Time to Change Time

The case for the re-definition of time and its units

by N. O. Williams


The aim of this article is to present arguments which support the proposition that, in scientific calculations involving motion, speed should be expressed in the fundamental unit, c, and time should be derived from distance and speed and expressed in the unit, m/c.
The aim is also to present arguments which support the assertion that time does not exist in the sense of a dimensional entity.

The currently accepted system for units of distance, speed and time is as follows:
Distance is expressed in the fundamental unit of metres (m),
Time is expressed in the fundamental unit of seconds (s),
Speed is expressed in the derived unit of metres per second (m/s).
That is, speed is not assigned a fundamental unit of its own but is defined as the distance travelled per unit time, so that a large speed is one at which a large distance is travelled per second of time.

This proposed system for units of distance, speed and time is as follows:
Distance will continue to be expressed in the fundamental unit of metres (m),
Speed will be expressed in the fundamental unit of light speed (c),
Time will be expressed in the derived unit of metres per light speed (m/c).
That is, time will not be assigned a fundamental unit of its own but will be defined as the distance travelled per unit light speed, so that a large time is one during which a large distance is travelled per c of speed.

Along with a blind acceptance of the belief in the existence of time, practicality has been a driving force which has led to the current system of units. It has been reasonably easy to create and use standard measuring devices for distance and time, whereas no simple speed measuring device has ever been available. This is no longer the case as relative speed can now be measured directly by portable laser guns, and it would be simple to display unit speed on a portable screen using a computer graphic application.
It is proposed that the speed of light in vacuum be used as the standard and basic unit of speed, c, with the nano-c, (nc), as the more practical unit where 1 c = 1E9 nc.
For the purpose of this article, the speed of light in vacuum, c, relative to the æther will be taken to be 0.299792458E9 m/s or approximately 0.3E9 m/s.
As an example, a car travelling at 50 km/h will be travelling at approximately 46.328 nc in the new units (1 nc ≈ 0.3 m/s), and the time of 72 seconds for the car to travel 1 km will be approximately 21.585 m/nc in the new units. (1 m/nc ≈ 3.33564 seconds)
Needless to say, it is not intended that the existing system of units in everyday use should be ousted by this new system but rather, as this concept became accepted, the new units would gradually take precedence over the existing ones in scientific calculations.

The more important areas of our experience which appear to involve the passage of time will now be examined in order to justify that the concept of time should be relegated from its current status as a fundamental dimension (seconds) to that of a convenient parameter defining apparent duration of dynamic events in terms of distance and speed (m/nc).

