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Author Topic: Time: Does it exist?  (Read 3356 times)
RideTheWalrus
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« on: July 06, 2008, 07:22:56 AM »

If time had always existed, that would mean an infinite amount of time would have passed before this moment.  Logically that means we would never have arrived at this moment, so time either had a starting point or it doesn't exist at all.

Interestingly in quantum physics it's been found in experiments that particles will change their behavior in the past based on a future event.  I've also read countless NDEs and drug experiences where a person was out of it for a short amount of time but it felt like they were away from their body for 'ages'.

In our world time is simply a measure of matter in motion, but I think on a higher level time may simply be a construct of our minds.  We experience a NOW moment, then another, then another, and we string these moments together as memory.  It's relative.  What feels like 10 minutes to one person may feel like 2 hours to another.
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NowIsForever
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2008, 09:28:16 AM »

Hi Ride.  It's a conundrum that has inspired tomes of explication. :)

Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. -- Anonymous

Quote
If time had always existed, that would mean an infinite amount of time would have passed before this moment.  Logically that means we would never have arrived at this moment, so time either had a starting point or it doesn't exist at all.

This is analogous to Zeno's paradox.  How can an arrow move if it is frozen at every point of its path?  Many scientists today think that time originated with the Big Bang.  There is no before this event--only after.

Quote
Interestingly in quantum physics it's been found in experiments that particles will change their behavior in the past based on a future event.

I'm not sure what you mean by this; maybe I'm just being dense. :)

It seems like you are referring to entangled particle states.  For instance say a pair creation event occurs at time T1 where a positron and electron pair are formed and each particle moves off in a different direction.  And then one measures the spin state of one, say the electron, at time T2, then the spin direction of the positron is determined also even if they are separated by millions of miles.  So it might seem that the spin directions of the two particles at T1 are determined at the later time T2 by the act of measurement.  However at T1 nether particle has a definite spin state.  Each particle is in a superposition of states.

Or do you refer to something else?

Quote
I've also read countless NDEs and drug experiences where a person was out of it for a short amount of time but it felt like they were away from their body for 'ages'.

Experiences such as these are not the norm and therefore I presume that most people would look askance at the mention of this.  However, everyone knows that 'time flies when you are having fun.'  Also anecdotal events abound punctuated by the statement:  'my life flashed before my eyes.'

Mathematically it is easy to setup a transformation that can map the open unit interval, (0,1), into the open infinite interval (-oo,+oo).  This would correspond, e.g., to a second lasting forever.  So conceptually it is not at all difficult to understand how time could be so malleable.  I think that when our consciousness is removed from the confinement of the physical world we are no longer bound to the constraints it imposes.

Quote
In our world time is simply a measure of matter in motion, but I think on a higher level time may simply be a construct of our minds.  We experience a NOW moment, then another, then another, and we string these moments together as memory.  It's relative.  What feels like 10 minutes to one person may feel like 2 hours to another.

I think time does exist in the sense that it is real for us here living on the 'good ol' earth,' but I also think that we haven't even scratched the surface in our understanding of the concept of time.  It has been said numerous times that for God there is no time--everything happens all at once.  This is true of the physical phenomenon of light also.

     -- Charles
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"We have not the reverent feeling for the rainbow that a savage has, because we know how it is made. We have lost as much as we gained by prying into that matter." -- Mark Twain
RideTheWalrus
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2008, 05:17:05 AM »

Quote
I'm not sure what you mean by this; maybe I'm just being dense. :)

It seems like you are referring to entangled particle states.  For instance say a pair creation event occurs at time T1 where a positron and electron pair are formed and each particle moves off in a different direction.  And then one measures the spin state of one, say the electron, at time T2, then the spin direction of the positron is determined also even if they are separated by millions of miles.  So it might seem that the spin directions of the two particles at T1 are determined at the later time T2 by the act of measurement.  However at T1 nether particle has a definite spin state.  Each particle is in a superposition of states.

Or do you refer to something else?

No I'm not talking about entangled particles, although those are very interesting too!  ;D

I'm talking about the double slit experiment.  They found any evidence of where the particles had been collapsed a wave of probability.  The interesting part is they could fire particles, then destroy the evidence of where the particles had been afterwards and the particles would leave a wave pattern on the recording screen.  If they kept the evidence and then examined the recording screen they would leave a typical matter pattern.

The only conclusion that can drawn is the particles change their behavior in the past based on what you do in the future.

