## Time!

A forum for good logic/math puzzles.

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ohthecommotion
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### Time!

I did not get this thought from that Click movie with Adam Sandler, but it serves as a worthy parallel.

Let's say you have the ability to stop time for everyone but yourself. You are in a room with one other person. You stop time, scream, and then start it again. Has he heard anything? Let's say you hit him while it was stopped. Does he feel the impact, or the after-effect, or nothing? I guess the main point of these thoughts I was having during my very boring politics class is this: There is no such thing as "now," as time is divisible into an infinite number of exact points, each of which has an infinite number of exact points between it and the next, and so on. So if you stop time on one exact point, does anything that happens in that point actually happen? How does it take effect? Etc.

Discuss.

Oh, and for the purposes of this argument, ignore the fact that "time" is a man-made concept.

moopanda
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It really depends how you stop time. If you stop the hapless victim from perceiving the flow of time, then i imagine he/she (hopefully he - how dare you brutalise a woman!) would feel the aftereffects of a punch because you have damaged their body, or any changes you have made to the outside world would remain... etc etc

On the other hand if you physically stop everything (except you - go figure) then the air molecules wouldn't move if you scream, and so on. But you would also have trouble breathing. So I think the first option is more viable.

ulnevets
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toms2866
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ignore the fact that "time" is a man-made concept.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

There is no such thing as "now"

"now" is simply the ever-changing fleeting moment between the past and the future for an observer. It is also the time at which most young children want things, as in "I want it NOW".

The simple answer to your question is that you CAN'T stop time on one exact point. Like you said, space-time is a continuous flow. IF you could stop on a single point, do "something", then continue, the "something" would appear instantaneous, causing infinities to pop out all over the place, tearing the fabric of space-time, and allowing evil Mind Lords of Yar to invade from an alternate universe.

MrBawn
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You stop time for everyone but yourself, but that also stops time for the air in the room. You quickly suffocate, and the universe remains frozen in time forever.

CrustyJello
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Wait a minute-- how is time a man-made concept? If we weren't there to notice it, planets and stars would still move in time. On Earth, the seasons would still change, and in response living things would alter their behavior.

ohthecommotion
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CrustyJello wrote:Wait a minute-- how is time a man-made concept? If we weren't there to notice it, planets and stars would still move in time. On Earth, the seasons would still change, and in response living things would alter their behavior.

Prove it

Gelsamel
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If time is stopped, then how are you able to depart momentum to their body?

Peshmerga
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Time is an illusion observed thru cause and effect.

So, saying time doesn't exist is a really pretentious, however accurate, way of putting it. It's still quantifiable. The time it takes for a gagillion water molecules to gather into a drop, becoming heavier than the bonds attaching them and thus dropping, is precise and accurate.

Edit - But besides that point, if you stopped time, the universe would come to an abrupt stage of infinite absolute zero.
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SpitValve
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Peshmerga wrote:Time is an illusion observed thru cause and effect.

So, saying time doesn't exist is a really pretentious, however accurate, way of putting it. It's still quantifiable. The time it takes for a gagillion water molecules to gather into a drop, becoming heavier than the bonds attaching them and thus dropping, is precise and accurate.

A physicist would say that if you can measure it, it must "exist" in some sense of the word at least.

If time is an illusion, then it still exists, albeit as an illusion. Just because a hologram is not a physical object does not mean holograms do not exist.

ohthecommotion wrote:CrustyJello wrote:
Wait a minute-- how is time a man-made concept? If we weren't there to notice it, planets and stars would still move in time. On Earth, the seasons would still change, and in response living things would alter their behavior.

Prove it

Is that a joke, or philosophy?

ulnevets
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SpitValve wrote:Is that a joke, or philosophy?

what's the difference?

Peshmerga
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SpitValve wrote:If time is an illusion, then it still exists, albeit as an illusion. Just because a hologram is not a physical object does not mean holograms do not exist.

But holograms do exist... in physical light wavelengths. Your argument is invalid!

Edit - I'm simply objecting the way MOST persons perceive time, as a streaming constant. It's good to define it correctly when you get into a decent conversation.
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moopanda
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ohthecommotion wrote:
CrustyJello wrote:Wait a minute-- how is time a man-made concept? If we weren't there to notice it, planets and stars would still move in time. On Earth, the seasons would still change, and in response living things would alter their behavior.

Prove it

Come now... just because you can't prove something doesn't mean the opposite is true. For example:

There is a God. (Prove it!)
There is no god. (Prove it!)

yy2bggggs
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### Re: Time!

