Time is defined operationally to be that which is measured by clocks. The SI unit of time is the second, which is defined to be

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How can time be relative?

I don't understand how time can be relative to different observers, and I think my confusion is around how I understand what time is. I have always been told (and thought) that time is basically a ...
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463 views

What is the closest general-relativistic equivalent of a “time slice”?

In a newtonian universe, one can talk of a "time slice", that is, the state of the universe at a given point in (global) time. In a "typical" classical universe, a time slice would contain enough ...
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Cancelling special & general relativistic effects

We know that for a GPS we need to make a correction for both general and special relativity: general relativity predicts that clocks go slower in a higher gravitational field (the clock aboard a GPS ...
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561 views

What is the fastest process or shortest time in nature?

We know about some events that happen very quickly. For example, the dielectric relaxation time is about $10^{-14}\, \mathrm{seconds}$. I'm interested in other processes that switch extremely fast ...
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253 views

Why do we remember the past but not the future?

The question is sometimes referred to as the "psychological arrow of time" (Hawking, 1985). Here the past is understood as a moment or time when the entropy of the universe was lower, and contrarily ...
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Is space infinitely divisible?

As a child I remember hearing the popular paradox presented by Zeno proposing that Achilles could never catch a tortoise in a race since he would have to traverse the infinite space between himself ...
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Different age of universe

According to general relativity time runs slowly near a massive body. So, I have a question bothering me from some time, that if time for every body/object in universe runs at a different rate, then ...
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More than one time dimension

We know that space-time dimensions are 3+1 macroscopically, but what if 2+2? Obviously it is tough to imagine two time dimensions, but mathematically we can always imagine as either having two ...
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Does time exist in a vacuum?

Imagine a perfect vacuum devoid of all matter and radiation. Irrespective of whether such a space can even exist, my intuition tells me that time would not exist within such a space. What this thought ...
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What's the difference between space and time?

I'm having a hard time understanding how changing space means changing time. In books I've read people are saying "space and time" or "space-time" but never explain what the difference is between the ...
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Why does time stop in black holes?

Everyone says that time stops in the black hole. It's a "fact". However, I have never heard everyone explaining that. Of course, I know that observer in weaker gravitational field sees that something ...
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How fast will the sun become a red giant?

I've read many accounts of our sun's distant fate, but what I've never heard is on what time scale these events occur. For instance, when the sun runs out of hydrogen, I presume it doesn't just WHAM! ...
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Connection between $\Delta x \Delta p \geq \frac{\hbar}{2}$ and $\Delta E \Delta t \geq \frac{\hbar}{2}$

Is there a way to derive second equation from the first one? I mean is there a connection between those two uncertainty relations? \begin{align} \Delta x \Delta p &\geq \frac{\hbar}{2}\\ \Delta ...
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192 views

How to create unusual sundial?

I am considering small "artsy" project. I would like to create sundial by placing gnomon on the window and painting hour lines on the window facing wall. Since this is to be placed in bedroom I am ...
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307 views

Assuming that the Cosmological Principle is correct, does this imply that the universe possess an empirically privileged reference frame?

OK...before everyone blasts this with references to the relativistic invariance of the physical laws, time dilation, etc let me add some context. Also, I am an amateur with an interest in physics, so ...
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218 views

Time dilation only on electromagnetic force?

We've seen by experiment that the speed of light c appears to be constant for each observer (leading to all well-known consequences of relativity). I'm wondering if this appearance of constancy of c ...
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347 views

Time crystals : fake or revolution?

This article about "crystals of time" just appeared on the PRL website. Viewpoint: Crystals of Time (http://physics.aps.org/articles/v5/116) The authors (including famous Frank Wilczek) claim that ...
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416 views

Anti-matter as matter going backwards in time? (requesting further clarification upon a previous post)

I understand this question has already been asked here, however, I don't have enough reputation points to place a comment (I suppose that's the reason) on a specific answer to request a reference. A ...
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255 views

Do velocity and acceleration time dilation factors add?

For a spinning space station such as in 2001, A Space Odyssey, what would be the time slowing in the perimeter of the spinning space station with respect to the center axis of the station? The ...
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Do gravitational waves cause time dilatation?

The effect of gravitational waves in transverse traceless gauge on matter is represented by the expansion and contraction of a ring of test particles in the direction of polarization of the wave. ...
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208 views

Will the black hole evaporate in finite time from external observer's perspective?

There is the problem that is bothering me with the black hole evaporation because of Hawking radiation. According to Hawking theory the black hole will evaporate in finite time because of quantum ...
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Time dilation all messed up!

Okay! There is a problem with my logic and i cannot seem to point out where. There's a rocket ship travelling at close-to-c speed v without any acceleration (hypothetically), and there is an observer ...
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Can you completely explain acceleration to me?

I understand what acceleration is, and I know the formula, and I understand it's a vector. I just don't understand how the equation works exactly. I'm kind of picky, I know, but bear with me. ...
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If the entire universe is the same age, can one assume that any potential life elsewhere is at the same stage of development as us?

There was some discussion in another question regarding whether you can consider all parts of the universe to have existed for the same length of time, and the conclusion seemed to be that, because of ...
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How might clock synchronization work with RSA SecurID tokens?

My workplace uses these things to generate one-time passwords which only work within a short time period. I have always been curious about how the clock synchronisation between the authentication ...
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452 views

Is Time Significant in the Double Slit Experiment

When doing the classic double slit experiment is the time between emitting photons significant at all? Say, a single photon is emitted, the scientist waits T seconds, then emits another photon. Are ...
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Why a day is divided by 12/24 hours? Why the number 12?

