Is Time Expanding?

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  1. profile image0
    Emile Rposted 11 years ago

    I've put this into the philosophy forum because I'm interested in what those who ponder the meaning of the cosmos would consider the ramifications of the answer to be.

    We talk of the Space-Time Continuum. We know the following:

    Cosmologists tell us it would be impossible to go back in time because the universe is expanding. It was, in times past, more compact.

    NASA has proven that space-time is distorted around the earth; just as the theory of relativity suggested it would be.

    Time is distorted by black holes and time is said to virtually stand still when you approach the speed of light.

    All evidence tells us that the universe is expanding; but I honestly don't know that we can assume this means it is expanding at a consistent rate of speed in all directions and at all points. This time distortion around earth leads me to believe that time, too, could be not only inconsistent at points known, but also unknown;and the flow could be inconsistent over long periods of time. Our perception of time could be at odds with the greater reality of the nature of time.

    What do you think it would mean if time were expanding with space? I think it would screw up a lot of conclusions we have come to, concerning just about everything.

    I realize that there are Hubbers who believe Time is a concept that only exists in the minds of men; but I am more interested in answers from those who believe that time and space are intertwined into a single continuum.

    1. profile image0
      Rad Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      um, let's not forget gravity. Gravity effects both light and time. According to physics time should be able to go backwards as well, but it doesn't.

      1. profile image0
        Emile Rposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        We have not observed time going backwards. Which isn't the same add it doesn't.

        Have you every wondered at the perception of life, if a moment in the mind's eye was compacted? Think about it. If our ancestors had less time available in the same span. My mind runs a mile a minute, like everyone else's. Have the amount of thoughts possible within a period of time increased geometrically due to time expansion?

        1. profile image0
          Rad Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          I don't think so, time alway appears constant to those in it. If you were traveling at close to the speed of light you wouldn't feel time slowing down, your perception wouldn't change, you would simple end up in the future.

          1. profile image0
            Emile Rposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Yes, I realize this. And, this is somewhat my point. You are comparing perception of time for me standing on earth to my perception of time for you moving at the speed of light. What I am saying is that, since these two are known yet completely different; what if there are other conditions that can cause time to be percieved and experienced differently? What if time, itself, simply expanded with space. Even if it was expanding at a universal constant; the questions it would bring up are staggering.

            What if, the speed of light changes over time? What if our perception of time changes also, allowing us to be blind to the changes? How would that effect our perception of the history of the universe? Would the age be anywhere near the same? Would our calculations of time on earth have any bearing on the greater reality of the age and nature of the universe?

            Closer to home. Think of time as a rubber band. It is linear, but that does not imply that it is straight. We see it as straight. Think of the circle of your life. If time expands, and your perception expands with it (not allowing you to 'see' the expansion of time over the generations) then a lifetime is still, simply, a lifetime. But, what does that lifetime encompass, compared to a lifetime millenia ago?

            Your brain processes 400 billion bits of information a second. 400 billion. Imagine if time has expanded just enough to give you an additional second to process information, over what your distant ancestors could. Multiply that by 7 billion people living. That is a lot of information being analyzed that we are adding to the collective soup.

      2. profile image51
        bordugeshposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Interesting you mention that one should be able to go backwards in time according to physics. Until now, this only mathematically possible, because one can 'create' a hypothetical situation where time returns to itself, e.g. it forms a closed curve.
        However normal time does not seem to behave this way, even on a quantum scale. Furthermore, being able to travel backwards in time would violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which basically defines the arrow of time.
        I don't mean it is impossible, because every theory can only emulate reality, but until there has been more progress in unifying quantum gravity and general relativity, physics still predicts that time flows in but one direction.

        As to the question posed by the OP, both the Second Law and the (apparent) nature of time to not fold on itself will not be violated by an increased expansion/decelerated flow.

    2. A Troubled Man profile image58
      A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Since time is not an absolute, it would have to expand relative to another time being observed in the same way it dilates relative to another observer.

      What do you mean by time expanding? It doesn't really make any sense.

      1. profile image0
        riddle666posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you.

      2. profile image0
        Emile Rposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I'm so happy you took the time to respond. This one is irritating me at the  moment. I keep thinking about it.

        I can see that the question didn't make any sense. I didn't really get any comments that appeared to have either thought on it, or understood my question. Your comment is interesting. So, the way I'm reading your answer is you are saying that time is simply determined from where you are standing? That's fascinating. So, if I had been in coNJnstant motion- at the speed of light- since 14.7 billion years ago by our count; I wonder how old I would consider myself to be?