Time stopping is even more of an illusion than time is. Certain normal rules of the world you keep, probably without realizing it, and others, you "freeze". The properties of such a state tell us more about our own minds than time (the ability to scream, for example, would not really exist, but psychologically speaking, we are the exception, and we can thus originate screams).

But our minds are very interesting. It's fun to try to figure out all of these rules. E.g., in science fiction, ships make noise in space, can "stop", and there's the unmentioned strange fact that there's a "universal up" (when two ships meet, they are always aligned, with respect to a level ground that isn't there). Psychologically speaking, space ships are more like cars than space ships.

What hidden rules and assumptions apply when you stop time?

Peshmerga
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moopanda wrote:
ohthecommotion wrote:
CrustyJello wrote:Wait a minute-- how is time a man-made concept? If we weren't there to notice it, planets and stars would still move in time. On Earth, the seasons would still change, and in response living things would alter their behavior.

Prove it

Come now... just because you can't prove something doesn't mean the opposite is true. For example:

There is a God. (Prove it!)
There is no god. (Prove it!)

The burden of proof lies on whoever claims a discovery / fact that is not held as standard truth. Therefore, no one but you is obligated to prove God's lack of existence.

Wait a minute-- how is time a man-made concept? If we weren't there to notice it, planets and stars would still move in time. On Earth, the seasons would still change, and in response living things would alter their behavior.

He didn't say man invented time (or whatever time is), but rather man created time as a way to explain the natural phenomena that we remember the past.
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moopanda
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Peshmerga wrote:Therefore, no one but you is obligated to prove God's lack of existence.

I have found a marvellous proof but have insufficient room to write it in this margin.

ikefalcon
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This is no time to argue about time. We don't have the time.

VannA
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Pershmerga is right.

*stopping* time would involve stopping all movement, at least in a locallised area. In order for you to still be able to move around, you'd have to be out of phase with eveything around you.

In which case who knows?
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Peshmerga
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If absolute zero is ever indeed achieved, it's most likely you'll never hear about it in the news because for it to be possible, all cause and effect vibrations must be ceased; every atom of your body and your surroundings would cease to move. The universe would become in essence an unmelting ice sculpture.

We've gotten damn close, but never -273 Kelvin

But besides the point, if hypothetically I'm wrong; to answer your question, he would never hear you scream because the vibrations of sound would be cancelled out by the state of absolute zero that your friend is in.

I'm not sure if it works like that, but using the same concept, if you tried to hit him, I'm imagine that you yourself would be frozen in space as well. Maybe I'm wrong; I don't think it's theoretically possible to cease time locally; and if it were, I don't know how absolute zero would react to a force of non-absolute zero-ness.

O_o
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wisnij
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ikefalcon wins for making a Star Trek reference.

You can't cool anything down to absolute zero. That's the Third Law of Thermodynamics. (There are temperatures below absolute zero, but that's another story.)

The whole "time flows" thing has already been done. Time doesn't flow, it extends along an axis that depends (relative to other observers) on your velocity and position in gravitational fields, in exactly the same way three-dimensional objects extend through space. Time itself is completely, objectively real; it is the notion of one moment passing into another, and then another, that is (arguably) illusory.
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ikefalcon
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Peshmerga wrote:If absolute zero is ever indeed achieved, it's most likely you'll never hear about it in the news because for it to be possible, all cause and effect vibrations must be ceased; every atom of your body and your surroundings would cease to move. The universe would become in essence an unmelting ice sculpture.

We've gotten damn close, but never -273 Kelvin

You mean 0 K. Zero Kelvin is absolute zero; -273 Kelvin is 273 degrees below absolute zero.

Thanks to wisnij for recognizing my Star Trek reference.

Anyway, I think that this thought exercise is an exercise in futility. In my view, time is a dimension, and for someone to change their position in time while their surroundings are not changing their position in time is impossible in terms of the theory of relativity. Gelasmel makes a good point; Newtonian mechanics lose meaning in a system where some objects are moving in time and some objects are not moving in time. From this frame of reference, the theory that the universe would cool to absolute zero makes no sense. Temperature is dependent upon kinetic energy of molecules, which is dependent upon velocity, which is dependent upon time. Going one step further, whatever is still moving in time would have infinite temperature in relation to the objects not moving in time.

In short, speculating what might happen if time were to freeze in reference to one object is nothing more than a waste of our time from a physical perspective.

