All our brain processes are subjectively unidirectional. If you became aware of yourself getting younger or improving your health, that would be because (incoherently) your body would be going subjectively backwards in time while your brain processes (your thinking about your body) was going subjectively forwards in time.

This is why so many movies make a hash of time travel.

For a thought experiment, it could be for all we know that we’re all in fact traveling backwards in time right now. We wouldn’t be aware of it since we’d have the same thoughts, and each thought at each time would be associated with the same memories and experiences as if we were traveling forwards in time.

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Posted: 28 December 2011 08:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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Write4U - 27 December 2011 07:43 PM

I admit this logic may fail, but I believe that this question of time before space is still a controversial issue, even among qualified scientists.

I think this is the main point. If the logic of the qualified scientists fails, what then with our logic? Logic also dictates that something is a wave or a particle, the concepts exclude each other. Imagine I had discussed this idea with you in the 1920’s…

I can only repeat what Loll said: that they had to put in the idea of causality, that the cause of an effect precedes the effect, and that space started (also a timely concept) at the BB. Maybe we understand more in 10 years. Or we got used to absurd ideas, as we are used to QM now too…

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Posted: 28 December 2011 09:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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That’s true, Doug. We only sense subjective time. We have memories that we naturally sequence according to our perspective, but our perspective WRT time is subjective.
In computer science, there is a detail that is sometimes a nuisance. It’s called Big Endian/Little Endian (from Swift’s Lilliput & Blefuscu). Some computers address bits ordered from most significant to least significant. Other computers address bits in the opposite direction. High-level language programmers rarely consider it and likely couldn’t tell you whether their machine is Big or Little in its Indianness - just like we can’t really tell if we are going forward or backward in time.

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Posted: 28 December 2011 01:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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GdB - 28 December 2011 04:05 AM
TimB - 27 December 2011 02:48 PM

Your thoughts are at least as convincing as my own perception that time only travels forward.  However, consider this thought experiment.  We have 3 space probes that are 1 billion light years away from us, but that are stationary in regards to us on Earth.  On each is a communication system that uses an entangled electron communication system…

GdB:  Now this is above my head. Entanglement cannot be used for instantaneous communication, so I do not get what you want to say with your thought experiment.

BTW I fully agree that for us ‘living in the real world’, time only ‘goes forward’. Time is the direction in which causality works.

TimB: Actually, there are some who are now working on developimg quantam communication devices where communication may be possible that is either either instantaneous or so much FTL, that it is essentially instantaneous.  Anyway, what is not possible now or anytime in the foreseeable future is having probes that are a billion light years away that we can communicate with. We would also have to arrange for a corresponding communication device to be located in our past and future, which could prove tricky. (That these things are only, currently, theoretically possible, is why I suggested it as a “thought experiment”.) My point was, given our “understanding” that “time only ‘goes forward’. Time is the direction in which causality works.” what does it mean (in terms of this understanding) that, if these things were now physically possible, that we could very possibly communicate with our past and our future?

[(previous) quote author=“TimB” date=“1325035757”]Well, it occurred to me that if our space time continuum is finite, and that the begiinning and the end and all the time in between, exists, as is consistent, I think, with some mathematical models, then perhaps we are all just bit actors on the stage of space time, and that, indeed, perhaps our consciousness has no causal effect in how things play out, as the drama of life, the universe, and everything is already contained in the whole of our finite space time continuum.  (My apologies for the run on sentence.)

GdB: Well, somehow we are causal agents. What we physically do, has consequences in the physical world. Now, in my opinion, there is only a problem when you define consciousness as something separate from this physical universe. Then you must explain how matter and consciousness interact. Does matter cause consciousness, but the other way round, consciousness itself has no effect on the physical universe? Or is it a two-way process, physical processes have effect on consciousness (observations), and consciousness has effect on physical processes? But both are dualistic.

TimB: Given that time moves from the past to the present to the future, I am quite at peace with the thought that my conscious abilities arose from matter and evolution and that my conscious abilities have some causal effect, in a teeny tiny way, on life, the universe and everything.  But, again, what I am trying to get my head around is what IF, time, past, present, and future (as some theories suggest) is all happening now.  What happens to our notion of causality, in that case? Perhaps nothing. I am just proposing the question.

GdB: But if you take for granted that you are conscious (which I hope you do), and we live in a single energy/matter word, then consciousness is just one of the processes taking place in this universe, as ‘living’ is also one of them. It is just a question of seeing it from the correct level: one will not find a living organism in the LHC, one will not find consciousness in a single neuron. As we do not need elan vital to explain organisms, but rather explain living as functions of inanimate matter, we can explain consciousness as (very complex) functions of other processes that are not conscious in itself. Otherwise you did not even begin explaining consciousness. But what you do is the following trick: you suppose that such an explanation exists, and then say ‘but because these processes are not conscious, consciousness plays no causal role’. But that would mean, for every kind of explanation, that explaining something means explaining it away.

TimB: I also take for granted that I am conscious. (If not, the joke’s on both of us.) smile
(note: I edited the above just to show who was saying what.)

[ Edited: 28 December 2011 02:08 PM by TimB ]
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