Latenight time travel conundrum

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Reply Sat 20 Dec, 2008 06:49 pm
Okay, I thought of this a minute ago and now I cannot sleep as it is bugging me....

Say for some reason I had the ability to travel in time and I chose to go back in time just before Einstein created his special theory of relativity. Before he had the chance to think it up I told him that E=mc(2) and all the other things he mentioned and gave him permission to use it, meaning he never came up with it. I come back to the present and realise....if the idea isn't Einstein's then whose it? I didn't come up with it and now neither did he
 
paulhanke
 
Reply Sat 20 Dec, 2008 08:20 pm
@UnMechanics,
UnMechanics wrote:
....if the idea isn't Einstein's then whose it? I didn't come up with it and now neither did he


... another thought ... what if Einstein were born in the 800's instead of the 1800's - would he have still been able to come up with E=MC^2? ... fast forward to an Einstein-less 20th century - does E=MC^2 go undiscovered? ... shooting from the hip, I'd say the answer to both is "no" ... Darwin wasn't the only one on the trail of natural selection; Mendel's discoveries lie buried while they were independently discovered some years later ... that Einstein was a genius there is no doubt - but as far as E=MC^2 goes, he was simply at the right place at the right time to midwife yet another idea belonging to human culture into being ...
 
nameless
 
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2008 02:43 am
@UnMechanics,
UnMechanics;38961 wrote:
....if the idea isn't Einstein's then whose it? I didn't come up with it and now neither did he

Every moment manifests itself; universes full-blown' into existence. Ideas come from the same 'source' as baseballs and foam. We generate nothing. I 'create' nothing; neither thoughts, ideas, concepts, paintings, sculptures, music.. All are features of a manifesting universe/moment. We are not the 'Source' of anything. We do appear to be intimately, inherently part of the manifestation, but ego takes credit for all sorts of things.. Vanity, vanity, vanity...
All sorts of delicious ideas and understandings appear to this Perspective, and as much as the ego would love to take credit, I realize that I am not the 'Source' but an integral feature of the manifestation of existence to Perspective.

'Time travel' is only possible as a 'consciousness thing'. All 'moments' of existence are already a done deal, all moments exist synchronously. There is no 'changing' anything, there is 'seeing' though. All moments are 'Now!', and 'seeing' (being 'conscious/aware' of) whats happening 'Now!' ain't that difficult, in my experience.
 
UnMechanics
 
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2008 04:23 am
@paulhanke,
paulhanke;38964 wrote:
... another thought ... what if Einstein were born in the 800's instead of the 1800's - would he have still been able to come up with E=MC^2? ... fast forward to an Einstein-less 20th century - does E=MC^2 go undiscovered? ... shooting from the hip, I'd say the answer to both is "no" ... Darwin wasn't the only one on the trail of natural selection; Mendel's discoveries lie buried while they were independently discovered some years later ... that Einstein was a genius there is no doubt - but as far as E=MC^2 goes, he was simply at the right place at the right time to midwife yet another idea belonging to human culture into being ...


Well science is built upon existing previous knowledge...without the work that already existed in physics it would be unlikely to could of created the idea.
 
validity
 
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 10:20 pm
@UnMechanics,
UnMechanics wrote:
Say for some reason I had the ability to travel in time and I chose to go back in time just before Einstein created his special theory of relativity. Before he had the chance to think it up I told him that E=mc(2) and all the other things he mentioned and gave him permission to use it, meaning he never came up with it. I come back to the present and realise....if the idea isn't Einstein's then whose it? I didn't come up with it and now neither did he


It depends on the nature of time (linear, looped, branched, combinations thereof) and how the universe works (singular, multiple). It really screws up causality. For example, your choice to travel back in time and give Einstein his own work, was made after the effect of your choice. Or is it a case of your choice to travel back in time was not a choice, but a predetermined event by your past actions ie the act of giving Einstein his own work left you with no choice but to travel back in time.

There are many interesting versions of this time travel paradox
Ontological paradox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I do not know the resolution to your question other than backwards time travel for macrosopic objects may not be possible and evidence of this is the paradox you gave. For without a suitable resolve it may indicate a problem with the assumption that backwards time travel for macrosopic objects is possible. It is a garbage in, garbage out type thing.
 
paulhanke
 
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 09:55 am
@validity,
validity wrote:
I do not know the resolution to your question other than backwards time travel for macrosopic objects may not be possible and evidence of this is the paradox you gave.