This is  the kind of bizarre stuff that makes me wonder if time is a construct of our minds, but not necessarily the higher truth.  Maybe we create time for ourselves?
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NowIsForever
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2008, 07:55:18 AM »

Quote
The interesting part is they could fire particles, then destroy the evidence of where the particles had been afterwards and the particles would leave a wave pattern on the recording screen.  If they kept the evidence and then examined the recording screen they would leave a typical matter pattern.

The only conclusion that can drawn is the particles change their behavior in the past based on what you do in the future.

Hmm, okay, well I am not familiar with this particular variation of the double slit experiment.  Perhaps you would be kind enough to provide a reference so that I could study this myself?  (Because I find this a fascinating form of the experiment.)  However, what you have stated seems consistent with what I've learned about the phenomena.  Now considering my lack of familiarity with this particular form of the experiment I may be misguided, but I would draw a different conclusion from yours.  It seems that you think that the pattern on the recording screen is determined when the particles impact the screen.  I would say this is not necessarily so.  The pattern is not established until someone examines that recording.  Until such an examination is performed the recording is in a superposition of states.  Destroying or not destroying the evidence is in effect making a measurement which acts to collapse the superposition of states.  The evidence and the recording are connected however distant they may become in space and time.  Schrodinger's cat is not dead or alive until someone looks in box to see the evidence of it's animation or lack thereof.

     -- Charles
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"We have not the reverent feeling for the rainbow that a savage has, because we know how it is made. We have lost as much as we gained by prying into that matter." -- Mark Twain
RideTheWalrus
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2008, 09:52:25 PM »

Yeah no problem.

The original experiment that you're probably familiar with involved a wall, two slits, and a basic detection screen.  The basic detection screen measured where each particle landed.  This was the one that found the observer effect.  Particles travel in waves of probability, instead of acting like normal matter as expected, until you observe them, which collapses their wave of probability and makes them act like normal matter.

The timeless nature of them was found when scientists actually tried to 'trick' the particles, or catch them in the act.  The scientists replaced the normal detection screen with a screen the measures the spin of each particle.  From the spin of each particle they could determine where the particle came from.  This collapsed the wave of probability and made them act like normal matter.

While using the modified detection screen they then placed an 'erasing' screen in front of the spin detection screen.  This erasing screen made it impossible for the spin detection screen to detect where the particles had been by randomizing their spin.  This brought back the wave pattern!

Particles behave timelessly because when they're fired through the double slit they could not possibly know if there was an erasing screen in front of them or not.  The have already decided how they're going to act based on a future interaction (if the erasing screen is there or not).

Raymond Chiao, Paul Kwiat, and Aephraim Steinberg were the ones who carried out the second experiment I believe.

Here's a few flash videos that probably explain it a lot better than I did.

http://quantumiscool1.ytmnd.com/
http://quantamiscool2.ytmnd.com/
http://yqpic3.ytmnd.com/
http://wqpic4.ytmnd.com/

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NowIsForever
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2008, 06:43:55 AM »

Okay Ride,

Those references were very interesting.  I especially liked the infomation about the down converters since I hadn't known of these before.

Concerning time even ancient mystics knew there was something out of the ordinary concerning its nature.  E.g., check this out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_(illusion)

As Dorothy said "we're not in kansas any more."

     -- Charles
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"We have not the reverent feeling for the rainbow that a savage has, because we know how it is made. We have lost as much as we gained by prying into that matter." -- Mark Twain
NowIsForever
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2008, 09:34:32 AM »

Here's a few flash videos that probably explain it a lot better than I did.

.
.
.
http://wqpic4.ytmnd.com/


Hey Ride, I've been thinking...

It seems from what I've been able to gather that Örjan Ekeberg is the author of those flash videos you posted.  If you can't answer the question I'm about to pose than perhaps he can.

It's the last video in the series, the one I've quoted above that concerns me.  Suppose we locate Splitter 3 a great distance away from the main apparatus.  This would be far enough away that we can have enough time to do what I propose before the photons reach the location of Splitter 3.  Perhaps a moon of Mars or Jupiter would be appropriate.  What I propose is that we wait there on this moon for a message from a co-experimenter on earth who sends us the information about whether the photos are arrayed in an interference pattern before they are allowed to impact Splitter 3.  Then and only then will we decide to keep the splitter there or replace it by a double sided mirror.  We should be able to do this by letting the photons destined for Splitter 3 go through a delay line (e.g., a sequence of mirrors that bounce them back and forth) until we are ready for them (after we leave the splitter there or replace it).

What do you suppose would be the result of this experiment that gives our freedom of choice free reign?

