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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

5
votes
1answer
238 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
175 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

That 10km/day error predicted if GPS satellite clocks not corrected for relativity

Some authorities have stated publicly and without explanation that if the theories of Special and General Relativity were not taken into account in the design of the GPS (by building the satellite ...
5
votes
2answers
272 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
348 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
68 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
226 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
247 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
788 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
136 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
732 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
384 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
567 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?
4
votes
2answers
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} d^3\vec{x}\;\vert\Psi(\vec{x},t)\...
4
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
6answers
549 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
193 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
725 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
565 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
354 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
193 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
393 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
174 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 \dfrac{d|\psi(t)\rangle}{dt}=H|\...
4
votes
2answers
164 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
472 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
351 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
85 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
938 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
207 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
909 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?
4
votes
1answer
229 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
7k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
227 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 =...
4
votes
1answer
134 views

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 (...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
236 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
288 views

Special Relativity and time [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Question about Time Dilation.. I have a question about special relativity which was bothering me for a while now. I know that as one approaches the speed of light, time ...
4
votes
1answer
510 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
303 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
756 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
558 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
326 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
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 ...
4
votes
0answers
49 views

Why isn't there a Time Operator in Quantum Mechanics? [duplicate]

I was wondering about a scenario where you subject a quantum particle to an intense gravitation field. Why can't we apply a sort of time operator to the particle to see how time changes for the ...
4
votes
0answers
43 views

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 ...