... just another broken symmetry? ... e.g., in theory, the high-energy plasma of the Big Bang could have just as easily condensed into antimatter - electrons with positive charge; protons with negative charge; etc. ... why it didn't do so (or condense into some other exotic substance) is just the luck of the draw - a broken symmetry - a random choice at a multi-pronged bifurcation ... same thing with time? ... that is, of all the possible directions in which time can (in theory) flow, time in our universe flows in the direction it does simply because at some bifurcation or another it broke the symmetry of possibilities into a single actuality?

All that's left to do is to explain why time (at macro scales) only flows in one direction ... but at the same time, don't we also have to explain why substance (at macro scales) only takes the form of matter? ... that is, why is it that the symmetries of possibility in our universe only reify (at macro scales) as singular actualities? ... is it a matter of mutual incompatibility? (i.e., would a meeting of time and antitime be as explosive as a meeting of matter and antimatter?)
 
validity
 
Reply Mon 5 Jan, 2009 12:42 am
@paulhanke,
paulhanke wrote:
... just another broken symmetry? ... e.g., in theory, the high-energy plasma of the Big Bang could have just as easily condensed into antimatter - electrons with positive charge; protons with negative charge; etc. ... why it didn't do so (or condense into some other exotic substance) is just the luck of the draw - a broken symmetry - a random choice at a multi-pronged bifurcation ... same thing with time? ... that is, of all the possible directions in which time can (in theory) flow, time in our universe flows in the direction it does simply because at some bifurcation or another it broke the symmetry of possibilities into a single actuality?


If you look towards theories that involve the anthropic principle then the universe is the way it is as it is this universe that has the right conditions for conscious observers to exist to ask these questions ie the reason why we find ourselves in this universe is that the other possible universe could not support conscious observers, so of course we will find ourselves in a universe that can.

paulhanke wrote:
All that's left to do is to explain why time (at macro scales) only flows in one direction ... but at the same time, don't we also have to explain why substance (at macro scales) only takes the form of matter? ... that is, why is it that the symmetries of possibility in our universe only reify (at macro scales) as singular actualities? ... is it a matter of mutual incompatibility? (i.e., would a meeting of time and antitime be as explosive as a meeting of matter and antimatter?)


At macro scales, the second law of thermodynamics, comes into play, which is a compelling contender to the nature of time. Since thermodynamics has a statistical foundation, as the system is reduced to fewer and fewer components, would it not become more and more less applicable?

I do not understand your request to explain why substance (at macro scales) only takes the form of matter? I am confused as does substance ever take form other than matter?

I am not familiar with the idea of anti time. Would you please elaborate.
 
paulhanke
 
Reply Mon 5 Jan, 2009 09:54 am
@validity,
validity wrote:
At macro scales, the second law of thermodynamics, comes into play, which is a compelling contender to the nature of time.


... it both is and isn't Wink ... if you could reverse the flow of time, would you reverse entropy? ... the short answer is "no" ... particle physics is "time reversible" - particles behave the same regardless of whether time runs in the direction it does now or if it were to run in the opposite direction ... if individual particles behave the same regardless of the direction of time, then statistical aggregations of particles also behave the same regardless of the direction of time ... thus, the second law of thermodynamics applies no matter which direction time goes!

validity wrote:
I do not understand your request to explain why substance (at macro scales) only takes the form of matter? I am confused as does substance ever take form other than matter?


Antimatter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

... here's a brief explanation of broken symmetry: imagine a pencil perfectly balanced on it's point ... it could fall over in any of 360 degrees ... it has 360 degrees of symmetric possibilities ... the minutest random breath of air disturbs the pencil's balance and it falls ... it points in only a single direction - the 360 degrees of symmetric possibility have been broken.

Now consider the universe just after the Big Bang - all high-energy plasma so full of symmetrical condensational possibilities (matter, antimatter, super-exotic-we-know-not-whats, etc.) ... as the universe expands, the energy density decreases and reaches a critical condensational point ... the minutest random fluctuation of energy disturbs the plasma's balance and it condenses ... it points in only a single direction: matter - the unknown degrees of symmetric possibility have been broken.