        But, to my question.  If you lived a hundred years as factored here on earth, but you lived those years at light speed; think how much longer you would live by my estimation; although by your own estimation you would only have lived as long as I did. The only way you would know the difference is if you could observe me. See me age and die in a blink of your eye. You would have more time to accomplish billions of things I would never have dreamed of.

        If time is linear, but flexible (as shown by observations science has made. i.e. the space time distortion around earth) I'm simply wondering if maybe it hasn't distorted over the millenia. The earth creates the distortion in time by its situation in space. It's the first we've ever known of its existence. And, I would assume the existence of one distortion would give ample reason to wonder about more, at different places and/or under different conditions. And I don't see why, if the earth creates a slight distortion, conditions throughout the universe couldn't create massive ones.

        I realize that the question is far fetched; but if things change without us knowing....even a few seconds of change can create vast opportunities over time. We have billions of thoughts in a second. But, the flash of genius is usually just that. A flash of a thought that we grab to go with. What if the flash didn't even get the chance because there, literally, wasn't the time for it.

        EDIT It just occurred to me. This is a conversation I can't have with an atheist. This assumes the thought process would benefit from the expansion, while physically remaining in balance with the changes.

        1. profile image0
          Rad Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Okay Emile, time is relative. In other words, If I were traveling at near light speed through space time for me would feel no different then time here on earth, but one minute for me may be thousands of years on earth. I wouldn't feel I have more time.

          1. profile image0
            Emile Rposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            I'm not actually attempting to approach the subject from a personal observational point, but yes. What you said is commonly agreed upon.

            1. profile image0
              Rad Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              You seemed to talk about the subject from a personal observational point from this post earlier.

              1. profile image0
                Emile Rposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                That was an example to show it from the perspective he appeared to be looking at it from. Never mind though. I realized this isn't something an atheist can ponder.

                1. profile image0
                  Rad Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  An Atheist can ponder anything a theist can. Can you explain why you would think such a thing as an Atheist not being able to ponder the expansion of the universe?

                2. psycheskinner profile image81
                  psycheskinnerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  So, um, you think this is a God thing, or you think atheists are stupid?  I am not sure which would be weirder.

                  1. profile image0
                    Emile Rposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    Neither. Funny how atheists think anyone who thinks a little differently is 'weirder'.

                3. profile image0
                  Rad Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  Here you go.

                  1. profile image0
                    Emile Rposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    And, what does that mean? That you didn't bother to read my previous post in response to your question on that? That you prefer to stay miffed, as opposed to attempting to understand where I was coming from?

                    Sheesh, rad man. It is difficult to give  you the benefit of the doubt, at times.

                4. profile image0
                  Rad Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  Once again here is your post where you said that space-time isn't something an Atheist can ponder. Are you now claiming you didn't say that?

                  My question all along has been, why do you feel Atheists are no qualified to discuss space-time given the above post by you?

                  1. profile image0
                    Emile Rposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    Radman, you can't be this obtuse. We can talk about many thiungs, but there are some roads of thoughts you won't (or can't) travel.

                    My statement was not meant to imply that atheists can't discuss space/time. You wanted it to imply that. I'm not sure why.

        2. A Troubled Man profile image58
          A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          There are answers to your questions in Special Relativity, specifically Lorentz transformation, reference frames, time dilation and length contraction, but an understanding of those topics will force you to think counter-intuitively to what you're accustomed living a reference frame at rest on earth.

          I'll try to explain briefly. Say you were in a ship moving at near light speeds (particles and objects with mass cannot reach light speed), everything around you in the ship is in your reference frame moving at high velocities, hence everything appears perfectly normal.

          However, everything outside the ship that is not moving at high velocities, but is at rest relative to the rest of the universe, clocks are ticking slowly from your reference frame. Of course, in their reference frame at rest, everything is normal and it is your clocks that they observe are ticking slowly.

          In the same way, distances and lengths decrease or contract in the direction of travel.

          So, in this respect, it's difficult to understanding exactly what one means by time expanding? Perhaps, you are referring to time dilation and not expansion?

          1. profile image0
            Emile Rposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            OK. Maybe it would have been better to use the term time dilation.

            I don't know what put this whole thing in my head. It all started when I was reading an article on Dark Flow, right after reading the one on the NASA experiments. It simply fascinates me because I don't think we have a full grasp of the nature of time on a universal scale. Come to think of it; we don't have a firm grasp on anything on a universal scale.

