Q: If a photon doesn’t experience time, then how can it travel?

Physicist: It’s a little surprising this hasn’t been a post yet.

In order to move from one place to another always takes a little time, no matter how fast you’re traveling.  But “time slows down close to the speed of light”, and indeed at the speed of light no time passes at all.  So how can light get from one place to another?  The short, unenlightening, somewhat irked answer is: look who’s asking.

Time genuinely doesn’t pass from the “perspective” of a photon but, like everything in relativity, the situation isn’t as simple as photons “being in stasis” until they get where they’re going.  Whenever there’s a “time effect” there’s a “distance effect” as well, and in this case we find that infinite time dilation (no time for photons) goes hand in hand with infinite length contraction (there’s no distance to the destination).

At the speed of light there's no time to cover any distance, but there's also no distance to cover.

At the speed of light there’s no time to cover any distance, but there’s also no distance to cover.  Left: regular, sub-light-speed movement.  Right: “movement” at light speed.

The name “relativity” (as in “theory of…”) comes from the central tenet of relativity, that time, distance, velocity, even the order of events (sometimes) are relative.  This takes a few moments of consideration; but when you say that something’s moving, what you really mean is that it’s moving with respect to you.

Everything has its own “coordinate frame”.  Your coordinate frame is how you define where things are.  If you’re on a train, plane, rickshaw, or whatever, and you have something on the seat next to you, you’d say that (in your coordinate frame) that object is stationary.  In your own coordinate frame you’re never moving at all.

How zen is that?

Everything is stationary from its own perspective.  Only other things move.

Everything is stationary from its own perspective.  Movement is something other things do.  When you describe the movement of those other things it’s always in terms of your notion of space and time coordinates.

The last coordinate to consider is time, which is just whatever your clock reads.  One of the very big things that came out of Einstein’s original paper on special relativity is that not only will different perspectives disagree on where things are, and how fast they’re moving, different perspectives will also disagree on what time things happen and even how fast time is passing (following some very fixed rules).

When an object moves past you, you define its velocity by looking at how much of your distance it covers, according to your clock, and this (finally) is the answer to the question.  The movement of a photon (or anything else) is defined entirely from the point of view of anything other than the photon.

One of the terribly clever things about relativity is that we can not only talk about how fast other things are moving through our notion of space, but also “how fast” they’re moving through our notion of time (how fast is their clock ticking compared to mine).


The meditating monk picture is from here.

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149 Responses to Q: If a photon doesn’t experience time, then how can it travel?

  1. The Physicist The Physicist says:

    @Hubert pellikaan
    Quantum teleportation is remarkable, but is definitely not an instantaneous “action over distance”. There’s an old post that talks about it here. Thankfully, teleportation (as a technique) is simple enough that it’s more or less understandable.

  2. Enn Norak says:

    Everything experiences time but everything does not have a clock that can accurately measure the passage of time. For the vast majority of observers, time dilation is nothing but an illusion relative to their own clock based on mathematical conclusions from observational illusions about motion and distance.

    We really have to investigate the possibility that photons themselves experience a very slow loss of energy due to a tiny amount of hysteresis between the magnetic and electrical components of electromagnetic radiation such as light. We might be surprised to learn that cosmic redshift due to that loss may be large enough to overwhelm a blueshift due to distant galaxies actually moving closer to us rather than further apart.

    The conclusion then would be that, notwithstanding an observed net redshift, we are already in the process of a big crunch instead of the widely believed accelerating cosmic inflation.

    The concept of space is not a tangible real thing and cannot have any properties that allow it to expand , twist, contract etc. Space is simply a concept that allows us to visualize the relative positions of matter, energy, forces, fields, quantum particles and stuff yet to be discovered in an otherwise infinitely large volume of emptiness..

