Contemplating the Nature of Time

February 21, 2010

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A previous post explored the question of whether time has an objective existence. In this post, we continue this investigation in a more contemplative way. Consider, for example, the sound of a train passing by not far away. Our conventional and habitual way of interpreting such auditory phenomena is to imagine a thing called a […]

Symmetry, Invariance, and Objectivity

May 16, 2009

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Symmetry is intimately related to the idea of invariance, the persistence of something amidst change (e.g., changes in time, space, or perspective). This is also one meaning of objectivity. Thus, symmetry is a key to understanding the objective world, as is well known in physics. The basic idea here is not confined to the esoteric […]

Posted in: Philosophy, Science

The Empirical Emergence of Time and Space

March 22, 2009

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A keystone of modern science is the view that everything physical exists within time and space. Of course, these notions have themselves gone through radical revision, but they still form the basis for formulations of modern physics, and only recently have some theoretical physicists begun to consider the possibility that time and space might emerge […]

Posted in: Philosophy, Science

The Imaginary Collapse of the Wavefunction

March 22, 2009

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The so-called “collapse” of the wave function in quantum theory is often illustrated by the wave/particle duality. When a photon propagates through a double-slit apparatus, it behaves like a wave. Yet, if it is observed, the non-local wave is collapsed into a single localized particle. However, both theory and experiment show that this is not […]

Posted in: Philosophy, Science