The BLOCK Universe idea

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
How does everyone feel about the block Universe idea?

The idea that we exist as fixed paths through the (4 dimensional) block (worldlines)? 3-dimensional space 'moving' in 4th-d time.
That our births and deaths, as well as 'now', are equally 'existing' - are all real accessible 'locations'?
(This does not imply possible physical time travel).

That the whole course of the Universe is 'fixed' - from the BB (whatever the big bang was) or from before the BB, to whatever the 'end' may be. Also, a cyclic system is not ruled out.

Or do you disagree with my interpretation?


Cat :)
 

rod

Oct 22, 2019
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Cat, interesting post, glad to see you back :) space.com has reported a number of recent articles on the Big Bang.

What is cosmology? Definition & history, https://forums.space.com/threads/what-is-cosmology-definition-history.54118/

The Big Bang: What really happened at our universe's birth?, https://forums.space.com/threads/the-big-bang-what-really-happened-at-our-universes-birth.53947/

The history of the universe: Big Bang to now in 10 easy steps, https://forums.space.com/threads/the-history-of-the-universe-big-bang-to-now-in-10-easy-steps.53876/

Our expanding universe: Age, history & other facts, https://forums.space.com/threads/our-expanding-universe-age-history-other-facts.53627/

Your post said, "The idea that we exist as fixed paths through the (4 dimensional) block (worldlines)? 3-dimensional space 'moving' in 4th-d time."

All the discussions I listed show the BB model uses GR with modified metrics today that is 4D space. There is a hyperspace dimension used to explain expanding space and redshifts today in cosmology. How does 4D space alter your concept here?
 
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rod

Oct 22, 2019
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FYI, I found this definition using MS BING on block universe theory. "The block universe theory which is supported by special relativity, claims time isn’t the thing that we experience. According to theory, our universe is a block that contains everything in anywhere and anytime. In this context, past, present, and future are all real at the same time."

One problem, what was reported at space.com on cosmology (What is cosmology?). Space and time are created everywhere, not a single point in the BB model. However, 4D space creation was not discussed, the hyperspace dimension used in the math and it does not appear in the block universe idea from what I can tell either.

Setting aside 4D space, space.com report on What is cosmology raised the issue "there is no practical way to observe them" when discussing ideas like other universes, etc. This applies to the block universe view too.
 
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Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Rod, thank you for your responses. As you know from my post, I am trying to learn here and, therefore, I welcome your informed responses.

I am aware of the general posts on BB et cetera, but I am concentrating precisely on the block idea itself. This is, of course, fundamental and 'oft referred to. I am not aware of precise comments on the 'existence' of current birth, life and death in a worldline, but please feel free to fill out my limited knowledge in this area.

Cat :) :) :)
 
Rod, thank you for your responses. As you know from my post, I am trying to learn here and, therefore, I welcome your informed responses.

I am aware of the general posts on BB et cetera, but I am concentrating precisely on the block idea itself. This is, of course, fundamental and 'oft referred to. I am not aware of precise comments on the 'existence' of current birth, life and death in a worldline, but please feel free to fill out my limited knowledge in this area.

Cat :) :) :)
Hi Catastrophe, I'm pleased to discover that you are still alive and kicking. I'm still recuperating after contracting the Omicron strain of Covid, but seem to have weathered the worst of the storm, and now need to give my brain some exercise.
Any discussion relating to the nature of time is going to be difficult, as space, time, and gravitation are the least understood phenomena in existence. combining the three, or two, if you wish to consider space-time as a single phenomenon, means journeying deep into the realm of metaphysics where only thought experiments are possible, Hmm.. The Block universe theory is certainly difficult to comprehend. While considering block theory I revisiting my previous contemplations regarding a cyclic universe, and I stumbled across a possible solution regarding how such cycles could exist. As there is no true beginning, or end during a cycle. any point in a cycle can be considered as both the beginning and end of that cycle (No specific beginning or end of reality,) with all points in the cycle being equally real.)

Oops Having proof read what I have written so far, I'm wondering if I'm just approaching the block universe concept, from a different angle, I have certainly given myself something to think about. It is late now. but I look forward to getting back to you on this one, "at a reasonable hour"...
 

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
The block universe theory, where time travel is possible but time passing is an illusion - ABC News


According to the growing block universe theory of time the past and present both exist, and the future as yet does not. The present is an objective property ...
The theory · ‎Criticism
Eternalism (philosophy of time) - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Eternalism_(philosoph...


It is sometimes referred to as the "block time" or "block universe" theory due to its description of space-time as an unchanging four-dimensional "block", ...
 
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IG2007

"Don't criticize what you can't understand..."
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Happy to see you back, Cat. :)

To be really honest, I have once come across the concept of block universe but I haven't really studied it that well, so take my opinions with a pinch of salt.

First of all, I do not exactly grasp the concept, but the gist of it that I get from the wiki article that you posted is that, in a block universe, Julius Caesar crossing the rubicon exists alongside the Apollo moon landings alongside me typing this right now alongside you reading this.