Peshmerga
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ikefalcon wrote:
Peshmerga wrote:If absolute zero is ever indeed achieved, it's most likely you'll never hear about it in the news because for it to be possible, all cause and effect vibrations must be ceased; every atom of your body and your surroundings would cease to move. The universe would become in essence an unmelting ice sculpture.

We've gotten damn close, but never -273 Kelvin

You mean 0 K. Zero Kelvin is absolute zero; -273 Kelvin is 273 degrees below absolute zero.

the theory that the universe would cool to absolute zero makes no sense.

Wouldn't the universe need to be in absolute zero for any molecules to lose all velocity? I didn't mean to imply that if one thing ceased movement in time that all things would. I meant that all movement would be required to cease in order for time to stop.
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ikefalcon
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Peshmerga wrote:
ikefalcon wrote:
Peshmerga wrote:If absolute zero is ever indeed achieved, it's most likely you'll never hear about it in the news because for it to be possible, all cause and effect vibrations must be ceased; every atom of your body and your surroundings would cease to move. The universe would become in essence an unmelting ice sculpture.

We've gotten damn close, but never -273 Kelvin

You mean 0 K. Zero Kelvin is absolute zero; -273 Kelvin is 273 degrees below absolute zero.

the theory that the universe would cool to absolute zero makes no sense.

Wouldn't the universe need to be in absolute zero for any molecules to lose all velocity? I didn't mean to imply that if one thing ceased movement in time that all things would. I meant that all movement would be required to cease in order for time to stop.

Not true. Velocity is a function of time. Velocity has no meaning without a change in time. I refer you to the concept of instantaneous velocity if this still doesn't make sense to you.

At any rate, the physics of a universe frozen in time don't make any sense, so this is a pointless thought experiment.

grim4593
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Well, if you froze time completely... Nothing would work right. I would imagine gravity would no longer work since acceleration requires time (lets forget for a moment that you *are* able to move when time is frozen). Since time is frozen; light would not travel, thus you would be blind. The only way to see anything would be to perhaps walk forward causing the photons to enter your eye. The same thing would apply to sound, touch, etc. But at the same time you would be causing those photons to react to your eye which would require them to be un-frozen.

So, if you COULD see, hear and touch, then that would mean everything you touched/experienced would have to be in your time frame. Thus, time would not really be frozen at all.

svk1325
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You can't truly stop time, as it introduces counter-intuitive effects that are usually (if not always) impossible. For example, if it was possible to move with time stopped, any movement would be perceived as infinite velocity and accelleration to anyone not in the stopped frame. It is impossible, not to mention that you would recieve the unpleasant effects of relativity at infinite speed. Technically, this should make you instantaneously (for a non-stopped observer) collapse to a black hole. But then there's time dilation... OK, I'll stop rambling.

Narsil
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Well, if you had a device that stopped all people, but time marched on, than yes, but I have always thought that if you stop time, then you stop gravity, friction, and the air in your lungs, which would effectively end the universe as time would be stopped and you would be dead.

ikefalcon
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svk1325 wrote:You can't truly stop time, as it introduces counter-intuitive effects that are usually (if not always) impossible. For example, if it was possible to move with time stopped, any movement would be perceived as infinite velocity and accelleration to anyone not in the stopped frame. It is impossible, not to mention that you would recieve the unpleasant effects of relativity at infinite speed. Technically, this should make you instantaneously (for a non-stopped observer) collapse to a black hole. But then there's time dilation... OK, I'll stop rambling.

This is exactly my point. This point makes this imaginary concept meaningless.

Air Gear
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I'm going to interpret the first post differently...instead of time actually stopping, I'll just take one person experiencing a "tick" of time, whatever that means to the person at the moment (taking it as a purely subjective unit; something along the lines of "the smallest consciously discernible time frame", also assuming that reaction can occur within a set number of ticks) and make the other experience x ticks during that period, with x being relatively large. Then I'd take x very large, I guess...large enough to consider limiting behavior. Either way, I'm going to ignore the "one point" thing entirely.

