Time. What is this?

October 12, 2011 23:12

Time.  What is this?Stuart Clark

Picture Alex Toysher

What is time? This issue has the greatest minds, from ancient philosophers and scientists of the Enlightenment and ending with our times. Yet, after thousands of years of study, and in spite of the modern scientific advances we can not agree on its nature. Philosopher Julian Berboer says — "We can take time, but we do not understand it. Remarkable thing is that there is little agreement as to perceive it and even how to investigate it. "

All this may be the result of the understanding of the nature of time was not needed to progress. In physics, for example, the laws of Newton and Einstein's theory of relativity, and quantum theory does not require knowledge of the nature of time for that to work with him. Even watchmakers do not need to understand its nature.

However, the clock gives us the key to the understanding of the direction we should move. The watch can move gear can range quartz crystal or particle leaves a radioactive atom, but either way, the clock must be a movement. When something moves — there's a change. Thus, the clock tells us that the time is inextricably linked with various changes. But this is only the beginning of understanding. From this point on are two roads that lead to the complete opposition of the concept of time.

The first claim is that time is the real fundamental property of the universe, and how the existing space or weight itself. Together with the space time provides a framework that implements the event. This statement was made by Sir Isaac Newton, that would describe the motion. In this understanding, while strong and indestructible, like the walls of your home. Only with this review you can judge how far and how fast an object is moving.

Einstein got rid of such a hard time understanding. He showed that time can flow in different ways, depending on the observer's motion and the effect of gravity around. His theory forms the notion that space and time are the same and there is confidence. Einstein was even able to say that "the time — is a recurrent illusion." Still, the space — time continue to shape the framework to describe the cosmos around us, or writes in his book "The Fabric of the Cosmos" by Brian Greene space — time is something.

Another path leads us to the idea that the variability is a fundamental property of the universe and time is shown because of our mental effort to perceive and organize the changing world we see around us. Great opponent Newton Gottfried Leibniz was of the view that the time is unreal, it exists only in our minds. Thus, we are faced with a puzzle: a real time?

Physicists and philosophers continue to actively discuss the issue and not least due to the fact that quantum mechanics raised the issue of variability to a new level. One of the main reasons for this interest lies in the fact that the answers to these questions can lead us to a "theory of everything" that will explain the nature around us and acting in her power.

For the concept of time and should be a second important issue. If time is real, then where does it come from? Until recently, most physicists believed that it originated in the Big Bang, when born matter, energy and space itself. Therefore, any statement that time existed before the Big Bang, it was considered incorrect. Now such denial is not as confident. Sean Carroll, Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., said — "We have no right to assert that the universe and time, resulting in the Big Bang, had a kind of pre-history. Both options are on the table, but personally I favor the idea, asserting that the universe has always been. "

String theory has led to a re-evaluation. This, while hypothetical, addition to conventional physics reality is constructed from more dimensions than usual for us four dimensions. Although we can not directly register these other dimensions, they provide a place for the existence of other universes. These universes generate each other in an infinite sequence of the Big Bang, which means that our universe was born from another universe, and thus the time existed before our big bang. Previous universes may have left behind traces in our universe.

In 2008, Carroll and colleagues have hinted that the features and the uneven distribution of the microwave relic radiation left over from the Big Bang, may be signs of earlier universes (bit.ly/pA8D75). Last year, Roger Penrose, Oxford, and Waha Gurzadyan, Yerevan State University, Armenia, went further in his claims. They stated that the circular patterns in the distribution of the CMB are submitted sequence of previous universes and the Big Bang (arxiv.org/abs/1011.3706). We will have the opportunity to test these ideas, when the European Planck satellite a few years to complete the construction of distribution maps background cosmic microwave background radiation around us.

At the moment there is no way to find a definitive answer to the questions raised, and we do not know what knowledge will bring one answers. But today, more than ever, we must recognize the courage own ignorance about the nature of time


translation Gopman

Source: New Scienist.

SQL - 18 | 0,452 сек. | 6.93 МБ