  3. Tero says:

    I just can’t think universe as net that is collapsing or expandimg. I see that what we are able to observe seems like there is a starting point which is now thought as a big bang. Just like seems photon does not experience time. I would say if we see universe as net with beginning and the end, it would have limits. What we now say it is a time how far we see. So most distant calaxies seems to be certain time at past that we say is somewhere after big bang. But let’s say if we are in the center area, it probably has something to do how we are able to observe space. Not actual facts of space (collapsing or expanding). I don’t know what did happen to general space time theory. But maybe it has more to do with the fact in where do we observe a space. And only place we can observe is near earth. If we look at some calaxy, as far as I know, we have only information is calaxy moving further away or towards us. Though I don’t know actual details is there also measurements galaxy moving left, right, up and down direction in space. Or is it just further and towars information estimated from light etc. And if it is from light shifts, do we really know is direction of movement only thing effecting the light shift.

    As example used to explain this is a ambulance coming toward us and going away from us. We can hear difference in sound frequence. But if we take time to that as well. So play sound in different speed (ambulance coming toward or going away). It is not clear anymore from sound to hear is ambulance coming or going or staying still.

  4. Enn Norak says:

    Space is a concept of infinite empty volume with no identifiable center and no borders. Time also had no beginning and will never end. Everything that exists in space has always existed in one form or another. A period of time such as a decade, or century, or an epoch can be said to have a beginning and an end. When one defined period ends, another period of time begins. When we speak about our universe beginning at the moment of the big bang, we are really referring to the beginning of a period during which our universe began to expand from a very tiny “singularity”. The period immediately prior to the big bang ended with a big crunch.

    We may be in an endless cycle of big crunches and big bangs or there may even be many universes (multiverse) with some big bangs occurring when two or more universes collide.

  5. Barry Foster says:

    I think that when a photon “exits” matter what really happens is that nothing really exits but a “vibration” occurs in spacetime. This vibration expands in a spherical way until the surface meets matter and immediately the vibration collapses into the matter giving the sensation of a quantum of light. Thus, if single “photon” was emitted, and observer B was just behind observer A so that the spherical front met A first, observer B would not “see” the photon.

  6. Orien says:

    Quite an interesring way of putting it. But! Whether ruminating or discussing time, time travel, space, space travel, matter, energy, light, light speed and/or any combination of them, it’s like shoveling smoke against the wind. Without the super glue of imagination none of them hang together. Since no human, not even an Einstein or a Tesla could answer those questions, give them your brest shot. Until someone comes along with a tangible and concrete answer, the human brain while composed of multiple billions of neurons and non-neuronal cells can as yet do little more than guess or speculate.

  7. The Physicist The Physicist says:

    And then verify or refute those guesses and speculations experimentally.

  8. Tero says:

    Yes there are small parts still to be discovered. Could also say mass requires time travel of particles or small pieces. Let’s say without a mass, all would move at speed of light to every direction (chaos). But when we take mass, tiny particles start to time travel near mass. Delay the time. So particles would return time and time again and create same time again and again making mass possible to exist.

    If thinking like this, in emptynes there would be chaos and time would be superfast. So there would be only randomness. Then at random particles would create mass and start to slow down time by doing the time travel so basically repeat movement in speed that would create cycle of time. All the way to the black hole which would be another point where is almost none random movement and particle are cycling almost infinite times at same time. Though also if thinking further could mass be born by particles moving through space time so that same particle would multiply by traveling back in time again and again multiplying and starting to create a mass.

  9. Enn Norak says:

    Chaos is a description of real tangible stuff located in space that is behaving in an unpredictable chaotic way due to helter-skelter forces acting on it. Pure empty space by itself is not a real tangible thing — it’s just a concept of empty volume where real chaotic stuff can be located.

    If you take all energy, matter, forces, fields and stuff yet to be discovered out of space you are left with complete homogenous nothingness which cannot possibly be described as chaotic.

  10. Orien Rigney says:

    In answer to the Physicist: What is found to be without question scientifically concerning all of the above is still only a search mission for answers. While we know different speeds of light under controlled conditions, none fit a category demanding they remain unquestionable. Time is still an unknown factor other than as we perceive it to be. What I mean is, how do we compare the life cycle of an ameba to that of a giant sequoia, a human or turtle? How and why the differences, There are no concrete answers. What is pliable living flesh and bone when compared to a stone or fossil that has been in the earth millions or perhaps even billions of years? No! Without bringing something into the mix far greater than all of its parts, we best let the guessing games go on.

