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 Be the first pioneers to continue the Astronomy Discussions at our new Astronomy meeting place...The Space and Astronomy Agora It All Falls On Your Definition Of "time"..... Forum List | Follow Ups | Post Message | Back to Thread Topics | In Response ToPosted by Mark on September 8, 2001 22:15:24 UTC

Ask a bunch of physicists what "time" is and watch how many different oppinions you get....

1. From a quantum physics stand point: Some would say that time is the successive collapsings of wave functions (requiring that a conscious observer be present for time to exist).
2. From a relativistic stand point: They would say that "propper time" is the distance between two spacetime events that have the same spatial coordinates (same place, at different times).
3. From a mechanical dynamics stand point: Time is any transition between different possible arrangements of matter in a given system (In other words time is the "illusion" of any increase in entropy, as the arrangements tend toward the orders of highest probability and spontaneously degrade into states of less order).
4. From a philosophical stand point rooted in solopsism: Time doesn't exist .... we simply create time in our heads when we try to interpret inforamtion recieved from our surroundings.

And still others like to take a little piece of reasoning from each of the above and formulate a deffinition of time based on entropy, laws of motion, relativity, and internal conscious interpretation. Some wonder whether there is any such thing as a "smallest possible duration", or if time is truly "infinitely divisible" (In other words ... whether or not time passes in smallest possible chunks).
It all boils down to the epistemilogical foundations upon which you base your oppinion. Schrodinger, Bohr and all the other quantum pioneers viewed "time" from a bit different perspective than did Einstein; just as Einstein had a different take on time than Galileo or Newton. And even still, Kaku, Hawkings, Penrose, and a hand full of other proffesionals have their own oppinions (which include concepts such as Hyper Spacetime and Imaginary Time). My point is that .....of the few oppinions I presented above..... it is, with current knowledge, impossible for you to give me a factual statement as to what "time" actualy is.

>>>Because entropy is NOT related to time, there is no way to distinguish any moment of time from any other using entropy.>>Start any entropy-changing process today, yesterday or tomorrow - it runs EXACTLY the same way. No point in time is special (different than any other).