November 25th, 2013
The following is an article my PhD mentor, Alasdair Richmond, wrote for The Conversation.
As Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary looms, time travel is everywhere – on the screen, at least. Famously, the Doctor can whizz through the years using a “dimensionally transcendental” machine, the TARDIS, and make changes to the past as and when he likes. But what is time travel – and how much of “Doctor Who” might really be possible?
A handy definition of time travel comes from philosopher David Lewis. Lewis says time travel involves a journey having different durations viewed from outside (in “external time”) or from inside (in “personal time”). Suppose you spend five minutes travelling aboard your machine, as measured by (e.g.) your watch and your memories. On arrival, you find 150 years have elapsed in the outside world. Congratulations, you have time-travelled. Five minutes of your personal time has covered 150 years of external time.
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June 21st, 2013
Below is the abstract from Ben Nasmith’s paper “Classical Electrodynamics and Absolute Simultaneity”. I’m quite pleased to say that I was able to be an official endorser for Nasmith’s paper to arXiv. Please feel free to investigate and enjoy this research.
Maxwell’s equations and the Lorentz force density are expressed using an alternative simultaneity gauge. As a result, they describe electrodynamics for an observer travelling with a constant velocity through an isotropic medium.
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June 20th, 2012
Word of the Week: A Series of Time
Definition: Time has an actual temporal becoming to it. There is an objective past, present, and future.
More about the word: The special theory of relativity (STR) states that clocks in motion slow down. This time dilation occurs with respects to the observer. In the early 1900’s, Albert Einstein’s STR changed how physicists and philosophers viewed the previous Newtonian paradigm of absolute simultaneity. If STR is correct, then an observer in motion will experience time at a slower rate than an observer at rest. Perhaps, given STR, the A series of time is really illusory since the experience of time is relative to the subject (the object being the spacetime fabric).
STR may still permit an A series of time where the subject’s experience of objective becoming is supported by the object’s relation to the subject. There are two concurrent ways this may be done: Lorentzian simultaneity (from the physical approach) and God as the prime reality (from the metaphysical approach). Hendrick Lorentz proposed the idea that time and length are absolute but there is no way these measurements could be made since the measuring devices are in motion.
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