|Subject: Hey Drake, Check this out!|
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Date Posted: 16:30:42 08/07/03 Thu
QUADNET, JUNE 25, 2003
TIME, MECHANICS, ZENO AND HAWKING UNDERGO REVISION
A paper published to be published in the August edition of the
journal Foundations of Physics Letters looks set to change the
way we think about the nature of time and its relationship to
motion and classical and quantum mechanics. In doing so, its
unlikely author is drawing comparisons to Albert Einstein.
In the paper, "Time and Classical and Quantum Mechanics:
Indeterminacy vs. Discontinuity", Peter Lynds, a 27 year old from
Wellington, New Zealand, who attended university for only six
months, establishes that there is a necessary trade off of all
precisely determined physical values at a time, for their
continuity through time, and in doing so throws age old
assumptions about determined instantaneous physical magnitude and
time, including determined relative position, on their heads.
The work goes on to show that this insight also provides the
correct solution to the motion and infinity paradoxes, excluding
the Stadium, originally conceived by the ancient Greek
mathematician Zeno of Elea over 2500 years ago.
Quantum cosmology and time is also addressed, including a
convincing argument against the theory of imaginary time by
British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.
So far the work has received a very positive response. A referee
of the paper commented, "Authors work resembles Einstein's 1905
special theory of relativity", while Andrei Khrennikov, Prof. Of
Applied Mathematics at Växjö University in Sweden, said, "I find
this paper very interesting and important to clarify some
fundamental aspects of classical and quantum physical formalisms.
I think that the author of the paper did a very important
investigation of the role of continuity of time in the standard
physical models of dynamical processes."
Another impressed with the work is Princeton physics great, and
collaborator and friend of both Albert Einstein and Richard
Feynman, John Archibald Wheeler, who said he "admired Lynds'
To help explain the work, Lynds poses the question, "Imagine a
cup being pushed along the top of your desk at any velocity,
large or small. Then ask yourself whether or not it has a
determined relative position to the desk at any time while it is
in motion. Then question, is there any time at which the cup
isn't in motion and its position relative to the desk not
According to both ancient and present day physics, the cup has a
determined position relative to the desk. Indeed, the physics of
motion from Zeno through to Newton and present day, takes this
assumption as a given.
But not so says Lynds, "It should be obvious that no matter how
small the time interval or how slowly the cup moves during that
interval, it is in motion and its position is constantly
changing, so it cannot have a determined relative position.
Indeed, if it did, it couldn't be in motion."
Lynds says the same can be said about determined relative
position at an instant in time. "If there were an instant in time
underlying the cups motion, although it would have a determined
relative position at such an instant, as is the nature of this
ethereal notion, it would also be frozen static at such an
instant, and as such, couldn't be in motion. The answer of course
is that there isn't such a thing as an instant in time in nature,
and that it's something entirely subjective that we project onto
the world around us. In other words, it's the outcome of brain
function and consciousness."
According to Lynds, through the derivation of the rest of
physics, the absence of determined relative position at any time,
and as such, also velocity, necessarily means the absence of all
other precisely determined physical values and magnitudes at any
time, including space and time itself. Lynds comments,
"Naturally, the parameter and boundary of their respective
position and magnitude are determinable up to the limits of
possible measurement as stated by the general quantum hypothesis
and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, but this indeterminacy in
precise value is not a consequence of quantum uncertainty."
Lynds continues, "What this illustrates is that in relation to
indeterminacy in precise physical magnitude, the micro and
macroscopic are inextricably linked, both being a part of the
same parcel, rather than just a case of the former underlying and
contributing to the latter."
On the cosmology content in the paper, Lynds explains, "It's not
necessary for time to emerge and congeal out of the quantum foam
and highly contorted space-time geometrys present preceding
Planck scale just after the big bang, as has sometimes been
hypothesized. Continuity would be present and naturally inherent
in practically all initial quantum states and configurations,
rather than a specific few, or special one, regardless of how
microscopic the scale."
He continues, "The cosmological proposal of Imaginary Time is
also not compatible with a consistent physical description, both
as a consequence of this, and secondly, because it's the relative
order of events that is relevant, not the direction of time
itself, as time doesn't go in any direction. Consequently, it's
not possible for the order of a sequence of events to be
imaginary, or at right angles, relative to another sequence of
On the general contents of the paper Lynds comments, "It may be
counterintuitive, but it's actually really quite simple. In some
ways, I almost kind of wish it wasn't so unlikely though, as I'd
say a few will find that aspect of it a bit hard to swallow.
Either way though, it's correct."
In relation to his solution to Zeno's paradoxes Lynds says, "I
guess one might infer that we've been a bit slow on the uptake,
considering it's taken us so long to reach these conclusions. I
don't think this is the case though. Rather that, in respect to
an instant in time, it's hardly surprising considering the
extreme difficulty of seeing through something that you actually
see and think with. Moreover, that with his deceivingly profound
and perplexing paradoxes, I think Zeno of Elea was a true
visionary, and in a sense, over 2500 years ahead of his time."
Lynds' plans for the near future include the publication of a
paper on Zeno's paradoxes themselves in the journal Philosophy of
Science, and a paper relating time to consciousness. He also
plans to explore his work further in connection to quantum
mechanics and is hopeful others will do the same.
Written by Brooke Jones; Brooke.Jones@australia.edu
Contact; Peter Lynds (0064 04 2338 164): PeterLynds@xtra.co.nz
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