Time, Space and Gravity

Making Sense of Time, Space and Gravity

   An epistemological analysis of accepted observations and formulae leads to the conclusion that the time metric is quantized. On this view E=MC2 is a particular case of E=MV2 and the ubiquitous significance of C derives from it being the internal rate of the time quanta’s cycle of formation and collapse. This view is either consistent with, or even the only logical explanation of, puzzling but established observations. It is shown that quantum indeterminacy can be fully accounted for by this assumption, and suggests why wave mechanical calculations are so successful.  This hypothesis actually predicts the startling discovery that the universe is expanding more rapidly now than in the past, and accounts for the observed structure at cosmic scale. Perhaps the greatest significance of this view is that it offers a physically plausible hypothesis for the origin of gravitational effects at the quantum scale.

     The predictions made by the algorithms of quantum mechanics and general relativity correspond to the relevant observations. The problem is that neither theory explains, and neither has borne fruit! By the latter it is meant that general relativity, after eighty years, has not led to an explanation of gravity (as distinguished from a description) nor has quantum mechanics elucidated the derivation of its arbitrary parameters. There is a profound lack of understanding with regard to time, which is particularly evident in theoretical time symmetry as opposed to its observed irreversibility. Moreover, time’s conflation with the “speed of light”, and C with aging, has hitherto been as inexplicable as why space and time are unified. Even the possibility of time-travel into the past is said to be consistent with current theory, which is a reductio ad absurdem of the theoretical structure that “allows” it.

     Consider a luminous object, a billion light-years away, of which we have an observational record. If we were miraculously transported to the present location of the object we would not expect to see the object as we had observed it. We would expect to find the new object(s) it had evolved into over a billion years. By extension we realize that each new increment of time is associated with its physical state of the universe. With the passage of one time quanta a new physical state will have evolved. The new state will incorporate all the conserved observables: nothing will be left behind. Old space is as ‘gone’ as the past, and new space-time is all that there ever is. At each discrete instant there is only the newly evolved state in the present time. We recognize intuitively that there is no universe full of mass-energy being abandoned with the passage of its associated time! Because the formation of space as a consequence of time is the manifestation of existence, it constrains all processes. Nothing can ‘get ahead’ of time and enter the future: we can only encounter the future as it becomes our present. There can be no pre-existent future in our space-time, simply because time has not yet brought it into being, nor have the causal processes created the observables.

     We use the word ‘time’ to mean or measure a great variety of things. We know what we signify by these instrumental uses, and some of them are defined in ways that help express our understanding. But when we talk about time, it is important that we keep in mind which element of the concept is meant. The hypothesis expressed here has to do with the existential time that is the enabling cause of spatial manifestation; it is a part of the union that is called space-time, but, on this view, that term can’t mean exactly what it does in the technical jargon of relativists. The flow of the eternal present (which passes at the observed clock-rate) is “sensible” time, and I assert that flow is quantized. By that I mean time manifests in discrete intervals of duration, or quanta. I have called the cyclic process, which interrupts that sensible flow, the time metric. One needs to make a conceptual distinction between this cyclic process and “duration”, or experimental time. The time metric has the characteristic internal rate of C, in contrast to the clock-rate of sensible time, meaning that the formation and collapse of space in each time quanta occurs at C. The fundamental constraint this rate imposes on all physical phenomena is the reason for C ’s ubiquity as a natural constant.

     What reasons are there to assert that the flow of sensible time is quantized? To begin with, I will offer an epistemological argument that it must be, on grounds of causality and conformity with observation. I will analyze a renowned mathematical expression to show that quantization of time is expressed (albeit unnoticed) there, and implicit in, or consistent with, the other fundamental energy relationships of quantum mechanics. Then I will point out a few implications of this assumption and show how they can explain or predict many phenomena that are ‘problems’ within the current paradigm. I will show how this view leads to a physically plausible explanation of how gravity arises from space-time, as the resolved quantum-scale reciprocal of the tensor described by general relativity. And finally, I will relate this view to cosmological structure, quantization of stellar redshift, and the conflation of time and aging with the speed of light.

 I invite your attention to the expression (hc/G)a 1/H2a - 1

     The agency of quantum action is manifest throughout space-time in a general and continuous manner. It is implausible to imagine that agency acting in a space-like way, for reasons of causality, locality, etc..., and the necessity for general and continuous action naturally directs our attention to time. Keep in mind that the cited expression characterizes our observations of physical reality: the elements represent real observables. Consider the element hc/G : knowing (at least in a descriptive way) that gravity originates out of space-time, what else could hc represent, other than         space-time? And, given that putative significance, the presence of Planck’s constant implies that time is quantized.

     Note that E = hv explicitly expresses Planck’s constant, while E = MC2 is already quantized in the mass term: mass being a property of matter in a gravitational field. That field originates in/of quantized time, as is evident in the first term of the expression noted above. There C (which I suggest “stands for” time) is quantized by Planck’s constant and divided by gravity, while H is the mass of a proton. I interpret hC as representing the average and effective value of space-time. The whole expression is consistent with the view that gravity is a ‘measure’ (mass) of the coupling between space-time and matter. This is especially evident when a, which is arbitrary, is set to equal ½ and the Planck mass emerges.

