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Name: matt d carter
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Question:
Are there mathematical formulas for figuring out time? Or are there events in nature that time is based on if so name them?



Replies:
I'm not quite sure what you mean with 'figuring out time'; but from your second question I guess that you mean something like 'what is time actually?'.

Strictly speaking nobody really knows what the world '_is_' - we only know what our senses tell us, basically. The models of the world that make up the science that we call 'physics' seem to be very good, however, so the real world is probably not far from the theories of physics.

According to physics, time is a dimension in space. 'Dimensions' are 'directions' that are 'independent': a dimension sort of points 'out of' the part of space made up by the other dimensions. Think of our normal, 3-dimensional space: if you choose one direction you can draw a line that 'contains' this direction (imagine a direction as an arrow). An arrow that points away from the line is an independant direction. Two independent directions can only be contained in a plane - if you choose a direction that's independent of the plane, you'll get 3-dimensional space.

So what about time? Time is something different from the three dimensions I've already mentioned - intuitively you'd say that it's independent of space. On the other hand it has all the properties of a dimension: basically, it can be measured and you can think of time as having a direction (eg. from past to future). So in physics we think of time as the fourth dimension.

jan p anderson



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