If there is no energy, does Time exist?

#1
Lightbulb 
(Posted this on SF, but thought I'd share here, too)

Physics experts, I need your help. 

If time is basically the measure of change, and if there is no energy then there is no change, would it be safe to assume that within a system absent of energy, Time wouldn't exist? (In this hypothetical scenario, there are no quantum fluctuations) 

What are your thoughts?
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#2
Since time has no reified existence beyond change, yes, having absolutely no motion or change would mean there is nothing to identify as being measured by time. But that's only the progression of time, as that changeless state may not have always been so, leaving records that indicate a past time. Just like your third grade report card indicates you have changed since then, it doesn't tell us whether you're still in school now.
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#3
(Jul 6, 2019 08:24 PM)Syne Wrote: Since time has no reified existence beyond change, yes, having absolutely no motion or change would mean there is nothing to identify as being measured by time. But that's only the progression of time, as that changeless state may not have always been so, leaving records that indicate a past time. Just like your third grade report card indicates you have changed since then, it doesn't tell us whether you're still in school now.

Okay, I understand. So, going with that, is it safe to assume then that the Big Bang was the first cause of time? Or the ''beginning of time?''
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#4
They don't tie together. The Big Bang has nothing to do with abiogenesis. The universe could have evolved, from the same Big Bang, in such a way that life would never be possible. Sounds like the same people who pit creationism against evolution, where the former is about the origin of the universe and the latter is about the origin of life. You can legitimately pit creationism against the Big Bang (although I don't find those two to be at odds) or evolution against intelligent design (although I find those less at odds than most people seem to think). Pitting universe versus life origins against each other is just confused, at best.

But yes, the Big Bang, just like creation, is considered the beginning of both time and space. Aside from exotic theories with no real evidence, the Big bang is not considered to be something that happened in a preexisting time or space.

If abiogenesis occurred at all, it happened a long time after the Big Bang, once the universe had cooled enough for life to exist. Abiogenesis is thought to be happenstance of chemical interactions that randomly assembled the building blocks of life. Those chemicals did not exist at the Big Bang, so asking if they had precursors before the BB is meaningless.


As far as energy existing prior to the BB, it was not necessary. A false vacuum in quantum fluctuations, due to the Uncertainty Principle, is sufficient to produce what Guth called "the ultimate free lunch". Whether it did or not is another matter.
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#5
Yessss, lol I deleted that above before you posted your reply, because I realized that I was pushing two topics together, than aren't related. My error.

So, ignoring my comment about abiogenesis, thank you for the rest. That makes sense. You might be happy to know that paddoboy from SF agrees with you. lol Not sure if you remember him. Big Grin

But, if there were no precursors to the BB, why do scientists question if the BB was essentially, the beginning of time?
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#6
They question the BB being the beginning of time because they question whether the BB was the singular origin of the universe....because that sounds an awful lot like creationism...just suddenly popping into existence, out of nothing, a finite time ago (without any apparent rhyme or reason for the timing). This is why they've invented a lot of fanciful, but unevidenced, theories about bubble universes, etc.. Although those theories really only push the singular origin further back in time without ever really explaining anything more than the BB.
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#7
Insightful, Syne.

I find that that spirituality can coexist with science. I get it though, if one is a materialist then spirituality just doesn't even enter the equation as a solution or answer to the unanswered questions and mysteries of the universe.

Are all mysteries meant to be solved, maybe that's the better question.
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#8
(Jul 6, 2019 07:19 PM)Leigha Wrote: If time is basically the measure of change, and if there is no energy then there is no change, would it be safe to assume that within a system absent of energy, Time wouldn't exist? (In this hypothetical scenario, there are no quantum fluctuations) 

What are your thoughts?


Stored energy or the potential for work resting in the relational structure and properties of components could arguably be static (in an idealized scenario). But it couldn't be permanently unchanging, since there would be no justification for ascribing concepts like "work" or energy and its units of measurement to such arrangements to begin with. Or the reverse of abstracting those ideas from a changing version of the latter, as their origin.

Energy as active work (kinetic) would entail change (as movement) and accordingly the interpretation of a so-called passage of time objectively occurring.
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#9
(Jul 10, 2019 04:47 PM)C C Wrote:
(Jul 6, 2019 07:19 PM)Leigha Wrote: If time is basically the measure of change, and if there is no energy then there is no change, would it be safe to assume that within a system absent of energy, Time wouldn't exist? (In this hypothetical scenario, there are no quantum fluctuations) 

What are your thoughts?


Stored energy or the potential for work resting in the relational structure and properties of components could arguably be static (in an idealized scenario). But it couldn't be permanently unchanging, since there would be no justification for ascribing concepts like "work" or energy and its units of measurement to such arrangements to begin with. Or the reverse of abstracting those ideas from a changing version of the latter, as their origin.

Energy as active work (kinetic) would entail change (as movement) and accordingly the interpretation of a so-called passage of time objectively occurring.
In the stored energy scenario, would time come into play? Would stored energy provide ''change?'' It doesn't seem like it would.
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#10
(Jul 11, 2019 04:20 AM)Leigha Wrote:
(Jul 10, 2019 04:47 PM)C C Wrote:
(Jul 6, 2019 07:19 PM)Leigha Wrote: If time is basically the measure of change, and if there is no energy then there is no change, would it be safe to assume that within a system absent of energy, Time wouldn't exist? (In this hypothetical scenario, there are no quantum fluctuations) 

What are your thoughts?


Stored energy or the potential for work resting in the relational structure and properties of components could arguably be static (in an idealized scenario). But it couldn't be permanently unchanging, since there would be no justification for ascribing concepts like "work" or energy and its units of measurement to such arrangements to begin with. Or the reverse of abstracting those ideas from a changing version of the latter, as their origin.

Energy as active work (kinetic) would entail change (as movement) and accordingly the interpretation of a so-called passage of time objectively occurring.
In the stored energy scenario, would time come into play? Would stored energy provide ''change?'' It doesn't seem like it would.

In the "real world" (not thought experiments) there's never a completely stationary system of perfect storage since even at absolute zero there is still motion at the micro level, as well as uncertainty. Kinetic energy entails movement or transfer, the latter entails a sequence of differences to express it or make it possible, and those differences are going to be interpreted as a passage of time. (We know of existential differences via the representations of conscious experience, which results in them being construed as change in a temporal context.) The idealized scenario of potential (perfectly stored) energy only exemplifies what it would take to disassociate energy from change, which again isn't possible in the "real world".
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