The past is real, the future is not, hence time stream from the present - by 2022 - Article review

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1. Introduction

Time dilation is an intriguing phenomenon. The clocks of satellites need continual corrections in order to match the clock on the ground (Ashby, 2003).
The easiest way to explain is that when you start with two identicals clocks, which each consists of two horizontal mirrors and a lightsignal which can bounch between these two mirrors. In the proposed experiment one clock stays at home as is considered at rest. The second clock travels in two legs. The first leg is towards the right and the second leg to the left. The experiment stops when both clocks meet again. The moving clock ticks slower, because the path of the light signal of the moving clock between two ticks becomes longer than the distance of the light signal of the clock at rest between two ticks.
A curious part of that scenery is that the satellites stay in our present. They don’t disappear in the past, nor do they get ahead of us into the future.
It is not logical to describe satellites a special way. It is much more logical to define that all what is happening, all the events at of this moment, are happening simultaneous. The problem is which are these events and how are these events established. IMO the best way is to start with a grid, equally spaced grid points and an identical clock, fixed to each gridpoint. The moment of an event is the time of the clock nearest to this grid point.
Based on relativity theory, most physicists argue against the present being special. (Rovelli, 2017). However, there exists an alternative interpretation of special relativity, which is often overlooked in the discussion. The purpose of this paper is to investigate this interpretation.
It is always tricky to use a concept, like special relativity, without first defining what is meant.

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2. Background

Newton placed time outside the universe, but Einstein put it back in (Smolin, 2013).
You should ask Newton if he really did that.
Einstein proved Newton wrong with his theory of relativity where time can dilate.
The ticking rate of each klok is not the same. Moving kloks run slower
Some physicists even question the existence of time (Rovelli, 2017; Smolin, 2013).
Our experience of time is not the same as we experience objects like a clock.
Presentism states that only the present exists, the past and the future do not.
If that is what presentism means 'you' are correct.
Newton placed time outside the universe, but Einstein put it back in (Smolin, 2013).
I have doubt if Newton did that. I expect that Newton made a clear distinction between space and time. Einstein combined the two mathematically in one concept: space-time.
Einstein proved Newton wrong with his theory of relativity where time can dilate.
Time does not dilate. The time indicated on a clock can dilate. Not all clocks run at the same speed.
Some physicists even question the existence of time (Rovelli, 2017; Smolin, 2013).
That is correct. What exists are humans in time. The deeper question is what both Rovelli and Smolin actual mean with time.
Presentism states that only the present exists, the past and the future do not.
It is better to claim that: all what exists, exists in the present.
Counter to this, eternalism (often referred to as block universe) states that the past and future are equally real.
Neither the past nor the future exists. It is physical impossible that each the past, the present and the future all exist at the same time.
Time dilation has been confirmed in many experiments using atomic clocks.
All what has confirmed by experiments is that not all physical clocks run at the same speed. Specific clocks that use lightsignals.
That does not mean

3. Does the future exist?

The time paradigm developed by Newton, Einstein, and others is so strong, that we find it difficult to imagine that future as an illusion.
The future neither the past are an illusion in the mind of humans. In fact it are only humans who recognize all the three concepts: past, present and future. All these three concepts have a certain meaning.
A typical illusion is that objects that move from A to B, seem to become smaller from the point of view from A. At the same time these objects become larger for observer B. From a physical point of view these objects can't both become smaller and larger.
However, the concept of the future is not supported by observations.
How does one want to demonstrate that there exists a future? How does one want to demonstrate that there exists a past?
All what exists are objects within an almaost, as a matter of speaking, empty universe.
The only indication of a future is the tendency of natural forces that keep working in the present and thereby produce more and more past.
The concept past and future are typical a result that we humans have brains and can remember something. There are two types of changes: random and periodical or cyclic. The cyclic phenomena are the most important. The most important one being the appearance and disappearance of the Sun from our observation point. This cyclic effect allows us to define the concept of a day. More specific that there is day (light) and night (dark).
Our experience of the world makes of the automatic projection of the continuous movement of moving objects, hence believe strongly in the existence of the future.

