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seen Dec 7 '13 at 22:12

Jul
8
awarded  Teacher
Nov
17
comment Time, what is it?
Put any concepts of "life" aside for a second. In terms of the physical processes of the universe, life doesn't particularly matter. There are all kinds of physical processes that happen (fusion, movement of gas in nebulae, water forming ice, etc) that would occur even if there was no life. Think of storms on Jupiter. Its all about movement of energy. Eventually, trillions of years from now, most of the energy everywhere will have spread out and everything will be in the ultimate low-ordered state. Life is just a physical process that exists within the flow of energy and isn't special.
Nov
17
comment Time, what is it?
I'm not sure what you mean by complexity. Hard to offer a comment without more specifics. Your question is a common one. If you look at all of the energy in the universe as a whole, it is moving from highly ordered to lowly ordered. This doesn't mean that throughout the process order doesn't exist. Imagine a plane flying through the air. The air has relatively low order. But the wings create vortexes (swirls) in the air that do have order. Those vortexes are order created by energy flowing through the system of air molecules. Entropy steps in and the swirls dissipate back to low order.
Nov
17
comment Does gravitational differences affect the distance light travels? (a thought experiment)
Ahh, thanks Ron. I think I understand. A light source generates photons which travel as waves and move along all possible paths. The light source is point A. I am at point B. There is a high-gravity region exactly centered between us. Light traveling close to the star is bent towards it before reaching me. If I measure both the focused and unfocused light when it reaches me, the unfocused light will reach me slightly before the light that was influenced by the star. Is that more or less right?
Nov
17
comment Time, what is it?
@user6090 Glad you like it.
Nov
17
comment Time, what is it?
@Physikslover I don't appreciate your tone. There are many more laymen who are interested in physics than people with phd's in physics in the world. Understanding high level concepts is not something that comes easily to many. The problem with most "science for dummies" books and documentaries is that they wrap it up in silly analogies and dumb down the material so much that the core concepts become incomprehensible. Throwing a bunch of equations in front of someone who doesn't know the math is just as bad. All I have done is attempt to distill it down so that people can understand accurately.
Nov
17
comment Does gravitational differences affect the distance light travels? (a thought experiment)
Thats very interesting. In my scenario I intended the use of a laser to only test a single beam of light to avoid complicating the idea with parallel paths. Would it be measurable, then, that in the high-gravity region that the laser passing through the star would take 1.00001 seconds (or whatever fractional amount of time longer) to arrive at B than in the low-gravity region?
Nov
17
comment Does gravitational differences affect the distance light travels? (a thought experiment)
Thanks David for noticing that. I corrected the typo. It might have been lost in the length of the text, but I was careful to define the use of a laser versus a general light source. My understanding may be off, but I intended to present a scenario where a single point of light traveling in a confined direction would be used to avoid problems of gravitational lensing, etc. The basic answer to how you would measure the distance would be to set up points A and B at exactly one light-seconds distance from each other. In the low-grav region, A, B, and center are not influenced by external gravity.
Nov
17
awarded  Supporter
Nov
17
awarded  Editor
Nov
17
revised Does gravitational differences affect the distance light travels? (a thought experiment)
deleted 4 characters in body
Nov
17
answered Time, what is it?
Nov
17
asked Does gravitational differences affect the distance light travels? (a thought experiment)