  11. Tero says:

    Sure all is seeking. And quessing like a big bang, in area of physic where something can be calculated and be seen as fact. But example empty space and chaos and again what can come from chaos. If we say that things born randomly. More we have empty space, more likely something like chaos will exist there. We can say it is totally random, but also there might be some forces effecting the change when do things start to happen. It sounds quite clear that deeper the empty space is, more likely there can be activity. But also would sound clear that if materia conditions in black hole we accept as idea, why the opposite, emptyness, we dont see as opposite compared to black hole.

    Now we say materia to build universe came from big bang. I can say materia comes from chaos happening in empty space. Gas, stars and there forward to galaxies. Again if materia starts to form in emptyness, materia would need to form back to small particles we dont yet know well. And that would be in black hole. Though it would sound too simple. From emptyness as we see empty space, materia would start to build to hevier forms. And at the end collapse to small particles in black hole again. And random effect of the smallest particles would create the space as we see it.

    Again back to time and life cycle. What would be the time. It would be a life cycle of materia created with great random effect. But materia itself (like rocks) would have less random factor. As those would be built in time. Meaning steps galaxies are born. Starting from random gas cloud. So time would be built with series of things needs to happen.

    If we think again big bang. Example space would start to collapse. What would that mean in practise. Mass would start to increase. And in any current knowledge that is not possible. Basically space can’t expande or collapse. It can do that in area we observe it. I just can’t get it how big band is accepted as best theory to explain space. It is just the same as say earth was created in seven days. Anyway current knowledge show there are small parrticles those will behave in random way. And in the way we don’t understand. And there are materia we quite much understand. Time is nothing, basically a concept that tells us how materia does stay versus chaos as example. And heavier materia is, more stable it is. And somehow that is effecting also all materia near heavy materia.

    Interesting though as it is quite difficult to prove example particle movement in empty space where no gravity exist. As from gravity how do we know how it is effecting to particles in size we don’t know much but think exists. Though best way to prove example that galaxies are born from empty space would be to locate a calaxy or punch of stars from empty space. Where we could say gas has not blown there from blown supersun as example. Or appeared there from big bang where infinite amount of gas was exploded in infinite small amount of time to infinite space.

  12. Found a reference to quantun teleportation as depicted below.
    I see this as evidence that light is simultaneously at the beginning and the end of its “travel” so there is no time (and place?) difference between both places where the foton is. That is for the foton itself. For the observers c would apply making the speed a number and non infinite. For the massless amongst us there is a kind of infinite speed. And no, the ones that carry mass can not attain c or infinite speed. That makes sense in a way. In E=1/2mv2 there will be needed a lot of energy to get your rocket producing c at the speed dial. To get instantanity you will need infinite energy.

    Here is the thing about teleportation:
    Physicists at the University of Geneva have succeeded in teleporting the quantum state of a photon to a crystal over 25 kilometers of optical fiber.

    The experiment, carried out in the laboratory of Professor Nicolas Gisin, constitutes a first, and simply pulverises the previous record of 6 kilometres achieved ten years ago by the same UNIGE team. Passing from light into matter, using teleportation of a photon to a crystal, shows that, in quantum physics, it is not the composition of a particle which is important, but rather its state, since this can exist and persist outside such extreme differences as those which distinguish light from matter. The results obtained by Félix Bussières and his colleagues are reported in the latest edition of Nature Photonics.

    Quantum physics, and with it the UNIGE, is again being talked about around the world with the Marcel Benoist Prize for 2014 being awarded to Professor Nicolas Gisin, and the publication of experiments in Nature Photonics. The latest experiments have enabled verifying that the quantum state of a photon can be maintained whilst transporting it into a crystal without the two coming directly into contact. One needs to imagine the crystal as a memory bank for storing the photon’s information; the latter is transferred over these distances using the teleportation effect.

    Teleporting Over 25 Kilometres

    The experiment not only represents a significant technological achievement but also a spectacular advance in the continually surprising possibilities afforded by the quantum dimension. By taking the distance to 25 kilometres of optical fibre, the UNIGE physicists have significantly surpassed their own record of 6 kilometres, the distance achieved during the first long-distance teleportation achieved by Professor Gisin and his team in 2003.