Now, if I were to work from this statement, it does not even have any objective evidence to even take it as a hypothesis - only a philosophical idea instead. I will take that as a... start.

This idea does not match with my theory of reality, that is, in brief, the movement of particles leads to more movement of particles, and that leads to more and so on - a strict chronological idea of reality. And we can prove it, by objective evidence, for example, my memory remembers that I had woke up in the morning, and my current consciousness sense that I am currently typing and that those two are not happening at the same moment, because both of them directly contradict each other.

One might argue that it is because of the limitation of human consciousness that we are unable to see the true reality - but, unfortunately, science cannot rely upon anything else but human consciousness. :)
 
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I read this one, but will try and look at the other links later.

I find it too strange and illogical so far. For instance the article stated, "We also know how to travel into the past. We can do that by using wormholes, which are short cuts through space-time."

The word "know", IMO, should be objective-based as it is essentially knowledge, not speculation. We have zero knowledge of any existing wormholes, though they seem effective on paper. A common saying is that "nothing breaks on paper" and Einstein's comments about Lemaitre's expanding universe solution to GR are very powerful when he said that his math was fine but his physics "abomominable". :)

Worse for me is their idea that someone going back in time feeding animals would have no effect on the future. Ug, the well-known important test is what happens if the traveler in the past causes the death of his or her grandparents or parents before their own birth?

There is also the challenge this has to free will. If the future is established already, then all looks determimistic. It's surprising to me to see how quick many are to have this opinion with new science.
 
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Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Hi IG, Good to see you. The reason I took a 2 month holiday was to show that I do not care a flying aeroplane about some things. I did, of course, miss my friends here.

There are different versions of the block theory. Basically, it suggests that space time exists as a block, and that we have fixed worldlines (one version is not so clear about the 'future'). Thus our birth-now-death are all 'present' (pun intended).

I am about to start a thread on time. You can go first if you like. It is based on our mode of perception which filters and presents a 'now' because we cannot cope with the whole worldline at one go. The 'arrow of time', however, has a lot to do with entropy, and the fact that a broken glass does not reconstitute itself, however long you watch it.

Great to see you again, :) :) :)

Cat :)
 
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Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Helio, I totally agree. Time travel is not possible. It would totally upset entropy, and the Second 'Law' of Thermodynamics.

If you look back to #1, I never said that I agreed with it. I only asked how people thought about it.

I am trying to start some questions to stimulate response, and bring this place back to life a bit.

Cat :) :) :)
 
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IG2007

"Don't criticize what you can't understand..."
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Hi IG, Good to see you. The reason I took a 2 month holiday was to show that I do not care a flying aeroplane about some things. I did, of course, miss my friends here.
Aye, I too took a small hiatus for the same reason.

There are different versions of the block theory. Basically, it suggests that space time exists as a block, and that we have fixed worldlines (one version is not so clear about the 'future'). Thus our birth-now-death are all 'present' (pun intended).
That is something I just... can't imagine, to be honest, except if I am still getting the concept wrong.

I am about to start a thread on time. You can go first if you like. It is based on our mode of perception which filters and presents a 'now' because we cannot cope with the whole worldline at one go. The 'arrow of time', however, has a lot to do with entropy, and the fact that a broken glass does not reconstitute itself, however long you watch it.
Time is a strange thing, indeed, if it even is one (pun intended). The fact that it has boggled people for centuries and still bothers us today, speaks for itself.
The arrow of time is even stranger, why does it follow entropy in an ascending order? The arrow of time moving in an ascending order is not explicitly a law of Physics, it's just a convention to be honest but it behaves like it's a law. I think this might be a topic we might be talking about in the future forum. :)
 
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Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
IG, "
That is something I just... can't imagine, to be honest, except if I am still getting the concept wrong."

No, I have the same problem. Also, I am working on the time idea.

Cat :)
 
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IG2007

"Don't criticize what you can't understand..."
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Hello there, @phongvan, welcome to Space.com Forums! And your English is fine enough. :smile:

I am quite intrigued by Dr Bradford's hypothesis of "Cosmic Mass," it is interesting to think about. That's something I can imagine and believe. But, well, there are many objective evidences to suggest that the Universe runs in a chronological way of time, by the fact that we can see how each even leads up to the other. For example, at this moment, I am pressing the letters on my keyboard and I can see those same letters appearing on my screen, and before it appears on the screen, the electrical impulse that occurs when I press the key goes through the wire to my CPU and it processes it and then tells the RAM that I have typed that letter and then tells the monitor to show it. And after I click on "Post Reply", it will upload it to the Space.com Forums' server and you can see it now. There are even better examples of processes, such as, chemical reactions, mechanical machines etc.

So, what I am trying to say by all that is that each single event in this universe has a cause behind it, and nothing is random. And yes, another thing, entropy does actually increase with every single passing second. And yes, (yes, another "yes"), we do actually travel in time, with every passing second we travel a second forward into the future and turn it into the present.

I do not know what exactly Dr. Bradshaw said in his/her speech, but I would like to know how he/she tackled against these arguments.

