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Constructing Time in a Closed Dynamical System

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Zachary Zito

The role of a time parameter is vital to a study of Physics, yet is often taken for granted. The traditional use of a constant, immutable time variable necessarily relies upon notions that are fundamentally unmeasurable and must, therefore, be assumed. Here, a simple, classical system is canonically approached and subsequently reformulated to preclude the ideal element of assumed time, retaining only an ideal element related to space. Time is then shown to have not been vital to the formulation originally, appearing as an emergent property rather than a fundamental axiom. A one dimensional, two particle system in a timeless framework - inspired by the models developed by Barbour and Bertotti -is presented. The system's Langrangian is defined in terms of position and momentum and the equations of motion are stated. An observable quantity T, constructed from observables in the system, serves as a relative time parameter and replaces the postulated absolute time τ, allowing for a system fully characterized by measurable, concrete quantities. Along with two other observables, T serves as the independent variable with respect to which relational properties of the entire system may be established. The physical and philosophic justifications and implications are expounded and examined. Time, it seems, is a concept abstracted from paths in configuration space and can be viewed as analogous to Mach's principle of universal inertial reference frames.
University / Institution: Utah State University
Type: Oral
Format: In Person
SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)
Area of Research: Science & Technology
Faculty Mentor: Charles Torre
Location: Alumni House, HENRIKSEN ROOM (2:45pm)