Time & Space Write Offby Thomas Wikman
Sep 27, 2012 (Updated Dec 15, 2012) Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in BooksThe Bottom Line Perhaps time is the consciousness of the Universe but it has been scattered by the Big Bang. Four epinions years; it is time for a “Time & Space” write-off.
There is no universal “now”. Your future has already happened in someone else’s reference frame but they are too far away to tell you about it before your future will arrive. So it won’t help you with any fortune telling. What is history to you is the future to someone else and what is the future to you is history for someone else. Not just time but space separates us from our future. That’s the thing about time; it is interconnected with space in a four dimensional space-time continuum. Time & Space are different manifestations of the space-time continuum. What is one observers time is another’s space and vice versa.
In the special theory of relativity space and time are relative and dependent on the observer. There are no correct positions, distances or times, or order of events, just observer dependent measurements. Coordinates, distances, time intervals and the order of events are different depending on the observer’s speed and position.
A few years after the special theory of relativity had been published it was realized that if you put together the space dimensions (x, y, and z) with time (t) and added them together just like you add the space dimensions together using Pythagoras theorem to get a distance/length from coordinates, you get an entity (the space-time interval) that is not relative but is the same for all observers. The space time interval is an absolute or universal entity. That is where the notion that time is the fourth dimension comes from. Well, to complicate matters it is also true that mass/energy can warp the space-time continuum. The reason you experience “gravity” is mostly because of the warping of time and to a lesser extent the warping of space. But that is the second theory of relativity, the general theory of relativity.
However, to explain the space-time thing again; you can assign the end of a stick any coordinates (x1, y1, and z1) using a coordinate system. The other end of the will then have coordinates (x2, y2, and z2). You can rotate or move the stick, or the coordinate system, so you get different (x1, y1, and z1) coordinates, but the length stays the same. It is the same with the space-time interval (but not with length and time).
Then the length of the stick is the square root of (x2 – x1)^2+ (y2 – y1)^2+ (z2 – z1)^2 according to Pythagoras theorem. You can pick any other coordinate system with any other coordinates but as long as you use the same units the length of the stick is the same in all coordinate systems. Well that was until the special theory of relativity came along. However, if you insert time into Pythagoras theorem like this; the square root of (x2 – x1)^2 + (y2 – y1)^2 + (z2 – z1)^2 + (ict2 – ict1)^2 then we are back to a universal absolute. Well time is different. There is an ‘i’ and a ‘c’ in the factor for time. The ‘c’, which is the speed of light, is just a constant. If you measure distance in light-seconds instead of meters it goes away. The ‘i’, however, is what makes light different. The ‘i’ is the square root of -1 and means that the equation really is (x2 – x1)^2 + (y2 – y1)^2 + (z2 – z1)^2 - (t2 – t1)^2. Time is just like another space dimension except for that ‘i’ or the minus in Pythagoras theorem if you will. So there is still something different about time.
But what is time? According to Wikipedia “Time is a dimension in which events can be ordered from the past through the present into the future”. That is perhaps simplistic but it is still a good definition of time. After all, time is a dimension just like space and it has a lot in common with the other three space dimensions and yet it is different in that it has a direction. There is a past that we can remember, a present that we can feel, and a future we typically don’t know much about. At least the past, present and the future is ordered like that in our own reference frame. However, we can walk back and forth in any space dimension as we wish.
If you sliced up space-time along time in an infinite number of slices, and then scrambled them, an observer “outside” of time could still organize the time slices in the correct order. You could perhaps say that the Universe exists in an almost infinite number of states and the natural order of the states is what we call time. Perhaps that is how we could more precisely define physical time? That is just my two cents.
Why don’t we remember our future? As I mentioned time has a direction. In nature there are irreversible processes, self organizing system, evolution, and an entity called entropy (loosely molecular disorder) that is doomed to forever increase in all closed systems (like the Universe). Time is that dimension in the space-time continuum that is different in that sense. According to modern string theory there are nine or ten space dimension and still only one time dimension, and it is different from the other dimensions. Time is very similar yet subtly different from the other dimensions.
