An Odyssey of Time
 
Basic Concept: Time  is a component of the  measuring systems  used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events...
The perceptions of time differed across the ages and places . Linear Versus Cyclic Time   The modern historical scientists...
 
Vedic concept of time: The Vedic Calculation of Time:  The Vedic concept of time is cyclic, rotating in cycles of four yug...
 
Time travel:   is the concept of moving between different moments in time in a manner analogous to moving between differen...
<ul><li>Time travel and Physics: </li></ul><ul><li>This form of &quot;travel into the future&quot; is theoretically allowe...
<ul><li>Time Travel and Literature: </li></ul><ul><li>In literature, there are two methods of time travel: </li></ul><ul><...
<ul><li>Time and Alternative Universes: </li></ul><ul><li>Parallel universe  or  alternative reality  is a self-contained ...
 
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Sayantini Time

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Student Presentation made for the Sci-Fi course July 11-September 18 (2009) at Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore.

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Sayantini Time

  1. 1. An Odyssey of Time
  2. 3. Basic Concept: Time  is a component of the  measuring systems  used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify the motions of objects. Among prominent philosophers, there are two distinct viewpoints on time. One view is that time is part of the fundamental structure of the universe, a dimension in which events occur in sequence. Time travel , in this view, becomes a possibility as other &quot;times&quot; persist like frames of a film strip, spread out across the time line. Sir Isaac Newton subscribed to this realist view, and hence it is sometimes referred to as Newtonian time. The opposing view is that  time  does not refer to any kind of &quot;container&quot; that events and objects &quot;move through&quot;, nor to any entity that &quot;flows&quot;, but that it is instead part of a fundamental intellectual structure (together with space and number) within which humans sequence and compare events. This second view, in the tradition of Gottfried Leibniz and  Immanuel Kant , holds that  time  is neither an event nor a thing, and thus is not itself measurable nor can it be travelled.
  3. 4. The perceptions of time differed across the ages and places . Linear Versus Cyclic Time   The modern historical scientists' linear concept of time strikingly resembles the traditional Judaeo-Christian concept, and it strikingly differs from that of the ancient Greeks and Indians. The cosmological ideas of several prominent Greek thinkers included a cyclic or episodic time similar to that found in the Vedic literature of India. For example, we find in Hesiod's Works and Days a series of ages (gold, silver, bronze, heroic, and iron) similar to the Indian yugas (ages). In both systems the quality of human life becomes progressively worse with each passing age. In On Nature, Empedocles speaks of cosmic time cycles. In Plato's dialogues, there are descriptions of revolving time and recurring catastrophes destroying or nearly destroying human civilization. Aristotle said often in his works that the arts and sciences had been discovered many times in the past.
  4. 6. Vedic concept of time: The Vedic Calculation of Time:  The Vedic concept of time is cyclic, rotating in cycles of four yugas:                                   Satya-yuga: 1,728,000 human years                                    Treta-yuga: 1,296,000 human years                                    Dvapara-yuga: 864,000 human years                                    Kali-yuga: 432,000 human years This yuga cycle totaling 4.32 million years is also called a maha- or divya-yuga. One thousand such cycles, 4.32 billion years, make up one day of Lord Brahma, the demigod who governs the universe. Such a day of Brahma is called a kalpa. Each of Brahma's nights lasts as long as his day. Life is manifest on earth only during the day of Brahma. With the onset of Brahma's night, the entire universe is devastated and plunged into darkness. When another day of Brahma begins, life again becomes manifest. Each kalpa (day of Brahma) is divided into 14 manvantara periods, each lasting 71 yuga cycles. Preceding the first and following each manvantara period is a junction (sandhya and sandhyamsa respectively) the length of a Satya-yuga (1,728,000 years). Each manvantara period ends with a partial devastation and starts with a partial recreation of the universe. Brahma lives 100 years, consisting of 360 days and nights (the Vedic year is based on the cycles of the moon, not the sun). Thus Brahma lives 100 x 360 kalpas = 36,000 days plus 36,000 nights. In human years, Brahma's life span lies far beyond our power of imagination: 72,000 x 4,320,000,000 human years = 311,040,000,000,000 human years
