Time as an Emergent Phenomenon: Traveling Back to the Heroic Age of Physics
In Memory of John Archibald Wheeler
by Dr. Elliot McGucken
In his 1912 Manuscript on Relativity, Einstein never stated that time is the fourth dimension, but rather he wrote x4 = ict. The fourth dimension is not time, but ict. Despite this, prominent physicists have oft equated time and the fourth dimension, leading to un-resolvable paradoxes and confusion regarding time’s physical nature, as physicists mistakenly projected properties of the three spatial dimensions onto a time dimension, resulting in curious concepts including frozen time and block universes in which the past and future are omni-present, thusly denying free will, while implying the possibility of time travel into the past, which visitors from the future have yet to verify. Beginning with the postulate that time is an emergent phenomenon resulting from a fourth dimension expanding relative to the three spatial dimensions at the rate of c, diverse phenomena from relativity, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics are accounted for. Time dilation, the equivalence of mass and energy, nonlocality, wave-particle duality, and entropy are shown to arise from a common, deeper physical reality expressed with dx4/dt=ic. This postulate and equation, from which Einstein’s relativity is derived, presents a fundamental model accounting for the emergence of time, the constant velocity of light, the fact that the maximum velocity is c, and the fact that c is independent of the velocity of the source, as photons are but matter surfing a fourth expanding dimension. In general relativity, Einstein showed that the dimensions themselves could bend, curve, and move. The present theory extends this principle, postulating that the fourth dimension is moving independently of the three spatial dimensions, distributing locality and fathering time. This physical model underlies and accounts for time in quantum mechanics, relativity, and statistical mechanics, as well as entropy, the universe’s expansion, and time’s arrows and asymmetries in all arenas.
“More intellectual curiosity, versatility and yen for physics than Elliot McGucken’s I have never seen in any senior or graduate student. . . Originality, powerful motivation, and a can-do spirit make me think that McGucken is a top bet for graduate school in physics. . . I say this on the basis of close contacts with him over the past year and a half. . . I gave him as an independent task to figure out the time factor in the standard Schwarzchild expression around a spherically- symmetric center of attraction. I gave him the proofs of my new general-audience, calculus-free book on general relativity, A Journey Into Gravity and Space Time. There the space part of the Schwarzchild geometric is worked out by purely geometric methods. “Can you, by poor-man’s reasoning, derive what I never have, the time part?” He could and did, and wrote it all up in a beautifully clear account. . . .his second junior paper . . .entitled Within a Context, was done with another advisor, and dealt with an entirely different part of physics, the Einstein-Rosen-Podolsky experiment and delayed choice experiments in general. . . this paper was so outstanding. . . I am absolutely delighted that this semester McGucken is doing a project with the cyclotron group on time reversal asymmetry. Electronics, machine-shop work and making equipment function are things in which he now revels. But he revels in Shakespeare, too. Acting the part of Prospero in the Tempest. . . ” --John Archibald Wheeler, Princeton University, Recommendation for Elliot McGucken for Admission to Graduate School of Physics
Dr. Elliot McGucken’s Biography: “Dr. E” received a B.A. in physics from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in physics from UNC Chapel Hill, where his research on an artificial retina, which is now helping the blind see, appeared in Business Week and Popular Science and was awarded a Merrill Lynch Innovations Grant. While at Princeton, McGucken worked on projects concerning quantum mechanics and general relativity with the late John A. Wheeler, and the projects combined to form an appendix treating time as an emergent phenomenon in his dissertation. McGucken is writing a book for the Artistic Entrepreneurship & Technology (artsentrepreneurship.com) curriculum he created.
Time as an Emergent Phenomenon