Universal Time

Last Word

Any innovative idea which challenges accepted conventions can take a long while to gain acceptance; (between Ptolemy and Copernicus, about a thousand years)! It seemed sensible at the time to expound the idea of Universal Time by showing how it explains the correction factor in Special Relativity.

However, from early reader reactions it seems that it was read in terms of existing conventions; as though the novel elements could not possibly be intended. It is with this in mind that the following assertions are made.

(1) That all measurable intervals are time-intervals.

(2) Length and Space are artefacts of the human mind.

For example, between the battles of Hastings and Waterloo there is an interval of 749 years in round figures. Between Paris and London there is an interval of just over a millisecond. Astronomers will say that the nearest star, Proxima Centauri, is 4.2 light-years away, where a light-year is a convenient unit of length. Universal Time says that Proxima Centauri is 4.2 years away, a quite different matter, as time and length have quite different properties. For example, length and time combine algebraically to give velocity; but in a similar context time divided by time gives a dimensionless number. Again, clock values can combine vectorially with other clock values.

What needs to be repeated is that it is not proposed to extend the astronomer's device of using time-intervals to measure celestial spaces to all measurements of length. The assertion is that all these intervals are in fact times, with all the dynamic qualities of time, and to be combined in the same way as with any multi-dimensional unit. Two novel and surprising results emerge.

(1) The "Velocity of Light" and "Lapse of Time" appear identical numerically. This challenges the human imagination to embody this fact into its world view.

(2) Uniform movement comes out as a scaled-down lapse of time or mini-c1ock. Thus two platforms moving apart steadily have their individual time-lapses joined vectorially by the time-lapse of their relative movement, thereby accounting for Einstein's correction factor.


North Walsham November 1994

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