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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Which magnet will last longer?

Say you have a magnet that is used in a brush-less generator. If the brush-less motor was ran (by external force such as water or human interaction) for 400 years, would the magnet that was under use ...
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223 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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244 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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784 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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128 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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Is time quantized? Is there a fundamental time unit that cannot be divided? [duplicate]

Is the present just a sharp line between the past and the future with no time at all, or is the present a short frozen unit of time? Could time be quantized into a fundamental units? Like Planck ...
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804 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
2k views

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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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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727 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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378 views

What does $v=c$ in the Lorentz transformation for time tell us?

For the simpler cases as boost in the x-direction, the time dilation formula following the Lorentz transformation for time is $$\Delta t'=\gamma(\Delta t-v\frac{\Delta x}{c^2})$$Now, we observe that ...
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556 views

Why time is considered a dimension?

Why is time considered to be a dimension? And the other 7 (except the 3 dimensions of space, and the dimension of time) dimensions that string theory suggests, why can't they be realized?
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106 views

Where the time-dependent wavefunction $\Psi(\vec{x},t)$ lies?

Supose $\vec{x}=(x,y,z)\in \mathbb{R}^3$. The state of a physical system is described by the function $\Psi(\vec{x},t)$, where it must satisfy $$\int_{\mathbb{R}^3} ...
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542 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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979 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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190 views

Distance in General relativity

I read a few lines about general relativity and one of the first equations is the one defining the eigentime of a time - like curve. But observers should also be able to measure length, right? So is ...
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699 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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450 views

What would a closed timelike curve look like?

What exactly are closed timelike curves. In a metric in which they would exist, what would they look like. What would it be like travelling through them? It obviously wouldn't look like a door. Would ...
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344 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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Formula for getting time of sunrise at a particular location?

Is there a formula that can get sunrise at a particular latitude and longitude (and elevation from sea level)? If so, what it is? (Why does it work?)
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190 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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390 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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4answers
162 views

Is time an observable in Relativistic Quantum Mechanics?

Relativistic Quantum Mechanic is based, as far as I know, in the Dirac Equation. Now, the Schrödinger equation, in the abstract state space takes the form: $$i\hbar ...
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471 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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348 views

Accuracy of atomic clocks

When you hear about atomic clocks, it's accuracy is described by saying something like, " it neither gains or loses $x/y$th of a second in $z$ years." How is this error calculated? Does an error imply ...
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873 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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77 views

Are there waves of time? [duplicate]

If I understand correctly, gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space-time itself created by the movement of mass. Moreover, space and time are just dimensions of the same space-time ...
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149 views

Is there really a direction of time?

Laws of physics are (almost) time symmetric, so a time-reversed description of a physical process is as qualified as the original one. What's the reason then, that in reality one version seems to ...
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903 views

Does time dilation correct for the Doppler effect?

Knowing that a body in motion experiences time dilation, "also" knowing when two objects travel at a great speed away from one an other, both observers experience the others clock as moving slower ...
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206 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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883 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?
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225 views

Why isn't sunset time in sync with solstice?

The winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere in 2011 is on December 22. But if I look at the sunset times for a location such as Washington, DC on the USNO site, the sunset time starts reversing ...
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6k views

What is actually meant by 'sun set' and 'sun rise' times, when taking into account the mirage due to light bending in the atmosphere

I’ve heard from the likes of Brian Cox that what we see of the sun during a sunset and sun rise is actually the mirage of the sun. The Sun has actually set/risen and we see it due to the way light is ...
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220 views

Time-Energy Uncertainty Principle and Operators

In most of examples, I notice that uncertainty principle for time & energy is given between mass & lifetime. The UP for time and energy is $$ \Delta t\,\Delta E\geq\frac h{4π} $$ where $$Δt ...
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If transported back to the 18th century could you solve the Longitude Problem without an accurate clock?

Seeing an interesting BBC article today at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23514521 about the Longitude Problem, I wondered if it could have been solved, in a way practical at the time ...
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Does the expansion of the universe soon after the Big Bang affect the amount of time that light takes to reach us?

If faster than light travel is impossible, how is it that light emitted from matter so close together in the time soon after the Big Bang is only now just reaching us? I would assume that there would ...
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2answers
231 views

How do physicists and astronomers handle leap seconds?

I'm confused by the many contradictory descriptions I see about how UTC leap seconds are accounted for. I understand that there are various ways to handle them in common practice, and I've seen a ...
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109 views

The Effects of Moving Matter Across Light-Year distances

If I were to stand at one end of a light-year long metal pole, and another person were to stand one light-year away at the other end, and then I were to push on my end of the pole. How long would it ...
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167 views

How did Cook and other astronomers time the 1769 Venus transit?

The 1769 transit of Venus was observed and coordinated by over one hundred astronomers around the world. How did they measure time so accurately, key to the observations having any scientific value? I ...
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1answer
480 views

Does time invariance conclude conservation of energy? [closed]

I find it hard to understand that time-translation invariance necessarily implies conservation of energy. As I understand it, Noether's theorem says that there is an energy conservation because the ...
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288 views

Imaginary time is to inverse temperature what imaginary entropy is to …?

The Wick-Rotation rotates imaginary time into inverse temperature (as can be seen from its "rotating" the Schrödinger equation into the heat equation). Now since entropy is temperature's conjugate, I ...
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737 views

What does it mean to “convert energy into time”?

In a recent article about creating electron-positron pairs by colliding photons in a laboratory, Andrei Seryi, director of the John Adams Institute at Oxford University, was quoted to said: It's ...
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509 views

What do you call the period after sunrise when the sky is bright?

At sunrise, the sky isn't actually up in the sky yet. Twilight occurs before sunrise, then at sunrise the leading part of the sun crosses the horizon. But, the sky isn't bright yet. It takes some time ...
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319 views

Does it make a sense to speak about age of electron or atom?

It's possible that this question is too soft or even quite senseless for this forum, but I will ask nevertheless. Everyday (macroscopic) things, like a grandfather's pendulum clock or the grandfather ...
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110 views

Could a bipolar nebula be produced by a time gradient?

M2-9 is an example of a bipolar nebula that resembles two back-to-back rocket nozzles. Is it possible that this shape (somewhat unusual for an explosion) is the result of a time gradient? A rotating ...
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What ticks in an optical clock?

After reading several articles about current state of the art clocks, I'm still wondering one thing: What ticks? As I understand it, in cesium clocks time is measured in cycles of a microwave ...
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85 views

What determines time flow? (arrow of time) [closed]

I've been reading up on the arrow of time and there is one thing that is being omitted from every explanation that I've found: time flow. I am rewording this question to make it clearer. From the ...
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How to calculate time dilation in approaching speed of light

If a spaceship travels close to the speed of light (say, at 0.9c), how do I calculate the time as the spaceship pilot experience it? I thought the formula was $$t = \frac{t_0}{\sqrt{1-v^2/c^2}}$$ ...
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742 views

Approximation to the number of seconds in a year?

Is there any mathematical formula which shows that there are approximately $\pi \times 10^7$ seconds in one year. I understand that the pi is probably due to the earth's circular orbit, but am not ...
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650 views

Flight time Toronto to Moscow the same [duplicate]

I have a question. How come that the flight from Toronto to Moscow takes the same time as the flight from Moscow to Toronto. Should it take much longer because of the earth rotation? One direction we ...