Imaginary Time
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24-01-2016, 11:33 PM (This post was last modified: 25-01-2016 09:31 AM by Fireball.)
RE: Imaginary Time
(24-01-2016 10:47 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  
(24-01-2016 09:02 PM)Fireball Wrote:  Imaginary time isn't quite like might you may consider it, based on this lecture. A lot of mathematics, physics and engineering rely on the imaginary numbers for solutions to problems. We can solve problems using imaginary numbers that can't be solved using real numbers. Say you want to know the cube root of eight. Everybody knows that 2 cubed (2X2X2) equals 8. However, there are two more solutions, but they require imaginary numbers, where the square root of negative 1 is required. If you don't want me to write out a lecture on it, I will understand. But suffice to say, we need another way to express some mathematics, and it is kind of unfortunate that the word "imaginary" got drafted to serve. This comes with a bit of the history of mathematics, where some people were dead set against the principle, and coined the term. It has gained wide acceptance and usage in the technical world. We literally wouldn't be able to generate electricity reliably without understanding imaginary numbers, for example. [/Physicist, though nowhere near Hawking in ability]

ETA- are you thinking "imaginary" time as in having an imaginary friend?

So I'll ask one more startlingly dumb question. Is it possible that imaginary time may make the universe eternal?

runs away from science section

Well, shit, that kind of answer is way above my pay grade; the astrophysicists will have to weigh in on this. Cosmology is far and above where I got to in school. Note that astrophysicists have all kinds of theories, because a lot of the mathematics is a LOT slippery in that rarefied atmosphere. All kinds of approximations are made with little data. But if you get it right, you get a Nobel Prize.

Example- (joking)

Physicist goes into the Math department, shows a graph to the Mathematician. Mathematician says, "Easy, here is a curve fit.". Physicist looks at the graph, and notices that he handed it to the Mathematician upside down. He flips it over, and the Mathematician says, "Easy, here is a curve fit.". Might be too abstruse. It's past my bedtime.

I will say that time in and of itself is not "imaginary", that imaginary numbers are, again, just a mathematical construct we've found useful. Though I will also say that these words could be used later to call me a fool, if it turns out to be true. I learned the limits of my skill and intelligence quite early in my Physics career. I had some ideas about gravitation that pretty much got destroyed before I even started studying for a master's (which I did not complete- my wife and I started having children, and I couldn't provide for them and earn a master's at the same time). I'm just happy that my advisor didn't laugh out loud at my first counseling session. There is a point in everyone's education where they learn how little they know compared to people like Einstein.
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24-01-2016, 11:37 PM
RE: Imaginary Time
(24-01-2016 10:47 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  
(24-01-2016 09:02 PM)Fireball Wrote:  Imaginary time isn't quite like might you may consider it, based on this lecture. A lot of mathematics, physics and engineering rely on the imaginary numbers for solutions to problems. We can solve problems using imaginary numbers that can't be solved using real numbers. Say you want to know the cube root of eight. Everybody knows that 2 cubed (2X2X2) equals 8. However, there are two more solutions, but they require imaginary numbers, where the square root of negative 1 is required. If you don't want me to write out a lecture on it, I will understand. But suffice to say, we need another way to express some mathematics, and it is kind of unfortunate that the word "imaginary" got drafted to serve. This comes with a bit of the history of mathematics, where some people were dead set against the principle, and coined the term. It has gained wide acceptance and usage in the technical world. We literally wouldn't be able to generate electricity reliably without understanding imaginary numbers, for example. [/Physicist, though nowhere near Hawking in ability]



So I'll ask one more startlingly dumb question. Is it possible that imaginary time may make the universe eternal?

runs away from science section

From what I'm getting from the article, and based on my own musings (which have no qualifications whatsoever and should be taken with a grain of rock salt), imaginary time doesn't necessarily make this universe eternal, but does allow for the possibility of existence in general being eternal. Which, by my logic has to be true regardless of the actual origin of our current universe.

Think about it, "nothing" doesn't exist, by definition it can't and never has...therefore some sort of existence is all that is possible, whether it exists by the rules of physics that we observe in this universe or more likely by some other rules that existed before the singularity that somehow caused this universe to happen.

Given our limitations of observation of the past I don't think we'll ever truly figure it out (that is unless god happens to actually exist).

