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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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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3answers
6k views

Convert acceleration as a function of position to acceleration as a function of time?

Suppose I have acceleration defined as a function of position, $a(x)$. How to convert it into a function of time $a(t)$? Please give an example for the case $a(x)= \frac{x}{s^2}$.
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3answers
186 views

Physics without time

The structure of physical law as we generally recognize it today is firmly held together by the existence of time. Although physical laws can both predict and retrodict (reversible time does not break ...
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143 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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on causality and The Big Bang Theory

With the notion of causality, firmly fixed by GR, we derived the concept of a singular point from where space-time begun. Causality alone gives us the possibility to talk about a known past (i.e. ...
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1answer
912 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
166 views

Hydrogen energy levels and energy-time uncertainty principle

Some hydrogen atom exists in some excited quantum state, and after some time $\Delta t$ it's de-excited, emitting a photon carrying the energy difference. It is claimed that this photon will carry ...
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0answers
144 views

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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6answers
7k views

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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89 views

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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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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170 views

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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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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time difference with airplane travel direction

a fight from east to west, (e.g. Australia melbourne to perth) takes longer than travel backwards. (west to east). What's the reason?
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439 views

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 ...
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3answers
220 views

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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4answers
2k views

How long would it take to travel through a wormhole?

Assuming wormholes exist and you put some matter into one, how long would it take to reach the other end versus how far apart the two ends are? Basically, by how much does a wormhole stretch ...
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2answers
299 views

Imaginary time in QFT

I'm reading chapter 4 of Introduction to Quantum Field Theory by Peskin & Schroeder. In the $\phi^4$ theory, the authors state that the ground state of the interaction theory $|\Omega\rangle$ can ...
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The analogy between temperature and imaginary time

There are many statements about the relation between time and temperature in statistical physics and quantum field theory, the basic idea is to interpret (inverse) temperature in statistics as "time" ...
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4answers
952 views

Is time fundamentally different from space?

Note: This is a rewrite of the original question, which was titled What would time be for 2D beings? In my current, non-physicist's understanding, every instant of our three‑dimensional world ...
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2answers
671 views

Regarding time dilation and particle entanglement

I have a question regarding time dilation and particle entanglement. As I have read a few forums and questions here, I am aware both aspects do not contradict each other. Still, a question that I am ...
5
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1answer
199 views

Does length contraction affect travel time?

If an astronaut leaves planet $A$ for planet $B$ at speed $v$, will the time (measured by the astronaut's clock) that it takes for the astronaut to reach planet $B$ be less than the distance between ...
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1answer
155 views

Understanding how the rate of time changes

The rate at which time passes is relative depending on speed and the gravity as predicted in general relativity. This theory has been tested by scientists by comparing two identical atomic clocks, one ...
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670 views

Big bang and time

I heard Carl Sagan talking about the Universe 15 Billion years ago, and the Big Bang. He made the statement that it was the biggest explosion of all time (at first I thought this a subtle pun). This ...
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239 views

Energy time complementarity from unitary evolution

I am looking for a well posed experimental situation that illustrates energy time complementarity. I know of Einsteins box, which is discussed quite nicely in Bohr's article Discussions with Einstein ...
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2answers
290 views

What time scale is used by the JPL HORIZONS system?

I'm confused by the ust of the term "UT" in the description of time scales used by the JPL HORIZONS system. Their manual states that UT is Universal Time This can mean one of two non-uniform ...
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1answer
184 views

How is the direction of time determined in general relativity?

In special relativity every frame has its own unique time axis, represented in Minkowski diagrams by a fan-out of time vectors that grows infinitely dense as you approach the surface of the light cone ...
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1answer
214 views

In the calculation of sunrise, where do the magic numbers come from?

In this question about how to calculate sunrise, there is a link to a page that describes a algorithm to calculate sunrise sunset. But when I start to follow the instructions I find that there is a ...
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1answer
704 views

The nature of time, according to quantum field theory

I will try my best to ask the question that best fits something I have been pondering on for a few days. Are virtual particles really constantly popping in and out of existence? Or are they ...
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0answers
82 views

SciFi Stasis Field and the Quantum Zeno Effect

The Quantum Zeno Effect concerns the use of repeated measurement of a particle to prevent the time evolution of the wave function, and hence "freeze" it in the observed state. A Stasis Field is a ...
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752 views

Definition of a year

Is there an acceptable definition of a year (in number of days)? Google Calculator: https://www.google.com/search?q=seconds+in+1+year returns 3.15569e7 seconds and then ...
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4answers
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How can there be really any instantaneous velocity?

