∆ Oscillations prove what?

Oscillating devices can be made to great physical accuracy. But what does this prove, and not prove?. 

Does claiming some device counts or measures some 'thing' scientifically prove that thing really exists?

The term ‘metal detector’ directly suggests a device that detects metal, and we can buy such a device and it should detect metal.  The term ‘Yeti Detector’ may be somewhat misleading, because anyone hearing of such a thing for the first time may assume it refers to a device that detects Yetis’... which implies ‘Yetis’ exist. Now, 'Yetis' may or may not exist, but making some device and 'calling' it a yeti detector' doesn't prove anything either way..

So we should be wary about assuming that some particular ‘thing’ exists just because the name of some other object suggests it exists.

The word ‘Clock’ may or may not be such a misleading term. ‘Clock’ clearly suggests a device that displays or measures a thing called ‘Time’.

Every example of a ‘Clock’ I have heard of clearly displays or measures the flow of ‘energy’ from some Battery, Spring or suspended weight etc, through a mechanism. But whether such a device also displays or measures the flow of a thing called ‘Time’ from a place or thing called ‘the future’, ‘through’ the present, and ‘into’ a place or thing called ‘the past’, would need to be clearly demonstrated to be scientifically accepted. However, in my opinion very unscientifically, science seems to see it as acceptable to just assume ‘Clocks measure Time’ and thus that 'Time'... and 'the past' and 'the future' exist... because...‘Time is that which clocks measure’.

A main component of any ‘clock’ is some sort of ‘oscillator’. ‘Oscillation’ is any kind of self repeating action. For example a swinging pendulum, a plucked guitar string, or a vibrating piece of quartz crystal, or bunch of caesium atoms. Such vibrations can be made to repeat with more and more similarity or accuracy, but perhaps we confuse ‘how ’, small, fast,or similar, these vibrations can be with ‘what they actually prove’.

For example, consider the following reasoning... 

We can release a ball on a ramp, and it will convert potential energy to kinetic energy and roll away...

What the ball does ahead of the ramp depends simply on what is in front of the ramp, in this case a flat surface.
This simple action shows that Pe can change into Ke, and that balls can roll etc. But it does not prove that there is also a thing called time that 'passes' at a steady rate which can be measured by defining useful arbitrary units.

How the ball moves, and in what direction, depends on what is in front of it.

In this case, ahead of the initial ramp is a bumpy path which will dictate the path of the ball as it reacts against whatever bit of ramp it meets on its travels. And again it will end up heading away from the ramp.

This action also shows that Pe can change into Ke, and vice versa, and that balls can roll etc. But it also does not prove that there is also a thing called Time that 'passes' at a steady rate which can be measured by defining useful arbitrary units.

If in front is the mirror image of behind, expect similar... but reversed motion.

In this third case, we have simply changed again what shape physically happens to be in front of the launch ramp, and made it a mirror image.

Now, of course, because the 2nd half of the set up is a reversed copy of the first half, we can see what will happen to the rolling ball will be a physical reversal of what happens on the left. Neglecting friction etc it will now 'oscillate' in the half-pipe... in a way similar to any oscillating device, e.g the  pendulum below, as more typically seen in a device we may 'call' a clock, and claim shows the passage of a thing called 'Time'...

A ramp is similar to a pendulum , or any oscillator, and what it proves or does not prove is also the same.

...but at any point the ball is not 'aware' of the rest of the structure it is in, it is simply doing what the laws of physics dictate for the place where it is.

So in this way, these set ups also do not indicate that extra to Mass, Energy, Momentum, Gravity, Altitude, etc etc etc there IS 'ALSO' a  real thing called 'Time', that exists, and  'passes' between a mysterious thing of place called the future into a mysterious thing or place called the past... at a regular, or irregular,  measurable or unmeasurable rate etc.

Just because an example of motion can be seen to have interesting properties, we should not jump to the conclusion 'we can make the left and right sides of our ramp very, very similar... therefore this proves there is a thing called time that passes at a very very regular rate'.

'Time' is undoubtedly a useful / essential system of mathematics for comparing examples of motion. But to say 'the maths works', or ' a ball can roll back and forth between similar ramps... therefore this proves 'a past' and a future' really 'exist'... and therefore this proves 'time' really exists, is not congruent.

Unless 'the past' the future' and thus 'time' are scientifically proven to exist, the above conclusions about 'time' are only 'assumptions' based on hearsay, and formed out of habit and social convention.

In other words, logically,

IF 'Time' exists,

THEN oscillators, or 'clocks', would be useful indicators of its passing...

BUT oscillators, or 'clocks' do not prove 'things can vibrate or rotate', AND that a thing called 'Time' also exists.


'So what' you may say, 'this is all semantics... we all know time is just a useful idea'... and it is very easy to say this as long as you are only considering a part of the picture.

If you now think the above, you have to be absolutely clear as to what you are, or are not agreeing with. 

If you are agreeing 'Time is just a useful idea' then you are agreeing that time does NOT exist at all , other than as an idea... so you are agreeing...

  • There is absolutely no such thing as the 'past'
  • There is absolutely no such thing as the 'future'
  • There is absolutely no such thing as a fourth dimension to the universe.
  • therefore Galileo, Newton, Einstein, Minkowski, Hawking... etc etc etc are all wrong in thinking time exists, or may be theoretically travelled through etc, and did not realise it is just and only, an idea
  • there is therefore no direction or arrow of time
  • the semantic errors relate to us talking about 'the' Past, or 'the' future as if 'they' exist, without proving any such thing.
  • there is only a constantly changing now, in which the contents of your mind change.. giving you the false impression 'the past' and 'future' exist.

phew, - and what i am suggesting is that all of the above seem to actually be true, if we untangle some questionable assumptions, incongurent 'logic', and conclusion jumping, as the rest of this site tries to explain :^)


see also >>Arbitary units, Minutes and Metres

>> ∆ Timeless memories.

>>∆ Relativity - The Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies paper.