It has also occurred to me that without time being a different dimension we could not be aware of our existence and we would not have a self. We wouldn’t have a “soul” if I put it that way. Memory exists because time has a direction and without memory you could not hold a thought or have a self. If you could not even remember one tenth of second and could never hold even a fraction of a thought then how could your mind even exist?
Then perhaps time is the awareness of the Universe but it has been scattered by the Big Bang and the expansion of space? Perhaps all of our different consciousnesses or selves are just fragments of one universal self? Maybe you and I are the continuation of the same mind scattered through space-time. Maybe our minds are all the same mind but we cannot remember the lives of one another. If so, what we are doing to others we are doing to ourselves but in another fragment of the universal mind created by time. OK this paragraph might be what comes out of whiskey bottle, so I’ll stop.
Anyhow, we are all travelling through the space-time continuum at the speed of light. When you are not travelling through space you are travelling through time at the speed of light in vacuum. We can’t stop and we cannot slow down. Traveling at the speed of light is our destiny. Someone told me that if you take the Trans Siberian railway you need to bring a good book and a good bottle of whiskey. That might true for our journey through time & space as well.
I am musing about Time & Space because I’ve been on epinions for four years now and that is longer than I thought. Therefore I think it is time for a write-off and I chose Time & Space. I am inviting everyone to participate in the Time & Space write-off. I will continue this write off throughout October and November.
I am hoping for entries that are somehow related to time and space. Well that is actually everything. However, I was thinking in a more specific way, like a book or movie about time and space, or time travel, or space travel, or a gadget that keeps time, measures space, or moves through space (compared to earth) and not just time. I give you some examples below.
- Magazines & Newspapers are periodicals that are given out every month, week, or day. That gives all Magazines & Newspapers a special connection to time.
- Movies about time travel, the future, history, natural history, evolution, space, the universe, physics, and science fiction all have a special connection to time, space or both.
- Books about time travel, the future, history, natural history, evolution, space, the universe, physics, and science fiction all have a special connection to time, space or both.
- Music featuring lyrics about time, or the future, or long ago, have a special connection to time.
- Electronic and computer hardware gadgets that measure time, or use clocks, or measure distances, for example, DVD players, clocks, speedometers, digital phones, computers, processors, etc, have a special connection to time and space.
- GPS systems, which not only plan routes and predict times, but employ the General Theory of Relativity as well, have a very special connection to time and space.
- Office and home equipment such as rulers and measure tapes have a special connection to time and space.
- Software that can be used to plan routes, for example, Microsoft Streets & Trips, educational software that teaches you about the universe, physics, or history, and software that you use to create a family tree, have a special connection to time and space.
- Things in Sports and Outdoors and Home & Garden that move through space (and not just time) such as bicycles, cars, balls, Frisbees, lawnmowers, model airplanes, have a special connection to time and space.
- Any travel destinations since you travelled through space and perhaps a time zone have a special connection to time and space.
- Travel to historical places and museums, have a very special connection to time and space.
Four years, and time marches on. To enter a review you can leave a comment here or send me an email. Thank you very much for any submissions.
I should mention that there are at least two other write-offs going on; carstair38’s "Annual All Things Disney Write-Off" and Swooshfan's "The 2012 Happy Holidays Write-Off". Feel free to double/triple post.
