Cosmology

Cosmologist Lee Smolin may not think there is a scientific method but he does think that …

Spread the love

Lee Smolin's picture

… physicists should recognize that time is real.

From his article inNew Scientist:

No single feature of our universe is more in need of explanation than the forward march of time, yet physics and cosmology have so far failed to explain this basic fact of nature. It’s time for a radical approach. We need a new starting point for explaining the directionality of time. – “It’s time physics recognised that time is real” (paywall)

Here are Smolin’s views on the scientific method.

New Scientist has featured some remarkable ideas on time, including “Time need not end in the multiverse” (2011) and “Beyond space-time: Welcome to phase space” (2011), but we don’t think Dr. Smolin will have trouble keeping up. He has just recently authored a book, Time Reborn, of which a reviewer has said,

Before I can even begin a review of the book, I do feel that a bit of background must be provided on the scientific context in which this book appears. Smolin is a prominent if controversial figure within the theoretical physics community, well known for work on the cutting edge of our knowledge and promoting that work directly to the general public well before it has become widely accepted within the physics community itself.

Well, we can say too things about the book in advance: It is bound to be fun and it won’t be on the exam. 😉

3 Replies to “Cosmologist Lee Smolin may not think there is a scientific method but he does think that …

  1. 1
    Robert Byers says:

    Its not really origin stuff but time is recognized by biology as real. It always amazed me I could wake myself prematurely at any time, like to fish with my dad, with no help at all. my body knew when to wake, on the spot, and knew how long time has passed.
    Other experiences showed me time was relative to things happening around me. Intense focusing makes time disappear without noticing it in remarkable way.
    Computing gobbles up time without feeling it.
    Possibly time exists like this guy says.
    Its all speculation.

  2. 2
    Mapou says:

    Smolin could not possibly be right about the existence of time since a time dimension makes change/motion impossible. He, of all people, should know this. This is the reason that Sir Karl Popper called spacetime, “Einstein’s block universe in which nothing happens.” Source: Conjectures and Refutations.

    Time Reborn, eh? What a waste!

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    ‘Time’ is an interesting thing to consider from the special relativity point of view. Time, as we understand it temporally, would come to a complete stop at the speed of light. To grasp the whole ‘time coming to a complete stop at the speed of light’ concept a little more easily, imagine moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light. Would not the hands on the clock stay stationary as you moved away from the face of the clock at the speed of light? Moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light happens to be the same ‘thought experiment’ that gave Einstein his breakthrough insight into e=mc2.

    Albert Einstein – Special Relativity – Insight Into Eternity – ‘thought experiment’ video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/6545941/

    Recently, there was an interesting confirmation of special relativity:

    Light bursts out of a flying mirror – April 24, 2013
    Excerpt: the physicists managed to carry out a Gedankenexperiment (thought experiment) formulated in 1905 by Albert Einstein stating that the reflection from a mirror moving close to the speed of light could in principle result in bright light pulses in the short wavelength range.,,,
    In stark contrast to a mirror at rest, light reflected from a mirror that is moving is changed in its colour (that is in its wavelength) as the reflected photons gain momentum from the mirror. This process is very similar to a ball that bounces off a racket and thereby accelerates to higher speed. However, instead of moving faster (photons already travel at the speed of light), the reflected light is shifted in its frequency. This phenomenon is very similar to the Dopplereffect observed from an ambulance siren, which sounds higher (louder) or deeper (quieter) depending on whether the ambulance is moving towards or away from the observer. In the experiment, the incredibly high velocity of the electron mirror gave rise to a change in frequency upon reflection from the near infrared to the extreme ultraviolet up to a wavelength of 60 to 80 nanometres.
    http://phys.org/news/2013-04-mirror.html

    This following confirmation of time dilation is my favorite since they have actually caught time dilation on film (of note: light ‘travels’ approx. 1 foot in a nanosecond (billionth of a second) whilst the camera used in the experiment takes a trillion pictures a second):

    Amazing — light filmed at 1,000,000,000,000 Frames/Second! – video (so fast that at 9:00 Minute mark of video the time dilation effect of relativity is caught on film)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoHeWgLvlXI

    Einstein quipped to a reporter when asked to explain what he had done:

    “I’ve just developed a new theory of eternity.”
    Albert Einstein – The Einstein Factor – Reader’s Digest

    Which is very close to the truth:

    “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.”
    Richard Swenson – More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 12

    And this ‘theory of eternity’, besides experimental confirmation, is seen first hand in Near Death Experiences:

    ‘In the ‘spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it’s going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.’
    Mickey Robinson – Near Death Experience testimony – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045544

    As to Mapou’s contention that a time dimension makes change/motion impossible, well it’s been noted for centuries that a ‘first mover’ is necessary for motion to happen: The argument from motion is known as Aquinas’ First way. (Of note, St Thomas Aquinas lived from 1225 to 7 March 1274.)

    Aquinas’ First Way – (The First Mover – Unmoved Mover) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qmpw0_w27As

    Aquinas’ First Way
    1) Change in nature is elevation of potency to act.
    2) Potency cannot actualize itself, because it does not exist actually.
    3) Potency must be actualized by another, which is itself in act.
    4) Essentially ordered series of causes (elevations of potency to act) exist in nature.
    5) An essentially ordered series of elevations from potency to act cannot be in infinite regress, because the series must be actualized by something that is itself in act without the need for elevation from potency.
    6) The ground of an essentially ordered series of elevations from potency to act must be pure act with respect to the casual series.
    7) This Pure Act– Prime Mover– is what we call God.
    http://egnorance.blogspot.com/.....t-way.html

    Or to put it much more simply:

    “The ‘First Mover’ is necessary for change occurring at each moment.”
    Michael Egnor – Aquinas’ First Way
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....first.html

    Of related interest to ‘the first mover’, In the following video Anton Zeilinger, arguably the best experimentalist in quantum physics today, explains the double slit experiment to Morgan Freeman:

    Quantum Mechanics – Double Slit Experiment. Is anything real? (Prof. Anton Zeilinger) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayvbKafw2g0

    Prof. Zeilinger states in the video:

    “The path taken by the photon is not an element of reality. We are not allowed to talk about the photon passing through this or this slit. Neither are we allowed to say passes through both slits. All this kind of language is not applicable.”
    Anton Zeilinger

    Supplemental note:

    Design, Teleology and Omega Watches – April 2013
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....a-watches/

    also of note:

    The conjectured “phase space” has no empirical support.

Leave a Reply