TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

What is time?

Wasting time makes you think what time is... How everything is connected... After long contemplation you realize that time is everything around you! Gravity, matter, space, energy... All of it cooperate together to make time pass.

Actually, why do we even say time? Everything in the universe orbits a bigger object, the Earth and the rest of the planets orbit the sun at different speeds but they all move around the center of the milky way at the same speed. That galaxy floats around some bigger object etc. at some point we will realize that everything in the universe floats through it at a constant rate, then space = time! We all float through this space-time and each second passed can (theoretically) be measured in kilometers if only we had a point of reference (we can't find it as everything we know moves at the same rate). The theory that we can travel through time when reached over-light speeds seems not so realistic to me after tonight. There is something missing, we just accept that everything is relative. Each object in the universe is influenced by a bigger object, but the universe as a whole is influenced by something even bigger and it floats at a constant rate around it...
What do you think?

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jan 8 2013: The great physicist John Wheeler supposedly coined the phrase,
    "time was invented so that everything wouldn't happen at once."

    Well, everything is happening at once, every where in the universe and there is room enough for it all to happen.

    The British physicist Julian Barbour, proposed his pet theory that time doesn't really exist (actually some decades ago), and if I recall correctly, a young New Zealander in, oh, maybe 2002-2004 was able to write the first mathematical equation proving it. Something Barbour was working on but was unable to successfully write himself.

    Here's a bit about it:

    "He argues that we have no evidence of the past other than our memory of it, and no evidence of the future other than our belief in it. "Change merely creates an illusion of time, with each individual moment existing in its own right, complete and whole." He calls these moments "Nows". It is all an illusion: there is no motion and no change. He argues that the illusion of time is what we interpret through what he calls "time capsules," which are "any fixed pattern that creates or encodes the appearance of motion, change or history."

    Barbour's theory goes further in scepticism than the block universe theory, since it denies not only the passage of time, but the existence of an external dimension of time. Physics orders "Nows" by their inherent similarity to each other. That ordering is what we conventionally call a time ordering, but does not come about from "Nows" occurring at specific times, since they do not occur, nor does it come about from their existing unchangingly along the time-axis of a block universe, but it is rather derived from their actual content."
    • thumb
      Jan 9 2013: Of course Time does not exist. Neither do inches or kilograms exist. They are units of measure.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.