The Physics of Time and Our Thoughts

What is Time in Physics Compared To Everyday Moment To Moment Time?

 Is time in physics different than normal time? 

Time is measured motion. A clock is an instrument that measures a constant motion, and the display on a clock shows numbers or movements. 

We interpret the display as time (the time now), and we count how many minutes (numbers) the clock shows during an event or motion. 

Imagine people who have never seen a clock or watch. What does time mean to them? 

We must use math to calculate the time. How long it takes to work, cook and eat our daily lunch and dinner?  

I always say a clock shows the time but only if you know how to interpret the numbers on a clock. Parents and teachers teach us how to tell time at an early age.

Atomic clocks count the correct number of oscillations (motion) of an atom to equal the time of one second (duration). 

 Time in physics involves keeping clocks running accurately, so they can measure the rate and speed of everything imagined. 

 Scientists use time to measure how fast things move, but it's always compared to the familiar speed of Earth’s rotation. 

 The invention of time was created from the day and night cycle of sunlight during Earth’s rotation. 

 Thus everything we measure is an amount of Earth’s daily 86,400 seconds of motion. 

 The fundamental meaning of time is the measured motion of the Earth moving from one moment to the next moment.

 A philosophical answer to this question is that space and time are invisible things, but as physical beings, we treat them as being physical. 

 We imagine space as a fundamental volume in a container called the universe and time as a natural force that moves mass and energy inside space. 

 However, time doesn’t move things. Time is what we use to measure the movement of things. 

 There’s no doubt that space exists in the universe, but the only place where time exists is on clocks and our thoughts. 

 The universe seems more like a thought than a thing, so time emerged from our experience of living. 

 And as Confucius said,  I hear my thoughts and feel my heart beating, but I can't see time with my eyes until my brain reminds me to think, and that's the problem.

Can We See the Past Using a Telescope?

First, I must mention that we can’t see the past because it doesn’t exist. The correct way to view the past is to use your memory or imagination. 

Scientists proclaim they can see the past using telescopes and that the sunlight we see shows us what the Sun looked like 8 minutes ago. 

The truth is that you can’t see the past. You only see the sunlight, not the Sun, and telescopes only view the starlight, not the star. 

The light from an object isn't the object. Sunlight isn't the Sun. Car lights aren't the car, and a light beam isn't the source of the light.

Light enters a telescope in our present moment. There's a saying that it takes time for light to travel. Does it take time for your car to move? Does it take time to eat your food? No!  

It takes energy and force to move things. Time is the measurement of how long something takes to happen or move. It's easy to assume that a saying is an actual reality.

Scientists calculate the energy and brightness of the light to estimate the distance to the source of light. 

They don’t see the past. They measure the distance to the light source. 

After they have evaluated the distance, they can claim that the light they examined took 8 billion years to reach the telescope. 

However, that's the distance to the light source, and it's not the same as seeing something 8 billion light years in the past.

How far (distance) we can see depends on the telescope and the energy of the light. 

Consider we are close to our star, the Sun, yet it takes sunlight about 8 minutes to reach Earth. 

We know it takes 8 minutes because the distance to the Sun is known. 

But light constantly travels from stars without going on and off, so it makes no sense to think about the time it takes starlight to travel. 

The light from a star took 8 billion years to reach us. That means the star was there long ago, but we don't know where it is now. 

A light year measures the distance light travels in one year. It’s not a measurement of time. 

Astronomers use light-years to measure distance because it's easier and faster than saying distances in trillions of kilometers. 

There’s only one moment in the Universe, and we can’t see the moments that have happened, so the answer to your question is that we only see the present moment. 

Wait, is a moment time if its duration wasn't measured? 

Thanks for reading my newsletter. I hope it made sense, but not the regular kind of common sense. Thinking outside the box and passing my thoughts to you.

Visit my website for more of my ramblings, https://lovinthings.com/ 

About the Author Erik Lovin

Erik has a BSc degree and is a retired professional photographer who is now a published author of many books. His passion is understanding how life and the universe work. He is currently blogging about the science of the Big Bang and science in your life. Erik is helping his tribe with questions about the universe. His goal is to help find a theory of everything (TOE). In order to do that, he is trying to prove light has mass and that the fabric of spacetime is a false theory. We are welcoming questions and answers that you might have about the universe.

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