Emergent Time

This is another commentary review of a paper entitled ‘Time: An Emergent Property of Matter’ included as part of the description of the Cordus Conjecture. This paper specifically discusses the issue of time, although an issue associated with time was initially considered in terms of relativistic effects, i.e. time dilation, that was formulated as an extension of the Lorentz transforms. However, the Cordus model assumes that fundamental time is an emergent property of matter linked to the frequency oscillations described in terms of the particule model. As this model has been outlined, albeit very briefly, the reader can follow the link to this outline review or directly access the papers in the Cordus Reference section. The basic idea is that time exists on multiple levels, i.e.

  1. Particule frequency of oscillation
  2. Within assemblies of particules
  3. And organic cellular life

The first 11 pages of this paper essentially provide an overview of the Cordus model, such that this review will start at section 4.2, which discusses the frequency oscillation within the particules. The following paraphrased statement might be seen as a basic description of the first level of time in the Cordus model.

Level-1: Fundamental Time
The fundamental tick of time is the frequency of the particule, which is identified as the cycle of re-energisation of the two reactive ends. As such, fundamental time, at the level of the individual particule is the frequency of the re-energisation cycles of its two reactive ends, which may differ in each particule type and possibly aligns to the QM perspective of time. In this context, particules with greater masses or energies have higher frequencies, which might be correlated to E=mc2=hf. By a similar argument, if time is correlated to frequency, then time will tick faster in-line with frequency. As such, there is no universal time in the Cordus model, but rather a unique time for each particule.

However, as has been highlighted on a number of occasions, the Cordus model seems to cite the oscillations within the particule as a fundamental cause, whereas other models would argue that this can only be an effect of some more fundamental mechanism. For example, the WSE requirement model makes an argument that energy is the fundamental ‘substance’ of the universe that propagates with velocity [c] through the fabric of space by means of wave mechanisms. Alternatively, the OST model makes an argument that space is analogous to a superfluid that isolates angular momentum into fundamental units called rotars. While these models may be wrong, they do at least attempt to provide a description of the most fundamental causal mechanisms at work, which the Cordus model appears not to explain. However, we will continue with the next paraphrased statement.

Linking time to the re-energisation cycles is important because the particule is only available to interact with other particules when it is energised. When a reactive end of particule [A] is energised it issues discrete forces, which are propagated outwards with the speed of light [c], which may now be a variable rather than a universal constant. This discrete force carries the electro-magneto-gravitational field as well as the strong and bonding forces, which are therefore also discrete.

Again, this appears to be another statement of effect without any specific description of the causal mechanisms. While it is possible that the details of the causal mechanisms being sought have been overlooked within this outline review, a general search of all the papers has found no obvious reference to such mechanisms. However, again, we will attempt to pursue the Cordus description of fundamental time based on the next paraphrased statement.

The fields and forces inform neighbouring particules, e.g. [B], about the state of particule [A], such that particule [B] might move in response to the fields from [A]. Of course, particule [B] will also be emitting its own fields, which will interact with particule [A]. In this way, all particules interact with the external environment, i.e. as presumably defined by the fabric density, when a reactive end is energised and provides a means of ‘communication’ between particules. Therefore, in the Cordus model, time is assumed to be a fundamental attribute of matter, based on its frequency, as opposed to being an external dimension or imposed variable.

So, according to the Cordus model, the first level of time is associated with the particule or more specifically the frequency associated with the particule type, although we have questioned the causal mechanism that supports this assumption. However, as indicated, different particule types do not necessarily have the same frequency, but which bond together as atoms and then in ever larger structures, e.g. molecules, compounds and cells, such that they might be described as an ‘assembly’. As such, we might introduce the next level of Cordus time as follows:

Level-2: Assembly Time
While fundamental time may be correlated with the frequency of each type of particule, a different rate of time may also exist when the particules are bound into some form of assembly.  However, assembly time will also depend on the nature of the interaction between the assembled particules and hence on the nature of the bonds between particules, which are described in terms of being either ‘coherent’ or ‘decoherent’.

