- Dec 19, 2009
..What is time? Discuss.
I had this conversation with my girlfriend a couple weeks ago. I said something like this:
What we perceive as time is an illusion that is created by our memory of the past and awareness of the future.
When we measure time we are really measuring the turning gears in a clock or the decay of radioactive isotopes, not time itself. When you are is determined by your location on the Earth (time zones) and the Earth's location in its orbit (seasons and years) so when you are depends on where you are.
The universe is in continuous motion and is constantly changing, so you can describe when you are more precisely by describing where you are in the cosmos.
What I mean is, what we perceive as time is a continuous change of the state of the universe or a series of infinitesimal "moments" - like stages in development. Asking "what time is it?" is like asking "what is the state of the universe?"
The closest we can get to seeing the future is measuring the changes that occur and predicting how physics will allow the universe to undulate.
So time is not a separate entity but a product of our imagination.
That does not mean that the concept of it is not useful.
This is simply my "theory" based on my limited understanding of the world I live in.