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The end


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http://walrusvideo.c...e-the-big-bang/

Fantastic documentary that in a way provides a selection of current ideas regarding before the beginning and finally the end could be just a beginning.

Wish I had the time and more importantly the ability to understand and study this more, maybe (or is that in fact) in a parallel dimension im the leading expert HAHA

Edited by Earl
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Sorry to bang on about my own idea but the realization that

1) The present can be defined as the only part of the time dimension we can directly detect,

2) Only the present allows us to define the past and the future

3) The flow of time requires a notion of past, present and future

... then it seems likely to me, or distinctly possible, that our entire concept of time hangs on our perception of the present. And that is nothing more (or could be nothing more) than a perception of ours.

However, I'm not sure, this morning, if there really IS anything different about our perception of the present. The thing is, we are certain about it. Did I have toothache last year? and 'Will I have toothache next year? are open to doubt but 'Do I have toothache now?' can be answered with certainty. However, is this a certainty about the time dimension or is it only a certainty about toothache? If it is only about toothache then my line of thought crumbles. Opinions welcome!

Olly

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There are a lot of strange things which depend on method of measurement. If I understand my "Brian Green" vaguely, the universe may be infinitely large and expanding - Or infinitely small and contracting. Yet, we are able to "fit" into either universes. We see cosmological dimensions as "huge", via our only available perception / measuring device - Light. We simply don't (easily) see the alternative models.

OK, this is (was) "string theory" - Bruised and battered, but yet to be superseded? But, if the physical dimensions have such a duality(?), why not the dimension of time too? I feel there is no shame in admitting a modicum of non-understanding re. popular books on Theoretical Physics. I sometimes worry I'm the only one who doesn't understand them, but I'll be brave, and admit to this! :D

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There are a lot of strange things which depend on method of measurement. If I understand my "Brian Green" vaguely, the universe may be infinitely large and expanding - Or infinitely small and contracting. Yet, we are able to "fit" into either universes. We see cosmological dimensions as "huge", via our only available perception / measuring device - Light. We simply don't (easily) see the alternative models.

OK, this is (was) "string theory" - Bruised and battered, but yet to be superseded? But, if the physical dimensions have such a duality(?), why not the dimension of time too? I feel there is no shame in admitting a modicum of non-understanding re. popular books on Theoretical Physics. I sometimes worry I'm the only one who doesn't understand them, but I'll be brave, and admit to this! :D

Oh, plenty of people admit to not understanding them, myself heartily included! I was reading a difficult book on time a couple of years ago, advancing by a painful page per day. Alan Longstaff picked up the book, started turning the pages, and chuckling occasionally. I thought, Oh God, there are jokes in there as well!!!

Olly

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...Now, does this fact of only detecting the present have something to do with our perception of a flow? Maybe there isn't a real flow. Maybe there is no cause or effect but rather some kind of large edifice or matrix which we are condemned never to see in its entirity but only a bit at a time ( :grin:). This would mean that we would feel as if something were moving when really nothing is moving other than our perception. Think of a reel of cinema film. The audience is permitted to see only one frame at a time but in truth the whole film is 'already there' and could, by a different kind of being, perhaps be seen 'all at once.' Indeed, we can all look at a reel of cinema film and see it all at once, though it won't look the same as it does when viewed in a cinema when the projection of one frame defines the present - and in so doing defines the past and future as well. Aha, that's an interesting thought... (to little me.)

Olly

Very interesting Olly. I’m tempted to ask you what it is in our current understanding of the concept of time that you find lacking? What does it fail to explain to your satisfaction? To me it’s a bit like trying to get my head round the idea of infinity, or an infinitely expanding universe. There are times when I think I’ve almost got it, then the bubble pops and I’m back where I started! :p

If there were some all encompassing edifice or matrix that contains every event, past, present or future, then would it not mean that our future is already out there waiting for us? If our destiny is already mapped-out, then surely our notion of freewill is nothing more than a construct of our imaginations? I'm not sure I like this idea, or have a missed your point? Interesting to ponder though… :smiley:

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Very interesting Olly. I’m tempted to ask you what it is in our current understanding of the concept of time that you find lacking? What does it fail to explain to your satisfaction? To me it’s a bit like trying to get my head round the idea of infinity, or an infinitely expanding universe. There are times when I think I’ve almost got it, then the bubble pops and I’m back where I started! :p

If there were some all encompassing edifice or matrix that contains every event, past, present or future, then would it not mean that our future is already out there waiting for us? If our destiny is already mapped-out, then surely our notion of freewill is nothing more than a construct of our imaginations? I'm not sure I like this idea, or have a missed your point? Interesting to ponder though… :smiley:

We do like the idea of free will. I like it too, being a cantakerous old iconoclast! Yes, the idea of a pre-mapped future seems to do away with free will but maybe that's a failure of understanding on our part. This failure of understanding, if it is there, is beyond my comprehension since it is... a failure of understanding!! Why do I suspect it's there? Why do I doubt 'past present future' AKA 'The Tensed Thoery Of time?' Several reasons;

1 It seems obvious. Just as it seemed obvious that the Earth wasn't whizzng around in circles and on its axis. But this depended on our particular point of view. The Copernican Principle of doubt applies.

