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Felix Gorbatsewich - The Ether and Universe

15. Time as a measure of movement and changes in local physical objects.

Let us cite some most capacious statements of philosophers about time translated into Russian by P.S. Taranov [4]. "Time is eternity that beholds with its own eyes its realizations" (Plato). "Time is a measure of movement. All things are in time and are measured by time" (Aristotle). "Time does not exist by itself, but things themselves lead to perception of what happened centuries ago" (Lucretius Carus). The most developed conception of time was elaborated by Augustine Aurelius in the first millennium of our Era. "What is time? How should one understand "duration" or "compactness" of time, where does it exist? In the past, but it does not exist now. In future, but it does not exist yet. Then it exists at present time. But if we take a quantum of the present time of any duration - a hundred years, a year, a month, a day, an hour etc., we will see that it consists of quasi-three intervals. One of them is in the past, another - in the future and the third, the shortest one that is indivisible into the smallest parts, is a moment that constitutes the proper present time. It is so short that has no duration. If it lasted, one could separate the past from the future in it; the present does not continue. Then how can we measure time, compare spaces of time etc.? Where is this elusive time?":"Where there is no creature, through changing movements of which times generate, there can be no time at all" (Cited as translated into Russian by P.S. Taranov [4]).

Classical physics holds that it is possible to describe the position of every material point of the space without attracting the time coordinate if this point is in the static state, at rest. But this description is possible only for micro-objects, i.e. such objects that greatly surpass the volumes of elementary particles, since according to modern notions, elementary particles (electrons etc.) are in a constant mutual movement. The stable state of micro-objects, their fixed mutual arrangement can last long. For instance, the established age of some earth rocks and meteorites is (3.8-4.7)× 109 years [34]. Thus, the mutual arrangement of atoms and molecules in these rocks and meteorites remained unchanged during all that time. If we bring the beginning of coordinates and position of the space axes into coincidence with the position of the three material points, we can make sure that the position of these and other material points in such a body remains unchanged during billion years.

At the same time it is impossible to build some single temporal domain without spatially arranged objects. If we fix the position of some material object at the instant of time to at the point 0, this can be done only with some coordinates xo, yo, zo, representing a measure of space of some volume (area). If the object under observation at the instant of time t1 occupies a new position, suppose at the point 1 that is fixed by coordinates x1, y1, z1, we can correlate the measure of time t = to - t1 with the distance between the points o and 1. Thus, the distance between these points provides information on the quantity of the past time that is needed for moving the material object between the points o and 1. If the material object remains at the same point o, we cannot define how much time has passed. It may be both t = 0 and t = ¥ . Thus, a motionless point lacks the category of time and, accordingly, a temporal domain cannot exist separately from the spatial domain.

Physical events occurring with some object, for instance, the change in its position can be numbered in such a way that those numbers form a linear sequence. They can be put in a line and due to the used external facilities - clocks they can be given a certain place on this line-time. Thus, real time is one-dimensional. Clocks are such facilities in which equal spaces of time are counted successively. The equality of these spaces is most often ensured by some cyclic, repeated infinitely many times, process. It may be cycles of movement of the planet (Earth) round the Sun, of mechanical pendulum, of electrons round an atom, cycles of current variation in the loop etc.

How many clocks can there be? For instance, these may be an atomic caesium clock [81], electron, 24-hour clock when time is counted by the cycle of day and night changing. A yearly cycle serves to count centuries and millennia. So-called light year is used in astronomy - the distance that light travels with the C velocity during a year. One may also speak about life time of some organism as about the cycle of time account etc.

Since cyclic processes define intervals that provide a basis for time calculation, it is useful to reveal the factors that influence the recurrence of these cycles. The comparison of life cycles of organisms shows that the cycle of one organism can end while the cycle of another one, whose life cycle began simultaneously with the first one, is actively going on. As precise measurements show, the Sun activity greatly influences the duration of the earth year. This activity also influences the orbits of other planets. The cycle of the 24-hour Earth's rotation is under the influence of magnetic disturbances in the ionosphere. The movement cyclicity of a mechanical pendulum is under the effect of the ambient temperature, barometric pressure, humidity etc. The fluctuation cyclicity of the loop in an electronic clock can change under the effect of magnetic or electric fields. The process cyclicity inside the electron shells of atoms and inside their nuclei is more stable. But the cyclicity of these processes can change, for instance, during radioactive decay or fusion.

