Thursday, December 22, 2011

Time Machine Ghosts

Whenever I consider the nature of Time I am confronted with all the same troubles that physicists and cosmologists have. Even speaking of Time without using embedded concepts of Time in our language and thoughts seems impossible.

There are very few concepts of Time that are purely objective. Often times the speed of light is used as a constant, from which a clock might be possible to derive. Yet a clock traveling at the speed of light would suffer a malfunction (from at least one point of view), and a clock traveling at any slower speed only suffers the malfunction in lesser degrees. This is because velocity of masses distorts the duration of Time experienced by those masses.
There are concepts such as Planck's Length, and thus Planck's Tick being the smallest unit of Time possible to measure when traveling exactly 1 Planck's Length. Planck's Length, however, is so very tiny that such a unit of space-time has nearly 0 value, composed of so many decimal places after the decimal point. Nothing so large as the atoms we are made from can deal with such tiny ticks.
Mechanically then, before dealing with issues of origin or disposition, Time is difficult enough to work with. We have radios, oscilloscopes, computer chips, lasers and many other devices that depend on timing or frequency to function, and the tinier the wavelength, the more difficult the achievement. Also, there are great dangers when working with energies and temperatures necessary to create the highest frequency radiation. We name those things super gamma x-rays and such, and any noticeable amount of such high frequency radiation effects nearly everything on this planet, including our own evolution.
So, whereas understanding Time as a modulation of frequencies, or a count of ticks (each tick having a discrete and immutable span of "Time" until the next), is almost but not quite possible for human brains to handle, even so there is still the Origin of this concept of Time to ponder.
When speaking with others about the origins of anything, whether Time, space, species or what have you, there is always the danger of sacred cows being gored. If one has a religious belief that their God was the creator of all things, including Time, then there is little good in arguing otherwise. For one thing, I can't really come up with a good substitute. Problems with the "belief" method of solving the origin of Time always involve the possibility that a God must have a preexisting span of Time in which to do all that creating.
Likewise, when the Big Bangists invoke the beginning of Time and Space simultaneously from some singularity as tiny as above mentioned Planck's Length (or even as Zero Length), there are so many unanswered questions. In this banging creation, there is in one moment nothing, and then the next moment (constituting the creation of the first passing "moment of Time") there is Everything, bursting into existence from Nothingness. The God which can create itself, or that which is beyond question -- invoked by all the kinds of theorists, whether theists, atheists, agnostics or just plain antagonists.
Notice that I must use words such as "bursting into existence" or "invoked", which in themselves imply that some kind of action takes place in Time, either in the present or in the past. "He might be going to war" is a sentence that implies a future in Time, so that the dimensions of Time are integrated into our language. We have a past, a now, and a future -- all which occupy different points in one dimension of time. Time may have other dimensions, just like space, but I am unable to portray any examples in real physics. In imaginary physics I can conjure the image of time wrapped around a pole, thus flowing in multiple directions at once. But that only makes things less clear.
So far as the creation of Time is concerned, I do not have a clever solution to such problems. Certainly in mathematics one can arbitrarily place a big fat Zero in the middle of Everything That Ever Was and Ever Will Be, and there are an almost infinite number of equations which can produce Zero. The only equation which can produce something from nothing, evidently, is that zero raised to the zero power ( 00 ) = 1. So we have mathematically created something from nothing.
But I do not like tricks of mathematics, any more than defaulting to some symbol as the result of the square root of minus one, such that (-1.5) = i. 

But a physicist will attempt to answer the enigma of Time and its spontaneous existence in the same way that certain particles can "pop" into existence, and then back out of existence -- virtual particles, thus conserving the balance of mass and energy, at least after some span of "Time". Perhaps the virtual particles bring a little packet of virtual Time with them, so that when they pop back out of existence that amount of Time is also extinguished -- all accounts have been settled.
It only makes matters worse when multiple dimensions and parallel universes are conjured. Certainly it helps to theorize how black holes can exist the way they do, with all matter sucked away into another universe, but all the gravity still effecting everything left behind in this one. But that Time would seem to be universal in such a case where events in this universe's black holes would correspond to events in the parallel universe's white holes -- synchronized like Tango dancers.

However, even Time and the rules of velocities are broken in the bizarre centers of black holes, in which the escape velocity is faster than light, yet the gravity is so intense that matter falling into one would disobey the speed limit and travel faster than light -- or travel inward to some other world's Time and Space, where such laws of physics do not exactly apply. If this is so, then it doesn't really matter to us, and any foolish nonsense imaginable is possible somewhere in the Great Ball of Universes.
Anyway, I haven't helped any. But like Alice Through The Looking Glass, it seems that scientists can only keep up with Time if they run as fast as they can, and to get anywhere at all, they must run twice as fast.