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A Matter Of Time

caldrail

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According to the BBC, ten million of you watched the Dr Who special marking the 50th year of time travelling mayhem and alien invasions of Earth. I strongly suspect far fewer of you are going to be reading this, but who knows, perhaps one day this blog will survive the ravages of time and become an indispensible guide to how life in Swindon really was before Professor Cox was proved right.

 

I do note however one aspect of Day Of The Doctor that most people might not have noticed. The good Doctor turns out to have been an utter cad. He sent Rose Tyler into exile in another dimension so he could snog Elizabeth 1st. Perhaps worse than that, children have learned that our foremost warrior queen married a nine hundred year old alien with really bad fashion sense. No wonder she kept that secret.

 

Dr Cox

A little while ago I spotted a news item on Yahoo in which Professor Brian Cox was quoted as saying that time travel was possible. I disagree with him vehemently and posted a somewhat sarky comment to that effect. You see, he says that einsteinian time dilation due to excessive speed allows a traveller to go into the future. I say it doesn't, because the traveller hasn't left his own present and cannot move independently of his own local time, thus he isn't time travelling at all. Physics is really easy when you don't listen to physics lecturers.

 

Lo and behold within days a lecture by Professor Cox was aired on television in which he discussed whether time travel was possible. Actually he spent most of the lecture dazzling his audience with the inner mysteries of light cones, and only at the very end suggested a possible time travel paradigm. He said that if you could warp space so that the end met the beginning, then hurtling through space at near-light speed would get you into the past.

 

He is of course wrong. If he was right, all it wouldl do is get you ten penalty points on your license and a three month ban on driving time machines. Not only are there speed cameras everywhere,to catch you flashing past at 186,000 miles per second, your arrival at your destination will very likely be in the history books and therefore you're guilty as charged. According to the history books I've read, no-one from the future ever turned up.

 

He did confess that the energy required to warp space like that would be enormous but tried to inspire the television audience to try anyway. Clearly he hasn't dealt with energy companies. If he had, he would know that no-one in Britain could afford to power their time machine.

 

Survival Without Central Heating Update

Cold... So cold...

 

Time Machine Of The Week

So you want to follow the good professors advice and build a time machine? Well, you don't need to build a weird victorian chair with rotating umbrella, a 60's police box, or a huge underground complex in the American desert. Just follow my simple instructions and you can travel through time.

 

Step 1 - Sit comfortably.

 

Step 2 - Wait. Twiddle thumbs if necessary.

 

Step 3 - Done. Finished. You have just travelled through time according to Professor Cox. Admittedly you won't be able to snog Elizabeth 1st, battle Daleks, or act the idiot with a sonic screwdriver, but there you go.

 

You see, in order to travel into the past or future then the past or future has exist in order to visit it. That means that Time must be dimensional, which unfortunately for Professor Cox means the past is already defined, and since the future is merely a part of the Time dimension we haven't reached yet, it too is pre-determined , which means there's nothing you can do. The bank will foreclose on your mortgage, Schrodingers Cat will die of starvation, and the number 10 bus will squash your dog. There's nothing you can do because Time is already defined.

 

As for me, I say time travel cannot possibly happen because there isn't any Time, only Now. A single existentent moment that changes on a quantum level incredibly fast like a stop-frame movie with a frame rate of billions upon trillions upon quadrillions of frames a second, varying locally according to such einsteinian things like speed and gravity. All the atoms that made Julius Caesar still exist, albeit seperated and changed. A vibrating universe that has no past or future, merely a present that experiences Change. Time is therefore not a seperate existence, dimension, or place you can visit, just our experience of Change.

 

Sadly I can't compete with Professor Cox when it comes to inviting celebrity audiences to a television physics lecture, but I've taken your advice Brian. I've made a start. Trouble is, my time machine cannot possibly work.



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Can you prove all the atoms are still in existence, or are we just assuming? Do objects keep the same mass, or just a relative form? Can a concentration of form attract like particle formations, and can they quantitatively thin over time, similar to how frost expands and contracts?