I have read about Zeno's arrow paradox that tells us there is no motion of the arrow at a particular instant of its flight. It can be inferred that there can be no velocity at any instant. Moreover we ...
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5answers
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Why isn't the symmetric twin paradox a paradox?

Two twin sisters synchronize their watches and simultaneously (from the earth frame) depart earth in different directions. Following a predetermined flight plan, each sister accelerates identically to ...
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2answers
549 views

What is the duration of a snap?

What is the duration of a snap (of the fingers)? When someone says, "it's ridiculously fast, it's like [snap]" - where [snap] is them snapping their fingers - they would normally mean it is ...
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2answers
580 views

What is a single word that describes the idea of the second time derivative of energy?

I think about position, its time derivative speed, and its second time derivative, acceleration. I would like to identify a single word that can be used as a handle for the second time derivative of ...
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7answers
464 views

Is 'now' smeared over time?

Conventional physics as is usually presented in textbooks deals with the evolution of states in phase space parameterized by sharp instances in time, a real parameter. However, quantum fluctuations ...
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3answers
795 views

Looking out into the universe means looking back in time - how does that work?

This is a question that has been gnawing on me for many years now. Back a long time ago, as I recall in reference to a scene in a popular science show on TV, I was asked the following. The claim is ...
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3answers
588 views

Is there a mechanism for time symmetry breaking?

Excluding Thermodynamic's arrow of time, all mathematical descriptions of time are symmetric. We know the arrow of time is real and we know the equations describing physics are real so is there any ...
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225 views

Time evolution in QFT

Standard quantum mechanics postulates that, for an isolated system, time evolution is ruled by unitary operators, then one can prove Schrodinger equation (SE), which is not Lorentz invariant. If we ...
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Time dilation as an observer in special relativity

I've been having a discussion regarding time dilation relating to special relativity and how it should be observed from the FoR (Frame of Reference) of "the person moving" : I assert- If we have a ...
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5answers
414 views

Confusion about Length Contraction (ex in Muon decay)

I am a bit confused about the implications of length contractions; For example, in the muon decay problem, we assume that the distance between the muon and the earth is contracted only in the frame ...
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3answers
332 views

Twin paradox - observers counter orbiting Earth

Imagine three observers - one (A) stationary on the surface of Earth (latitude 0 deg) and two others orbiting the planet in the same circular equatorial orbit just in the opposite direction. When the ...
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2answers
478 views

Black hole formation as seen by a distant observer [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How can anything ever fall into a black hole as seen from an outside observer? Is black hole formation observable for a distant observer in finite amount of time? ...
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3answers
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How would we perceive time going backwards? [closed]

I haven't taken Physics in University. Lately, I've been reading about some of the branches of physics through Wikipedia. I read several times that many of the theoretical models do not explain why ...
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5answers
168 views

Could there be more universes?

In the documentary: "Curiosity - Did God Create the Universe (on YouTube)", theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking states that time did not exist before the big bang. The first ...
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2answers
771 views

Why don't two observers' clocks measure the same time between the same events?

Person A in reference frame A watches person B travel from Star 1 to Star 2 (a distance of d). Of course, from person B's reference frame, he is at rest and is watching Star 2 traveling to him. ...
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1answer
68 views

Can you use pulsar observations to determine absolute time? How long can you go without anything else?

In this old answer of Steve Allen's, he quotes this nice passage Imagine for a moment what would happen if, just as a practical joke, someone found a way to stop all atomic clocks, just for a ...
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1answer
316 views

There are plans to develop a better definition of a “second”. How does the current definition fall short?

The current definition of a second is stated here and I found a presentation on the BIPM site which discusses plans to change to a "better" definition of a second. You can find the presentation here. ...
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159 views

How can we justify dropping the absolute time hypothesis?

In some approaches to Special Relativity the theory is motivated talking about the Michelson-Morley experiment and how this relates to the postulate that the speed of light is the same in every ...
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1answer
730 views

How much time has passed for Voyager I since it left the Earth, 34 years ago?

34 years have passed since Voyager I took off and it's just crossing the solar system, being approximately at 16.4 light-hours away. How much time have passed for itself, though?