Now the question is: why? ... why was there a symmetry of possibility that could only result in a single actuality? ... why do we see mostly matter, instead of equal parts matter, antimatter, super-exotic-we-know-not-whats, and etc.?

validity wrote:
I am not familiar with the idea of anti time. Would you please elaborate.


... a simple liberty I took in drawing an analogy to "antimatter" - the analogic implication being that it might be as disasterous for "time" and "antitime" to come into contact as it is for "matter" and "antimatter" (KABLOOIE!) Wink
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Mon 5 Jan, 2009 12:35 pm
@UnMechanics,
UnMechanics;38961 wrote:
Say for some reason I had the ability to travel in time and I chose to go back in time just before Einstein created his special theory of relativity. Before he had the chance to think it up I told him that E=mc(2) and all the other things he mentioned and gave him permission to use it, meaning he never came up with it. I come back to the present and realise....if the idea isn't Einstein's then whose it? I didn't come up with it and now neither did he


This is a well-known paradox with faster-than-light travel, and one of the concerns for the "tachyon", a hypothetical particle that travels faster than the Einstein speed. At this speed, causality breaks down; there will be some frame of reference that contradicts another, in that causal events occur in a reverse order. With "time travel", you are looking at the same conundrum.

This can be seen in your particular example. From your frame of reference, Einstein created the equation, from Einstein's frame of reference, you created the equation. Objectively, there would be no concrete way of ordering the causal events. Better yet, Einstein's equations could start a chain of events that lead to the knowledge of time travel. Then, you travel back in time and kill baby Einstein. How would this work?
 
validity
 
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2009 12:53 am
@paulhanke,
paulhanke wrote:
... it both is and isn't Wink ... if you could reverse the flow of time, would you reverse entropy? ... the short answer is "no" ... particle physics is "time reversible" - particles behave the same regardless of whether time runs in the direction it does now or if it were to run in the opposite direction ... if individual particles behave the same regardless of the direction of time, then statistical aggregations of particles also behave the same regardless of the direction of time ... thus, the second law of thermodynamics applies no matter which direction time goes!


On the small scale yes I agree, however the completely unlikey event that an ice cube will form out of a cup of hot coffee does seem to suggest that on the macro scale, the second law of thermodynamics is a significant contender.


paulhanke wrote:
... Antimatter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

... here's a brief explanation of broken symmetry: imagine a pencil perfectly balanced on it's point ... it could fall over in any of 360 degrees ... it has 360 degrees of symmetric possibilities ... the minutest random breath of air disturbs the pencil's balance and it falls ... it points in only a single direction - the 360 degrees of symmetric possibility have been broken.

Now consider the universe just after the Big Bang - all high-energy plasma so full of symmetrical condensational possibilities (matter, antimatter, super-exotic-we-know-not-whats, etc.) ... as the universe expands, the energy density decreases and reaches a critical condensational point ... the minutest random fluctuation of energy disturbs the plasma's balance and it condenses ... it points in only a single direction: matter - the unknown degrees of symmetric possibility have been broken.

Now the question is: why? ... why was there a symmetry of possibility that could only result in a single actuality? ... why do we see mostly matter, instead of equal parts matter, antimatter, super-exotic-we-know-not-whats, and etc.?


Okay, now I understand. Sure if you answer that question I have heard a Nobel Prize awaits. Perhaps in a similar fashion, the expanding fluctuation that is our universe (hypothetically speaking) contains a surplus of ordinary matter, but initially before the expansion averaged out to zero with other regions of excess antimatter.

paulhanke wrote:
... a simple liberty I took in drawing an analogy to "antimatter" - the analogic implication being that it might be as disasterous for "time" and "antitime" to come into contact as it is for "matter" and "antimatter" (KABLOOIE!) Wink


Hmmm, if it is any thing that is similar to the anti as in anti matter, then yes I guess anti time would KABLOOIE! ordinary time. I do remember reading somewhere about anti time as being a suitable description for before the big bang. I just need to read some notes to find out where.
 
 

 
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