Well, it’s about time

January 11, 2008

Won’t anyone think of the watch companies!

Efforts to understand time below the Planck scale have led to an exceedingly strange juncture in physics. The problem, in brief, is that time may not exist at the most fundamental level of physical reality. If so, then what is time? And why is it so obviously and tyrannically omnipresent in our own experience? “The meaning of time has become terribly problematic in contemporary physics,” says Simon Saunders, a philosopher of physics at the University of Oxford. “The situation is so uncomfortable that by far the best thing to do is declare oneself an agnostic.”

Time is nothing more than the measure of movement between atoms (being the smallest thing I can think of). There is no such thing as a time line.  One cannot go back in time. However, if it were possible to keep in memory the arrangement of atoms at a specific moment, then it would be possible to “go back in time” by recreating that arrangement of atoms.

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