    Memory After Triangulation

    So what exactly is this testing of quantum entaglement and its properties? One needs to imagine two entangled photons -in other words two photons inextricably linked at the most infinitesimal level by their joint states. One is propelled along an optical fibre (the 25 kilometres mentioned earlier), but not the other, which is sent to a crystal. It is a bit like a game of billiards, with a third photon hitting the first which obliterates both of them. Scientists measure this collision. But the information contained in the third photon is not destroyed -on the contrary it finds its way to the crystal which also contains the second entangled photon.

    Thus, as Félix Bussières the lead author of this publication explains, one observes “that the quantum state of the two elements of light, these two entangled photons which are like two Siamese twins, is a channel that empowers the teleportation from light into matter”.

    From there, it is a small step to conclude that, in quantum physics, the state takes precedence over the ‘vehicle’ – in other words an item’s quantum properties transcend classical physical properties. A step that maybe now one can take.

    Explore further: Picturing Schrodinger’s cat: Quantum physics enables revolutionary imaging method

    More information: Quantum teleportation from a telecom-wavelength photon to a solid-state quantum memory, Nature Photonics, DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2014.215

    Journal reference: Nature Photonics search and more info website

  13. Enn Norak says:

    Re photons, there is speed, yes; however there is no way a photon can travel any actual distance instantly. That is one of the problems with the theory of relativity. Instant travel is nothing more than the result of a mathematical calculation that does not correct a flaw in the theory.

  14. Orien Rigney says:

    To Hubert: There is no denying that a lot can be said for teleportation. But I see no way that a physical piece of information such as a photon can be everywhere at once. Our own sun is one such example. The light from it to reach earth takes over eight minutes to make the 93 million mile journey. Pulsars, making trips of billions of light years and rotating at regular speeds in the u/sec range showing their energy (light) as they pulse.

  15. Well its a thought this instanteous thing, derived from that the obesrved speed of light is alway c, whatever the speed of the observer. at 99,9% of c, the observed speed of light is still c.
    On the other hand this entanglement of foton airs facilitates information travel instantaneously, so at infinite speed. When you see infinite as “speed is non applicable since there is no time” then you get a really weird universe where all kinds of fenomena have time and speed, and others dont have these. A large bunch of wires with a lot of knots in it or so….!?

  16. Tero says:

    Could I say this more like cloning. Let’s say I would like to teleport myself to other planet. So I could not send mass as it can’t trval at speed of light. But I would send information at speed of light. And that information would not get older when it travels through space and I would be cloned at same age to other planet. But from where I observe cloning it would not be instant. Again from end point information would be seen first time when information received. From outside there would be delay in cloning and that would be the time information travels from start point to end point. But for the clone itself it would feel cloning was instant. Again to outside observer how exact time of cloning could be defined. As information trvalling to observer would take time as well. And if observer would be behind the clone, could see clone at same time then original.

    For the zero time teleport there would need to be channel passing information faster then light. What is I think what now is thoughted have been done and as general concept of wormhole.

    Again interesting does light and information get older. Would see as point when most distant items of space is studied. If now seems there is a beginning. But can that also be the limit we can observe in space and time.

  17. Emmington says:

    I sitll don’t quite understand;
    Since it moves at the speed of light,it is (from what I’ve understood) not experiencing time,but how then would it be affected by spacial (is that even a word?) changes that take place as it travels,example;
    1.Photon leaves star
    2.Photon is heading towards pohotn detector located at earth
    3.The moment the photon leaves the star,its path to the photon detector is unobstructed
    4.Once the photon has left the star/its source and is heading to the photon detecor located some distance away from it,some ( a human) places an opaque object infront of the photon detector.

    Here is where I dont get it;
    1.The photon doesnt experience time,hence it take a “snapshot” of the universe as it leaves the star for the photon detector.
    2.We know for a fact that it travles at a finite speed (speed of light) and that it doesn’t reach the detecor instantenously.
    3.We place the opaque object infront of the detector AFTER the photon has left the star (its quite a distance away,so it would take several minutes for it to reach the detecor anyway),hence blocking it’s path to the detector.