Books: Encyclopedia of Space
Books: Cosmos a Field Guide
Books: About Time: Einstein's Unfinished Revolution
Books: Jim Al-Khalili - Paradox: The Nine Greatest Enigmas in Physics
Books: Alan Chu, Wolfgang Paech, Mario Weigand - The Cambridge Photographic Moon Atlas
Books: Understanding Einstein's Theories of Relativity: Man's New Perspective on the Cosmos
Cars & Motorsports: Toyota Yaris 2012
Magazines: Consumer Reports
Movies: John Carter
Movies: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Home & Garden: Lasko Wind Machine
Restaurants & Gourmet: Five Sixty (by Wolfgang Puck), Dallas
Electronics: Garmin nüvi 40 - 4.3 in. Car GPS Receiver
Electronics: Samsung BD-D5500 3D Blu-ray Player
Electronics: Samsung SSG3050 - 3D Glasses (SSG3050GB)
Computer Hardware: Dell XPS 8500 i5-3450
Computer Hardware: Hewlett Packard Photosmart 7510 All-In-One InkJet Printer
Computer Hardware: Syncmaster S27B550 27-inch monitor 27 inches LCD Monitor
Computer Hardware: Western Digital My Book Studio 1TB Mac External Hard Drive Storage USB 3.0
Computer Hardware: ASUS G75VW-RH71 Laptop
Software: Microsoft Streets & Trips 2011
Software: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional
Software: Eset Nod32 Antivirus Version 5
Software: ParetoLogic PC Health Advisor
Software: AT&T GPS Navigator Android App
Software: Microsoft Streets & Trips 2013
Software: Smart Tools Smartphone App for iPhone and Android
Software: Google Earth App for iPhone/Android
Software: FileZilla Client
Software: Facebook App for iPhone, iPad and Android
Software: Software: Google Sky Map for Android Phones
Software: Unlocker for Windows
Software: Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional
Software: The Night Sky for Android
Software: Crystal Disk Mark for Windows
Software: USPS Mobile Cell Phone App
Travel: Fort Worth, Cultural District
Travel: Georgia Aquarium
Travel: Wenger Legacy
Travel: Decatur, GA
Travel: Emory Conference Center Hotel, GA
Writer's Corner: Politics Non-Fiction
Computers: DELL XPS 8500 Desktop PC Intel Core i7 3770
Writer's Corner: Confessions of a) Tiger mom b) Suzuki mom c) Caring mom d) all-of-the-above
Movies: Stir of Echoes
Games: Metroid: Zero Mission for Game Boy Advance (GBA)
Games: Metroid Fusion for Game Boy Advance (GBA)
Books: Susan Cooper - The Dark is Rising
Software: Google Earth App for iPhone/Android
Computer Games: Slots - Pharaoh's Way for iPhone
Books: Caleb Daniloff - Running Ransom Road
Books: Shannon Messenger - Keeper of the Lost Cities
Books: Daniel Handke, Vanessa Hunt - Poster Art of the Disney Parks
Travel: Captain EO Tribute - Tomorrowland - Disneyland
Videos & DVDs: Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol
Videos & DVDs: Black Hole
Music: Another Time... Another Place by Sandi Patti
Food & Drink: Milky Way Simply Caramel Bars(M&M/Mars)
Books: Madeleine L'Engle - Wrinkle In Time
Movies: John Carter
Books: Pax Romana
Books: Webb Garrison - Civil War Trivia and Fact Book
Books: Prairie Fever: British Aristocrats in the American West 1830-1890
Games: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty for PlayStation 2
Books: David Coward and David Coward ( editor ) - The Three Musketeers
Poster: The Prestige Poster 27x40 Hugh Jackman Christian Bale Michael Caine
Toys: Diamond Select Toys Marvel Select Captain America The First Avenger Movie Action Figure
Sports & Outdoors: Atlanta Hawks M&N Hardwood Classics Retro Logo 2-Tone Snapback Hat
Movies: The Adjustment Bureau
Books: Ray Hammond - Extinction
Videos & DVDs: Torchwood - The Complete First Season
Videos & DVDs: The Avengers 2012
Video & DVDs: Torchwood - Children of Earth
Books: Brian K. Vaughan - Saga Volume 1
Books: Bill Willingham - Fables: Homeland
Books: Teen Titans Vol. 1: It's Our Right to Fight
Videos & DVDs: Walt Disney Mini Classics - Mickey's Christmas Carol
Videos & DVDs: Disney's Ducktales - Duck to the Future
Books: Thomas Wynn and Frederick L. Coolidge - How to Think Like a Neandertal
Games: Space Invaders For The Super Nintendo Snes Sealed
Games: The Guardian Legend for Nintendo (NES)
Movies: Cloud Atlas
Books: A Wrinkle in Time
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