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Posts Tagged ‘Time’

Reverse Reverse Reverse

Hi mates! Whoever has taken university physics should know about irreversibility – which is related very closely to the idea that the entropy of the universe can only increase. Basically, what it says is that a lot of phenomenon (if not all) is irreversible. Examples: you can get older and not get younger, burnt paper cannot go back to the state before it was burnt, what is done is done and the process can’t go backwards.

However, this clip here from Youtube (3 mins, 14 secs) shows us that reverse actions are possible (at least in a movie). I really think that this video is really amusing. If you check out further (on Youtube), there are quite a number of people trying to produce ‘the best’ reverse video ever. After looking at a few videos, this video that I linked in this post is ‘the best’ one.

I think this post is related, to some extent, to my post before which is discussing about the concept of time. I realised that in the reverse video, instead of moving the time forward, it moves the time backward! Combining some acting skills of the actors in the video and backward streaming, voila, we have the reverse movie.

This just made me think, maybe someday the scientists can invent something which violates the entropy law, i.e. making possible irreversible actions which we now deem impossible. Or maybe in the future there will be a device which lets us to travel back in time or move forward with 2x speed (just like a DVD player). If it can’t happen in real world (which I think is the case), maybe it can happen in a simulation room or something. It could be a nice attraction to put in an amusement park! Anyway, since I am still so amused and confused at the same time about all these things, any thoughts on anything are welcomed to give some enlightenments. Thank you.

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Love is NOW or NEVER

March 4, 2012 9 comments

The title of this post is taken from this song by Michael Learns to Rock, titled Take Me to Your Heart. There is this line after the chorus section which says “they say nothing lasts forever, we’re only here today, love is now or never, bring me far away”. I want to highlight the ‘now’ and ‘never’ parts of my post’s title. Both words have to deal with the concept of time, which is my main interest in this post.

As you may see in a lot of occasions, humans have this notion of limited time, i.e. we only have 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, 90 minutes to play soccer, 4 years to complete college, one life to live for, etc. This Take Me to Your Heart song also has this concept of limited time underlying it.

But, but, but, what is time? Well, in physics, time is regarded as a dimension with second as the standard unit of measure and [T] as the dimension symbol of it. What interesting about time is that it can only move forward. If you imagine a dot on a timeline which spans from left to right with left being past zone and right being the future zone, this dot can only move to the right. Logically speaking, time is universal for everyone, i.e. one hour for me is also one hour for you. But, in physics, time is relative. Einstein once said, “If you are spending time with a beautiful girl, one hour feels so short, but being in a boring 1-hour class feels so long.” I am sure some of you may have experienced this kind of experience.

I am interested of what other people think about time. Do you see yourself living a short time life? Have you had experience similar to what Einstein once said? Or, maybe why we must consider/not consider a good time management technique? Or any other thoughts about time?

p.s. I came with this topic because I felt that it is so fast, the fact that next week is already a spring break, which means we have done with roughly half of our semester. Semester comes, semester goes. Phew. Oh well.

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Science, Time and Confusion!

September 18, 2011 5 comments

After reading both The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and “Perspectives on the nature of science,” I was left feeling unsettled. First in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks we read about the different scientists changing their theories about HeLa multiple times throughout the book. Later, the article “Perspectives on the nature of science” described this phenomenon in more general terms by basically saying that, contrary to popular belief, scientists really don’t know everything. It was surprising for me to realize that the scientific ‘facts’ that we know and trust today could be proven to be false in a matter of days, weeks, months or years. And then those theory revisions could later be proven false. It is a never-ending cycle, which is causes discomfort.

I found the relationship between scientific theories and time to be interesting, especially in regards to technology. In a lot of instances only time will reveal whether or not a scientific theory or idea will be falsified. For example, the theory of cell phones causing cancer. This issue has a personal connection to me because I know someone who recently passed away from brain cancer. This person was used his cell phone often, and his tumor was found close to his ear where he held his cell phone. Since this has happened, I have been skeptical of cell phone use. The theory that it might cause cancer is so new that it is difficult to prove or disprove, similarly to how the fact that cigarettes cause cancer took a long time to be proven by scientists.

This raises the questions: how trustworthy of modern technology should we be? And also, how trustworthy of scientists should we be? The readings and class discussions have awakened me to my naivety in trusting everything I hear from scientists just because they have the label “scientists.” Then I had the thought: if you can’t trust scientists who can you trust? Now I’ve ended up in a cynical spiral of losing faith in all of humanity. I’ve finally concluded that it is important to know yourself enough to filter what you believe and what you do not. I think (and hope) that this skill will improve over time and with life experience. And here we are again at yet another example of time changing things… Great.