So imaginary time makes sense to me in a very general layman's understanding that if space time as we know it is specific to our universe, whatever existed before the big bang had to have some sort of "time-ish" thing going on in order for our shit to have ever been born at all. Something was going on before the bang, and that requires some sort of time.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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25-01-2016, 01:49 PM
RE: Imaginary Time
(24-01-2016 11:37 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  
(24-01-2016 10:47 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  So I'll ask one more startlingly dumb question. Is it possible that imaginary time may make the universe eternal?

runs away from science section

From what I'm getting from the article, and based on my own musings (which have no qualifications whatsoever and should be taken with a grain of rock salt), imaginary time doesn't necessarily make this universe eternal, but does allow for the possibility of existence in general being eternal. Which, by my logic has to be true regardless of the actual origin of our current universe.

Think about it, "nothing" doesn't exist, by definition it can't and never has...therefore some sort of existence is all that is possible, whether it exists by the rules of physics that we observe in this universe or more likely by some other rules that existed before the singularity that somehow caused this universe to happen.

Given our limitations of observation of the past I don't think we'll ever truly figure it out (that is unless god happens to actually exist).

So imaginary time makes sense to me in a very general layman's understanding that if space time as we know it is specific to our universe, whatever existed before the big bang had to have some sort of "time-ish" thing going on in order for our shit to have ever been born at all. Something was going on before the bang, and that requires some sort of time.

Here's a video on imaginary time.

I got lost pretty fast but I sorta, kinda, maybe get the basic concept.




Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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25-01-2016, 01:58 PM
RE: Imaginary Time
This relates to the 10th Commandment.

No coveting your neighbour's wife (or her ass) ... it's a thought crime.

Moral: Don't do the imaginary crime if you can't do the imaginary time.

True story Yes

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25-01-2016, 02:08 PM
RE: Imaginary Time
(24-01-2016 09:02 PM)Fireball Wrote:  Imaginary time isn't quite like might you may consider it, based on this lecture.

Never heard the term before. Does it have something to with Planck time which is the limit to which time can be measured? The universe did not exist prior to it being 10^-43 seconds old?

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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25-01-2016, 04:18 PM
RE: Imaginary Time
(25-01-2016 02:08 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(24-01-2016 09:02 PM)Fireball Wrote:  Imaginary time isn't quite like might you may consider it, based on this lecture.

Never heard the term before. Does it have something to with Planck time which is the limit to which time can be measured? The universe did not exist prior to it being 10^-43 seconds old?

My question was more aimed at the word "imaginary" conjuring up some other connotation besides the fact that is is a word chosen in a scoffing manner for complex numbers.

I'm not well versed in Cosmology (hardly at all, actually), so I can't respond to your question about Planck time without some study.
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25-01-2016, 04:25 PM
RE: Imaginary Time
(25-01-2016 04:18 PM)Fireball Wrote:  
(25-01-2016 02:08 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Never heard the term before. Does it have something to with Planck time which is the limit to which time can be measured? The universe did not exist prior to it being 10^-43 seconds old?

My question was more aimed at the word "imaginary" conjuring up some other connotation besides the fact that is is a word chosen in a scoffing manner for complex numbers.

I'm not well versed in Cosmology (hardly at all, actually), so I can't respond to your question about Planck time without some study.

Me neither but I do enjoy cosmologists' theories of the universe/s ultimate fate. Big Freeze or heat death, Big Rip, Big Crunch, Big Bounce, Multiverse: no complete end, False vacuum, Cosmic uncertainty. Them are some craycray fuckers. Big Grin

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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25-01-2016, 07:32 PM
RE: Imaginary Time
(25-01-2016 04:25 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(25-01-2016 04:18 PM)Fireball Wrote:  My question was more aimed at the word "imaginary" conjuring up some other connotation besides the fact that is is a word chosen in a scoffing manner for complex numbers.

I'm not well versed in Cosmology (hardly at all, actually), so I can't respond to your question about Planck time without some study.

Me neither but I do enjoy cosmologists' theories of the universe/s ultimate fate. Big Freeze or heat death, Big Rip, Big Crunch, Big Bounce, Multiverse: no complete end, False vacuum, Cosmic uncertainty. Them are some craycray fuckers. Big Grin

I think that cosmologists are like economists- "If you put all the economists in the country end to end, they'd still point in different directions" - Harry S. Truman
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