# time and watches

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could someone explain to me why a watch is supposed to rewind or fast forward with time?

seems impossible for it to move any more than usual.sorry if this is a dumb question :D

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Can it be because time is relative? ;)

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ruthless,

I'm not sure if I understand the question correctly...

But a watch is simply a mechanical device - a harmonic oscillator - with other components that display some sort of data output (numbers based on the working of the internal mechanism) that we interpret to be the interval of time since the last time that the watch was reset. How accurate that output is, relative to some other "standard" time piece such as the clock at the U.S. Naval Observatory, is a function of the sensitivity of the internal mechanism of the watch and whether or not you've changed the battery recently. ;)

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ruthless,

I should probably add that "time" as kept on your watch isn't some measure of a fundamental law of nature. It's an arbitrary standard, in so far as the "length" of time that we call seconds, minutes, hours, etc. We could have chosen, a couple of centuries ago, to measure time in base-10 such that the same period that we currently call one hour had 10 seconds per minute and 100 minutes per hour. It would work. Measuring "things" in groups of 10 as in the metric system sure makes math a lot easier. On the other hand, measuring time in base-60 is very similar to measuring circles in base-360.

Ultimately we measure time as we do because we measure time based on the basis of days and years which are based on how long it takes the Earth to turn through 360 degrees in a day and revolve about the Sun 360 degrees in a year. It makes the geometry and trig a lot easier to calculate when we use a common base that directly relates to 360 degrees. :)

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ruthless,

I should probably add that "time" as kept on your watch isn't some measure of a fundamental law of nature. It's an arbitrary standard, in so far as the "length" of time that we call seconds, minutes, hours, etc. We could have chosen, a couple of centuries ago, to measure time in base-10 such that the same period that we currently call one hour had 10 seconds per minute and 100 minutes per hour. It would work. Measuring "things" in groups of 10 as in the metric system sure makes math a lot easier. On the other hand, measuring time in base-60 is very similar to measuring circles in base-360.

Ultimately we measure time as we do because we measure time based on the basis of days and years which are based on how long it takes the Earth to turn through 360 degrees in a day and revolve about the Sun 360 degrees in a year. It makes the geometry and trig a lot easier to calculate when we use a common base that directly relates to 360 degrees.

hi, so in a sense can we say that actually it is not time that passes by but things that change around us makes us think that way.

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trex,

hi, so in a sense can we say that actually it is not time that passes by but things that change around us makes us think that way.

Yes...and no.

In one sense we can refer to our psychological arrow of time which generally describes how we "feel" regarding the passage of time and how things change around us. But there are other measures of the arrows of time (thermodynamic, cosmological, etc.) that don't depend on our perceptions.

But that's not what I was refering to above when I said that our specific choice of units of time is not fundamental. The interval that we label "1 second" is arbitrary. Some other society or planet could just as easily choose some other interval and label it as their standard unit. They might choose lengths and intervals of time such that they label "1 sec" as the interval required for light to transit 600,000 km (by our standard of length). That standard interval is no more fundamental than our standard for defining "1 sec" (the interval required for light to transit 300,000 km).

A good example of this is how we measure distance. In the US we use the English standard of inches, feet, yards and miles. In Europe they use the metric system of millimeters, centimeters, meters and kilometers. Neither system indicates a fundamental unit of length and each uses different lengths as their standard.

By "fundamental" I mean something that expresses a universal scientific "truth" that would transcend the individual view of different societies (here or on some other planet).

Just because our standard is local and arbitrary doesn't mean that we couldn't communicate with some other society (say from another planet) certain fundamental ideas, expressed in our arbitrary units, and find a common transformation so that we could start expressing ideas in a way that both sides would understand.

We could start with the speed of light, the strength of the electric charge on electrons and protons, the strength of the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force. We would assume (we do assume) that they are universal fundamental constants. (They might not be. But all evidence indicates that they are - at least to the extent that we can only measure what we can actually observe and there's a lot of the universe that we can't observe. If we end up not being able to communicate it might indicate that they aren't quite so universally constant. ;) )

If they get the idea of what we're expressing, look at our units and send back the same idea in their units we have started the process of communicating in a common language of math and physics.

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Friend Darby of EarthTR125.0121

Traveling through time aided by a mechanical construction should be a very fine and delicate task. The internal mechanism of such device should be calibrated and then again adjusted and very well properly aligned to a specific measure.

That measure as a fact we have not found. I do know that some scientist are researching time travel based on atomic decay, but I have a feeling that atomic decay is yet another, more complex way of telling the time going around the Sun.

