homeGeek CultureWebstoreeCards!Forums!Joy of Tech!AY2K!webcam

The Geek Culture Forums


  New Poll  
my profile | directory login | | search | faq | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Geek Culture Forums   » The Archives   » The Big Archives   » Time and Space

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Time and Space
LostInColorado

Gold Hearted SuperFan!
Member # 862

Member Rated:
5
Icon 11 posted November 28, 2001 21:19      Profile for LostInColorado     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A few nights back, Steen and myself had a discussion on IRC on space and time dimensions. Steen held that time was not the same kind of dimension.

His argument was based on the relativistic time dilation at a significant portion of the speed of light and the fact that you cannot go back into time.

I maintained that you could not seperate time from space. As a result, all 3 spatial dimensions and the time dimension are required to maintain a good coordinate system, which is still going to be relative to a point somewhere...

My question is do you consider time to be a dimension just like space is comprised of 3 dimensions? Can we really seperate time and space?


------------------
LostInColorado

At first, follow the rules of the game.
If you don't succeed, break the rules.
If you still don't succeed, change them.
If you still don't succeed, just change the game.


Posts: 117 | From: Thornton, CO, USA | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
LifetimeTrekker
Highlie
Member # 913

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted November 28, 2001 23:23      Profile for LifetimeTrekker     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm not entirely convinced that time exists:
I have a perception of time, but my perception of something does not prove it.
While there are clocks, which are created to support the shared belief of time, I liken them to churches; supporting the concept of a diety without proving He/She/It exists.

Of course, I have problems with my perception of reality, too...reality, like time is highly subjective to my (or an observer's) perception. Stubbing my toe is not proof of reality, for I am not my body.
Thinking does not prove I exist, for I am not my mind.

I don't think Douglas Adams was too far off with "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime is doubly so."

An extention of that could be "Reality is an illusion, and Reality Television is doubly so."

Having said all that, the physical laws that we agree to, at any given time/space point, time appears to be a physical component: height, bredth, depth and duration. Within this physical universe, it appears impossible to separate the two.

Within this reasoning, however, I suggest that you are both right, and are merely looking at two aspects of time from different perspectives.


Posts: 669 | From: Albuquerque, NM, US | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Miles
Mini Geek
Member # 790

Rate Member
Icon 3 posted November 29, 2001 07:57      Profile for Miles   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Time is indeed a fourth dimension. This is an integral realization that Einstein made with his special theory of relativity. However the temporal dimension is different in nature from a spatial dimension, so we often say that we are living in a 3+1 dimensional world. Technically we call this Minkowski spacetime, as opposed to Euclidean spacetime. (Our three spatial dimensions are Euclidean).

There is slightly mathematical description of Minkowski space at everything2.com at http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1030508&lastnode_id=1030463 .

When an object is traveling near the speed of light, say in the x direction (say x = east if you want) then that object's coordinate system is rotated in a special way with respect to the coordinate system at rest. This rotation mixes up the space coordinate x and the time coordinate t, leading to fun relativistic effects like length contraction and time dilation. There are some good books about special relativity which give illustrative examples and probably explain relativity in a more accessible manner than I have. If there's interest I can poke around and recommend a couple.


Posts: 98 | From: Columbus, OH, USA | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
GrumpySteen

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan
Member # 170

Icon 1 posted November 29, 2001 13:42      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Miles wrote:
the temporal dimension is different in nature from a spatial dimension

Without going into a lot of detail, that's a pretty good summation of my side of the discussion. My interpretation of everything I've read seems to indicate that time shares some of the properties of spatial dimensions, but has other properties that set it apart as well.

I just wish I could remember the physics based insults and jibes we came up with for fun after the discussion wound down. Some of them were quite funny.


Posts: 6364 | From: Tennessee | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
SupportGoddess

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan!
Member # 822

Icon 1 posted November 29, 2001 16:18      Profile for SupportGoddess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Steen: I am fairly sure that He of The Never Ending Log File... I mean AngryRooster... probably has them.

------------------
reality.sys corrupted. universe halted. reboot (y/n)?


Posts: 1148 | From: The Digital Temple | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
theJacob
Geek
Member # 980

Rate Member
Icon 3 posted November 29, 2001 20:06      Profile for theJacob     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I see time as of at least three more dimensions. It explains all the periodixes and alternate universes. Actually, you need only two dimensions for that, but you can also move around in two-dimensional space, just not well. The "third time dimension" (or "sixth") makes time travel easier. (The only thing holding me back is funding) (Seriously)

------------------
<Signature placeholder>


Posts: 141 | From: Colorado | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
LostInColorado

Gold Hearted SuperFan!
Member # 862

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted November 29, 2001 20:11      Profile for LostInColorado     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I stand corrected now that someone managed to make a coherent argument on time being a different kind of dimension.

