What is Time?
Posted in the Physics Forum
#1 Mar 17, 2010
It is remarkable that the most real feeling in perception of time the present, cannot be measured in any units of time. Present is
duration-less, it is an infinitesimal. On the timeline both the past and the future which are seen as durations in time encroach on the
Writer and physicist Paul Davies has called "time" Einsteins unfinished revolution. There are many questions about the nature of time.
What is time? What causes time? Is time an emergent concept? Why time slows in gravity? Why time slows in motion? Is time a dimension?
Aristotle may have come closest to understanding time when he speculated that time may be motion. He however added that motion could
be slower or faster but not time. Aristotle did not have the privilege of knowing about Einsteins relativity in which time also becomes amenable
to change. Similarly when Einstein was working to develop theory of general relativity and proposed the revolutionary idea that mass curves
space he did not know that the universe was expanding. This discovery by astronomer Edwin Hubble came 13 years after Einstein had
published his theory of General Relativity. Had Einstein known of this great discovery he may have incorporated these ideas into his
theories. Conceptually it is easier to derive space curvature in an expanding universe as an area of slower expansion under the influence of
One of the most dramatic aspects of the universe is that it is expanding and the presence of motion, forces and curved space-time
happens in the expanding space. In general relativity matter produces curvature in space-time, this concept can also be extended to moving
objects and it can be shown that moving objects can also curve space-time.
Time is possibly an emergent concept that arises secondary to the presence of motion and forces. It is proposed here that the motion
and forces are due to expansion of the universe. Slower expansion of space around large masses like earth and sun could be considered as
the cause of slower time linking time to the expansion of space. Gravity can be explained on basis of tendency of matter composed of billions
of particles orbiting at tremendous velocities to move from faster to slower time when placed in a time differential. This explains why gravity is
always attractive. This new approach towards understanding time eliminates the infinite gravity or singularity of black holes. It also shows us
that not only gravity of large masses but motion of objects also can curve space which leads to the beautiful mechanism of length
contraction. It leads to a deeper understanding of why time slows with motion and in gravity. It also provides a clear explanation of why there
cannot be a twin paradox.
This new understanding of time linking it with the expansion of space may have been already confirmed by the discovery that the universal
expansion appears to be accelerating. If time is indeed related to the expansion of space and our time is slowing down then as we make
measurements of light emitted by distant supernova (when time was faster) we will be measuring their frequency changes from our slower
time. This will give an illusion that the universal expansion is accelerating. Similarly the pioneer anomaly can be explained by slowing of our
time during the period the signal travels from earth to pioneer space craft and back. These predictions are not based on any exotic
phenomenon but on Einsteins relativity and can be easily tested. This new approach in understanding of time, motion, and gravity could
bring about a revolution in physics.
#2 Mar 17, 2010
What are the consequences of this new way of understanding the universe?
1. Accelerating expansion of the universe is an illusion if we take into account that time is related to expansion of the universe. Our
present time is the slowest. Compared to our present time (now) time would be faster in the past as the expansion of space was faster at
that time. Looking into distant past with telescopes we are actually looking at an era of faster time. We should see relative blue shifting of
frequencies more then we would expect.
2. Black holes cannot have singularity. Once expansion of space approaches zero in the center of the black hole time approaches zero.
There is no further increase in gravity at this point as there in no further increase in time differential. Gravity being time differential.
3. Moving objects move in a time differential. This information can be used to experimentally prove the concept that time is related to
expansion of space is correct.
4. Space is elastic. Galaxies stars and planets do not leave a dent in space when they move on. Space just springs back up. There is no
need for an extra mass to stop the expansion of the universe. Elasticity of space will stop the expansion.
5. Time travel is not possible as there is no passage of time and past and future do not exist.
6. Gravity is a weak but long distance force which is mediated through time differential. It is produced by minute time differences in
space caused by different rates of expansion. The internal atomic motion of the atoms is converted into external linear motion when
placed in the time differential.
7. There may be a way of tapping into zero point energy and using concept of time differential to produce propulsion mechanism for
travel. Tapping into zero point energy in the front of the spaceship and pumping it back towards the back end of the space ship will create
the time differential. The space ship may move without feeling an acceleration. There will be no gain in mass as no external force was
needed to accelerate.
8. There is no past or future only present is real. Passage of time creates the illusion of an arrow because of the way forces act. Forces
being part of time.
9. Inertia. Initially space resists motion. Force used to overcome this resistance increases the mass of the body which is set into motion.
Time differential is set up when a body starts moving which then perpetuates the motion. This explains the initial resistance and later
10. Centrifugal force is explained. Objects are moving due to time differential which works at the level of atoms. There is no action at
11 There is no twin paradox as in moving objects slowing of time is real and motion curves space.
12. Length contraction: Moving objects curve space. This explains length contraction, perpetual motion and inertia, as well as slowing of
13. Moving objects drag light so the simultaneity is preserved. This information is well known and the effect is seen as photon
acceleration mostly in laser and plasma research. This information can used to set up an experiment to prove this concept.
14. Major consequences for the origin of the universe.
15. Negative gravity predicted in contracting universe
#3 Mar 20, 2010
I never saw a peer review of these ideas. Anyone have a link or does anyone have anything to add?
#4 Mar 26, 2010
No one? I was really wanting to hear what people more knowledgable about this subject had to say about this. Especially about the idea that gravity is a product of the expansion of space and that time itself (motion) is slower where the expansion of space is slower.
#5 Jun 3, 2012
The post has many topics to it, making it necessary to discuss them one at a time. I've written several essays on how I think the universe works. Most of my ideas are alternative explanations to those of the Standard Model today. Please read my essay on time which is located at:
I welcome all comments, pro and con.
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