Is Time Real or Relative – Relative

In the articles “Exploring the theory that time does not exist” it has been suggested that time does not exist. Although this view may at first seem attractive, the view becomes untenable upon closer examination for several reasons.

While the contention that time is measured by changes of state of motion is correct as far as it goes, the corollary that one need only limit motion in order to eliminate physically meaningful time cannot physical follow in actuality. The reason for this is that in any physical situation, motion cannot EVER be completely eliminated. This is not to say that macroscopically, a physical situation cannot be static, but even when one supposes that all macroscopic bodies within a given region at in a state of absolutely static relative motion, time within that region can be measured by internal motions- microscopically, even sub-atomically if need be.

First, if one restricts consideration to non-quantum situations, i.e., situations on the scale of large molecules or larger, thermodynamical consideration preclude the elimination of motion and with it the means to measure the passage of time. Unless a body actually achieves a temperature of absolute zero- in principle zero kelvins- internal motion will exist. Yet, absolute zero in a physical limit, approachable asymptotically but never actually attainable. Thus, we have have achieved a temperature of 0.003 micro-kelvins, I am told by colleagues, but not only did this amazing feat take all the methods and latest technology developed to date but the take of lowering temperature becomes more and more daunting as one approaches zero kelvins.

Yet suppose that one could achieve absolute zero temperature or more practically that the precision-limit of one’s instrumentation is too large to measure fluctuations about some equilibrium state, then quantum considerations will demand the presence of motion and thus the physical measurability of the passage of time. If nothing else, Zitterbewegung, in which a quantum body which classically is not moving at all ACTS as if it is physically moving- with measurable physical results- ensures motion and concomitantly with motion comes the measurability of time. If nothing else, one can measure cycles of motion and effective periods of cyclic motion.

Yet one may perhaps try and contend that “time” is an artifice, a concept created by human beings and meaningless without us to understand it. Even this anthropic principle is untenable barring a solipsism. Once one grants that the universe and its parts do exist even in the absence of humans- a conclusion recommended by application of Occam’s razor if nothing else- then the physical processes which exist in the presence of humans must exist as well. From these alone one is able to define time.

Thus, the notion that time does not exist is inconsistent with demonstrable physical facts and is thus an untenable position.