This is why I tend to agree and most of the time postulate, that we should begin to try to understand time as a place, as a realm, more than a measure.

Until later becomes now

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thanks for the answers, i feel really dumb now :P

all of your answers were very technical, so maybe i should reprase: im not talking about a million dollar atomic clock or anything of the sort,im just talking about a simple pocketwatch.

heres my thoughts:the watch is mechanical and has no idea what time is, just its job to turn the hand.

so with that being said, does that mean that we also slow down at the same time? do our hearts slow? what about our reaction times? as this is surely the only way to slow time on a watch,we would have to slow too.

edit:

also to the poster above, i couldnt agree more, i think people look at time in the wrong way to TT.

hence my "can you math travel" and these posts. i feel time travel will always lead to a dead end, because the"time" we think of is very different than the time travel "time"

i strongly believe that math and time were measurements created by man,not some miracle by god. to me, time is an illusion,and understanding how to percieve time correctly is the true problem in time travel.

i could very well be incorrect,but,thousands of hours of thinking about this subject has led me to this conclusion.

i admit im no expert in any way on these subjects, i just realize that time travel is something people have been trying for a long time,with no success,therefore i think the answer must lie in perception and understanding of the problem.

now i feel a 'lil smarter :D

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That wasn't a dumb question, but you did overlook the obvious- you wind up a watch and it slowly winds down.

>>I strongly believe that math and time were measurements created by man,not some miracle by god.<<

I think math and time were made by God.

>>I could very well be incorrect,but,thousands of hours of thinking about this subject has led me to this conclusion.<<

Thousands? There are 24 hours to a day, the bare minimum that would qualify as "thousandS" is two (as in, 2,000) which works out to 83.333 days of non-stop, 24 hour a day thought on this subject.

Time was made by God and is measured in Planck Units. Math was made by God and is relative to pi. NOW you can spend thousands of hours pondering that!

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well ive thought about tt many times in my life, well over 88.333 days im sure of, in fact, i play a game called guild wars much less than i think, i have 3,500hrs spent into that. so i dont see your point :P

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"That wasn't a dumb question, but you did overlook the obvious- you wind up a watch and it slowly winds down"

that was my whole point. if time slows the clock down, then you must slow as well. a wind up watch wouldnt know the difference otherwise. also would your perception of time slow?

"I think math and time were made by God."

i believe there is a god and that he created this complex universe. but i also believe he didnt use math to make it, and i also believe that math can never explain it to its fullest. i think that the scope of the universe is too big to comprehend regardless of any system one can come up with to explain it.

"Time was made by God and is measured in Planck Units. Math was made by God and is relative to pi. NOW you can spend thousands of hours pondering that!"

after a moment of pondering that, i dunno. whats a planck unit? how is god and pi relative? they very well may be. but i do know that man created the idea of time.

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>>if time slows the clock down, then you must slow as well. a wind up watch wouldnt know the difference otherwise. also would your perception of time slow?<<

Hmmm... well, a wound up watch would know it was wound up simply because it's running down. If you were the watch, it's like you slowly bleeding... you'd notice. This sounds like a chicken and egg riddle- when does a watch know it's a watch? The answer is "when it's a watch" and an unwound watch isn't a watch, it's an unwound watch. We are not watches because we are born from one cell and grow to several trillion, so there is no clear analogy there.

Regardless, we do slow down. But the reasons we do are partly mental and partly physical. I am sure in 1,000 years they'll know how to make people live forever and there will be few takers.

>>i believe there is a god and that he created this complex universe. but i also believe he didnt use math to make it, and i also believe that math can never explain it to its fullest. i think that the scope of the universe is too big to comprehend regardless of any system one can come up with to explain it.<<

When I first came here and started a war with Rainman, it all began over the difference between my ideas and his. My ideas are simple- the universe is math and God created it. The universe has to be math for everything to make mathematical sense everywhere and it really does- we know it's all relative, but to what? Planck Units- the ticking clock that is our universe. A Planck Unit is the smallest possible quantifiable thing- nothing is smaller than that; everything that exists can be measured in Planck Units. And what defines Planck Units is pi. So "our universe = 3.14".

This is how the universe exists regardless of how impossibly large or complex it is. (If I may), a thought experiment. Imagine a room full of bubbles. Each bubble has a diameter-to-circumference ratio of exactly pi regardless of size. How can you make a bubble's diameter-to-circumference ratio to, say 4.14? You can't- if you increase the size, it will increase everywhere equally, complaint with pi. If you pull it, it will distend- still pi-complaint. You cannot change pi- it's always 3.14etc...