  1. The movement of an object in space.
    The conventional way of describing the movement of an object through space at uniform speed is by the expression, Speed = Distance/Time. Distance and time have their own base units of metres and seconds respectively, whereas speed is not assigned its own base unit but is defined using distance and time in the unit of m/s. This is rather unfortunate because, when experiencing a body in motion, everyone can observe the distance and relative speed directly but nobody can observe time; it is only inferred. The apparent duration which we associate with the motion can, of course, be “timed” in clock cycles. Although we refer to this apparent duration as “time”, it is merely a descriptive relationship between the real observable dimensions of distance and speed, and has no intrinsic properties or dimensional reality. On the other hand, relative speed does exhibit dimensional reality. A fast moving object is easily distinguishable from a slow one, especially if it were to hit us and transfer to us its kinetic energy, which is proportional to the square of its speed. By “timing” the motion of a moving object, we are really observing the simultaneous cyclic motion of a clock as it ticks in space, whilst convincing ourselves that we are measuring the passing of time. The movement of the clock is only one of an infinite number of events taking place co-dynamically with the motion which we believe we are timing.
  2. Clocks and other oscillators.
    The simple pendulum is one of the most common physical oscillators, originally used to provide the timing mechanism for the majority of clocks. For small amplitudes, its motion is simple harmonic, its speed and accelerations varying sinusoidally with its distance moved. The so-called period of oscillation of the pendulum is quite constant and is given by the expression, Period = 2 × π × √(L/g). Therefore, a pendulum of length 0.2485 m has a period of oscillation of approximately one second. This apparent period of one second can be exactly co-dynamically matched by a particle travelling at a uniform speed of 1 m/s for a distance of one metre, or by light travelling at c m/s over a distance of c metres. The period of this pendulum can therefore be expressed without reference to units of time but in units of length and speed. Its value is equal to approximately 0.3E9 m/c or 0.3 m/nc, the apparent duration of a particle travelling a distance of 0.3 m at a speed of 1 nc. This approach can be applied to all oscillating systems including atoms, electrons, photons, etc., whose periods may be expressed in the unit of metres per light speed (m/c) rather than the unit of seconds (s).
  3. Sequential events.
    If time does not exist as a real dimension, how can we describe what happens between any two events which are observed to occur in sequence? What happens between these two events if not the passing of time? If we are to abandon the time-based description of events occurring in sequence, how shall we otherwise describe that apparent duration which we undoubtedly perceive between the first event and the second event? The answer is simple. Over that perceived duration, all things in the universe are moving in space in countless sequences of events, and all their associated displacements per unit speed are incorrectly interpreted as the passing of time. There is no reason to believe that all these processes take place in some invisible dimension called time; all of these movements happen in space, not in time. Many of these movements may not be obvious in bodies which are ostensibly stationary but which are, nevertheless, vibrating constantly to some degree as are the atomic structures of all their constituent particles. Our awareness of this duration is inseparable from our own mental processes whose neural transmissions are, in themselves, some of the events which are co-dynamic with all other events comprising the perceived duration. The magnitude of the apparent duration between two events is conventionally expressed as simply the number of cycles of a standard oscillator, seconds of a clock, (s). It would be more meaningful to quantify this apparent duration by using the derived unit of distance travelled per unit speed of standardised uniform motion (m/c) co-dynamically spanning the two events.
  4. Days and years.
    This aspect of our perception of time is possibly the easiest one to redefine in terms of the cyclic motion of our planet about its own axis and around the sun. A day is simply one complete rotation of the earth at its constant angular speed. Its period of rotation of 24 hours can be expressed in the derived unit as approximately 25902E9 m/c or 25.9 km/nc. (1 km/nc ≈ 55.6 minutes). Similarly, the period of rotation of the earth around the sun of 1 year can be defined in the derived unit as approximately 9460.7 km/nc. Although it would be interesting to devise a new clock and calendar to accommodate the new units, the existing system will be perfectly adequate for everyday use until it is eventually superseded.
  5. Dynamic calculations.
    In addition to distance, speed and acceleration, dynamic calculations by definition involve time. Newton’s second law of motion relates force to change of momentum per unit time and is normally expressed in the form, Force = Mass × Acceleration. Now, just as speed can be expressed using the fundamental unit (c), acceleration can also be expressed in a similarly way, being defined as time rate of change of speed. As we have already demonstrated that time can be expressed as speed rate of change of distance in the derived unit of m/c, it follows that acceleration may be expressed in c per m/c, giving the derived unit of c²/m, without any need to involve a special unit of time currently involved in the derived unit of acceleration, m/sec².
  6. Chemical and biochemical processes.
    The rates of reaction of these processes have been conventionally described using ‘per second’ units of time. It is not so easy to visualise the duration of a chemical reaction in terms of length and speed as we have been able to do with oscillators. Nevertheless, if we view a chemical reaction as the bonding and separating of atomic structures, we can picture the relative movements of the atomic nucleii and electron states whilst energy is being transferred during the process. Even though we cannot actually see these dynamic motions within atoms, it is convenient in chemical calculations to describe the apparent durations of chemical processes in units of time. These movements of sub-atomic particles could, at least in principle, be described in terms of sequences of dynamic events in space, involving only distance and speed. There is no reason to suppose that some additional dimension called time is operative in these processes. We should content ourselves with the concept that the total time for a chemical reaction is the summation of m/c for the critical path sequence of inter-atomic and intra-atomic dynamic events comprising the reaction.