    Now the weird thing;
    The photon doesn’t experience time,hence for it,nothing should have (could have?) changed since it left the star and continued towards the detecor,so the path to the detector should remain unobstructed (as we couldn’t have place the opaque object infront of the detecor,since that action would take time to accomplish).

    From our perspective however,the photon travels at a finite speed,so there was plenty of time to block its path.

    So how do objects traveling at the speed of light experience (outside) changes that take time,given that they don’t experience tiem themselves?

  18. Enn Norak says:

    Anything that moves, whether in the form of a wave or particle must experience time because velocity is distance divided by time i.e. time is distance divided by velocity.

    It is known that the speed of light is invariable and it is known that the Doppler effect shifts the frequency of light as seen by an observer in motion relative to the source.

    Length contraction and time dilation are mere illusions only to be outdone by the concept of spooky entanglement. Create the right mathematical formula and one can claim that we do not really exist. And then the creator of such formula will say “my formula has the best fit to what we know from empirical evidence”.

  19. Moses Zeitouny says:

    we all agree that light or a photon that carry the electromagnetic force has no mass, and according to Relativity theory E=mc2, and where m=0 E=0, so the No time effect is the real effect of E=0, and it means that also time=0 where time is Stand still for a photon, but it is running if WE did calculate it from our view or relative to us. the real answer of the question asked above is that the Photon itself does not experience time, but we see that it is experience time because we as a whole galaxy that definitely has MASS are moving in universe so we experience the time because we have a MASS. so i guess everything has a mass has an energy and==> has time and vice verca no mass no energy no time. this is my thoughts and i’m guessing. thank you

  20. Enn Norak says:

    We can not be certain that photons have no mass. That is what they used to say about neutrinos but scientists now agree that neutrinos have a very tiny mass. Photon mass may be so small that it is not measurable with current techniques. As for time 0, whenever an event occurs before or after another event, there is elapsed time no matter how small. Elapsed time can never be zero. Mathematicians can conjure up formulae where time appears to be zero but in reality elapsed time can never be zero.

  21. Orien RRigney says:

    As Enn says, if a bit of matter exists; it likely has mass of some kind. If it can be proven that photons have absolutely no mass, then perhaps it could be said that they do not equate to time as we understand it; but exist as a freaky phenomenon of nature much as the: wave, particle duality.

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  23. J. Honaker says:

    Light is a particle wave. But the particles (photons) don’t exist the same way hydrogen atoms or carbon or any other basic element, they do not persist in time. Actually, it may be that all matter does not actually exist in time in the way we perceive, but rather we observe it existing, therefore it does exist. The light from distant stars does not consist of the same photons that we actual see… however the effect of the energy wave that we observe was generated by that star. This is the energy wave that calls into existence the instances of photons we see, but these photons do not travel. They exist and they do not exist… Think of the light as a wave in the ocean, we observe the wave by its effect on the sea water around it… that wave may end up on a shore thousands of miles away, but it does not consist of the same water. Ok water does move, but bear with me…. Photons however do not move, because they have no time to move…. at the speed of light, there is no time to move, instead the photon is an “momentless instant of influence” by the light wave. Therefore photons are not like many marbles bumping one to another transferring momentum from one to the next… because by the “time” one photon is called into existence by the light energy wave, the “previous” photon in the chain has ceased to exist. Now, many argue that it is same photon, it existed at point A, stop existing and exists at point B and so on. I think the only thing that continues is the wave itself, the photons are simply instances of photons as the wave travels. The photon exists and does not exist… perhaps neither do we. Perhaps we are frozen light…. only persisting in that we observe that we exist.

  24. Orien Rigney says:

    The puzzle of the photon is somewhat like Rita Brown’s hyperbole on insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.
    The patterns of visual light must make even the staunchest of physicists contemplate eternity and wonder about the possibility of a magnetic universe?

