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Research paper topic: Philosophy: Time - 1384 words
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Philosophy: Time Time is defined as a measured or measurable period, a continuum that lacks spatial dimensions. This broad definition lacks the simple explanation that humans are searching for. There are many scientists, philosophers, and thinkers who have tried to put time into understanding terms. The aspects of time that we can understand are only based on what we can perceive, observe, and calculate. Every day we look at our watches or clocks.
We plan our day around different times of the day. Time tells us when to eat, when to sleep, and how long to do things for. If time were based on these simple terms, then this mysterious enigma would not be in debate. There are the issues of space and time; what is the relationship of the two? Is time relative, or absolute? What makes time seem to go faster in some instances, and slower in others? Does the speed of time change, or is it all in our heads? In the following paper, I will discuss the meaning of time perceived and theorized by two of the greatest minds of human kind. Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking have expanded the understanding of time to another level.
Their ideas and opinions are what brought us to a higher understanding of the earth and the universe. In the following paragraphs, this paper will encompass these ideas, and try to find a focus of understanding of this thing we call time. First I will address the question, did time have a beginning? I dont think that anyone can explain the postulate that time has always been in existence. The problem with this, is that we have no scientific evidence or theories which can support this argument. Certainly, we cant just accept this spiritual idea. There had to have been a beginning of time.
The most acceptable explanation of the beginning of time, is the relationship between space and time. When space and the universe began, the existence of time also began. This theory is well-known as the Big Bang Theory. About fifteen billion years ago, the universe was comprised of very hot compressed gas, as a fireball. This is contrary to the idea of the universe beginning as a lump of matter somewhere in the void of space.
Matter was created as a result of the Big Bang. Space and time was also created. So, with these ideas, time had a beginning. Looking at it a different way, in the early universe, the normal concept of time is uncertain. Our accepted perceptions, and calculations of time cant be explained all the way back to the Big Bang.
There is no way to define time in that era. This is another way that time has a beginning; as far back as we can calculate. Space-time began at the same time. According to Hawking, you cant look at the universe using general relativity without finding a big bang or something similar to that at the very beginning. So what does time mean to people now? Time is different as you go through time zones. Everyone has their own perception of time. Nobody is ever on the same schedule, doing things exactly like another person.
Even to go as far as other galaxies and planets, time cannot be existing on the same terms. In short, time is not absolute. In the space-time continuum, space bends whenever there is a mass. Its kind of like a bowling ball hitting a trampoline. When it hits, it makes a dent.
This is a part in the space-time continuum which is different everywhere you go. The universe is expanding. The universe continues to expand, and the galaxies have continued to move away from each other ever since. This is why time is not a constant term. Nothing is the same, and there is no absolutes.
Quantum Physics even shows that time is not an absolute. If you know where an electron is, you cant know its speed. If you know what the speed of an electron is, then you cant know its position. If there are two chairs, and you see someone sitting in one, when you turn away, you cant be sure that he or she is still there. You also cant be sure that they are not in two chairs at the same time, or what point in time they are in them.
This all leads up to Einsteins theory that time is relative. A lot of Einsteins theories of time relate to the speed of light. He says that time slows down, as you approach the speed of light. An experiment to support this theory was done with two clocks. Two extremely accurate atomic clocks were set to the same time.
One was on the ground as a constant, and the other was accelerated by being flown in a plane. When the one in the plane came back, the two clocks were compared and the one that was accelerated showed to be a little behind. The difference in time was not a lot, but was significant enough to prove his theory. This can be explained in a couple ways. First of all, your initial reference point would be traveling at a lot slower rate, so from an observers point of view, time would stay the same. But if one was traveling at the speed of light, then he or she would experience time slowing down, because from their point of view, they would be younger compared to everyone else. Time only exists as we perceive it to be.
What is unknown, is why time is perceived differently from one person to the next. One might be sitting in a classroom setting, when time seems to go by very slow, and seems like an eternity is passing. In other instances, time may seem to go by very fast, usually when we are doing enjoyable activities. Every year of your life you may have noticed the time going by faster. You may have at one time caught yourself saying, Where has the time gone? So maybe time is controlled by all of us on an individual basis. Time certainly is relative, and could be centered around an individual.
The watched pot never boils metaphor could be true, whereas an individual can make time slow down or speed up by themselves. Nobody really knows what time is, where its been, or where its going. Black holes may be able to explain the question of where time is going. Black holes are collapsed stars with extreme amounts of gravity, which light cannot even escape. These black holes may disrupt the space-time continuum, changing the properties of the universe.
Most black holes orbit around stars due to the fact that they once were a star, and this may cause some problems for the neighboring stars. If a black hole gets powerful enough it may actually pull a star into it and disrupt the orbit of many other stars. The black hole could then grow even stronger (from the star's mass) as to possibly absorb another. When a black hole absorbs a star, the star is first pulled into the Ergosphere, which sweeps all the matter into the Event Horizon, named for it's flat horizontal appearance and because this happens to be the place where mostly all the action within the black hole occurs. When the star is passed on into the Event Horizon the light that the star endures is bent within the current and therefore cannot be seen in space.
At this exact point in time, high amounts of radiation are given off, that with the proper equipment can be detected and seen as an image of a black hole. The point in explaining black holes, is that it might explain about the shaping of the universe. Their existence can change the composition of the universe, which can in turn change space and time. Time is not easily explained or understood by anyone. Einstein and Hawking have expanded their minds by coming up with possible theories for the unknown.
We can only observe and postulate what we dont know. We can theorize, and calculate all we want, but I think it will always be an unknown. The mysteries of the universe will in my opinion be just that, a mystery. Philosophy.
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