What is "Time"

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by TheDance511, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. TheDance511 macrumors 6502

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    California soon
    #1
    Okay new question... i have always wondered what time is... is it a thing like a material thing not material but a thing..or is it a state of being? or is it just there because we imagine it...and if so how can we imagine it if there is nothing there? Confusing?:confused: ? i know but thats why i asked:apple:
     
  2. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

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    #2
    I believe it's a magazine, but I might be wrong.

    TIME_Person_of_the_Year_2006.jpg
     
  3. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

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    #3
    Different people have different ideas about time, some scientific and some philosophical.

    The first section of the Wiki seems to be what you want...
     
  4. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #4
    Chicago had a bead on it, some time back: "Does anybody really know what time it is. Does anybody care?' Spending adequate time in Latin America will not help answer your question, I'm certain. It does move faster, behind the wheel of a car, when one is late to an appointment. That is all.
     
  5. carbonmotion macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

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    #5
    time is smoking weed too much and wondering about it
    oh wait. that's wasted time.
     
  6. tyr2 macrumors 6502a

    tyr2

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    #6
    1171892792, depending on how you look at it...
     
  7. sunfast macrumors 68020

    sunfast

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    #7
    There are three arrows of time.

    1 - conscious time, the way we all percieve time to be passing

    2 - the direction in which the universe is expanding

    3 - the direction in which entropy is increasing
     
  8. adrianblaine macrumors 65816

    adrianblaine

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    #8
    I don't know what "time" is, but I do know people view it very differently. Take my wife and I for example. When I say I'm planning on getting off work at 5:00, in my head all I really mean is "I'll try to get off work in the vicinity of 5:00, which may mean all the way to 6:30". When she says 5:00, she means 5:00.
     
  9. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

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    #9
    Perfect...

    We have a winner!
     
  10. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #10
    Sit with a pretty girl on a hot stove, and time shall be no more.
     
  11. Baron58 macrumors 6502

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    #11
    "A nonspatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future."

    Bonus geek points to whomever correctly identifies the relevance of that quote to :apple:
     
  12. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

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    #12
    Was that an old QuickTime easter egg or something? I remember being shown a couple of tricks (albeit totally useless ones) years ago and I think that was one of them...
     
  13. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

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    #13
    Time is not constant. It is relative to each living thing. For example if you stood in the centre of a room and I walked around the room with a friend, we would infact be moving forward in time, relative to you. However relative to my friend walking alongside me I would not be going any further in time than him.

    :confused:

    Visualise a glass tube that is closed at both ends. There is a particle of light (photon) trapped inside this tube and because light is the only known *'constant' in the universe it bounces from the top to the bottom of tube at the speed of light. To make things easier to imagine though slow the photon down to 1 second for each top to bottom action. This help you see it in your head a bit more :D Ok, you have two of these 'light clocks' you give one to me and you keep one.

    If you look at your clock in your hand you can see the particle moving up and down at a constant speed. And if you look at mine while im stood next to you it does the same. However if I start to walk around the room my clock seems to slow down from where you are looking at it, because the photon has further to travel because as it bounces up towards the top of the tube it has to go at a diagonal angle to reach the top as I am moving so my clock relative to yours is running slower. So because mine is running slower and yours remains as it was i seem to be travelling forward in time.

    Theres something to pickle your brain. ;) That is why satellites have to take into account their speed around the earth and shave off time from their clocks or else all our TV shedules would be screwed. :D

    *Light is constant because if you were travelling at the speed of light then turned your headlights on. The light from the headlights would still travel away from you at the speed of light.

    EDIT: Oh and to directly answer your question. Time is the fourth dimension. Imagine going to a meeting. You have the directions. These include the 2 dimensions of X and Y. The meeting is on the 20th floor of a building, this is the Z dimension and the time to be at the meeting is the fourth.
     
  14. Baron58 macrumors 6502

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    #14

    You win! In System 7.x --> MacOS 9.x, if you turned on 'Balloon Help' and placed the pointer over the QuickTime extension, that's what was displayed.
     
  15. Baron58 macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Don't you mean '525600'? (OK, now I have that song stuck in my head...)
     
  16. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

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    #16
    Ah the irony...posting that at 2:13
     
  17. namdoog macrumors newbie

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    #17
    Time is the unit with which we record history.
     
  18. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

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    #18
    That is memory.
     
  19. namdoog macrumors newbie

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    #19
    You need scale even for memory, otherwise you can't say when something happened.
     
  20. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

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    #20
    Yes but because time is not constant there needs to be a point to be able to reference events in relation to others. So we start at 0AD. Without this reference point we could not determine when things happened. This reference point is not time itself, it is a reference to a certain point in time so which we can measure from it.
     
  21. smueboy macrumors 6502a

    smueboy

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    #21
    Time is an illusion.
    Past, present and future are figments of our imagination.

    ;)
     
  22. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

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    #22
    The lay person will tell you simply "time is the fourth dimension" and leave it at that. Physicists will give you a variety of theories, but most physicists will tell you that time is not only a dimension, but it is a dimension that is precisely the same type of thing as length or width. This, of course, gets complicated by the fact that time isn't constant, and can actually be contorted.

    If you really want to know what time is, though, you should look to contemporary philosophers. They won't agree about what time is, so they can't just tell you, but they will tell you more about it than anyone else can. There was a 20th century philosopher named McTaggart that gave an argument that the traditional conception of flowing time with a privileged present is paradoxical. The argument is kind of complicated, but most people accept that there is in fact a paradox.

    Because of this paradox, philosophers have largely been divided into two camps.
    First, there is what is referred to as the B-series account of time. On this account, every moment of time is eternal, and nothing ever changes. There isn't much of an account of how we perceive the present, but suffice it to say things aren't actually changing, they just look like they are. This is a very old view of time, and even though it is a little bit counter-intuitive, it is not paradoxical, and it helps us to understand the world (and by world i mean universe) as a four dimensional spacetime, which fits will with much of our physics and lay understanding of things.
    Second, there is a group of philosophers known as presentists. Presentism can come in different forms, but basically it avoids the McTaggartian paradox by denying that the past and future exist.

    There have also been various arguments given that time and change are effectively one and the same. There are nice counter arguments to this, but I don't think anyone has really agreed one way or the other. In most contexts, it makes sense to talk about time and change together.
     
  23. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

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    #23
    An endless succession of events. At what pace you experience those events is relative, but one thing is constant: it's a one way street. There's no going back :)
     
  24. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

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  25. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    #25
    Nope.

    Tried that line, and I still got an earful of abuse for being late for work this morning.. ;)
     

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