Is Time Real?

Kant was among the first to postulate an unbending time dimension akin to spatial ones. Einstein showed time dilation in Special Relativity by discussing "signals" of light being used to "measure time". Fair enough, but doesn't this presume the motion of light?
Suppose there was just a single atom in its ground state in a Universe so no light would be emitted [and of course it couldn't be prey to radioactive decay - gold would qualify] and obviously none could be absorbed since we're assuming a Universe with JUST one atom [it COULD happen]. HOW would an observer know how mush time had passed? OK, an observer could create motion by observing, so let's have NO observer...would time exist or not?
This is a little like asking if the falling tree in the forest makes a sound if nobody is there to hear it, but a tape recorder wrecks THAT. This postulated Universe has no observer.
freeed freeed
66-70, M
6 Responses Feb 27, 2011

You men are asking the wrong question: "Does the falling tree in the forest make a sound if nobody is there to hear it?". A much more interesting question is "If men are discussing something in the forest and no woman is there to hear them, are they still wrong?". Now THAT is a timeless question.

:p LOL

Sis, your answer is all it takes to please me. Thanks. Know that group The Kinks? "So tired, tired of WAITING...."

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lol..<br />
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sorry bro, i am not qualified for scientific and philosophical discussion ^^,

With the development of quantum mechanics, it was found that the orbiting electrons around a nucleus could not be fully described as particles, but needed to be explained by the wave-particle duality. In this sense, the electrons have the following properties:<br />
[edit] Wave-like properties<br />
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The electrons do not orbit the nucleus in the sense of a planet orbiting the sun, but instead exist as standing waves. The lowest possible energy an electron can take is therefore analogous to the fundamental frequency of a wave on a string. Higher energy states are then similar to harmonics of the fundamental frequency.<br />
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The electrons are never in a single point location, although the probability of interacting with the electron at a single point can be found from the wavefunction of the electron.<br />
[edit] Particle-like properties<br />
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There is always an integer number of electrons orbiting the nucleus.<br />
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Electrons jump between orbitals in a particle-like fashion. For example, if a single photon strikes the electrons, only a single electron changes states in response to the photon.<br />
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The electrons retain particle like-properties such as: each wave state has the same electrical charge as the electron particle. Each wave state has a single discrete spin (spin up or spin down)<br />
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Credit Wikipedia for this cut&paste supporting my original characterization of electrons occupying ORBITALS as standing waves in contradistinction to your classical concept that one particle orbits another in an atom. I did say orbitals are my specialty - I was computing them on mainfr<x>ames before the appellation Computational Chemistry had been created. I guess being a dinosaur makes me a pioneer as well. LOL. IF Hydrogen were a two particle system at any point there would be a dipole field with its beautiful shape I'm certain you know. Thing is that half a circular orbit later the dipole would invert and I don't have to tell you an oscillating electric field creates usable energy [at the energy expense of what produces the oscillation]. This is not seen ergo electrons do NOT orbit, so my original atom Universe is valid, quarks ignored.<br />
Regarding the photon, if you prefer it to a whole atom, my point IS that no point of reference would exist to measure the relative motion against so how could it be said to move? Relative to what? Also, Scientific American had a nice summary article decades ago explicating alternative Maxwell Equations, which had the same well-known terms but extra ones, one result of which is the termination of electric field rather than the usual extension to "infinity", and the coming to rest of a photon. These could exist, if memory serves, IF magnetic monopoles do and I believe that remains an open question as recently as last month when I returned to RPI [where I started] and put the question to a professor.<br />
As concerns splitting into an electron and positron, sure I know that, but did you know the proximity of a proper nucleus to induce said event is needed? If there were no other ob<x>ject there would be no splitting. Sooo....would time exist or not? :)

In fact it IS posited that protons have quark structure that may be dynamic, and I'll admit you got me on the theory, but the proof always involves light signals, so the motion [therefore time's passage] really cannot be measured. How much time would pass if it can't be quantified?? Who knows?<br />
My feeble understanding of quarks is that they cannot be separated from the particle 2 or 3 of them combine to create since the energy required to do so creates more quarks that recombine, forbidding isolated quarks. If we posit a single quark, would it vibrate? Is the lowest energy state of a "string" one of rest or vibration? IDK but if it's non-vibrating a single such string would be a candidate for our hypothetical Universe [and still leaves the problem of no observer, so how do we know it exists?]. Actually a single photon makes a good candidate since in the absence of everything else, it would have to be declared at rest, having no motion relative to any other thing. These things keep me up all night. Maybe I should go back to drinking. LOL

It would seem you agree that in the absence of change there is no time.<br />
Regarding the orbitals (my specialty): they are sherical harmonic functions occupying discrete energy states the electrons populate. In ground state there is no change as the electron is thought of as being a cloud rather than tracing out particle motions. Only absorption of an external photon [here disallowed] of the proper frequency will the electron change orbitals. For simplicity consider the 1s spherical cloud of Hydrogen one [no neutrons, as deuterium and tritium have] - it will never promote to 2s, 2p, etc. If even this is too complicated to eliminate motion, let's suppose a Universe with JUST an electron...there is nothing with which to compare its position so it has no speed, which as you know is the derivative of position wrt time.<br />
The main difficulty here, as per Heisenberg, is the observer. With one we can say the electron moves [but not know simultaneously its position and momentum exactly] and therefore time exists. WITHOUT an observer there can be no such determination. Now the question becomes who would ever know such a Universe existed/? God?