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The great physicist Raphael Bousso predicted time will end in this article. We can't measure anything after our death in principle. So, does time end when we die?

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closed as off topic by dmckee May 13 '11 at 18:14

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This is not philosophy.SE. –  dmckee May 13 '11 at 18:14

2 Answers 2

Uhm, definitely not. People are a part of time and space, they don't create it by being "over" it. If you die, there's absolutely no reason why time or space should cease to exist.

The fact that you can't measure something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. That would be like saying that hundreds of years ago, when people couldn't measure temperature, the temperature didn't exist. That wouldn't work.

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The question, on a first read, seems to refer to a single human life, but the paper linked to is about the end of the universe itself. This is an important distinction, as is clear from the last answer.

Quantum physics is often misunderstood, and in particular, the concepts of entanglement and observation. In fact, the essence of two entangled particles is that the particles have "observed" each other. Like any physics worth its salt, systems can be drawn around any given conglomeration of particles. I am a layman myself, but here is a good video to help allay some common misconceptions. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEaecUuEqfc

Yes, it is common to look at our own personal being as an observer of a quantum system, which is technically true. But it's also true that the universe is filled with infinite definable "observers", including all other people in the world, as well as subsystems of them and you. Although not a formal physics idea, I do hear informally technical people express the view that there is nothing "special" about our own perception of the universe. Other animals most certainly experience cognizance similar to what we do and future or unknown being could experience the universe with much greater cognizance. The typical thinking on death is mostly concerned with the loss of memory continuity, but the concept of the "same" you existing from one second to the next is not established in the first place. In a sense you may be dying and giving birth to a different being with every shift of your mental state.

Now, if you want to talk about the subject matter of the paper, where time literally comes to an end in our universe - that is a clear possibility. I believe it would be correct to say that time in the proper sense of time in our universe ends. Granted, if our universe is part of a multiverse, those others may have something like time or similar to it. Such different timelines may or may not follow in some causality relative to each other.

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