2 Quantum oddnesses. Entangled photons, the Alain Aspect experiments, the Double Slit Experiment... The seemingly weird in all of these goes away if you ditch the tensed theory of time. Well, no, but the weirdness is closely linked with the tensed theory. Isn't it? Hardly an expert! One photon at once and yet they seem to interfere. But what if they don't recognize the tensed theory of time and don't, therefore, agree that they are fired one at a time? Maybe they are right and we are wrong?

3 EInstein put a bomb under time. I can't see why a second and third bomb might not be waiting in the wings.

Olly

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Quote from somebody or other; far, far cleverer than I can imagine:

"In fact, what photons do when they are travelling is to take every path possible. If a photon has to travel from point A to point B it will travel in a straight line and loop the loop and go via Alpha Centauri and take every other possible path. This is the photon's so-called 'quantum state'. It is spread out across all space.

However, just because a photon could end up anywhere in space does not mean that it has an equal probability of ending up in any given place. It is far more likely that a photon from a torch I am carrying will end up hitting the ground in front of me than it is that the same photon will hit me on the back of the head. But both are possible. Light can go round corners; just very rarely!"

And they still manage to get through one of the two possible slits. And figure out which bit of the target to land on to make a nice interference pattern.

I suspect a photon has a very different idea of time than we do!

My brain just imploded.

Cheers.

Ian

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The fact that we can't make our mind up about whether a photon follows our particle rules or follows our wave rules I think says a lot about our rules/theories really.

Yes, something is missing and, just my hunch, the missing bit is likely to be a decent theory of time.

Olly

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Yes, something is missing and, just my hunch, the missing bit is likely to be a decent theory of time.

Yep, very true.

After all, 'time' is not really something we have witnessed or found in nature, it's really just a human concept, an idea we have created to try to make some sense of a series of events etc. So it's no wonder we have something quite wrong.

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Yep, very true.

After all, 'time' is not really something we have witnessed or found in nature, it's really just a human concept, an idea we have created to try to make some sense of a series of events etc. So it's no wonder we have something quite wrong.

Yes. Lots of people (and I was one of them till reading Lockwood's The Labyrinth of Time) think that we do detect time in nature but, of course, we don't. What we detect is confusing change and we manage that confusion with our tensed theory of time. I wonder if animals have any sense of time. Our dog, like most dogs, dreams a lot and I wonder how she feels about waking up into different circumstances than those of the dream.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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Interesting read. As a normal guy who once did fair bit of molecular physics at one stage this stuff is really beyond me, how the true and best theoreticians push the field forwards and dedicate their lives to it, and there are only very few of them left, the true natural philosophers as I'd like to call them, though no doubt a few new ones will come along in future.

One of my biggest heroes I can listen to all day long is Leonard Susskind, no matter what ideas he talks about in physics, he distills ideas in such a neat way, he is also one of those types that will openly admit to not being a pure mathematician, it is all relative of course a that level, he would still have a tremendous ability in that area. Leonard keeps his feet on the ground when doing physics, but thinks about the sort of problems that are discussed here all the time.

Once upon a time, I could do quantum mechanics all day long, applying quantum mechanics mathematically and computationally to quite complex problems in the field of chemical and molecular physics, it is not that hard, but it is just good old humble applied quantum mechanics, there is no comparison to what some of the greats do and think about every day, I wouldn't even know where to start. :)

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Probably not. I generally object to 'Before the Big Bang' by saying that I'd prefer the expression 'Outside the Big Bang.' For me, Before, After, Beginning, End, are terms predicated on our present understanding of time, which I think is hopelssly localized and incomplete. I have no better alternative but there's lots of evidence to suggest that 'past present future' won't do for :grin: much longer!!!

Ollly

Before and after are certainly based upon a notion of time. However, beginning and end could form the basis for a definition of time in themselves. Eg. Big-Bang Big-Crunch cosmology, cosmic time etc.

Localized time is a useful concept but of course only part of the story. Being able to understaning the 'evolution of time ' on scales of billions of years is proving difficult. Good luck to all cosmologists

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Always a great read when it involves time. I remember seeing that Brian Cox show where at the end he said something along the lines of everything flies apart, gets cold, the end.