Now let us focus our attention on the mechanisms that define the process cyclicity in one clock or another. The cycles of those processes are determined by inner reasons. For an atomic clock, this reason is the relation between the electron mass and the field of intranuclear forces within which the electron orbit is. In an electronic clock, the inner reason for the rise of the fluctuation cycle is in the presence and relation between the capacity and inductance of the loop. In a pendulum clock, a cycle arises due to the presence of the pendulum's mechanical mass and acceleration force of the free fall in the Earth's field of gravitation. In another type of mechanical clock, the mechanical mass and the recurrent force of the spring are used. The rotation of the Earth's great mass around its axis is the reason of the earth day cycle. The revolution of the Earth in an orbit around the Sun is a year cycle.

The question arises of whether an external cause that triggers all those cycles and can synchronize those cycles, can exist. Does the worldwide time subject to whatever mechanism that is common to the whole universe, exist? It was shown above that time in every process is given by internal causes of different kind that are determined by atomic, electronic, mechanical, cosmic (including galactic), biological etc. mechanisms of cycle formation. The start-up and slowdown of every temporal process is determined by external or internal causes that are often of statistic nature. The start-up of all cyclic or other processes from one worldwide centre, on the one hand, would require an all-penetrating medium that enables transmitting the start-up pulses in all areas of the universe. This medium, in principle, is conceivable. On the other hand, considering the infinity of the universe (at the moment there is no evidence of its finiteness) and three-dimensionality of the space, the source of such strobe pulses should have infinite energy and transmit those pulses with infinitely great velocity.

The principle of matter and energy conservation prevents the processes with infinitely great energy and infinitely great velocity of perturbation propagation. Thus, it should be acknowledged that the world course of time does not exist. As shown above, this conclusion is corroborated by the variability of the process cyclicity under the influence of different environmental conditions. Thereby, the worldwide cosmic basis for synchronization of all existing natural cycles does not exist.

We can use the most stable cycles occurring in physical bodies applying them for the time scales and extend those scales to other events that have different cyclicity. But as was shown, the worldwide, space wide time does not exist. Time is determined by inner cycles of the processes that are physically isolated in the general case.

Time is a one-dimensional physical quantity. It is characterized by unidirectionality - from past to future. If a body, a material point can be mechanically sent back to the position it occupied tr time ago in the coordinate system, then additional time tl should be spent for this and the sum of these spaces of time will be tr + tl > tr , i.e. it will always be greater than the time tr. Thus a material body can be in one and the same place at different time. But the same body cannot be at different places at the same time.

In the material world there are billions and billions of material bodies (from atoms to galactic formations) moving in relation to billions and billions of other material bodies, every one of which can be taken as the beginning of the time reference system or spatial coordinates [82].

Thus, time is local, i.e. it refers only to the object that is moving (somehow changes its position, quality, properties etc.). It is irreversible (for cyclic processes as well), since to maintain those processes or to count cycles, power supply is necessary. Time is one-dimensional and unidirectional. This feature of time is very important, since one-dimensionality and unidirectionality of time (within one process) ensure following the causality principle. Since time passes from past through present to future, the reverse motion of time would break the direction of cause-and-effect relations in the world. But it is time that determines the causal link of events.

One-dimensionality of macrotime is a reliable physical fact [79]. A short event can be placed on the time axis to a very high accuracy. At present the most precise physical devices allow the time to be measured with an accuracy better than 110-12 [83]. For instance, we can say that a given event occurred at the point of time t. This time can be determined by the velocity of the process run (inner clock). In this case the time t can be determined taking some inner event as the reference point. The time t can be determined independently of the process, by the "external" clock.

So, our understanding of space and time is close to the understanding of these categories formulated by G. Leibnitz. According to his concept, space is an order of mutual arrangement of individual bodies and time is an order of alternating phenomena or body states [84].

Many-dimensional space (n > 3) and time (n > 2), a possibility of time reversibility are widely used in abstract mathematical constructions and described in popular scientific and other literature. Naturally, this attracts mathematicians and physicists, since it expands the scope for imagination and complexity of mathematical and physical abstractions. Considering a great body of the available information on physical phenomena known for a long time, many-dimensional worlds attract modern scientists as a field for investigations where they can obtain new results. But in our opinion, all the results should be correlated with real three-dimensionality of space and one-dimensional and unidirectional time that is independent of the space for every specific process.

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