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now that kinda makes me chuckle, god being a mathemetician and all...

i disagree with you, but respect your opinion. i think you may be onto something with pi. what i dunno.i look at the universe very differently, but thats what makes the world cool: differences in opinions.

even tho we differ in opinions, i will give what you say some thought,never know where it may lead :)

and the universe could be pi. me? i say more like 0.

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Guys,

Keep in mind that "pi" only equals 3.1416... in flat 2D spacetime. If you draw circles and triangles on the surface of the Earth with diameters and sides that are several miles long you will discover that your circles and triangles don't work out quite right. Your value for "pi" will be less than 3.1416 and the sum of the interior angles of your triangle will be greater than 180 degrees.

The same applies to large (galactic) distances in space. If "pi" and the sum of the interior angles of triangles over distances of many light years are the same as given in plane geometry then spacetime is flat. If they are different than what we know from plane geometry, spacetime is not flat.

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this is why im glad im not a mathemetician. that last post made me think so hard, i almost had a stroke!

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ruthless,

Actually all you have to do is draw a circle and a triangle on a ball (or globe). You'll immediately see that if you strike a diameter across the circle that its longer than what it would be on a flat piece of paper. The diameter has a "hump" because you follow the surface of the ball. It's still the shortest route that you can take from one side of the circle to the other side 180 degrees away. (Sure, you could tunnel through the ball to draw the diameter...but that is the same as taking a wormhole. It's a shortcut through a space that isn't part of the 2D surface of the ball. ;) )

Draw a triangle on the ball or globe and you see that the sides of the triangle "bulge" as they follow the surface of the object. The interior angles where the sides come together are greater than on a flat surface. The sum of the three interior angles is greater than 180 degrees.

Assuming that the ball is hollow, if you cut the ball in half and draw a triangle on the interior surface the sides bend inward. The sum of the angles is less than 180 degrees.

If you draw a triangle on the surface of the ball you can get a triangle with interior angles summing 270 degrees. Start at the North Pole ("top" of the ball) and draw a line straight south to the equator. Again, starting at the North Pole rotate 90 degrees left or right and draw another line straight down to the equator. You'll have a 90 degree angle at the North Pole and two 90 degree angles at the equator - a triangle with interior angles summing 270 degrees.

Draw a circle around the equator of the ball. Then draw a diameter line up from the equator, across the North Pole and down to the opposite side of the equator 180 degrees from where you started. The diameter is 1/2 the length of the equator (you drew a line that only went half way around the ball). The circumference is no longer 3.1416 times the diameter - it is only 2 times the diameter.

And that's how you define curved spacetime (though in four dimensions instead of two or three). If the geometry is different than what you are taught in plane geometry then the space is curved.

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>>Keep in mind that "pi" only equals 3.1416... in flat 2D spacetime. If you draw circles and triangles on the surface of the Earth with diameters and sides that are several miles long you will discover that your circles and triangles don't work out quite right. Your value for "pi" will be less than 3.1416 and the sum of the interior angles of your triangle will be greater than 180 degrees.<<

I have a more philisophical viewpoint of pi. If you have a picture of a ball that measures one inch across, you know that it's circumference is 3.14 inches. Pi- which is the same everywhere in the universe- dictates this. If you can somehow change the pi ratio to another figure, it will not/cannot/won't exist in the universe anymore... pi dictates what's "in the universe" and "what's not in the universe".

The space one Planck Unit takes up is for all purposes a 1D point simply because it's the smallest thing in the universe. It's a 3D space in the universe that is a 1D space... a point. This point's qualities are dictated by pi. If pi was 2 instead of 3.14, a Planck Unit would be smaller and by consequence, the entire universe would be something different altogether, probably something so unstable it would Crunch very quickly.

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to darby and jmpet: yall went wayyy over my head lol! im just an idiot from mississippi who has alot of spare time to think. im really no good in math. besides addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, i am useless in math. so to me, im confused by both statements lol.

i know yall were trying to help and all, but i really am clueless in that area.

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Excuse-me, but I don't comprehend the basis of your question. Who said that watches were supposed to act in that manner? Did so-called TTers say so? Have you seen this in films? Because I am just as surprised as you. I would expect a watch to conform to the relative time experienced by its bearer.

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well ive read several posts around, and i just wanted to know people's opinions on it. to be honest, im really confused about time travel since finding this site. i think i need to go back to school for quite a while lol