Saturday, January 22, 2011

Is time a side effect of universal expansion?

I'm admittedly an armchair scientist... I believe I was quoted at one point as saying "well special relativity is just a THEORY, so it could be wrong" which was met at the time with a snarl from someone who kinda knew that stuff better than me.

Here's my layman's question: What if our perception and measurement of time is simply is flawed and time is really a function of how much the universe has expanded? Put another way; assuming that universe is expanding at a (mostly) constant rate, might time not be an independent dimension, but simply derivable from the difference in size of the universe?

If this is actually true, then isn't time travel really a lot less complicated? Don't we immediately remove paradoxes like "if I go back in time and kill my father will I ever be born?".

What it might mean is that time is not really some thing that exists independent of the spacial dimensions, but is simply a function of an underlying effect we don't yet fully understand.

Any physicists out there who could explain how to prove/disprove this idea?


Captain Kelly said...

Actually, the universe is expanding at an increasing rate. This was a surprising discovery that led to the speculation of dark energy. As far as time goes, the current model tells us that space is time and vice versa. In that sense time is a "side effect" since it technically didn't exist before the big bang and would cease to exist after the universe ultimately rends itself apart from hyper acceleration.

Anonymous said...

Most refreshing blog post I have read in a while. Please keep us informed if there is further development onthis issue.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't this belong in the jounal of Nature? I agree please notify of further developerments.

Anonymous said...

Time is just a way for our brains to track down the proceses in the universe, expansion is just another process.

Anonymous said...

"Captain Kelly" if time is a function of universal expansion, than it is possible that as universal expansion slows down, our perception of time will also be altered. This could create the illusion of an accelerating universe.

KH said...

I just indepentently came up with this same idea and a Google search of my question led me here.

I'm really curious if anyone is studying this or it has already been discarded as not being supported by observation.

Very keen in hearing follow up comments... but this thread looks pretty stale.