     I have asserted that the characteristic rate of the cyclic process of time (and its associated space) coming into being and collapsing, is C, or “the speed of light”. Consider E = MC2, which this view de-mystifies: it is only a particular case of                E = MV2 and the value C is explained as the rate of formation of space! “The energy inherent in mass is equal to the velocity squared of its formation”, makes perfect sense. By contrast: “energy = mass × the speed of light squared”, is ad hoc, even though it is computationally equivalent and “correct”. This interpretation of time implies that space is being recreated in each time quanta. You will note that this explains the role of C as the “speed limit” on electromagnetic phenomena, which propagate as fast as the new space-time comes into being.

     This view of time “makes sense” of the quantum mechanical uncertainty relationships of position-momentum and time-energy, which are justly regarded as “weird” if time is assumed to be continuous. The uncertainty of position-momentum is usually expressed as a commutative inequality: xpx - pxx = ih/2p in the case, for instance, of an electron constrained to move only in the X-axis. Since the momentum and position are both time dependent, and the angular momentum of an electron equals h/2p, this says it makes all the difference when you make a measurement. This perception is sharpened if we set X=O,which reduces the uncertainty to time (as the variable in momentum) and consider the expression:
Dx Dpx ³ h/4p derived by Heisenberg via Born, for the case above: an electron constrained to the X-axis. Where X = O, Dpx ³ h/4p , or ½ the value of an electron’s angular momentum, and one might as well say that sometimes it doesn’t exist (has zero value for a conserved observable). But since charge is independent of time, while we have our existence in it, perhaps it is more accurate to say that sometimes we are unable to observe the electron.

     The relationship expressed by DEDt ³ h/2p confirms that the uncertainty of time and energy is equal to the whole angular momentum of an electron. This is saying that its energy varies completely with time. That can only make sense if time is cyclic and energy varies with it, which is consistent with the view that an intermittent time field induces space and its properties.

     This hypothesis may offer an explanation for apparently instantaneous electron transitions between shells, and for the fact that the electrons don’t cross the intervening space. If transitions occurred between quanta, they would appear instantaneous to us, and the electron would not have crossed our space-time. The forcing effect of periodic time might create wave-like interferences (Sir Karl Popper’s “propensity waves”?) whose minima could correspond with the electron orbits. The intermittent nature of time might explain a variety of wave interference effects, such as those observed in the “double-slit” experiments. Such effects are currently so inexplicable, on the assumption of continuous time, that some theorists have postulated 10500 parallel universes to account for them!

     On the assumption that space reformation occurs at “the speed of light”, from ubiquitous quantum-scale sites, there should be some part of a time quanta during which some parts of the space-to-be will not have been reformed. On this view, h somehow expresses space-time’s average and effective value. Consider the expression E = hv, which sets no limit on the wave packet’s energy: whence the natural constraints on frequency and wavelength? These predicted empty regions might directly inhibit the propagation of wavelengths < 10-15 meters. One could also imagine that the spatial distortions resulting from the interactions of the reformation zones, together with the periodic forcing of time, would produce progressively more severe interference effects with shorter wavelengths. Then there would be the absolute barrier of the duration of the quanta itself: no periodicity could be more frequent than that of the time quanta cycle itself. Accordingly, this view explains the natural limitation of the EMF spectrum, and suggests the physical significance of h, which, in turn sets a lower bound of possibility for the frequency of the time cycle.

     Wheeler intuited that space had a “foam” structure at the quantum scale, while Chandrasekhar and others have shown that gravitational effects can arise out of wave collisions. But heretofore no general and continuous causative agency was recognized, to which such structure and waves might be ascribed. If my hypothesis is correct, that time is quantized, then space is continually collapsing and reforming, which creates the quantum foam structure. I have also suggested that the expanding and colliding wavefronts are forced into minimal surface shapes, as is observed in macro-foams, which could induce Schwartzchild curvature at a quantum space-time scale. This leads directly to a physical theory of how gravity might arise out of space-time (as distinguished from descriptions of spooky action at a distance), and to the question of how such curvature might be differentiated according to the presence and contiguity of matter.

     Consider the properties of the space(s) formed by an oscillating time metric. In THE NATURE OF SPACE AND TIME, Hawking discusses the space(s) spontaneously created by an oscillating time metric, but of course he is treating it as a unique event, rather than a continuous process. Hawking also rejects the de Sitter solution as a model of “our” space, “because it is empty and expanding exponentially”. As I see it, de Sitter space will not form in contiguity with matter, but the universe is almost empty on a cosmological and quantum scale. That it is hyper-expansive would be a problem if the universe were 1010 years old, but if it is never more than one time quanta old, that expansion gets terminated in each cycle. Even so, it would have a great effect on the space that does form in contiguity with matter, potentially explaining the differential curvature of that space.