  25. Enn Norak says:

    I cannot accept Honaker’s analogy of waves on an ocean. If a star suddenly blows up billions of light years from earth, then we would eventually see a corresponding flash of light for some duration because the packet of photons that left the exploding star would eventually reach us. The analogy of an ocean with waves implies that there is an ether which Michaelson and Morley disproved long ago. Photons are mysterious as they can behave as both particles and waves. The general assumption is that photons have zero mass but some experiments result in photons that behave as particles as having a very small mass. It appears to me like photons are a very strange form of self-propagating electromagnetic waves. The question is whether or not they can keep moving forever in free space. I suspect not because I suspect there is a very small amount of hysteresis between the electrical and magnetic components of photons such as light.

  26. Orien Rigney says:

    I agree Enn. If in fact photons did not experience time, why do we wait 9 billion light years to view an exploding star/nova after it has happening in that time frame? You’d think that if photons were everywhere at once, or time had no influence upon them, we would see the explosion as an instantaneous show of light. Guessing means we like to have it both ways. And waves? Only in a liquid of sorts.

  27. Douglas Ek says:

    Doesn’t the light photons from the sun take 8 minutes to travel to our eyes on earth? So then photons does experience time. My question is if you went faster than light out in space towards darkness wouldn’t everything go black even behind you because your traveling faster than the speed of light? And for those who say that is impossible. Well if you went down into a black hole wich gravity can pull things up to or might even pull it faster than speed of light at some point inside the blackhole which we will never know because we dont know how deep a black hole is. And i think that a blackhole can be infinantly deep because the closer you get to the core the more matter around you would be fighting with gravity to get closer aswell so you would go slower and slower towards the core. If time and space is the same thing and it gets bent and sucked into a blackhole wouldn’t that mean that time and space gets compressed with you as well? So you would be compressed with the space and time in the black hole which actually could be a compressed version of our universe you wouldnt experience any time change or space change because both of you get compressed and that time and space would still be there in that blackhole leading to a new universe down in the core. Sick

  28. Enn Norak says:

    I agree that if you were moving ahead of and in the same direction as a packet of light photons but at a speed faster than the speed of light, you would never be able to see the light behind you since that packet of photons is limited to the speed of light and the distance by which you are ahead is aways increasing.

    A black hole, no matter how large still has finite dimension so it cannot be infinitely deep in reality. That is not to say that it cannot be observed to be “infinitely” deep if the observation is an illusion or if weird mathematics concerning black holes produce a result of infinite depth.

    Space and time are different types of dimension and are not the same thing. Time moves forward eternally and had no beginning and will never end. Totally empty space is infinitely large. It is matter and energy and other stuff yet to be discovered that change their respective spacial dimensions over time. The total universe itself is cyclical in the sense that stuff within it experiences cycles of big crunches and big bangs.

    The challenge for long-term human survival is to inhabit regions of the total universe that are not in the violent throws of a big crunch or a big bang at any particular point in time.

  29. Orien Rigney says:

    I like comparing time to the workability of black holes and some wacky hypotheticals I have about these holes. While “Black Holes” are no laughing matter, their function is in fact; still mostly hypothetical. When an esteemed and renowned physicist such as Stephen Hawking changes his philosophical and mathematical take on these holes and starts making changes as to his findings, it makes one wonder. I’m no physicist, and have no proof: but I believe black holes are nature’s way of allowing expended matter to be instantly returned to the core of creation. It has been theorized that they are attached to worm holes which instantly lead to other universes. Why not then might they be considered perhaps a type of conduit for this return trip of matter as it expires into its antithesis? Time inside black holes could be instantaneous for this transfer, making light speed seem insignificant for the purpose? This is of course all hair brained theory, but to my way of thinking, our universe is, cyclical, unending and instantly refurbished each time a new big bang begins. Below is Professor Hawking’s altered proposal on the “event horizon” of black holes.

  30. Tony Norris says:

    One theory I have.

    Everything in space is moving away from each other correct?

    If somthing is moving, is uses energy, what energy is being exerted?

    My theory, everything is splitting apart using itself (its own mass) as energy to propel it faster and further outwards, when it finally expenses itself there will be nothing, and light will be non existent as well as time.