At this point, some initial introduction of the terms: coherent and decoherent bonding is required. According to the Cordus model, at small scales, possibly below the molecular level, time is internally coherent because it is based on a single frequency associated with relatively few particule types within an atom. Therefore, in order to maintain coherent time within a larger assembly, e.g. atoms, it must retain common frequency cycle of re-energisation of the particules, such that it might be described as a coherent domain of matter. However, some larger coherent assemblies may exist in the form of a superfluid for example, such that the maintenance of coherent time depends on the nature of the assembly. At this point, the Cordus model makes the following paraphrased statement concerning the ‘arrow of time’.

Within a coherent domain of particules, the arrow of time does not exist, at least in principle, because it is assumed that the particule state can be reversed. However, this reversibility is only possible in simple structures in which the coherence of frequency can be maintained.

The description of the reversibility of the particule ‘state’ seems to be adopting a somewhat abstract description, as per quantum states,  where the physical process between the initial and final state is unobserved and unexplained. If we assume that the state of the particule is subject to physical effects, then reversing these effects would require the causal mechanisms to be exactly reversed. While this is possible, it may still be unlikely, although probability may depend on the complexity of the system being described. However, the Cordus model possibly recognises the limits of trying to reverse the ‘arrow of time’ as the external environment, defined by the fabric density, would be full of chaotic perturbations even for simple systems, such that we might turn our attention to the definition of a decoherent system introduce in terms of the following statement.

Larger or macroscopic systems become increasingly decoherent as the frequency homogeneity of the system cannot be maintained. However, the Cordus model assumes that larger systems may still exist as a structural tree of coherent and uncoherent domains, although the overall level of synchronous interactions between all particule becomes increasingly impossible.

So, within the Cordus model, single particules are coherent based on their internal frequency. However, the property of coherence can quickly be lost as particules are ‘assembled’ into ever-larger structural systems, such that they become decoherent overall. As such, decoherent or assembly time is defined as follows:

Decoherent assembly time is the tick of interactions within an aggregate body of coherent and decoherent sub-bodies. This tick of time is much slower than the fundamental time associated with individual particules. Decoherent assembly time is also irreversible, hence the arrow of time arises at this level. This is because the interaction between sub-assemblies becomes practically impossible due to the complexity of interaction between all the particules mediated through the fabric density. As a result, the idea of entropy is associated with assembly time.

This form of decoherence also introduces a time delay between the interactions of two or more domains, irrespective of whether individual subdomains are coherent. While the primary causal mechanism behind this process is attributed to the frequency differences between the various domains, the spatial separation between these domains also adds another time delay due to the finite propagation speed of [c] of any interaction. Again, due to the complexity of larger systems, it becomes increasingly impossible to reverse the overall state, such that the ‘arrow of time’ becomes a physical reality. However, at this point, the Cordus model makes another clarification about the nature of the ‘fabric density’.

The fabric density is not made up of particles, but rather it is a transmission medium for photons that propagate through the fabric density. The Cordus conjecture thus affirms electromagnetic (EM) theory and its concept of a medium, while also providing a physical interpretation of the electric and magnetic constants of free space, which are otherwise ontologically challenging to EM theory. However, it is highlighted that while the fabric density supports a relativistic description, the speed of light [c] is not necessarily constant as it depends on the fabric density.

See discussion Relativistic Factors for the issues raised against this description. Up until this point, it has been suggested that the main structural mechanism between particules is some form of atomic or molecular bonding, although it is clear that other forms of interaction have to be explained, e.g. electromagnetic and gravitational (EMG) forces. In the Cordus model, any particule [A] may experience an interaction, described as either a field or a force, from other [B] particules within some defined past light cone [ct]. As such, the space between particules is described in terms of the fabric density, which supports another level of time called ‘fabric time’, although it is qualified as a subtype of decoherent assembly time as follows:

Fabric time is the mutual interconnectedness of matter particules spread over three-dimensional space. This occurs via the fabric, comprising discrete field-forces for EMG interaction, such that timed events are subject to propagation delays that infer a time difference.