  5. 8. Time travel:   is the concept of moving between different moments in time in a manner analogous to moving between different points in space, either sending objects (or in some cases just information) backwards in time to a moment before the present, or sending objects forward from the present to the future without the need to experience the intervening period (at least not at the normal rate). Some interpretations of time travel also suggest that an attempt to travel backwards in time might take one to a parallel universe whose history would begin to diverge from the traveler's original history after the moment the traveler arrived in the past. Although time travel has been a common plot device in fiction since the 19th century, and one-way travel into the future is arguably possible given the phenomenon of time dilation based on velocity in the theory of special relativity (exemplified by the twin paradox) as well as gravitational time dilation in the theory of general relativity, it is currently unknown whether the laws of physics would allow backwards time travel. Time travel has not been proven to be impossible or possible. Any technological device, whether fictional or hypothetical, that is used to achieve time travel is commonly known as a time machine.
  6. 9. <ul><li>Time travel and Physics: </li></ul><ul><li>This form of &quot;travel into the future&quot; is theoretically allowed using the following methods: </li></ul><ul><li>Using time dilation under the Theory of Special Relativity, for instance: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Traveling at almost the speed of light to a distant star, then slowing down, turning around, and traveling at almost the speed of light back to Earth (see the Twin paradox) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>*Using time dilation under the Theory of General Relativity, for instance: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Residing inside of a hollow, high-mass object; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Residing just outside of the event horizon of a black hole, or on the surface of a larger-than-earth mass object. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>*Additionally, it might be possible to see the distant future of the Earth using methods which do not involve relativity at all, although it is even more debatable whether these should be deemed a form of &quot;time travel&quot;: </li></ul>
  7. 10. <ul><li>Time Travel and Literature: </li></ul><ul><li>In literature, there are two methods of time travel: </li></ul><ul><li>The most commonly used method of time travel in science fiction is the instantaneous movement from one point in time to another, like using the controls on a CD player to skip to a previous or next song, though in most cases, there is a machine of some sort, and some energy expended in order to make this happen (like the time-traveling De Lorean in  Back to the Future  or the phone booth that traveled through the &quot;circuits of history&quot; in  Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure ). In some cases, there is not even the beginning of a scientific explanation for this kind of time travel; it's popular probably because it is more spectacular and makes time travel easier. </li></ul><ul><li>In  The Time Machine , H.G. Wells explains that we are moving through time with a constant speed. Time travel then is, in Wells' words, &quot;stopping or accelerating one's drift along the time-dimension, or even turning about and traveling the other way.&quot; To expand on the audio playback analogy used above, this would be like rewinding or fast forwarding an analogue audio cassette and playing the tape at a chosen point . </li></ul>
  8. 11. <ul><li>Time and Alternative Universes: </li></ul><ul><li>Parallel universe  or  alternative reality  is a self-contained separate reality coexisting with, or replacing, one's own. A specific group of parallel universes is called a  multiverse , although this term can also be used to describe the possible parallel universes that constitute physical reality. While the terms &quot;parallel universe&quot; and &quot;alternative reality&quot; are generally synonymous and can be used interchangeably in most cases, there is sometimes an additional connotation implied with the term &quot;alternative reality&quot; that implies that the reality is a variant of our own . </li></ul><ul><li>This concept was also found in ancient Hindu mythology, in texts such as the Puranas, which expressed an infinite number of universes, each with its own gods. Similarly in Arabic literature, &quot;The Adventures of Bulukiya&quot;, a tale in the  One Thousand and One Nights  ( Arabian Nights ), describes the protagonist Bulukiya learning of alternative worlds/universes that are similar but different to his own. In other cases, in both fantasy and science fiction, a parallel universe is a single other material reality, and its co-existence with ours . </li></ul><ul><li>While technically incorrect, and looked down upon by hard science-fiction fans and authors, the idea of another “dimension” has become synonymous with the term “parallel universe”. The usage is particularly common in movies, television and comic books and much less so in modern prose science fiction. The idea of a parallel world was first introduced in comic books with the publication of Flash #123 -  Flash of Two Worlds . </li></ul><ul><li>In written science fiction, “new dimensions” more commonly — and more accurately — refer to additional coordinate axes, beyond the three spatial axes with which we are familiar. By proposing travel along these extra axes, which are not normally perceptible, the traveler can reach worlds that are otherwise unreachable and invisible. </li></ul>
  9. 13. The End
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