  31. Enn Norak says:

    Everything in the total universe is not moving away from each other. There are very likely many universes in an infinite total universe. In some areas everything is moving away from each other and in other areas everything is coming together in the process of a big crunch. The real fun begins when two expanding universes collide. Then enough gravitationally bound matter will come together at the point of collision to start a big crunch which will inevitably lead to a big bang and the birth of a new universe.

    All the matter and energy that exists today in the total universe has always existed in one form or another and can never be destroyed. Time will continue to march forward forever as it always has. There was no “beginning” and there will never be an end where everything in the total universe vanishes. Lets face it, we are in an endless spin cycle.

  32. Orien Rigney says:

    You’re not alone with that thought Tony. Several top notch scientist have a theory that matter will continue breaking down until the universe reaches 0 degrees K, to where everything will freeze over and stop functioning. The only question I have is this, if matter entails everything, including animal and plant kingdoms, where did it all come from to begin with? That is my only reason to believe the universe to be cyclical and eternal.

  33. Orien Rigney says:

    You could be absolutely right Tony. Several renowned scientists have come to this very same conclusion. I must say however, other than the calculus to hammer out a few figures and physics to give it credence, it is as most ‘hypotheticals”, just that. The theory has a lot going for it except for one thing, where in the world did all of this matter originate? Personally, I like to think of our universe as having a beginning brought about by some supreme entity”?” and remaining cyclic in nature, eternally. That doesn’t make me a religious nut case, but in the simplest sense, a pragmatist.

  34. Enn Norak says:

    The universe or, more correctly the the total universe (our universe may not be the only universe) never had a beginning and will never end. Everything that exists today has always existed in one form or another. Stuff in infinite space can change form, e.g. matter to energy and vice versa, but can never be destroyed.

  35. Enn Norak says:

    It seems that people cannot wrap their heads around an infinite world with no beginning and no end. The total universe can never be fully explored or fully explained even if humans themselves evolve to the point of being able to live forever. People seem to look for the easy way out and seek a mysterious divine explanation which itself begs more questions than answers.

  36. Orien Rigney says:

    Parallel Universes? Multi-Dimensional Universes? Universes Inside Universes? With hypotheticals up the kazoo, it’s no wonder science has hit a snag in trying to define ideas about these “New theories”. While I can’t say such hypos aren’t possible, the link below is made to order for those who believer such theories.

  37. Orien Rigney says:

    Please don’t let my use of the phrase: “Supreme Entity” mislead you into thinking I’m a bible thumper Enn. How this universe came into being is irrelevent other than the fact, to become empirical it must have had a source. I believe the universe is eternal, yet has an occasional beginning and end? While I theorize each cycle to take possibly hundreds of billions of years to complete, it is also the reason I believe that matter has an antithesis, thus allowing this cyclic process to happen.

  38. Enn Norak says:

    We can identify different epochs within the infinite history of the total universe and each epoch can be placed in TIME with a beginning and and end. The end of one epoch marks the beginning of the next epoch. The bottom line is that an epoch or even a century or a decade has a beginning and an end but the total universe never had a beginning and will never end.

    If a universe experiences a big crunch followed by a big bang, that would be an excellent example of the “end” of one universe and the “beginning” of the another. That process involves a great deal of transformation of matter and energy but nothing actually disappears.

  39. Tero says:

    If light would travel with no time, we would see universe in real time. Now we see further away in history further away we look. So closer we look, more present we look. Now we see universe we can observe from earth is collapsing or expanding. If we turn this around, what if area close to earth would collapse or expand. How would we see that. If light would travel without time element, things would look different.

    So combination of time and distance is a bit tricky. When we look to another galaxy, do we look to the past or do we look far away. And if example milky way is collapsing, would that effect to the observations from other galaxies. So when we say universe is expanding, can’t we say vice versa that we are collapsing. Do we think too much that what we see is the whole truth.

    Let’s say we would travel to black hole and see universe while we move to black hole. If our time would slow down, also time we see history would change. So galaxy we would observe would seem like moving away. And universe would seem expand. Vice versa if we move away from black hole and time would speed up, universe would seem collapsing.