            And, the whole space/time vortex confuses me. We are sitting in a dimple of the fabric of the universe? I feel as if we are stuck inside a giant ball of rubber bands. Do you ever wonder what the thread count is to the fabric? I wonder if we are causing the dimple, or caught in the dimple? Does the fabric move with the movement of the planet, does it drive the movement of the planet or do we slide across the fabric as the planet moves around the sun? Is that crazy to even wonder about?

      3. profile image0
        riddle666posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Since time is not an absolute, it would have to expand relative to another time being observed in the same way it dilates relative to another observer.

        1. profile image0
          Emile Rposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Yes, that was already mentioned.

    3. Paul K Francis profile image84
      Paul K Francisposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      There is more that will be discovered concerning time but there may limits to what we can know, not because it is forbidden in any way or that we are not smart enough, but because we are inside it - we are a part of spacetime. Looking at it from the outside requires the powerful tool of imagination. Einstein made good use of this tool in his mind games which in part led to the development of his relativity theories, expanding our understanding of reality. Increased knowledge and understanding expands our imaginations which leads to the potential of more knowlede, etc....  I just think that there may be more to reality  than what meets the brain. Have a nice day.

  2. paradigmsearch profile image59
    paradigmsearchposted 11 years ago

    This is a very thoughtful post! The OP is right. It has not been proven that time is a constant.

  3. lobobrandon profile image88
    lobobrandonposted 11 years ago

    Well, according to me time is a constant, it just moves forward and isn't being stretched as the universe expands. The rest of the questions you've put forth though are pretty strong points would like to see some replies.

    BTW redman light can't depend on gravity it's a constant. Time on the other hand depends on the speed you travel and gravity can affect that, so I'm not sure.

    1. profile image0
      Rad Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      The bending of light by gravity causes gravitational lensing, in which multiple images of the same distant astronomical object are visible in the sky. It's described in General Relativity.

      1. lobobrandon profile image88
        lobobrandonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Oh, I didn't know about that; well, there's more to it then smile Thanks for the info Rad Man

  4. SimeyC profile image87
    SimeyCposted 11 years ago

    Aha - "We know the following:" - nope - we don't - we theorise based on observations. The problem with observation is that observing something can actually change the way it acts - this has been 'theorised' in quantum mechanics theory. Although if you take a look at the Schrödinger's cat experiment, this theory can be seen as being paradoxial ('s_cat).

    "NASA has proven that space-time is distorted around the earth" - so far the measurements seem to point that the theory of relativitiy is correct - however a couple of hundred years ago Newton's theories were all correct - this has since been shown that at quantum levels and 'universal' levels Netwon's theories do have errors. As our technology improves and the ability to measure minutely increases we may find fluctuations in our results that contradict the theory of relativity.....

    Having said that - the modern theories do seem to hold up very well so far...

  5. Stacie L profile image88
    Stacie Lposted 11 years ago

    I never thought that space was measured in time...any how I find that the older I become, the faster time seems to pass! yikes

  6. waynet profile image68
    waynetposted 11 years ago


    Time is expanding....Clocks are everywhere!

  7. psycheskinner profile image81
    psycheskinnerposted 11 years ago

    No, time is not expanding with space.  In fact it is impossible to even say space is expanding without holding time as a constant.

    1. A Troubled Man profile image58
      A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Yet, there are derivatives in General Relativity that agree with the redshift we observe, and it doesn't have anything to do with Doppler effects, but is instead a result of expanding space and what happens to light that travels over vast distances.

      1. psycheskinner profile image81
        psycheskinnerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Yes, there are distortion in time and space.  But see nothing to suggest the net amount of time in the universe increasing, or even what that would involve. The universe will take up more space tomorrow than it does today.  But the same amount of "time".

  8. K MacPherson profile image59
    K MacPhersonposted 11 years ago

    Well, I beleive that time constantly expands, to accomadate with the possibility of other dimensions. This theory would mean that every moment in time, is connected to another in any various dimension. These "threads" take up multitudes of space, which also streaches time. For every action made, is a time we can pinpoint in the universe, because of Cause and Effect. These causes and effects will always be present in another dimension, because dimensions are other possible outcomes of a decision. No action is made without a Cause and Effect, so they are also seperate "threads" branching off from time.

    1. profile image0
      Emile Rposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      That's what I'm talking about. That is very interesting. So you think these threads lead to alternate universes?


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