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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Ideal shape of a water clock

The ancients undoubtedly discovered the ideal shape of a water clock by trial and error. In examining some ancient water clocks I notice the shape is different depending on the size. For example, a ...
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How do you think about time as an axis/dimension?

I'm studying mathematics, but (obviously?) have an interest in physics. I've been thinking, how do people in physics think about time as an axis or dimension (as they would be called in mathematics)? ...
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If I travel close to the speed of light and come back, why is everyone else dead, and not me? [duplicate]

Consider the following scenario: I get in a spaceship, and travel really close to the speed of light for a while, and then come back. A lot of time has passed on the Earth, but since I was traveling ...
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Atomic clocks and how to synchronize them

During teaching measurement section in the class, Our teacher told us about atomic clocks. I have two questions: What is exactly an atomic clock? and how do we synchronize two atomic clocks far ...
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How to determine day/night based on latitude, longitude and a date/time?

Is there a simple method of determining, given a UTC date/time, whether it is day or night at a given lat/long coordinate? I am currently using a formula based on a Sunrise/Sunset Algorithm from the ...
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1answer
716 views

Time evolution in quantum mechanics

We know that an operator A in quantum mechanics has time evolution given by Heisenberg equation: $$ \frac{i}{\hbar}[H,A]+\frac{\partial A}{\partial t}=\frac{d A}{d t} $$ Can we derive from this ...
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257 views

Time Slowing Down [duplicate]

I'd like to ask a question if I may about the relativity. When travelling at the speed of light(which is impossible for particles with masses) or very close to it, would it be me, myself, seeing my ...
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96 views

Nonlinear combination of velocities implies no absolute time?

Landau 1961 begins with a brief presentation of special relativity. This question is about the validity of a certain argument that they use in building up the foundations of the subject from scratch, ...
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Finding radius of Earth through observation of Sun's motion

The question I'm about to pose is from a physics book I had recently bought. Since I am very interested in physics I am quite keen in understanding how this question can be solved. Before I present ...
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341 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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What did Hawking mean? 'Time started at the big bang'. Book suggestions please [closed]

After writing down this question, I have come to realize that. What I really want is reading materials on the questions below. Before the big bang there was no such thing as 'time' (Steven Hawking on ...
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62 views

Most efficient speed to travel at, considering the effects of time dilation; according to Special Relativity

I understand that this question has recently been asked, and yet not answered to the greatest and most understandable extent, but I was wondering whether travelling at the speed of light is really the ...
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79 views

Is each succeeding dimension time? [closed]

I have been researching but I have found nothing on this topic (at least after basic google searching and some deeper searching on this site), I'm not sure if this is a common sense thing or it is ...
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142 views

Quantum Field Theory with (2,2) metric

Does someone know some reference which treats QFT in a space with the following non-Lorentzian signature: $g_{\mu\nu}=\text{diag}(-1,-1,1,1)$. I'm interested in basic stuff like the shape of the ...
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246 views

Would time dilation be too great for the early universe to expand?

I read that one second after the big bang the universe was composed of photons electrons and neutrinos. Wouldn't the density of energy/matter have caused such extreme time dilation that the universe ...
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2answers
186 views

The heat equation in relation to smoothing algorithm

Recently I learned about a technique in image processing, which has its roots in something called the 'heat equation' from physics. The original creators of this technique were inspired by the physics ...
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232 views

Is time the rate at which one moves through space

I'll start out with the cliche attempt in a protective shield of my dignity. I am a young highschool kid just eager to learn and understand. If I'm way off or this is already a known idea, or maybe ...
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2answers
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Is there an observable of time? [duplicate]

In Quantum Mechanics, position is an observable, but time may be not. I think that time is simply a classical parameter associated with the act of measurement, but is there an observable of time? And ...
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Calibration of a clock [duplicate]

I was inspired by this interesting question on this forum: How do I measure an earth year without a clock? Say you're stranded on an alien planet without any significant tools. How would you ...
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1answer
606 views

Why is cesium used to measure time in atomic clocks?

Seconds are measured by the frequency emission of cesium. Why is a frequency from the emission spectrum of cesium used as the standard in defining a second? Why particularly cesium?
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469 views

Is it time or duration? [closed]

Taking this post: "Is there a proof of existence of time?", as a starting point. Therein was mentioned that there is confusion between: "time" and "flow of time". There was a comment (of mine) that ...
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145 views

Decoherence without time?

Decoherence is a phenomenon that provides a part of the explanation of why quantum systems and classical systems behave differently. What I understood from decoherence so far is that it requires ...
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1answer
176 views

How is UT1 being computed?

I've recently read up about time standards and now understand that UTC is a second-corrected version of international atomic time so that it is kept within 0.9s from UT1. And then UT1 is defined as ...
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217 views

Regarding the possibility of Closed Timelike Curves

I've been looking a lot at Closed Timelike Curves, and how if a theory allows for these curves it doesn't respect causality. I understand that about the curves themselves (Grandfather Paradox), but ...
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Circular motion and time dilation

Einsteins' time paradox was shown when two atomic clocks were synchronized and one was sent in a super sonic plane and the other kept at rest. When the two where then checked it was shown that yes ...
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1answer
606 views

Calculating the length of day at any time of the year? [duplicate]

Is it possible to calculate the length of the day at various location (distances) from the sun? I hear agricultural scientists are able to do that. To make calculations easier assume there is no axis ...
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When is the right ascension of the mean sun 0?