  40. Orien Rigney says:

    I have enjoyed our debate Enn. But for reasons which puzzles me, on occasion I either pose a question or give an answer to one that evidently does not follow protocol and in either case, seems to be denied or simply shuttled aside. Neither my questions or answers, to my knowledge have ever been condescending or inappropriate. If so, I wish some one would please tellme so that I may refrain from making such blunders in the future or at best, realign my thought processes to meet this forums requirements. Please answer my inquiry. Thank You

  41. Enn Norak says:

    This discussion has been carried on for so long now that I am not sure which of my comments have failed to answer which questions. My concept of the total universe is one of several concepts out there. The idea that time had a beginning and will eventually end simply does not fit in with my view of the world. My apologies if my many comments have failed to answer a question from another reader’s point of view.

    If the question is about whether or not photons experience time, then my answer is that everything experiences time including photons. If the question is about the nature of time, then my answer is that time has to be viewed differently from spatial dimensions and that both time and space have always existed and will never end. There always was and there will always be an infinite amount of time. Space is an infinite realm with no boundaries. Everything that exists today has always existed in one form or another and can never be destroyed in the sense of becoming nonexistent.

  42. Pingback: Why in the world would Einstein suggest.... - Page 23

  43. Orien Riney says:

    Enn, my remark wasn’t directed toward you but forum protocol. Times are that I post questions or answers and they simply seem to disappear, nothing on your part. Perhaps it’s a mistake I am making that is causing them to be deleted? That being said, your theory and logic are no different than mine or anyone else’s. It’s strictly a thought process we are all gifted with, but with which some are gifted far better than others, just not including me. Cheers!

  44. Orien Riney says:

    Getting back to C., the link below impressed me simply because it doesn’t make sense to my way of thinking. My question is this : If light doesn’t experience time, but is yet a particle that abounds everywhere at once, why then isn’t there light all of the time?

  45. Orien Riney says:

    A little something to dwell on Enn. Since this universe has been around these many years (fourteen billion +?), I Think it reqires more than just the “Big Bang” approach. Having spent literally thousands of hours reading theory and essay from some of the greatest minds, I’m still not convinced of their vacillating hypotheses. Personally I think the universe is eternal in volume, yet under a constant but subtle change no one has yet detected or unable to define. By this I mean, for this universe to be eternal as a viable entity, matter itself must be cyclic and eternal in nature. While this reasoning can’t as yet be scientifically tested or accepted even in theory, it is quite possible that the process does happens. If it can be found that the smallest sub-particle of matter eventually dies or morph into an antithesis, quauqs; a cyclic universe as I view it may not be out of the question.

  46. gk says:

    if photon can’t experience time neutrinos emit tachyon pulse faster than light too have no time limits in quantum

  47. Orien Rigney says:

    Light? Does it experience time or does time experience light? Seeking an answer to this dichotomy puts all knowledge to the test. In a sense Einstein’s theory of general relativity, E=MC^2, leaves many scientist’s guessing. By this I mean, many times experiments are not possible using this equation to justify a finding. For instance, a photon supposedly experiences no time while traveling billions of light years. Yet we use “red shift” to calculate the distance by using the wave length shift of the photon. Why? Is something wrong with this method? If photons experience no time in their travel, why would there be a lengthening in their wave length? Did the photon simply grow tired of the travel, or is something missing in the equation, E=MC^2 ?

  48. Orien Rigney says:

    Tachyons, what? Not being a physicist by any stroke, or able to read the fine print of calculus other than diplomatically, gets me no where. Same goes with the Doppler Shift, (normally associated with a vacillating land speed) being used in conjunction with redshift to map distant galaxies. With white papers inundating patent offices daily, I wonder why we are not sending interstellar space craft out on a weekly schedule. And tachyons,? Below is a dissertation that likely made the author a million if he played his cards right. If you can believe all of this snake oil, bless you!

  49. Orien Rigney says:

    The link below probably describes best,”Redshift” and its use in determining a galaxys distance from earth. While it may never be a foolproof method of understanding how this universe moves or works, it’s likely the best yardstick we’ll ever have.

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