Time may not exist according to physics at all! | science and technology | zad jordan news

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Existence time? The answer to this question may seem obvious: Of course do it! Just look at the calendar or the clock.

But developments in physics suggest that the lack of time is an open possibility, and one that we should take seriously.

How can this be, and what does it mean? It will take a while to explain, but do not worry: even if there is no time, our lives will go on as usual.

physics crisis

Over the past century or so, researchers have explained the universe with two very successful physical theories: general relativity and quantum mechanics.

Quantum mechanics describes how things work in the small realm of particles and particle interactions. General relativity describes the big picture of gravity and how objects move.

Both theories work very well in their own right, but it is believed that the two contradict each other. Although the exact nature of the conflict is controversial, scholars generally agree that the two theories should be replaced by a new, more general theory.

Physicists want to produce a theory of “quantum gravity” that replaces general relativity and quantum mechanics, with the extraordinary success of both. Such a theory explains how the big picture of gravity works on a particle microscale.

Time in quantum gravity

It turns out that it is very difficult to produce a theory of quantum gravity. One attempt to overcome the conflict between the two theories is string theory. String theory replaces particles with vibrating strings in up to 11 dimensions.

String theory, however, has another problem. String theories provide a set of models that describe the universe as widely as ours, and they make no clear predictions that can be tested experimentally to find out which model is correct.

In the 1980s and 1990s, many physicists became dissatisfied with string theory and came up with a set of new mathematical methods for quantum gravity.

The most striking is ring-quantum gravity, the suggestion that the substance of space and time consists of a network of very small pieces, or discrete “rings”. One of the great aspects of loop quantum gravity is that it seems to kill time completely. And ring-quantum gravity is not alone in eliminating time: a number of other methods seem to remove time as an essential aspect of reality.

Appear time

We know that we need a new physical theory to explain the universe, and that this theory may not be about time. And suppose such a theory proves to be correct. Does it follow that time does not exist? It’s complex, and it depends on what we mean by being.

The theories of physics do not include tables, chairs or people, yet we still accept the existence of tables, chairs and people. Why? Because we assume that such things exist at a higher level than what is described in physics.

We say that the tables, for example, “come” from the fundamental physics of the particles orbiting the universe.

But while we have a pretty good idea of ​​how to make a table out of fundamental particles, we have no idea how to “make” time out of something more important.

Thus, unless we can come up with a good description of how time appears, it is not clear that we can simply assume that time exists. There is no time at any level. To say that time does not exist on any level is like saying that there are no tables at all.

Trying to survive in a world without schedules can be difficult, but driving in a world without time seems positively disastrous. Our whole life is built on time. We plan for the future in light of what we know about the past. We hold people morally responsible for their past actions, with the emphasis on reprimanding them later.

We believe that our agents (entities that can do things) are in part because we can plan to act in a way that will bring about change in the future.

But what is the point of working to make a change in the future when in a very real sense there is no future to work for? What is the point of punishing a person for a previous act, when there is no past and so, apparently, there is no such act?

And it turns out that discovering the lack of time will bring the whole world to a standstill. And we would have no reason to get out of bed.

A way out of this mess. Although physics can kill time, it seems to be causality as it is: the meaning in which one thing can lead to another.

Perhaps what physics is then telling us is that causality, not time, is the essential characteristic of our universe.

It is possible to completely reconstruct the sense of agency from a causal perspective. At least that’s what Sam Barron, an associate professor at the Australian Catholic University, and Christy Miller and Jonathan Talant discuss in their new book.

And they suggest that the discovery that time does not exist may not have a direct impact on our lives, even as physics is pushed into a new era.

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