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# Time doesn't actually exist - discuss watch

1. (Original post by miser)
Well, given that we have an equalateral triangle type setup, when person B starts moving towards person A, at first he will move a bit closer to person C, then at the half-way point he'll start moving a bit away from person C, until person B reaches person A. So during the first half of person B's journey, person C would observe spatial contraction, and in the second half observe spatial expansion. But because it's half of one and half of the other, the net contraction that person C observed would be 0.

As for whether to use the word "appears", the distance does actually shrink, but I think only if you are the one observing it. An example to illustrate this: muons created in the Earth's atmosphere travelling towards the ground. The muons travel at the speed of light, but muons decay very quickly and disappear - they shouldn't last long enough to travel from the Earth's atmosphere to the ground, even if travelling at the speed of light. Yet, we can detect them at ground level. The answer to the problem is that from the muon's perspective, they are stationary and the Earth is travelling at the speed of light towards them. Lorentz contraction occurs and the space really does shrink, so they have to travel less far, so they can reach the ground before decaying. We can only detect them when they reach us though, so we can't see any Lorentz contraction acting the other way, so to our detectors the muons just show up inexplicably. So if the space appears to shrink, it effectively really has shrunk, but from other perspectives it may not have shrunk, and really didn't shrink. It's a counter-intuitive subject.

No I studied software engineering.
Ok yes in a triangle setup, thanks that makes sense!

Interesting example actually, the same way they provided more evidence for relativity in 1986 was with muons, they whirled them around a small circular lap and measured how many laps they did. They knew the rate of decay and so predicted how many laps they should have done but in fact they did a lot more because of time dilation and spacial contraction. Physics is awesome

Oh really? You're very well informed on the subject of relativity
2. (Original post by Schrödingers Cat)
Ok yes in a triangle setup, thanks that makes sense!

Interesting example actually, the same way they provided more evidence for relativity in 1986 was with muons, they whirled them around a small circular lap and measured how many laps they did. They knew the rate of decay and so predicted how many laps they should have done but in fact they did a lot more because of time dilation and spacial contraction. Physics is awesome

Oh really? You're very well informed on the subject of relativity
I just know the basics.
3. Of course time exists, i haven't heard of a serious scientist who says otherwise (space/time are intimately interwoven). The question is what caused it to exist?

Brian Cox annoys me. Maybe it is just me but he comes across as very arrogant and that's not, in my opinion, what science is all about. I get he is trying to make science "cool" for the younger generation and the wider population and that is important but his shows are all a little too Mikey Mouse for me. I wish Stephen Hawking did more documentaries.
4. This problem is deeply related to how we define existence.

Are we defining it as "to be conceivable within our minds"? In which case time exists, but by this unicorns also exist, as well as the word "flabberdicklewadd".

Are we defining it to be a physical property of the universe? In which case time likely doesn't exist, much like centimeters don't exist or degrees don't exist.

Are we defining it to be "is present within the universe AND its presence in it is independent on from the human mind"? Well then we have to further define mind-independence. Tables are causally dependent on humans on Earth as without humans tables would not exist. However tables are no meta-physically dependent on humans as if all humans died tables would remain. Maths and time on the other hand would not. They are both casually and meta-physically dependent on humans which says a lot about their "reality" and their "existence". And so under this definition of existence time wouldn't exist.

Does the truth "1+1=2" exist? It's going to be tough to argue that it does exist. Yet this is precisely what you need to do if you think that mathematical truths/time based truths continue to exist without human minds and are therefore NOT metaphysically dependent on us. Usually it requires belief in abstract objects which itself generally requires belief in a god for pragmatic reasons. Not something most scientists (who are generally philosophical naturalists) want to believe in.
5. (Original post by TorpidPhil)
Are we defining it to be a physical property of the universe? In which case time likely doesn't exist, much like centimeters don't exist or degrees don't exist.
This is not correct. Time has physical properties and is classed as an object because it's interwoven with space, without space there can be no time and without time there can be no space.

Also remember that time has properties of it's own. I strongly recommend you read this paper http://arxiv.org/ftp/quant-ph/papers/0010/0010027.pdf

The results obtained confirm the Kozyrev hypothesis that time has physical properties and open up radically new opportunities for the efficient control of physical processes. It is demonstrated with point particle that the change in the course of time results in the appearance of an additional force acting on the particle. A general conclusion is drawn on the basis of the theory advanced that relativistic equations of motion for any kind of matter contain information about the physical properties of time which are, thus, of dynamical nature.

6. (Original post by TorpidPhil)
This problem is deeply related to how we define existence.

Are we defining it as "to be conceivable within our minds"? In which case time exists, but by this unicorns also exist, as well as the word "flabberdicklewadd".

Are we defining it to be a physical property of the universe? In which case time likely doesn't exist, much like centimeters don't exist or degrees don't exist.

Are we defining it to be "is present within the universe AND its presence in it is independent on from the human mind"? Well then we have to further define mind-independence. Tables are causally dependent on humans on Earth as without humans tables would not exist. However tables are no meta-physically dependent on humans as if all humans died tables would remain. Maths and time on the other hand would not. They are both casually and meta-physically dependent on humans which says a lot about their "reality" and their "existence". And so under this definition of existence time wouldn't exist.

Does the truth "1+1=2" exist? It's going to be tough to argue that it does exist. Yet this is precisely what you need to do if you think that mathematical truths/time based truths continue to exist without human minds and are therefore NOT metaphysically dependent on us. Usually it requires belief in abstract objects which itself generally requires belief in a god for pragmatic reasons. Not something most scientists (who are generally philosophical naturalists) want to believe in.
Some of your words are not right . Time is a relationship between speed and distance. The Universe is always moving, right? That means time always exists. And of course it's a physical property of the Universe because it can be measured.

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7. I think both of those retorts are contentious interpretions of modern science...

Maybe I misunderstand the debate. I've studied realism/anti-realism elsewhere but not specifically the philosophy of space/time yet.
8. (Original post by TorpidPhil)
I think both of those retorts are contentious interpretions of modern science...

Maybe I misunderstand the debate. I've studied realism/anti-realism elsewhere but not specifically the philosophy of space/time yet.
Lol. Those two ideas are of philosophical materialism. Lots of physicists are materialists or realists. That's the reason why their theories came out that way.

Do you think time would still exist if there were no more living beings in the universe?

What causes time, do you think? Human beings? Space? Matter? God? Or anything else?

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