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This Is Why

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Posted by Luis Hamburgh on January 10, 2002 00:24:18 UTC

Harv,

Space cannot exist by itself.

One thing I credit Alex for is convincing me that the Heisenberg principle is inherent to the universe, and not just a glitch in our observations. That is, he spelled out a convincing argument for the Copenhagen Interpretation (that there is no such thing as an absolute 'particle'). Everything is 'fuzzy,' even at the universe's most fundamental interval.

But this means that nothing exists until such time that this interval has passed. Notice the italicized time. Our 'understanding' of existence is just as intertwined with time as our 'understanding' of particles is intertwined with space.

But nothing, nothing, is purely particulate. Not even black holes.

Dimension is only a word, and I think it's safe to say that -- philosophically speaking -- everyone schooled in modern physics understands that time is not a spatial dimension. After all, we don't call it "space-space."

So, the leap to calling time a dimension is not a philosophical one -- it's much easier than that. If it were as metaphysical a term as "is," then I'd agree it's a philosophical struggle, but it's simply a psychological leap over a term whose (incomplete) meaning is very much a part of a person's vocabulary by the time he/she is required to modify it.

Respectfully,

-LH

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