  7. Birth, aging and death of living things.
    Life is the collective term for all of the biological, chemical and physical processes taking place in each living individual from birth to death. We humans perceive this complex dynamic sequence of events to be a relatively slow one because our consciousness is normally diverted towards the millions of other occurrences which continually distract our attention from our own aging process. In other words, our own mental clock frequency is very high relative to the frequency of our biological decay process. Compared with the decay of some sub-atomic particles, the decay of our body is indeed very slow but, compared with the life of a star, it is but the twinkling of an eye. Our concept of time is very much linked to our concept of aging. We look back to childhood and forward to old age as if we were on some kind of conveyor belt of time (with a forward pointing arrow, no doubt). We should view the aging of our body as a biological decay process happening in space, not in time. It is a myriad of both sequential and co-dynamic life processes, all of which can be assigned an apparent duration. These apparent durations are derived purely from the speeds and distances involved within the chemical and physical reactions which, when taken all together, comprise our living organism. Alternative to the usual way of thinking of the average human lifespan in meaningless conventional units of time, it becomes more meaningful to think of it as a dynamic process occurring co-dynamically with approximately 72 orbits of the earth around the sun, 2.7 billion typical human heartbeats or 681170 km/nc derived units of time associated with any dynamic system.
  8. Scientific theories of astronomy, geology and evolution.
    All modern scientific theories incorporate the concept of time as if it were a real dimension. Astronomers pontificate about the age of the solar system, of distant galaxies and even of the whole universe. Whilst it is quite reasonable to imagine that certain sequences of events have led to the formation of stars, to assign an age to the whole universe is pure scientific arrogance. A much more credible view of the universe is the timeless one, in which all the material particles of the universe are undergoing continual change of relative distance and speed as a result of the external forces acting upon them, just as Newton so elegantly expounded. Scientific theories of geological and biological evolution, whilst being reasonably credible, inadvertently lend support to the concept of time as being a real entity without providing any evidence for it. For most of the sciences, however, whose proponents are not normally concerned with relativistic theories of time, it would be a fairly painless transition to change their unit of time from seconds to metres/c.
  9. Past, present and future.
    The now, or the present, can never really be experienced because of the delay in our human processing system. On becoming aware of something, it has already happened and has therefore become part of the past, even though we perceive it to be in the present. The past no longer exists, being no more than the set of all records and memories of previous sequences of events and, for this reason, it is completely absurd to believe that the past is somehow accessible to a time traveller. Similarly, the future is the set of all forthcoming sequences of events and, since these have not yet happened, it is equally absurd to believe that the future could be visited. The idea of past, present and future is entirely a human invention, as is the invention of time. The fact that neither the past nor the present nor the future exists is consistent with the assertion that time also does not exist.
  10. Relativistic hypotheses involving time.
    Students of Einstein will be aware that the concept of time is central to his theory of relativity. Einstein went a step further than the simple notion of absolute time, introducing novel ideas on the universal space-time continuum and the dilation of time associated with speed. Relativity unfortunately does not earn its keep as a theory. Considering the difficulties of even attempting to test the validity of relativity in our everyday lives, it places excessive demands of credulity on physicists and it promotes beliefs which are clearly phantastic, such as the belief in the eventual possibility of travelling through time. All clocks are physical oscillators, and their frequencies and amplitudes will inevitably change when placed in a different acceleration field. Whether we choose to axially accelerate a pendulum clock by placing it in an elevator, or to centripetally accelerate an atomic clock by flying it in a circular orbit around the earth, its frequency and amplitude must inevitably change to some extent based upon simple Newtonian mechanics. Similarly, it must also be theoretically true that our rate of aging changes slightly when we humans are accelerated, just as Relativity claims. The apparent distortion of time deduced from observations on accelerated clocks is entirely illusory. Only the speed rate of change of the clock amplitude, expressible in units of m/c, is being altered by the changing acceleration of the clock as it oscillates in space. It is absurd to suggest that either time or the frequency of a clock will change as a function of speed alone as this could only result from acceleration.
  11. Religious beliefs about the universe.
    A typical religious view of the universe depicts its creator, God, as being the eternal (timeless) overlord of a temporal universe who dispenses eternal (timeless) existences to worthy mortals after death. God is believed to have created the universe at some point in time in the dim and distant past, and it is even believed by some that he intends to destroy it at some suitable time in the future. It is curious how many people have no difficulty in accepting timeless existence as far as God is concerned, yet seem unable to transfer this concept to the universe itself. Man’s belief in the existence of time sits comfortably with his belief in the existence of a theistically created universe. In contrast to believing either in religion or in entropy, a much more tenable concept is that of an eternally transforming universe which has always existed and will always exist, dynamic but timeless.


Dynamic Calculations in the Alternative System of Units: Equivalents and Examples

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