And yes (yes, yes, another "yes"), welcome to Space.com Forums! :smile:
 

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
I think that the following has already been said in so many words, but this is my summary;

It has been suggested that all is predetermined, and already exists as world lines through a four-dimensional space-time, or "block".

It is further suggested that our understanding is somehow limited - assuming that we are unable to comprehend the entire worldline simultaneously - and that time is an illusion founded on this limitation. Thus we experience our abstraction as a 'travelling now'. If so, then we are unable to test the suggestion anyway.

Does that make it clearer or worse?

Cat :)
























;
 
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Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Here is an interesting article:


Here is the overview:

That mysterious flow by Paul Davies

OVERVIEW
Our senses tell us that time flows: namely that the past is fixed, the future undetermined, and reality lived in the present. Yet various physical and philosophical arguments suggest otherwise.
The passage of time is probably an illusion. Consciousness may involve thermodynamic or quantum processes that lend the impression of living moment by moment.

Cat :)
 
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Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Hello there, @phongvan, welcome to Space.com Forums! And your English is fine enough. :smile:

I am quite intrigued by Dr Bradford's hypothesis of "Cosmic Mass," it is interesting to think about. That's something I can imagine and believe. But, well, there are many objective evidences to suggest that the Universe runs in a chronological way of time, by the fact that we can see how each even leads up to the other. For example, at this moment, I am pressing the letters on my keyboard and I can see those same letters appearing on my screen, and before it appears on the screen, the electrical impulse that occurs when I press the key goes through the wire to my CPU and it processes it and then tells the RAM that I have typed that letter and then tells the monitor to show it. And after I click on "Post Reply", it will upload it to the Space.com Forums' server and you can see it now. There are even better examples of processes, such as, chemical reactions, mechanical machines etc.

So, what I am trying to say by all that is that each single event in this universe has a cause behind it, and nothing is random. And yes, another thing, entropy does actually increase with every single passing second. And yes, (yes, another "yes"), we do actually travel in time, with every passing second we travel a second forward into the future and turn it into the present.

I do not know what exactly Dr. Bradshaw said in his/her speech, but I would like to know how he/she tackled against these arguments.

And yes (yes, yes, another "yes"), welcome to Space.com Forums! :smile:
For those who would like information:

Microsoft Word - TotalEnergofUniverse (rickbradford.co.uk)

Cat :)
 
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That's interesting, at least until the statements started zipping over my head. I'm not clear on whether or not DE is truly negative energy. We suspect KE increases with distance, opposite that of gravity, as the paper notes, but we don't know why this is so. A rocket ship produces greater KE with distance, too, but at some expense. Could DE be similar somehow?

Until we get a reasonably good handle on DE, I doubt we should lean to heavily into the total energy of the universe is 0. BBT takes us back to those very early instants when temperatures soared into the trillions of degrees, so it's a little hard to net that to zero somehow.

I'm not even sure how much interest I have in this idea since I suspect it will circle right back to the question of what DE really is.
 
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Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Well, the opening paragraph states:

Is there such a thing as the Total Mass-Energy of the Universe ? Venture into this area only with the greatest circumspection. There are major technical barriers to a satisfactory conclusion. Some would say that this is an understatement and that actually it makes no sense to talk of the total mass-energy of an arbitrary universe/spacetime.

Cat :)
 
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Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Rod, sorry, I did not reply to this: "How does 4D space alter your concept here?"

Not at all. As I understand it, 4D space-time is fundamental to the block model.

May I please remind all, that I am not pushing this model - I am putting it up for reactions.

Cat :)
 

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Helio, your post #9 on this thread. Sorry, I did not notice it sooner.

"Worse for me is their idea that someone going back in time feeding animals would have no effect on the future. Ug, the well-known important test is what happens if the traveler in the past causes the death of his or her grandparents or parents before their own birth?"

Nothing could be further from the BLOCK model. If, and it is a big 'if', you could return to a past "NOW", you would already be there. The futuristic (hypothetical) observer (you) would only (hypothetically) be able to observe. There is no way that I (now - Thursday 17th March 16.09 GMT)
can be influenced . . . . . . by some future me, in some hypothetical way, . . . . . . to kill my grandfather (apart from the fact that he {both} were deceased before I was 2 years old) or anybody or anything else. I am here writing this, knowing that, if some 'I' from the future has been observing me, he had in no way influenced me to as much as kill a fly) which I don't do anyway.



Cat :)

So there is no such paradox in the block model.

More you your liking might be the suggestion that the world line (time line) is fixed and predetermined; without getting into trouble, I'll just whisper "who wrote the book"

How is the weather where you are? In England (NW Leicestershire) it has clouded over, having bright and sunny.

Imgur: The magic of the Internet from

The theory · ‎Criticism
Eternalism (philosophy of time) - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Eternalism_(philosoph..


"It is sometimes referred to as the "block time" or "block universe" theory due to its description of space-time as an unchanging four-dimensional "block", as opposed to the view of the world as a three-dimensional space modulated by the passage of time."
I cannot see any problem (in theory) with the block expanding, and the time line with it.
 
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