Hmmm...

     -- Charles
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"We have not the reverent feeling for the rainbow that a savage has, because we know how it is made. We have lost as much as we gained by prying into that matter." -- Mark Twain
Sam
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Thoughtful Living
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2008, 07:24:11 PM »

Hi Ride.  It's a conundrum that has inspired tomes of explication. :)

Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. -- Anonymous

Quote
If time had always existed, that would mean an infinite amount of time would have passed before this moment.  Logically that means we would never have arrived at this moment, so time either had a starting point or it doesn't exist at all.

This is analogous to Zeno's paradox.  How can an arrow move if it is frozen at every point of its path?  Many scientists today think that time originated with the Big Bang.  There is no before this event--only after.

Quote
Interestingly in quantum physics it's been found in experiments that particles will change their behavior in the past based on a future event.

I'm not sure what you mean by this; maybe I'm just being dense. :)

It seems like you are referring to entangled particle states.  For instance say a pair creation event occurs at time T1 where a positron and electron pair are formed and each particle moves off in a different direction.  And then one measures the spin state of one, say the electron, at time T2, then the spin direction of the positron is determined also even if they are separated by millions of miles.  So it might seem that the spin directions of the two particles at T1 are determined at the later time T2 by the act of measurement.  However at T1 nether particle has a definite spin state.  Each particle is in a superposition of states.

Or do you refer to something else?

Quote
I've also read countless NDEs and drug experiences where a person was out of it for a short amount of time but it felt like they were away from their body for 'ages'.

Experiences such as these are not the norm and therefore I presume that most people would look askance at the mention of this.  However, everyone knows that 'time flies when you are having fun.'  Also anecdotal events abound punctuated by the statement:  'my life flashed before my eyes.'

Mathematically it is easy to setup a transformation that can map the open unit interval, (0,1), into the open infinite interval (-oo,+oo).  This would correspond, e.g., to a second lasting forever.  So conceptually it is not at all difficult to understand how time could be so malleable.  I think that when our consciousness is removed from the confinement of the physical world we are no longer bound to the constraints it imposes.

Quote
In our world time is simply a measure of matter in motion, but I think on a higher level time may simply be a construct of our minds.  We experience a NOW moment, then another, then another, and we string these moments together as memory.  It's relative.  What feels like 10 minutes to one person may feel like 2 hours to another.

I think time does exist in the sense that it is real for us here living on the 'good ol' earth,' but I also think that we haven't even scratched the surface in our understanding of the concept of time.  It has been said numerous times that for God there is no time--everything happens all at once.  This is true of the physical phenomenon of light also.

     -- Charles


I didn't know you were that interested in time. Time exists only in the physical world we live in. It is the product of linear events which happen only in the physical. In the spiritual there is no time or space. All event happen simultaneously in the spirit world. So yes, time exists as a measurement of linear events.
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Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. -- George Carlin
RideTheWalrus
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« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2008, 10:52:10 AM »

Here's a few flash videos that probably explain it a lot better than I did.

.
.
.
http://wqpic4.ytmnd.com/


Hey Ride, I've been thinking...

It seems from what I've been able to gather that Örjan Ekeberg is the author of those flash videos you posted.  If you can't answer the question I'm about to pose than perhaps he can.

It's the last video in the series, the one I've quoted above that concerns me.  Suppose we locate Splitter 3 a great distance away from the main apparatus.  This would be far enough away that we can have enough time to do what I propose before the photons reach the location of Splitter 3.  Perhaps a moon of Mars or Jupiter would be appropriate.  What I propose is that we wait there on this moon for a message from a co-experimenter on earth who sends us the information about whether the photos are arrayed in an interference pattern before they are allowed to impact Splitter 3.  Then and only then will we decide to keep the splitter there or replace it by a double sided mirror.  We should be able to do this by letting the photons destined for Splitter 3 go through a delay line (e.g., a sequence of mirrors that bounce them back and forth) until we are ready for them (after we leave the splitter there or replace it).

What do you suppose would be the result of this experiment that gives our freedom of choice free reign?

Hmmm...

     -- Charles


The act of measuring them would collapse the probability wave - a wave pattern is only produced when no measurements take place.  So, I think you would collapse the wave of probability until it hit splitter 3 again, in which case it would turn back into a wave pattern.  As long as it hits a splitter and is not measured before it hits the screen, it will leave a wave pattern.

Also, thanks for the clarification leroy!
« Last Edit: August 06, 2008, 10:52:56 AM by RideTheWalrus » Logged
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