Archive for December, 2012

New thinking about *time*: Does time depend on the level of assembly of matter?

The Cordus conjecture suggests a particular multi-level interpretation for time. In this construct, time at the fundamental level is generated by each individual particule, and is associated with the frequency of the particule.  Of the different *times* within the Cordus model, this ticks the fastest. However, particules will generally not have identical frequencies, and even like particules with different energy or in different situations will tick differently.

Time at our macroscopic level of existence

Time at our macroscopic level of existence

The next level of time is caused by the interactions of multiple particules. This interaction occurs since each particule emits discrete field elements, and these interact with neighbouring particules, either strongly as in bonding, or weakly as in macroscopic fields. The resulting interaction stitches together three-dimensional domains of space (matter and vacuum-fabric) into a macroscopic collated time. This level of time passes more slowly, due to the many tiny delays required for particules to react to each other, given the dissimilar-frequency and phase-differences between the particules. There is no real tick at this level, but rather a one-directional mutual causality. This, Cordus suggests, is where the arrow-of-time arises,  and what general relativity perceives as spacetime. This is also the macroscopic level of physical time, and hence where our perception of time arises. Actually, Cordus suggests there are several intermediate levels of time, and these are described later.

Thus there is more than one *time*. The time at the macroscopic level is different to that within particules. Macroscopic time depends on the connectedness of matter hence on the number of particules and the nature of their relationship, i.e. the ‘level of assembly’ of matter [15].

This is an unusual approach, since time is conventionally associated with a dimension (spacetime) of the cosmos. Nonetheless it has the potential to better-explain certain features of time.

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The mystery of time

In this introductory note we identify some of the problems with *time*.

Though intuitively familiar, time is a mystery.  Time is a variable throughout physics: classical mechanics, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics (QM), and general relativity (GR)  all include it. Yet the constructs in each are very different. Time is a topic that flow through many discourses and fields of study other than pure physics. It has implications in philosophy for how life exists in the framework of finite time, theological questions about what existence there might be beyond time and this universe, and psychological questions about how we perceive time in a cognitive sense.  There are also unsolved integrative problems, like how the time that emerges at the level of atomic clocks  transfers  to the world at large, whether there is an absolute time, how time started, how time dilation works, and how the arrow of time arises.

All these approaches, physics, psychology, philosophy, have models for time. Yet they are poorly integrated, indeed sometimes in conflict. Nor are those constructs always coherent with humans’ personal cognitive perception of time. For example, the idea that time runs differently depending on gravitation or velocity, or that time may have had a beginning (and therefore not existed before the universe), is deeply puzzling to the mental model of most people.

 

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What really is *time* ?

One of the frustating features of modern physics is that it does not always explain why something *is*, i.e. the nature of existence and being at the fundamental level. This is the ontological problem of modern physics.

Mostly this is caused by the methodologies that physics currently uses, which are primarily mathematical. Thus physics does not attempt to explain why anything *is* but only *what* its behaviour and mathematics might be.

Examples of the ontological problem are: wave-particle duality; why QM does not scale up to the macroscopic world (e.g. Schrodinger’s Cat); what a zero-dimensional particle really comprises; why the vacuum has electric and magnetic constants; fine-structure constant (alpha); time.

In this series of posts we will pick one of these themes, and start to provide an answer to the deeper questions about what *time* is at the fundamental level.

As we will see, it is possible to explain *time* within the conceptual framework provided by the cordus conjecture, and there are some interesting implications for the arrow of time, entropy, time as a dimension, spacetime, etc.

 

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