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Time as an energy field

Posted on Saturday 17 March 2012

I was just falling asleep when I had this idea. What if time is an energy field that we feel passing through our fourth dimensional bodies? And this energy field is a ripple from an explosion or expansion from one point in fourth dimensional space?
Physicists have argued that space and time are connected, and that the future already exists just as the past already exists. If time can have different planes of existence and run faster or slower depending on the observer’s motion and proximity to mass, then the future must already exist in the cases where it needs to, i.e. for someone whose clock is running fastest. Many have suggested that we are one solid shape in 4 dimensions, from our birth and our death, and “now” is a slice/snapshot from that shape of us.
But that doesn’t really explain what time is, other than a plane of “now” / existence that’s moving through us.
Someone described time as something that prevents everything from happening at once. Without time we wouldn’t have death, or life. Time is what allows us to experience.
What if time was an energy wave going through our fourth dimensional bodies? What if this wave was spherical, like a radio wave going through a house? And the interaction between the house and the radio wave was the house’s experience?
I am excited about this concept for two reasons: one, who’s to say that this wave of energy won’t happen again? You may not be able to reverse the direction of the wave, but what if more waves come? We would experience life again.
And two, what if the point of origin were in a different place? The wave would pass through our fourth dimensional bodies at a different angle, and we would experience life entirely differently.
I woke up with the frantic question, “can time be converted to energy? Can time be converted to energy?” I’m not sure. Physicists?

3 Comments for 'Time as an energy field'

    March 17, 2012 | 8:10 am

    I don’t entirely get your description. The ripple moving out from a point, through a medium, yes. But in what sense is that our experience of time? If our conscious experience is the ripple itself, are our minds then the entire expanding sphere? Refraction of the wave through different media could account for differing perceptions of time’s tempo.

    One minor question would be whether the ripple is in three temporal dimensions (a sphere), or two or one: time’s arrow. I’m not a physicist and know little about it, but I gather that string theory does posit several more dimensions, in which the strings oscillate and vibrate.

    The framework of relativity is the four-dimensional Minkowski space-time. Again, I gather it does well to describe relativistic motion in our physical world. But I’ve never been convinced that we, the western scientists, truly understand time in any gut-level, intuitive sense. Our models match well with the realities we observe and are decent predictors, but there’s something missing. The closest we get is perceptual stretching, subdividing temporal space by attentive focus. Seems like we’re blind to a phase-shift, stepping sideways, out of the arrow’s trajectory. Dancing in the space of time, hips and all.

    March 17, 2012 | 9:06 pm

    You were the first person I wanted to talk to about this Caleb but it was too late at night when I blogged this. 🙂
    I’m working on a ghetto 3D animation but I think you get it. I’m saying that our bodies already exist in 4D space, but are lifeless, until an energy field of something (not sure what) passes through us, and “time” and existence is the interaction between our matter and that field. I don’t know how our minds play a part of it. But the sphere is really a wave, we only experience the edge of it, just like we can only experience the present not the past. Perhaps we experience time so similarly because we are all oriented in the same way to this explosion, but if another one occurred in front of us instead of behind us, we’d experience time in reverse.
    I like your idea of refractions. I don’t know how many dimensions it is, but I was picturing it as three in 3D for an analogy to 4D.
    I had the same feeling last night, that we have more to discover about time, maybe another equation that converts time to energy. I was searching for “what is time” last night, and the more I watch scientists try and describe it the more I think they don’t know what it is either, like this lady who mainly just says the word “time” a lot and reads a lot of quotes about time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACS1_5jyvHE

    March 18, 2012 | 9:25 pm

    Got it. Your positing that time is our perception of an effect in a x-dimensional field, but is not itself one of the underlying dimensions. That jibes with an idea i’ve had for a while that we don’t perceive anything itself, in general, but only the effects of two things against each other: shearing, transit across a barrier, etc.I can’t find a link at the moment, but the joke that a fish in the ocean says, ‘sea, what sea?’. The same would be true of physical dimensions. We can’t sense constant motion, only acceleration.

    The deep insight of Einstein’s work was that we can convert matter to energy (hence the Manhattan project). And Flatland is such a famous book for suggesting how to think about different dimensionalities. You’re suggesting that there would be a similar conversion equation for time to space. And something similar runs through various stories about time travel (e.g. A Wrinkle in Time’s tesseract). “Not ‘where are we’ but ‘when are we'” etc.

    For me, it seems silly to assume we _have_ to move forward through time (and at a constant rate, no less!). It’s in fact counter to some experiences, akin to de-ja-vu. Sensing things that occur much later — connections out of linear temporal order, or looped together through an additional temporal dimension.

    There’s enough anecdotal evidence, and the reward would be so astoundingly great, that it’s silly to ignore the possibility. But there’s so little to draw from. Faint, infrequent cues. Where to look and how to approach it systematically remains elusive.

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