TED Conversations

Matthew Leitheiser

This conversation is closed.

Will time ever come to an end?

I have been reading a few different articles discussing the "end of time". They mostly talk about how modern physics suggests that at a certain point, all activity in the universe will cease, and there will be no renewal or recovery. My question is basically asking, if this were to happen, wouldn't time theoretically continue? Is time only a measurement of activity, or can it exist without any interaction of matter?

Here are some of the articles I have read:





Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Nov 5 2012: Time requires mass, or perhaps the gravitational force produced by mass. I don't think we really know what gravity is; however logic would dictate that it requires energy. At the death of the universe all energy is exhausted, so it seems logical that tIme would cease.

    That said :-

    Revelation 21:1 (KJV)
    And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

    Looks like things will wind up a bit earlier than that.

    • thumb
      Nov 5 2012: "time requires mass"

      according to which theory?
      • thumb
        Nov 5 2012: Isn't that what Einstein discovered. At the event horizon, time slows, faster movement slows time etc. Am I wrong ? I'm no scientist.

        • thumb
          Nov 5 2012: yeah, but what is the connection? creating and slowing down are two very different things.

          there is a class of solutions to the einstein equations called vacuum solutions. it basically means that there is no mass involved. these solutions of course does not describe our real world, but they can quite well describe a space far away from any matter, like a small patch in the middle of the intergalactic nothingness. in these solutions, of course there is the usual space-time, as we know it. in fact, it is more like we know it, has less weird properties.

          but this is about general relativity. it is just a model, and we know it is not perfect. what about quantum theories? most of them don't describe mass at all. yet, they all have a concept of time. and even those that attempts to explain gravity, don't rely on gravity. gravity is something that is either present or not present at a certain location. you can imagine worlds without mass at all. but time is always a part of these models.

          in fact, we don't have any models in physics that does not have an ever present time parameter.

          but we are still talking about models. the OP asked about reality. so the correct answer would be: our theories have different concept of time. but we don't yet know which of them, if any, is an accurate representation of reality.
      • thumb
        Nov 6 2012: I bow to your more informed opinion. I guess time can be affected by gravity etc., but probably not eradicated. Deep subject.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.