General Question

ragingloli's avatar

A question about time.

Asked by ragingloli (45890points) April 22nd, 2009

Say every particle in the universe stops movement altogether, for a certain amount of time an hypothetical non frozen observer would perceive as such (in this scenario, this observer does not exist). The particles then resume movement. For the frozen ones, subjectively no time will have passed during being frozen.
The question is, has time passed objectively?

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26 Answers

Jayne's avatar

Given that time is simply another dimension, the particles will not have stopped moving; their movement will simply have been entirely within the temporal dimension. So more time, in fact, will have passed than if they had been moving, because of special relativity, which states in part that the faster one moves, the slower time passes.

Offero's avatar

My answer to this questions is no time has not passed. The conditions for time passing have occured, but time is a matter of perseption, and as such if there is no observer to percieve the passing of time then time does not indeed pass.
The metaphore I would use to illustrate this follows;
“If a rainbow apears in a forrest, and no one is around to see it, does it appear?”
The answer is , No.
The conditions for a rainbow exist, but in order for the rainbow to appear, someone needs to witness the refraction of light, and this refraction is tied to a fixed point in space, namely, a person’s eyes.

Jayne's avatar

A century of empirically-validated scientific theory says that time is not a matter of perception, but whatever.

avalmez's avatar

well i’m just not certain the question makes sense to begin with. i wouldn’t assume that the spacetime continuum depends on the motion of particles contained within the continuum, and, in any frame of reference, a particle can be at rest, but time does not stop for that particle as a result. your question would have to assume that an ultimate frame of reference can be established. i think that’s the frame of reference your non-existant non-frozen observer is supposed to be not observing from.

also, note that in stating the question, you state that time stops for a certain amount of time – a contradiction. Time exists as long as space exists.

shit, i managed to confuse myself answering this! :)

BookReader's avatar

…no…time is eternal…

avalmez's avatar

also, it might be more fun to consider the nature of time, assuming entanglement (at which point, i become an observer of this thread lol)

Jayne's avatar

@avalmez; the question does not make sense; if time passes for the observer, it will pass for anything else in the same inertial frame, or in any frame not traveling at the speed of light relative to him, which must include the particles as no massive object can travel at the speed of light with reference to any other such object. Thus, the assertion that there is an ‘unfrozen’ observer clearly trivializes the problem.

avalmez's avatar

@Jayne shit..you got confused too! lol just ribbing you man! hmmm…i do get what you mean. but, for the question, i think you have to imagine that an ultimate frame of reference has been established and as you say all particles within the universe observe each other from that same frame of reference. i mean, they may not be in motion, but that doesn’t mean they are incapable of observing and so in some twisted sort of logic i’ve managed, time continues to pass else observation is not possible. substituting “at rest” ith “frozen” is what seems to make the question plausible when actually it isn’t as stated.

now, somebody jump in wrt to entanglement!

LostInParadise's avatar

Since there is no way of determining whether or not the event happened then use of Occam’s razor would dictate that the event did not occur. Suppose I claim that such an event happened through our entire Universe 5 minutes ago. How would you prove me wrong?

I would like to say something about the statement that unobserved events do not occur. You have to be careful when you say this, because events can be observed indirectly after they occur.

avalmez's avatar

@LostInParadise what are your assumptions? :)

TaoSan's avatar

if anything, we know that there is no one single frame of reference…..

avalmez's avatar

@TaoSun correct, although i mistakenly referred to such a frame of reference as “ultimate” rather than “absolute” = “single”

Jayne's avatar

That is essentially what I said; it is irrelevant whether the observer is a human or a particle; so long as there is such an observer then time must have passed. This is an unnecessary corrolary to my original post, however; there is absolutely no justification by which to state that time had stopped.

@LostInParadise; Occam’s Razor is a practical tool, not a logical proof. However, the laws of physics say that the event could not occur, if only because of conservation of energy.

avalmez's avatar

<—decades since my past physics class so i forget and mistake things on that topic

avalmez's avatar

@Jayne yep, i think a strong argument…CE demands that it is impossible for all the particles in the universe to come to rest therefore the question is moot and we’re just having a lot of fun arguing it!

asmonet's avatar

Jayne has sexy brainmeats.

TaoSan's avatar

asmo lohoves Jayne, asmo lohoves Jayne neener neener neeener

Jayne's avatar

Aww, you killed my hard work. Bloody edits. In any case, the feeling is mutual, I assure you.

asmonet's avatar

Um yeah, I totally do.

:)

aprilsimnel's avatar

For a second I thought this was a question about Depeche Mode, which I would have been better equipped to answer. But as it stands, I’ll have to go along with @Jayne, my long-past physics classes notwithstanding.

TaoSan's avatar

raaaawrrrr, me thinks there’s some nerdy hotness in here :D

Jayne's avatar

There’s no better kind.

TaoSan's avatar

@Jayne

V nterr, ab unjgarff yvxr areq unjgarff !!!

Jayne's avatar

Sorry, I don’t speak weird, not at this time of night.
I feel like I just failed some kind of nerd test :(

TaoSan's avatar

@Jayne

Yeah, if anything you’ll make it to geek, but nerd is out for you now friend.

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