So basically, a "hit", first...basically, you have whatever total amount of force hitting in a fraction of a "tick". It'd be sort of like the approximation of assuming the baseball and bat strike and the momentum/energy transfer takes zero time, in the limit, so yeah, the person goes, "What the FUCK was that?" Definite transfer of energy and momentum. A "scream", well, you have a very large amount of sound hitting for a very small amount of time. I'm not sure about "hearing" since that's a cognition issue, but surely there'd be some sort of reaction from the energy transfer.

ikefalcon
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Air Gear wrote:I'm going to interpret the first post differently...instead of time actually stopping, I'll just take one person experiencing a "tick" of time, whatever that means to the person at the moment (taking it as a purely subjective unit; something along the lines of "the smallest consciously discernible time frame", also assuming that reaction can occur within a set number of ticks) and make the other experience x ticks during that period, with x being relatively large. Then I'd take x very large, I guess...large enough to consider limiting behavior. Either way, I'm going to ignore the "one point" thing entirely.

So basically, a "hit", first...basically, you have whatever total amount of force hitting in a fraction of a "tick". It'd be sort of like the approximation of assuming the baseball and bat strike and the momentum/energy transfer takes zero time, in the limit, so yeah, the person goes, "What the FUCK was that?" Definite transfer of energy and momentum. A "scream", well, you have a very large amount of sound hitting for a very small amount of time. I'm not sure about "hearing" since that's a cognition issue, but surely there'd be some sort of reaction from the energy transfer.

Yeah, it's possible, but whoever is experiencing fewer ticks of time cannot be within the same frame of reference. They must be travelling near light speed.

Gemini25RB
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moopanda wrote:
ohthecommotion wrote:
CrustyJello wrote:Wait a minute-- how is time a man-made concept? If we weren't there to notice it, planets and stars would still move in time. On Earth, the seasons would still change, and in response living things would alter their behavior.

Prove it

Come now... just because you can't prove something doesn't mean the opposite is true. For example:

There is a God. (Prove it!)
There is no god. (Prove it!)

very true...

DISprove it!

Air Gear
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ikefalcon wrote:
Air Gear wrote:I'm going to interpret the first post differently...instead of time actually stopping, I'll just take one person experiencing a "tick" of time, whatever that means to the person at the moment (taking it as a purely subjective unit; something along the lines of "the smallest consciously discernible time frame", also assuming that reaction can occur within a set number of ticks) and make the other experience x ticks during that period, with x being relatively large. Then I'd take x very large, I guess...large enough to consider limiting behavior. Either way, I'm going to ignore the "one point" thing entirely.

So basically, a "hit", first...basically, you have whatever total amount of force hitting in a fraction of a "tick". It'd be sort of like the approximation of assuming the baseball and bat strike and the momentum/energy transfer takes zero time, in the limit, so yeah, the person goes, "What the FUCK was that?" Definite transfer of energy and momentum. A "scream", well, you have a very large amount of sound hitting for a very small amount of time. I'm not sure about "hearing" since that's a cognition issue, but surely there'd be some sort of reaction from the energy transfer.

Yeah, it's possible, but whoever is experiencing fewer ticks of time cannot be within the same frame of reference. They must be travelling near light speed.

I'm talking about interpreting time subjectively, not objectively, though yes, I know the motions involved in that would be relativistic. I'm neglecting it since that's required to answer the question.

Ephphatha
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I suppose someone here has seen clockstoppers? (Don't let the name fool you, the plot involves people making devices to speed the wearer up to the point that the world appears almost stationary from their point of view).

What would it happen in that case if you hit someone? Would your force be accentuated? I'm assuming that the velocity would be much faster from the recipients piont of view.
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Gemini25RB
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Ephphatha wrote:What would it happen in that case if you hit someone? Would your force be accentuated? I'm assuming that the velocity would be much faster from the recipients piont of view.

It wouldn't hurt as much, I think. The impulse (...I think...) transfer is based upon the duration of time that contact is made. So the shorter the time, the less impulse, the less chance that the person will feel it?

svk1325
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Gemini25RB wrote:DISprove it!

You may as well just replace every "prove it" with "disprove it"

Ephphatha wrote:What would it happen in that case if you hit someone? Would your force be accentuated? I'm assuming that the velocity would be much faster from the recipients piont of view.

If you interpret it like that, I think the person would start bleeding or maybe break their neck from the striking force. Big ouch.
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Combining Clockstoppers with Pratchett.

To "stop" time, one would have to relatively speed up ones own atoms/molecules/moles/etc. to (at least near-) lightspeed.

Breathing, therfore, is not a problem, as it is just relative air pressure.
However, anything breathing that fast is going to create a LOT of friction in the non-stopped timeframe - a scream even more so. They'd more likely be fired than hear it. Hitting someone would result in an impact on them of near-lightspeed - much pain - so they would not feel it, as they would die before the brain had time to register the blow as painful.
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