Why a day is divided by 12/24 hours? Why the number 12? Why not using 10 or 6 or 14, 16? Who invented this? Any physical reasons behind this?
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Is quantum tunneling related to imaginary time?

I was studying for my exam and looking at the chapter which talks about Potential-energy graphs. Let's take this as an example: My book states that: "If the object is in $B$ and has a total energy ...
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776 views

Does this Zeilinger group result provide experimental proof of backward-in-time causation?

Does this recent Zeilinger group delayed choice entanglement experiment imply backward-in-time influences? http://arxiv.org/abs/1203.4834 From the abstract: "This can also be viewed as “quantum ...
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506 views

How can photons interact with anything?

I read photons do not age because they move at the speed of light. So when a photon interacts with my eyes, aren't they apart in space-time by the difference of the time in the frame of reference of ...
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Is my grandmother alive for some alien who is located on some place and is moving with some speed?

(I am science fiction writer. I had a goal in my novel to argue that time travel to past will not be available even in future. I asked here how to argue that. I collected answers and analyzed them and ...
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656 views

Does String theory say that spacetime is not fundamental but should be considered an emergent phenomenon?

Does String theory say that spacetime is not fundamental but should be considered an emergent phenomenon? If so, can quantum mechanics describe the universe at high energies where there is no ...
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136 views

Why does the second law of thermodynmics only occur in the time dimension?

If I break an egg, how broken it is depends on "when" I am not "where" I am. Why is the time dimension special?
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How to calculate how many degrees the Sun is from the horizon?

Given a position on earth (latitude/longitude, and maybe also height relative to sea-level) and a time, what's the algorithm to find how many degrees the Sun is from the horizon? And the same for ...
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238 views

Does the collapse of the wave function increase entropy of the atomic system itself?

Does wave-function collapse cause the entropy of the atom (ie. the sub-atomic particle system that makes up the atom) to increase?
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Time diffeomorphisms breaking in inflation

I am currently working on the topic of inflation. It seems that at the stage of inflation, the universe can be described as a de Sitter space. In such a space, all spacetime diffeomorphisms are ...
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Why is my approach to the equation of time off by a constant?

I'm trying to better understand the causes for the equation of time by deriving an approximation from first principles. My naive approach, $EOT_{NAIVE}$, is to take the difference between the right ...
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Is time a Scalar or a Vector?

In Wikipedia it's said that time is a scalar quantity. But its hard to understand that how? As stated that we consider only the magnitude of time then its a scalar. But on basis of time we define ...
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Did relativity make Newtonian mechanics obsolete?

Did Einstein completely prove Newton wrong? If so, why we apply Newtonian mechanics even today? Because Newton said that time is absolute and Einstein suggested it relative? So, if fundamentals are ...
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What distinguishes time from space in Quantum Field Theory?

Consider the following expression for a general QFT action: $$ S ~=~ \int_0^t\mathrm dt~L ~=~\int_0^t\mathrm dt\int_\mathbb {R^3}\mathrm d^3x~\mathcal L ~=~\int\mathrm d^4x~\mathcal L.$$ Here we ...
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How can something happen when time does not exist?

I saw this documentary hosted by Stephen Hawkins. And if I didn't get it wrong, it says that there was no time before the big bang, time was created there. So how can anything happen when there is ...
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How about an exact solution for the position of a planet as a function of time?

Recently I was surprised to discover that no exact solution for the position of a planet as a function of time exists. I am referring to the two-body problem in a gravitational field where Newtons law ...
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How is a second measured? And why is it measured that way?

The earth's rotation around the sun isn't exactly 24 hours. It off by some seconds which becomes somewhere around 6 hours per year and 1 day in 4 years(leap year), which brings the question why didn't ...
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Tropical year is 27s/year off from Gregorian year?

http://hpiers.obspm.fr/eop-pc/models/constants.html states the tropical year is $365.242190402$ days. The Gregorian calendar's average year is $365.2425$ days (every 4th year a leap year, except ...
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Do residents of the Hudson Bay area have more time?

Apparently there is a gravity anomaly in the Hudson Bay Area in Canada: gravity is "missing" or it is slightly less than it is in the rest of the world. Does that mean that things in the Hudson Bay ...
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624 views

Why is time special?

In Special Relativity, the spacetime interval between two events is $s^2 = -(c{\Delta}t)^2+({\Delta}x)^2+({\Delta}y)^2+({\Delta}z)^2$ giving the Minkowski metric $\eta_{\mu\nu}=\text{diag}(-1, 1, 1, ...
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392 views

Speed of light in general relativity

My question has a few parts concerning the speed of light in general relativity. Firstly, time changes in response to gravity and speed. Therefore, as gravity effects time in an area of space, should ...
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Is isotropy a fundamental/invariant feature of our universe, or is it merely a convenient, albeit arbitrary, feature of some reference frames?

This is related to a previous post. Assuming that the Cosmological Principle is correct, does this imply that the universe possess an empircially privileged reference frame? What I am trying to ...
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Is there any scientific evidence that demonstrates why time passes?

Is there any scientific evidence that demonstrates why time passes? Or is it just an opened question?
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How can we know, today, that there's something from 100 light-years from here?

In my understanding, to take a picture of something that is 100 light-years from here, our "camera" would have to travel 100 years at light speed, take the picture, send to us, and 100 years later we ...