Science & Technology

What time is it? -Nautilus

Me I don’t think the flow of time is part of the basic structure of reality, “theoretical physicist Carlo Loveli tells me. He is currently working on quantum gravity theory, where time variables play no role. And, through our conversation, the idea that even though the universe is made up of “events,” a single interval between two events can have different values, as Carlo explains. I’m trying to bother my head. There is no central clock, and his hands make a stable beat for the universe to move, moving in one direction from the past to the future.

The prospect that our time experience may not correspond to the underlying reality has fascinated me, as far as I can remember. Inspired by recent conversations with Carlo and others in the production of the podcast documentary series, I’ve been thinking more about where the two phenomena overlap.

The more carefully you observe the current moment, the more amorphous it becomes. Reaching out, it disappears, the next moment, and the next moment … When you look at the ocean, you naturally feel the waves (intellectually and intuitively) and realize that there is no real “thing”. It’s a wave. This concept serves as an abbreviation for dynamic phenomena that occur in nature. So is the human brain. This is a constantly changing symphony of electrical firing among billions of neurons.

Contrary to our everyday intuition, there is no entity that survives through time in the form of a static “self.” All of our conscious experiences are renewed by dynamic neural activity. Like the waves of the ocean, your “self” is an endlessly changing process. Memories are inherited from the past, and those memories affect your experience at this moment, but each moment of your experience depends on the exact state of your brain at that particular point in time.

We live here all the time, but every moment is swept away by a ghostly breeze. I will go there. How long did it take to finish? The more our attention is focused on our experience over time, the faster the moments pass. A raging river. Still, vast and peaceful tranquility runs along a never-ending stream. We are competing for the future forever, but we are not moving at all.You never move forward that is river.

Just a glimpse of the vast structure of the universe, I often wonder if time is a small keyhole to a deeper reality. Is time a kind of illusion? Through various attempts to understand the meaning of quantum mechanics, many physicists have come to be convinced that space-time is emerging, that is, space-time is a more basic manifestation of reality. In a 2014 lecture at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, prominent theorist Nima Arcani Hamed clearly declared it. “Almost all of us strongly believe that space-time does not really exist.”

Whatever the truth about the basic reality, the space in which we appear to be moving is a clear representation. something About the world. But, as we have come to understand, the way our brains process incoming information often creates a distorted impression of what is actually “there”.

In 2016 Nautilus essay“Let’s Rethink Space,” science journalist George Musser, uses an analogy of music to show that what looks like a spatial distance can actually be an energy difference.

Long and short wavelength sounds are unnoticed by each other. Simultaneously playing deep bass and treble undulates the room as if each were the only sound in the world … These waves overlap in the three dimensions of the propagating space, but are independent. Each other as if they were in different places. In a sense, sound waves can be thought of as being 14 centimeters apart in the fourth spatial dimension.

But even more difficult is a project to build an analogy that will help us to wrap our minds in the possible misrepresentations of time in our experience. In my effort to understand what the flow of time means to be an illusion, the closest visualization I could create is a web visualization of a node that experiences only one node at a time. At each trajectory, the spotlight loses access to all other nodes as if it were continuously moving in inches through this “net of time,” drawing our reality. If you want to experience the structure on this web, it looks like this: Node a, node a, node f; node a, node a, node f— You may interpret the experience as “two” Of node a Cause Node fIn fact, if the entire web of nodes already exists completely. Implicit causality does not apply at a deeper level. The causal relationship of time still illuminates the “connection.” The reality underlying these connections is to reveal a structure that is very different from what we instinctively, the universe with the passage of time that the past is set on the stone. The future is undecided, and the present is the only true “reality.”

In his latest book, Einstein’s unfinished revolutionPhysicist Lee Smolin, his colleague Julian Barbour Reached about the nature of time:

Barber argues that the passage of time is an illusion, and that reality is just a mountain of enormous moments, each of which is the composition of the entire universe. You are experiencing a moment now. Now you are experiencing another moment. According to Barber, both moments exist in the mountains of moments forever and timelessly. Reality is none other than this frozen collection of overtime moments … all moments coexist, each of which is the composition of the entire universe.

Smolin himself has another belief, concluding that space is not basic, but time is still part of the basic story. But Smolin’s work also reflects the degree to which the essence of reality is at odds with our everyday intuition. In his book, he describes the universe as follows:

Your view of the world is like a movie projected onto a two-dimensional sphere that we call the sky … Suppose the universe consists only of these sky. Instead of building a view from causality, it reverses things and derives causality and everything else from the view.

In these thoughts, I often wonder if our conscious experience of the passage of time is causing our confusion about it.Is that possible Experienced Is the deeper structure of the universe what we call time? Is time and consciousness probably both sides of the same coin?

Whatever turns out to be true about the essence of reality, at every moment of our lives we know the simple truth directly. The situation has come together to create the experience of witnessing the universe unfolding from the inside, but our perspective is limited. As the Smolin sky suggests, how and why it could always remain a mystery, but in the meantime we can enjoy a mysterious view.

Annaka Harris New York Times Best-selling author Consciousness: A brief guide to the basic mysteries of the mind. She is an editor and consultant for a science writer specializing in neuroscience and physics, and her work is The New York Times. Annaka is the author of a book for children I wonder, Collaborators Mindful game activity card, By Susan Kaiser Greenland, and a volunteer meditation teacher from the Inner Kids Organization.

Lead Photo: Replica of Nature / Shutterstock

What time is it? -Nautilus What time is it? -Nautilus

Back to top button