I view time as a static dimension, far more similar to space than we realise. My view is called eternalism, based on the B-theory of time. Many physicists support the B-theory, and Einstein himself was an eternalist, who believed in a "block universe" model, depicting the universe as a static 4D block of...
Best answer: I view time as a static dimension, far more similar to space than we realise. My view is called eternalism, based on the B-theory of time. Many physicists support the B-theory, and Einstein himself was an eternalist, who believed in a "block universe" model, depicting the universe as a static 4D block of spacetime, containing all events past, present and future, rather than a 3D block of space that is constantly changing. The B-theory of time also gives a simpler and more elegant picture of special relativity, based on "spacetime slices".
There is no reason to believe things like "motion" and "change" exist fundamentally, and are not just illusions that help our survival. The truth is, no one has ever directly observed change. They have simply observed something in the present moment, and compared it to a recent memory that also exists in the present moment. It is impossible to observe change directly as that would require existing in more than one moment simultaneously. And to experience only a single instant of time, is by definition not to experience time. We exist only in this instant, and cannot even be certain that there was a "past". The consistency of our memories is evidence that our memories are reliable, that is to say that the events depicted by our memories are the cause of our memories. But this doesn't mean that these events occurred in the "past", in the sense that humans imagine the concept of "past". It just means that these events exist in some form, and there is a causal connection between them and our present memories of them.
What is the "speed" of time? Why is the universe 13.8 billion years old, and not some other age? Why hasn't time "finished" already? If time is discrete, what is the time taken for one moment to become the next moment? The question doesn't make sense, because in this case, measurements in time are defined by the quantity of "moments" that occurred. There is nothing to say the moments are temporal and occur "before" or "after" one another, merely that they are causally connected. A discrete time, analogous to a movie where motion is made up of static "frames", would imply the B-theory is true and that motion/change doesn't exist fundamentally. There would be no reason to think that reality itself is currently up to "this moment". The present moment is only special to us, because its where we happen to exist. We don't exist on Mars but Mars still exists. We don't exist in 1900 but 1900 still exists. We exist in 2017, on this day, at this second. And the person who exists in the next moment is almost identical to us. Almost.
If change exists, time is continuous. But physicists say there is a smallest unit of time that makes sense. This is the Planck time (10^-43 seconds - the time taken for light to travel one Planck length). I am not sure this proves time is discrete, but what would it mean for time to be continuous when we cannot distinguish between two events that occur two closely together? And if time is a continuous medium that events occur within, and is not reduced to states or events, then what exactly is it? Does time still pass when there is no motion, no change, and no events?
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