May 122008
 

Here’s something of a philosophical question. Perhaps it’s scientific?


Over the weekend, we happened to catch this edition of Radio Eye on ABC Radio National. It dealt with the history of film making, photography as art and a rather esoteric, but fascinating look into the question of time.
What is time? Can it be captured in a photograph? How much time is captured, if this is so? How small are the moments of time? Is time like a film, made up of separate frames all moving so rapidly past us that we see everything as fluid motion? Is time a dimension or a state, like ice to water to steam? We can see into the past by looking into the night sky. Why then can’t we see into the future?
All fascinating questions, and many, many more arise when one considers the concept of time. Personally, I believe time is a fluid concept with a one-way flow. There is the past and the future, but there cannot be a present because it’s already past. The Radio Eye program also touched on the subject, or rather the concept, of space-time. The dimensional fabric upon which our universe is stitched. Space-time, as we understand it, can be altered, warped by gravity. The speed of light is now known not to be a constant, but variable in the presence of matter and gravity. Does this mean that time itself is a variable dimension?
If you’re interested in the ‘big’ questions, then I urge you, reader, to download the program and have a listen. I found it intensely thought provoking. At the same time, I couldn’t help but be reminded by Ford Prefect’s words to Arthur Dent….

“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so”

  2 Responses to “Time, Gentlemen”

  1. “Very deep, you ought to send that in to the Readers Digest, they have a place for ….”
    I wasn’t overly convinced by the more esoteric speculation but the confirmation, over the last 10 yrs or so, that the speed of light is not constant seems to indicate that, at least in some states, it is composed of particles that can be affected by gravity.
    Which suggests to me that there is some other force, as yet unidentified, sufficient to propoel those particles.
    Eonstein’s dilemma, particle or wave, seems to beg this question.

  2. “Very deep, you ought to send that in to the Readers Digest, they have a place for ….”
    I wasn’t overly convinced by the more esoteric speculation but the confirmation, over the last 10 yrs or so, that the speed of light is not constant seems to indicate that, at least in some states, it is composed of particles that can be affected by gravity.
    Which suggests to me that there is some other force, as yet unidentified, sufficient to propoel those particles.
    Eonstein’s dilemma, particle or wave, seems to beg this question.