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Old 06-22-2018, 10:20 PM
EastUmpqua EastUmpqua is offline
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The Direction of Time

When we focus our machines on cosmic microwave background radiation and the Big Bang, we see the past. So if we focus our machines at the quantum level are we seeing the future?
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Old 06-22-2018, 10:50 PM
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friedo friedo is offline
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Nope. There is no correlation between the bigness of stuff we are looking at and its age. We "see the past" when looking out into the universe because it takes light a non-zero amount of time to reach us. Therefore light from faraway things was emitted in the past, so we see it.
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Old 06-23-2018, 03:31 AM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is offline
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The direction of Time?

Thataway.
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Old 06-23-2018, 07:12 AM
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Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by friedo View Post
Nope. There is no correlation between the bigness of stuff we are looking at and its age. We "see the past" when looking out into the universe because it takes light a non-zero amount of time to reach us. Therefore light from faraway things was emitted in the past, so we see it.
Agreed. if you can somehow look at a thing that is at a distance of less than zero from you, that might do it.
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Old 06-23-2018, 07:25 AM
Napier Napier is offline
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The first time phenomenon you describe is essentially like reading a letter that took several days to get to you, where a letter from across town takes less time than one from overseas (I know letter delivery times aren't proportional to distance but let's simply not overplay our analogy cards here). It reads as if it's in the present but it's actually as things were some time ago.

What you see very close to you, big or small, is very nearly exactly the present.

I agree with Mangetout -- if you could look at things from very negative distances, that might show you the future. Though maybe this is one of those things that isn't right, and isn't even wrong.
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Old 06-23-2018, 04:45 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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What's interesting to me--and probably is implicated in so much of the failure of intuition with this stuff--is that time, to the layman, is easily used with the metaphor "direction." And spatiality under relativity is a place (heh) where "place" and, therefore, "[getting to] place" is famously mind-boggling.

Last edited by Leo Bloom; 06-23-2018 at 04:46 PM.
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