     Time-limited hyper-expansion can also account for cosmic structure and recent observations that the universe is expanding more rapidly now than in the past. I explain these observations of increasing expansion as resulting from the evolution of the time quanta as the universe dissipates energy internally. But those astrophysicists and cosmologists, whose comments I have read, seem to be resuscitating the cosmological constant and trying to rationalize the findings within the “big bang” model; one reads of an “antigravity” force! At least L offers a place to patch these new observations into the existing model. Eddington made a statement that goes very deep and bears on the view of space-time developed here: “To drop the cosmical constant (to set L=0) would knock the bottom out of space”. He felt that our (matter associated) space is upheld by what Lambda represents, and that it creates the characteristics of space that general relativity describes: he said, Gmn= Lgmn . I feel that he was trying to describe nature as it is, within a model that is not adequate to that task. It is well known that a push can be modeled as a pull, and there is historical precedent for a model that was predictive but unrelated to physical reality. Perhaps looking for the physical analog of tensor action at a distance, is like searching for the actual location of a Ptolemaic epicycle.

     Above, I suggested how the characteristic rate of the space-time cycle sets a limit on the speed of EMF propagation, and thus the natural constant C became known as “the speed of light”. This understandable conflation extends to aging: consider that aging has been recognized as a function of the passage of time since an immemorial era. We also know from observation that aging is correlated with C, which hints that it is the space-time cycle of which it is a function. It is only apparently and ordinarily correlated to sensible time because we normally move so slowly through space that time “overtakes” us (or passes) at full speed and aging effect: that is, we experience all the reversals of the time cycle. Note that this affects inanimate entities too, so it cannot be merely a biological effect, and this lends credence to the conjecture that the time quanta is a fundamental physical constant, albeit one that evolves. In the context of discussing the quantization of redshift, I have suggested that the time quanta is the only fundamental, natural unit of time; hence the implication of E = hv is that v takes some specific number of quanta. I am suggesting that the rate of formation of space is the time with which aging is correlated; that it is the number of time cycle reversals which an entity endures, or the number of quanta that pass it by.

     This view also elucidates the observation of quantized redshift. Consider a photon emitted when the universe was young; its energy is equal to hv, and v is defined as waves per unit time. This relationship of energy to v is natural and fundamental, not an arbitrary formulation we created, but which was discovered to be a fact of nature. I assert that there is only one natural and fundamental unit of time: the quanta. Therefore v is the number of quanta per wave.

     As the universe aged, the energy manifest as space-time evolved in conformity with the second law, some of it being converted into higher entropy forms including the waste heat of the cosmic background radiation. The decreasing energy of the time metric leads to an increasing duration of the time quanta. As the time quanta lasts longer the ancient photon must travel farther in each time cycle. It cannot simply add waves (without an input of energy) because that would be an increase of v, so the wavetrain is stretched to cover the greater distance. The adjustment cannot be smooth, as it must be in increments of quanta. One suspects there were higher v photons when the time quanta was shorter, and there should be traces of this ‘overtaken’ radiation.

     When the ancient photon is observed as part of a spectrum, and that spectrum is compared to a reference source for red shift analysis, the reference photons will have a v that is related to the current era quanta duration. We use an artificial unit of time to measure both recent photons and those emitted in the early universe, whose wave trains have been stretched, due to emission in a shorter time quanta era. I conjecture that this alone (in addition to any other cause such as recession velocity) will cause an ancient spectra to appear red shifted when compared to a modern reference.

     I have scorned the concept of “anti-gravity”, as some have postulated it, in a vain attempt to salvage ‘big bang’ theories. However, on my view that the time-metric is quantized, it is the reformation of space in each time-quanta cycle that produces gravitational effects. Accordingly the force we experience as ‘attraction’, begins as a repulsion. I suggested that the interference minima between spatial formation waves and matter-waves establishes the electron shells. Now consider a macro-scale phenomenon that reveals the fundamentally repulsive, rather than attractive, effects of spatial reformation: the gravitational singularity, or ‘black-hole’. You may find figure 3.4 of Hawking’s, (op. cit.) illustrative, and the text from page 44 and following pertinent (in particular, page 48: “The periodicity in imaginary time…”) to my comments below, though one must keep in mind that his theory is predicated on continuous time.

     I suggest that the salient point of the change in sign on time at the event horizon is not that it is negative, but that it changes. The ascription of negativity is merely in conformity to our perspective and current assumptions. In fact, time does not run backwards, there or anywhere else, nor does matter enter the past: there is no physical ‘past’ and we continue to apprehend the matter’s existence. Instead, it becomes ‘phase-advanced’ by half a time cycle. Where the less-expansive, matter-associated space so predominates, that matter is literally ‘squeezed out’ of our space-time, into iT by the hyper-expansion of empty-space’s formation.

 These examples of gravity’s fundamentally anti-attractive, or repulsive, effects suggest that it is not impossible, in principle, to imagine a technology that utilizes gravitational energy to levitate and propel matter.

 Roger Penrose made a prescient statement about time in his book The Emperor’s New Mind: “ It is my opinion that our present picture of physical reality, particularly in relation to the nature of time, is due for a grand shake-up ---- even greater, perhaps, than that which has already been provided by present-day relativity and quantum mechanics.

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