------------------
LostInColorado

At first, follow the rules of the game.
If you don't succeed, break the rules.
If you still don't succeed, change them.
If you still don't succeed, just change the game.


Posts: 117 | From: Thornton, CO, USA | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Angry Rooster
Assimilated
Member # 759

Rate Member
Icon 12 posted November 29, 2001 23:51      Profile for Angry Rooster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:

I just wish I could remember the physics based insults and jibes we came up with for fun after the discussion wound down. Some of them were quite funny.

Who needs to remember when you can log?

Steen: Without someone else's reference books to go on, you couldn't disprove the "Time Cube" theory!

Lost: your reference point just got through the event horizon.

Steen: "Perhaps you could grasp this more easily if you took up trepanation" (okay, that was a major stretch)

Actually, that's all we had, until I started insulting Steen's perception skills based on his past romantic "adventures." Those would only be physics based if you count the energy transferred in driving a steak knife through a human hand.

------------------
--Angry Rooster
"Eagles may soar, but roosters don't get sucked into jet engines."


Posts: 376 | From: Coeur d'Alene, ID, USA | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Lex
Uber Geek
Member # 835

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted December 02, 2001 10:58      Profile for Lex   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Idea for new O'Reilly book: Space and Time in a Nutshell.

I don't suppose there is some sort of conversion for seconds to meters?

------------------
The Matrix Cereal: There Is No Spoon


Posts: 977 | From: University of Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
zorgon
Assimilated
Member # 546

Rate Member
Icon 14 posted December 02, 2001 13:48      Profile for zorgon     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Lex:

I don't suppose there is some sort of conversion for seconds to meters?

<StephenHawking>
Yes of course! The speed of light. Whatever that happens to be in your reference frame.
</StephenHawking>


Posts: 385 | From: Beautiful Uptown Goleta | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged
zorgon
Assimilated
Member # 546

Rate Member
Icon 4 posted December 02, 2001 14:05      Profile for zorgon     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Lex:
Idea for new O'Reilly book: Space and Time in a Nutshell.

Been done. "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking (obligatory Amazon link omitted due to laziness). BTW Professor Hawking makes no distinction between space and time in his lectures. He (or rather his speech synthesizer) always says "spacetime."

And (cool geek moment brag) we saw Stephen Hawking lecture in our town a few years back when I was in grad school. After the lecture we went out to dinner at a Thai restaurant -- and there was Hawking, having dinner with his nurse! So, like, I can say "I've had dinner with Stephen Hawking (in the same room)." whoo-oo!

------------------
cogito ergo something.


Posts: 385 | From: Beautiful Uptown Goleta | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged
platypus
Alpha Geek
Member # 991

Rate Member
Icon 4 posted December 02, 2001 19:13      Profile for platypus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Actually, he's done one better. He HAS done The Universe in a Nutshell in addition to Illustrated Brief History of Time. Amazon has a special where you can get both in hard cover for $61. Not a bad deal, spend another $38 and you qualify for free shipping.

------------------
pages:
www.thelemur.net
www.saintehlers.com
www.squishbox.org


Posts: 302 | From: Provo, UT | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Miles
Mini Geek
Member # 790

Rate Member
Icon 14 posted December 10, 2001 11:16      Profile for Miles   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For a very nice down-to-earth treatment of relativity and other fun topics in physics, I enthusiastically recommend The New World of Mr Tompkins, by George Gamow and Russell Stannard. Actually, Stannard basically reworked Gamow's original Mr. Tomkins articles for better clarity and agreement with modern physics. I think the original articles, and now the new ones, make some very counter-intuitive physics easy to grasp.

After digesting that treatment, more detail can be found in Einstein's writings for the general public. He has at least two books,
Relativity : The Special and the General Theory and The Meaning of Relativity.

Happy Gedanken!


Posts: 98 | From: Columbus, OH, USA | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged


All times are Eastern Time  
  New Poll   Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | Geek Culture Home Page

2015 Geek Culture

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.4.0



homeGeek CultureWebstoreeCards!Forums!Joy of Tech!AY2K!webcam