4. Elsewhere

The so-called expanded present is one of the strongest arguments against absolute simultaneity (Rovelli, 2017).
Now, all the events that happen (at present) in the universe, from our position, are happening simultaneous. All the events that happened earlier, from our position, happened in the past. All the events that will happen later, from our position, happen in the future.
The rejection is based on the realization, that one observer can only determine the position of a responder positioned the 'elsewhere' if the relative velocity is known.
This sentence is very complicated to imagine what it meant. In order to decide what happens simultaneous (earlier or later) you need (fixed, equally spaced) clocks, throughout the universe.
Since the relative velocity cannot always be determined, the responder can be anywhere in the 'elsewhere', hence the universal present is rejected.
This sentence requires a description why the relative velocity is important.
The logical reasoning in this sentence is not clear
But the argument does not hold up. Just because the position of something in ‘elsewhere’ is unknowable, this does not mean that it does not exist on a continuum of three-dimensional space-now in the four-dimension spacetime.
This whole argumentation is tricky. As already mentioned we assume that at any moment in time there exists an universe filled with objects. Specific we assume that this is the case for the present moment. What this means that at every moment each object has a specific location, except we don't know which position. To solve that we have to use a 3D grid filled with clocks. It is assumed that all the clocks run simultaneous.
Ontological, the expanded present could be divided into a past, and a future separated by a continues now dividing the entire spacetime.
It is better to rewrite this sentence as:
The evolution of the universe can be divided in the past i.e. what has happened, the present i.e. what is happening now and the future i.e. what will happen.
On purpose the word spacetime is not used. This evolution could be considered as an 'abstract' flow in time, but time itself does not flow.

5. Absolute simultaneity un-rejected

Einstein's train thought experiment is still frequent uses in introducing the theory of special relativity and rejecting absolute simultaneity.
It is very difficult to use thought experiments as an tool to explain the evolution of the physical reality.
The basic problem is that it is very difficult to use light-signals to identify the sequence of events happening on a moving train against a moving landscape i.e. a rotating earth.
Rejecting (absolute) simultaneity implies that one does not agree with the idea that everywhere in the universe, at any moment, there are events. These events are simulataneous. The problem is that for a single observer it is impossible, based on his observations, which events are simulataneous.
The alternative interpretations come about as follows.
The two observers disagree about the order of past events.
Both the events are past events to both observers - otherwise talking of the order of the events gives no meaning.
You need a more detailed description about what is happening.
Every event (a flash of light) for each observer always happened earlier (in the past, at a distance) than the moment when observed, because it takes 'time' for the light-flash to reach the observer.
That has nothing to do with the order of the two events, when emitted or when observed.
(1) In the case, that the moving observer knows his/her velocity relative to the events, this observer can apply Lorentz transformation to the impression and then agree with the observations made by the stationary observer.
How does an observer know that he or she is moving?
How do we know that the event is moving?
How do we know that there is a stationary observer? What these questions indicate that this is a rather complex situation.
(2) If the relative velocity is not known, then the observation of the moving observer is flawed in the same way an object can be observed to grow, when in fact it is merely moving towards the observer.
Okay. See next.
(3) In the case, that an observer cannot report the motion relative to the observed, then observations regarding time are deficient.
The situations 1,2 and 3 should be discussed based on one example.
This should be common sense.
What means common sense? IMO the word common sense should not be used.
Einstein said that time is what clocks measure.

