Understanding what time is and its causality is not easy in part because it is something that cannot be seen or touched. For example some define it only in the abstract saying that is an invention of the human consciousness that gives us a sense of order, a before and after so to speak. In other words most do not perceived time as matter or space but as an irreversible physical, chemical, and biological change in its physical properties.
However this is in direct conflict with how physicists define it in terms of the physical properties of a space-time dimension.
For example Einstein believed as the following quote demonstrates that time was a rigid physical component of a space-time environment defined by both his Special and General Theories of Relatively.
“Since there exists in this four dimensional structure [space-time] no longer any sections which represent “now” objectively, the concepts of happening and becoming are indeed not completely suspended, but yet complicated. It appears therefore more natural to think of physical reality as a four dimensional existence, instead of, as hitherto, the evolution of a three dimensional existence.”
In other words according to Einstein the structure of space-time is ridge while the changes we perceive are merely an illusion similar to the illusion of change created in a flip book when one rapidly flips through its pages containing series of pictures that vary gradually from one page to the next.
However if one considered blocks of space-time as the pages of the flip book responsible for the illusion of change as Einstein did one still must still define the causality of the change on each page of that book which cannot be related to time if it is a ridge component of a space-time environment.
As mentioned earlier the idea of defining time terms of the physical properties of a space-time dimension conflicts with the abstract properties most associate with change.
Yet one could resolve this conflict while defining why changes occurs in each segment of a space-time environment if one can show that change and therefore time is an emergent property of the physicality most of us including physicists associate with space. In other words if one can define the causality of change in terms of the physical properties of space then one could merge the abstract sense of order that our consciousness feels it has with its physical properties.
However to do this one must be able to understand the causes of change associated with time in terms of the perceive physical properties of space and then determine if one can integrate them into a theoretical model that is consistent with all of the other properties of that environment.
Einstein gave us the ability to do this when he defined the energy associated with change in space-time environment in terms of the equation E=mc^2 and the constant velocity of light because that provided a method of converting a unit time in that environment to its equivalent in four *spatial* dimensions. Additionally because the velocity of light is constant he also defined a one to one quantitative and qualitative correspondence between his space-time universe and one made up of four *spatial* dimensions.
The fact that the equation E=mc^2 allows us to quantitatively derive energy in a space-time environment in terms of four *spatial* dimensions is the bases for assuming as was done in the article â€œDefining energyâ€ Nov 27, 2007 that all forms of change can be derived in terms of a displacement in a “surface” of a three-dimensional space manifold with respect to a fourth *spatial* dimension instead of one in a space-time manifold.
As mentioned earlier Einstein believed it is more natural to think of physical reality in terms of a four dimensional existence, instead of the evolution of a three-dimensional existence even though he did not define the causality of change in that environment.
However as was shown earlier the symmetry of his mathematics means that he not only defined that “reality” in terms of four dimensional space-time but also in four *spatial* dimensions.
This enables one to derive the causality of change most associate with time in terms of the physical properties of the spatial dimensions instead of its abstract ones.
For example one can observe how a displacement in the geometry of three-dimensional space cases change by watching water flowing over a dam.
Similarly if as was shown above one defines energy in terms of a spatial displacement in a “surface” of a three-dimensional space manifold with respect to a fourth *spatial* dimension instead of four dimensional space-time as was done in the article â€œDefining energyâ€ Nov 27, 2007 one can define the transfer of energy associated with change in terms of the “level’ each segment of three-dimensional of space has with respect to a fourth *spatial* dimension. In other words change can be defined as an emergent property of four *spatial* dimensions because as one moves though Einstein’s space-time environment each successive section of three-dimensional space would be at a different level with respect to a fourth *spatial* dimension.
Granted due to the symmetrical nature of the arguments presented here one could argue that space is an emergent property of time.
However it is more consistent with observations of our three dimensional environment to assume that the changes most associate with time have their causality in the geometry of space because as was mentioned earlier we can see how that geometry causes change whereas the same cannot be done with respect to time because of its abstract properties.
Copyright Jeffrey O’Callaghan 2015