I understand that the right ascension of the mean sun changes (at least over a specified period) by a constant rate, but where is it zero? I had naively assumed that it would be zero at the most ...
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132 views

Is GPS time measuring the proper time on the mean sea level or the GPS station itself?

LeapSecond.com states: Global Positioning System time is the atomic time scale implemented by the atomic clocks in the GPS ground control stations and the GPS satellites themselves. Does GPS ...
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855 views

Time in special relativity and quantum mechanics

The time is treated differently in special relativity and quantum mechanics. What is the exact difference and why relativistic quantum mechanics (Dirac equation etc.) works?
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105 views

Time Energy symmetry in General Relativity (not asking about energy conservation)

In General Relativity is there a TE symmetry similar to CPT symmetry in the Standard Model ? It's pretty easy to understand that by flipping charge and parity you merely get a time reversed equivalent ...
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204 views

How can we measure time?

If we cannot define a proper time (or synchronize clocks in different positions) in an inertial frame (independent with the theory of relativity), there seems to be no direct way to confirm the 2 ...
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171 views

How is the physical Lagrangian related to the constrained minimization Lagrangian?

If we're minimizing an energy $V(q)$ subject to constraints $C(q) = 0$, the Lagrangian is $$L = V(q) + \lambda C(q).$$ I have fairly solid intuition for this Lagrangian, namely that the energy ...
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1answer
383 views

How would an observer perceive movement on a train that's travelling near the speed of light?

Person A is on Earth and a train (or whatever you want to imagine) travels past him at near the speed of light. How would person A perceive movement on the ship? If time is slowed on the ship from the ...
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575 views

Time to establish saturated vapour pressure above liquid

Thought experiment - a liquid is in a closed container in equilibrium with its vapour, and then suddenly all the vapour is pumped away. Switch off the pump so that instantaneosuly there is no vapour ...
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Slow thermal equilibrium

I have a question which is inspired by considering the light field coming off an incandescent lightbulb. As a blackbody radiation field, the light is in thermal equilibrium at temperature $T$, which ...
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272 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 ...
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When did people start to regard “time” as a physical quantity? [closed]

I was trying to figure out how people came to know about time then I realized that people started keeping track of time to know about sunset and sunrise. But I can't figure out how did time came into ...
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Can time be interacted with? [duplicate]

Astronauts come back to Earth younger than they would have been had they stayed on Earth for that same period of time. They are traveling so fast relative to the Earth that time slows down for them. ...
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How is time not a constant?

I am a visual person, so it's hard to imagine the information I keep getting, but shouldn't time be a constant? If you were traveling at the speed of light and your able to cover $299{,}792{,}458$ ...
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131 views

How to interpret $t^2$? [closed]

I can't think of the meaning of squaring the Time (multiplying it by itself). It makes sense in Mathematics. But how can you figure it out in nature (or physics). As an example, the formula ...
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What is the shortest controllable time?

I was reading http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_time and noticed a reference to: http://phys.org/news192909576.html where it is stated that: 12 attoseconds is the world record for shortest ...
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Does time actually exist or is there just a single stateful system being updated over time? [closed]

What I mean is, is there a past, future and present? or just a NOW which changes? I'm a computer programmer so the second alternative is from my programming experience. In this second alternative, I ...
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2answers
80 views

Questions regarding the Feynman-Stueckelberg interpretaion

I am studying for an introductory particle physics exam, and I am having some problems with the Feynman-Stueckelberg interpretation of antiparticle states. Background: The course was being thaught ...
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282 views

Communication back in time?

On the wikipedia page for time travel, it mentions that Robert Forward said (theoretically, unknown since we don't have a working theory of quantum gravity) that if a heavy nucleus was subjected to an ...
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437 views

What is the exact mechanism by which time dilates?

What is the exact mechanism by which time dilates for a fast moving object? Can the time dilation be explained by any theory other than relativity?
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4answers
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Which Schrödinger equation is correct?

In the coordinate representation, in 1D, the wave function depends on space and time, $\Psi(x,t)$, accordingly the time dependent Schrödinger equation is $$H\Psi(x,t) = ...
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3answers
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Does anybody actually do astrometry in the 21st century?

I mean the nitty-gritty measurements of positions of stars and planets using transit circles. The transit instruments I've seen are mostly in national observatories and are essentially museum pieces: ...
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7answers
10k views

I need help with finding distance traveled

How do I find the distance traveled of an object if the speed is not constant?
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1answer
326 views

How come the concept of an instant of time is such a controversial topic with relativity, but with entanglement it's completely acceptable?

When talking about relativity most people say that a universal instant of time doesn't exist, but when talking about entanglement most will say that the particles are both measured instantaneously. ...
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Expansion of the Universe regarding Time and lightspeed

According to our current understanding, the universe is expanding... it is often said that every galaxy is moving away from us (I'm assuming that isn't true for galaxies in our local group), and it's ...