That's the obvious solution to anything that had a beggining, surely a human concept wrapped up in our need and desire to find answers, we are born and we die therefore it must be the same for everything else.

I like the way Olly is thinking, I don't really understand why we have such a need to prove or find a beggining and end, though I understand the need and reasons to look for them. I also like the film idea. If you are outside of the real you can pick it up and examine different parts, if you are on the real you can only move from one frame to the next. It's all made up of the same thing but with a very slightly different pattern to each frame. Yet, everything on the film exists all of the time, the film can be started at any point and will always unravel to the same end and even when the closing scene is being played out the openning one is still there the same as it always was it's just a different pattern.

I like to think of it as everything that ever was and is, is all of the time, that every object, atom, cell, boson, or whatever fills the entirety of space (to say for instance that a house goes off in every feasable direction but we can only see one). How it is experienced comes down to which wave function/pattern is affecting a relative space in a constant. However, that is why I am a chippy and ultimately haven't got a clue.... :laugh:

Edited by foundaplanet
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Always a great read when it involves time. I remember seeing that Brian Cox show where at the end he said something along the lines of everything flies apart, gets cold, the end.

That's the obvious solution to anything that had a beggining, surely a human concept wrapped up in our need and desire to find answers, we are born and we die therefore it must be the same for everything else.

I like the way Olly is thinking, I don't really understand why we have such a need to prove or find a beggining and end, though I understand the need and reasons to look for them. I also like the film idea. If you are outside of the real you can pick it up and examine different parts, if you are on the real you can only move from one frame to the next. It's all made up of the same thing but with a very slightly different pattern to each frame. Yet, everything on the film exists all of the time, the film can be started at any point and will always unravel to the same end and even when the closing scene is being played out the openning one is still there the same as it always was it's just a different pattern.

I like to think of it as everything that ever was and is, is all of the time, that every object, atom, cell, boson, or whatever fills the entirety of space (to say for instance that a house goes off in every feasable direction but we can only see one). How it is experienced comes down to which wave function/pattern is affecting a relative space in a constant. However, that is why I am a chippy and ultimately haven't got a clue.... :laugh:

Nowt wrong with being in the building game... These physicists need somewhere to live and work :D;)

Well thats how I justify it anyway.....hahaha

Just don't let my son hear me talking like that... I'll string him up if he wants to follow in his old mans footprints

Edited by auspom
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Nowt wrong with being in the building game... These physicists need somewhere to live and work biggrin.gifwink.gif

Well thats how I justify it anyway.....hahaha

Just don't let my son hear me talking like that... I'll string him up if he wants to follow in his old mans footprints

I guess it's where you go up when you build things... you just end up building everything..its the natural thing to do... :laugh:

And yes too right..:)

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Of the three (past, present and future) it's the present that i find the hardest to define. if a bug is flying toward my windscreen it's going to hit my it in the future, then it has hit it (past) but at what point is it hitting the windscreen? it's either going to or has. But then we can say, " it's raining outside". which could mean it was raining one minute ago and it (probably) will be in one minute more but does that mean its raining in the present or did it just not stop between past and future. As soon as you think of now, it is then. is the present that razors edge between past and future, or does it just not really exist?

Oh yeah, I'm one of the builder types so I too probably ultimately haven't got a clue either ;)

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is the present that razors edge between past and future, or does it just not really exist?

It's an interesting question. No matter how quickly you shout "now!" the moment has already passed. The question is, does this principle extend to minute quantities of time or not? It's an open question whether time is continuous or is quantised into discrete moments of minute duration.

We certainly can't perceive an instant of time and live in an extended moment, conscious of the recent past while simultaneously anticipating the immediate future. Music is a simple example of this. An instant of music is meaningless, the listener must build a melody from the individual notes. Music is as much a mental construct as it is sound.

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Of the three (past, present and future) it's the present that i find the hardest to define. if a bug is flying toward my windscreen it's going to hit my it in the future, then it has hit it (past) but at what point is it hitting the windscreen? it's either going to or has. But then we can say, " it's raining outside". which could mean it was raining one minute ago and it (probably) will be in one minute more but does that mean its raining in the present or did it just not stop between past and future. As soon as you think of now, it is then. is the present that razors edge between past and future, or does it just not really exist?

Oh yeah, I'm one of the builder types so I too probably ultimately haven't got a clue either wink.gif

The bug has always been traveling towards the window screen and always will be, just as the bug is dead and always has been. The present is our perception of organised choas (a bit like a building site) because we can only be in a present moment or a specific frequency we witness what we believe/percieve to be an order.. Just a big bag of beans, it's all pulses..:D

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