Does Time Exist?
Does what we think of as TIME, the duration between each of our samplings of the universe, really exist?
I like to start with the Uncertainty Principle, posited by Werner Heisenberg.
To me, UNCERTAINTY (short for this principle) refers to PERSPECTIVE. What we mean by PERSPECTIVE is the formal method we use to sample the universe (from at least two POVs across a boundary). In my journal-published article on unstable, two-phase, radial fluid flow (a two-dimensional, unstable, expanding droplet boundary (somewhat analogous to universal expansion) I speak of EXPERIMENTAL SPACE. We can never know for sure what is within our universe, but using our observational technology to create specific perspectives (like looking through the eyepiece of a microscope), we can build models of these specific experimental spaces to help us predict specific universal behaviors.
An example of an EXPERIMENTAL SPACE starts perhaps with tiny microscopic organisms swimming in a droplet of pond water on a slide. The slide is on a microscope stage. Above it is the objective lens. Above that is a tube to an eyepiece. Above the eyepiece of the scope is a human eye. And above the eye’s retina is the human brain. So in this example, the eye records from this unique perspective just illustrated, and the brain then processes what the eye sees and gives it meaning. The meaning adds more to the perspective. It actually might change it (in other words, the way we see what we’re looking at through the scope can change our further perspective on it).
Will we identify something, some organism, by its characteristics? Will we recognize it, as it varies with time? Will we use characteristics to identify new species? Will we measure the speed of each organism? This is how the experimental setup changes as the mind gives new meaning to the observed (what we are in relationship with: what we are sampling from our environment).
In the Scientific Method of Research (similar to the way our minds work independently to understand our world) there are these steps:
- Explore the universe.
- Think of a question you want to answer and what the answer to that question might be (Hypothesize).
- Setup an Experiment to answer the question. (What setup/perspective will you use to collect data on your EXPERIMENTAL SPACE?)
- Collect data (today various technologies and equipment will be part of both perspective and collection data).
- Tabulate Results (will be driven by original hypothesis, or question).
- Conclude (This is where we give the results meaning. If we’ve written an abstract to our published research, this will be discussed as part of the expectations of our hypothesis).
- Now that we’ve tabulated the results of our data collected and generalized about them (giving them meaning) we continue to publication. We might conclude: This is how our EXPERIMENTAL SPACE works, and we believe the universe in general behaves the same way. Or, this research shows that EXPERIMENTAL SPACE does not behave the way we anticipated and so perhaps neither does the universe.
As a result of journal juried and published scientific research (following the above scientific method), scientists will try to reproduce the results of the research, or look at the research from a different perspective (or different experimental setup).
By Uncertainty, we can look at the universe, any part of it, by either collecting information about a coordinate location or about two or more locations.
We learn in geometry that two points determine a straight line. That means in order for a displacement or duration to exist, there must be at least two data points. This is a relational way (relational philosophy) of looking at the behavior of the universe in space-time.
Science is usually taught as an objective philosophy. We look in the scope, and we, sometimes, ignore the PATHWAY(S) or PERSPECTIVE or EXPERIMENTAL SETUP we use to collect data. A big problem with the Double-Slit Experiment results in causing many scientists to pull out their hair or conclude that the upper limit of light speed is not terminal velocity c. Instead, some researchers say the experiment proves that subatomic particles can move faster than light (FTL).
If we use the same meticulous inventory followed by the observer as we did with the microscope, we discover that the Double-Slit Experiment is really two independent experiments (in that the resulting data changes, not by FTL speeds but that that EXPERIMENTAL PERSPECTIVES can be made to change FTL (the statistical potentials of changing from one data point to two (a single to a double slit)).
So what does Uncertainty have to do with TIME?
TIME is perceived as a duration between two samplings or two data points. If we only had one data point, one sample, it would be like seeing a dot on the screen in the Double-Slit Experiment (a location: objective view). But when we have two data points (two slits) a distribution, a complex configuration over space, a waveform results. Sampling two points returns a distribution requiring an interference relationship, or duration of that relationship, to occur. So the two major ways we have of sampling our environment (by Uncertainty) are 1) looking at objects, returning their magnitudes at specific locations, 2) looking at objects in time, a way that requires two or more data points.
[For those, who, like me, were statistically challenged because of the Chance Interpretation, rather than the Distribution Interpretation of statistical reality: Think of how weather is predicted: 50% chance of rain distributed over a given area, as opposed to 50% chance in a given amount of time.
When an electron is shot at two slits, its distributional stats say it will exist in the space-time of the two slits (50% distribution in each slit). If a energy packet is small enough (high enough energy), it can be observed to exist in expanded EXPERIMENTAL SPACE, giving us a clue as to how spacetime is created in our expanding universe.]
This is the clue: the universe can see a whole energy packet distributed within two slits, so that it can then interfere with itself. What we want to point out here is that the smaller the particle (energy packet: universal subsystem), the higher the energy, and the greater the potential space it can inhabit. Another wild idea is that when highly energetic particles seem to have a potential spacetime, that potential (from our perspective (100% existence)) actually exists. So how much of the universe exists or interacts with itself even though it potentially exists less than 100%? Does everything that exists potentially have an effect in the universe?
We know that if we sit in a car at the top of a mountain road, and we put the car in neutral, it will speed downhill as a product of gravitational potential. So in most cases, if not all, potential is kind of a stored ability to act/do-something.
Space is a place within which to function. Time is the duration of that function (the more steps to complete that function, the greater the duration).
So how does objective and subjective time arise?
Again, it all has to do with PERSPECTIVE–depending on who is looking–whose perspective it is.
From other posts, we see that in general, all things that exist are relationships from the very beginning of our universe to its very end. So the smallest, maybe the first particles determine absolute time, and all other universal subsystems determine their own time by their internal oscillatory behavior.