 

Secondly, how do we know photons move faster than us? Dont we have quite a few in us? In a relativistic universe, we gotta be going somewhere.

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Can you prove all the atoms are still in existence, or are we just assuming?

I haven't invented a Macroscopic Quantum Quantizer yet, nor has anyone else, so the total number of atoms is an estimate and will remain so for the forseeable future, or perhaps until Professor Cox's next Christmas lecture. However, the condition of Change within our universe does not, as I underatand it, prevent the migration of atmoic substance to other forms of existence. Such transformations are part and partcel of phycis and chemistry, without which you or I (or even socially aware ravens) are impossible.

 

Do objects keep the same mass, or just a relative form?

Mass is dependent on atomic structure and the total of atoms within that object. Please note that metric stabndard weights are very carefully kept to prevent minute changes in mass caused by decay or chemical reaction. Also please note that mass and weight are different. Mass is defined by atomic structure, given a scaler value by the efect of gravity acting upon that weight.

 

Can a concentration of form attract like particle formations, and can
they quantitatively thin over time, similar to how frost expands and
contracts?

Newton says yes. Einstein says it's a result of space-time deformation caused by mass. I say they knew better than I do. Since our solar system is a glaringly obvious example of mass-attraction and electro-chemical interation, I guess the answer is basically Yes.

 

Secondly, how do we know photons move faster than us?

Two or three centuries of theoretical and experimental physics.

 

Dont we have quite a few in us?

Actually we do, becauae it is now known that human beings have a very low level of bio-luminesence. Not quite enough to show up on special forces imaging systems, but we're already giving off enough heat or reflecting enough light to make thiose things work.

 

In a relativistic universe, we gotta be going somewhere.

Not necessarily, because movement is relative to the observer, not intrinsic, thus we have no way of knowing whether we're moving or the surrounding universe is moving around us unless we can compare our position to known values and locations, which are themselves of course potentially in motion.

 

Hope my answers are of use to you.

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They are not in fact. I only bring that nugget up because a Oxford Graduate wrote a book called 'The Dicegame of Shiva' http://www.amazon.com/The-Dice-Game-Shiva-Consciousness/dp/1577316444

 

He pretty much takes your stance, but with the attention to further detail on the objective-subjective divide and atomic structure, coming to the conclusion that each atom, when it becomes molecular, is evidence of atomic consciousness. 

 

So.... back to my initial questions if you want to get off the non-Dualist slip and slide..... 

 

Carefully reconsider..... is weight and mass inherently different? How would relativity work if they were different. Yes, I'm aware of the periodical separation and classifications..... but that evolved out of the ideology central to Alchemy, which is dualistic and not necessarily relativistic. How are the two really separate? Are we merely applying a archaic system of categorization that has long ceased to apply to our larger assumptions.

 

I for one don't like the slippery slope of assuming atomic consciousness that a separation presupposes. I like Heraclius, but not that much.

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He pretty much takes your stance, but with the attention to further
detail on the objective-subjective divide and atomic structure, coming
to the conclusion that each atom, when it becomes molecular, is evidence
of atomic consciousness.

I don't necessarily share the views of atomic conciousness - though in fairness it comes uncomfortably close to my own personal religious beliefs - and I should point out that physicisyts are concerned about the existence of 'Bolzmann Brains', sentient entities formed by fortuitous interaction of quantum particles, or if you  like, the sort of energy creatures you see on Star Trek quite a lot. The moral or philosophical questions however are no different - at what point does an entity assume conciousness? Research suggests much lower down the tree of life than we realise, in some primitive way, but conciousness involves more than simple existence and unless particles are complex enough to harbour conciousness, then it's no more than quantum/chemical/physical change without recognition.

 

is weight and mass inherently different?

No. Mass is instrinsic to atomic structure and weight the multiple of mass caused by the strength of the gravity force acting upon mass.

 

How would relativity work if they were different.

The same, with different values and results.

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