6. Rethinking time

Time can be seen as an emergent property of nature, like temperature.
The concept time and the physical parameter temperature are two completely different concepts.
Temperature plays no role in Quantum Mechanics (QM) but emerges for the vibration of quanta.
Temperature is a parameter related to the rotational, vibrational motions of atoms and molecules. The larger these motions the higher the temperature.
Similarly, time can emerge from the quantum world.
Time is not something that physical exists and cannot compared with the concept temperature.
The arrow of time is not based on increasing entropy, but on the outcome of chance.
Time has no direction and has nothing to do with chance.
One could further postulate that time is created by the emission of photons.
Such a postulate does not make sense. When you light a candle, time is not created.
What often is performed is to multiply the speed of light c with a duration t. What that means is a mathematical operation written as c*t. This is used to define a distance and includes two other concepts: The speed of light c and the time t measured by a clock. That means 'c*t' defines the distance travelled by a light pulse in time t.
But how is c calculated? You need a fixed distance and two identical clocks. This amplifies the importance of a physical grid of rods and clocks.
Some implications of this thinking are, that the present movement is always at a time equal to zero.
Tricky sentence. See next sentence
Further, only the past exists, and the future is nothing but a theoretical abstraction
Only what exists is the present. At present all objects in the universe are at rest or moving. The total of all of this you can call the state of the universe of a particular moment.
The past are the states of the universe that have occurred. The future is the predicted state of the universe.

7. Conclusion

The present exists together with traces of the past; the future is only a projection based on the laws of physics and our human intuition based on past experiences.
The present moment is a physical evolution of all moments in the past. The predicted future is the calculated result of experiments performed in the past. Neither the past nor the future exists.
Human intuition has nothing to do with the evolution or future of any process. What is important that the more people are involved with physics the better predictions we can make.
Time is an emerging property of nature streaming from matter into spacetime of the past.
Time is not something that exists, only the present exists. A different name is now.
Spacetime is a mathematical concept. It can't be observed. It can only be calculated. It falls in the category of Laplace transformations. That means you can also study physics without the concept spacetime.

Reflection 1 - General

Understanding nature implies to understand the evolution of any processes at all its finest detail. This involves to predict the future based on past or present events, mostly observations and the results of experiments. It should be agreed that only the present exists, neither the past nor the future. It should be agreed that all the events, in the whole universe, happening at present, are happening simultaneous.
The document "The past is real, the future is not, hence time stream from the present" addresses these issues, but unfortunate some of the terminology used is not clear. This is a common problem with many descriptions of physical processes. For example to understand the title you must agree upon the concepts real and time. What exists are all the objects, at present, in the universe, including the elementary particles. What does not exist is the concept time. What exists are clocks, all the clocks in use should be the same and the distance should be fixed. That means you need a grid. Only when these physical structures are in place it is possible to perform science.

Reflection 2 - Past, present, future.

The only way to establish the sequence of events is by building inside the universe a 3D grid, consisting of equally spaced rods. At each grid point there should be an identical clock. By definition all the clocks run synchrone. This means that when the clock nearest you, strikes twelve, all the clocks in the grid strike twelve. When there is an event, the clock reading of the nearest clock, defines the time of the event.
This set up, unambiguous establises, is that when there are two events, if they are both simultaneous. If not, which one is the first.

We could object to this proposed solution, but does there exists a better one?
The main problem is that the positions of the clocks, which are used to measure the time of the events should be (considered) fixed (to a grid). It is not required that the positions of the objects, or the events are fixed.
It is understood that the accuracy of this solution depends about the number of clocks involved.

Reflection 3 - Simultaneous

If you want to do physics the first step is to come up with a set of definitions, about which we all agree.
One of the first physical concepts is that there exists a physical reality. This physical reality consists of objects. That means that physical space, the universe is not empty.
One other concept is what we call a moment, the present and now. All these concepts mean the same and are human related.
An other concept is that the universe is not static but dynamic and constantly changes in time. That means the position of all objects changes from moment to moment.
An other concept is what we call an event. An event can be a collision between two objects. Every measurement is also an event.

Using these concepts we can define additional concepts.
One is the concept is simulataneous. The concept simultaneous becomes clear if we define, that at any moment in time there are millions of simultaneous events. What that physical means that when there are two simultaneous events, at different positions, that either event can not influence the other event. A simple example: When you measure the position of two objects simultaneous, which defines two events, the measurement of the position of one can not influence the measurement of the position of the other.

As already mentioned in order to do that you must set up a grid of rods and clocks.

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Created: 14 May 2022

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