At this level, time is assumed to tick more slowly due to the many delays between the interactions between particules as well as the frequency difference between coherent and decoherent domains. This is also a definition of the macroscopic level of physical time at which empirical observations might take place. However, at this point, the Cordus asserts that it can explain why time dilation occurs based on the following description.

The Cordus theory of time assumes that the external environment, i.e. the fabric density, can affect the frequency of a particule, which then provides a causal explanation of time-dilation. Basically, the proposed mechanism is based on the assumption that a greater fabric density causes the frequency of a particule to slow down, hence time will run slower. As a consequence, a higher fabric density makes it more difficult for a particule to emit its own discrete forces, such that emissions are retarded and energisation of reactive end is delayed and frequency lengthen.

It is highlighted that the various wave models previously reviewed appear to struggle to provide a clear causal explanation of time dilation other than supporting the mathematical assumptions inherent in the Lorentz transforms. While the discussion of Ivanov Waves leading towards a description of standing wave compression may provide a causal mechanism for length contraction, the Ivanov transforms refute the notion of time dilation. However, both LaFreniere and Ivanov provide an alternative explanation as to why the Michelson-Morley experiment produced a null result, albeit based on different transforms. As an overly simplistic summary, the idea of length contraction also requires time dilation, if the speed of light [c] is to be maintained as a universal constant, in all frames of reference, as per the postulate of special relativity. However, this issue becomes more complicated in general relativity as the measure of length is expanded in a gravitational field due to the assumption of a space-time curvature, even though time dilation is still assumed. Therefore, while it is unclear whether the Cordus model provides a coherent causal description of time dilation for both special and general relativity, the idea that the fabric density might play a role in time dilation is possibly worth pursuing, although for the moment we shall return to the final level of time.

Organic-Life Time:
Within the hierarchy of the particule model, an individual cell consists of the aggregation of discrete fields being emitted by individual coherent particules, e.g. electrons and atoms, which exist within a larger decoherent assembly of molecules and cellular organelles. Therefore, time taken to accomplish any interaction at this level takes longer.

Basically, the description above is again alluding to the fact that larger and evermore complex structures of particules, e.g. living cells, require more time to interact on a macroscopic scale. Whether this requires the rate of time to be a linear function of physical scale is unclear at this point, although this may be a requirement of length contraction that is compatible with the mathematics of the Lorentz transforms. However, extending this idea to ‘cognitive time’, i.e. as perceived by human, is possibly pushing this discussion of fundamental physics too far at this stage, such that this review will not pursue this level of speculation.

So, what might be summarised about the notion of time outlined in this paper?

In terms of section-7.2, it lists eight 'contributions' to the physics of time, although it might be highlighted that all these contributions exist within a ‘conjecture’ that has little mathematical formulation or empirical evidence to support the Cordus model. However, having highlighted this concern, we might attempt to summarise and comment on the scope of these contributions.

First, time is fundamentally the frequency cycle of the particule, such that it is not a dimension, nor continuous, such that there is no universal time. The Cordus model is predicated on a NLHV solution, where frequency is a physical effect that acts as a measure of time rather than being a mathematical abstraction quantified as an ‘intrinsic’ variable as in QM.

In terms of a comparison with earlier wave models, the concept of frequency and wavelength also have an obvious correlation with the concept of time and distance, although possibly subject to some qualification. In most of the wave models reviewed, everything is made of waves of some description, such that everything is immersed within a wave media and all frames of reference are relative and subject to perceptual distortions, both Doppler and relativistic. However, while we may choose to measure all frequency relative to some fundamental frequency [f0], this is not necessarily a convenient approach, as it is difficult not to return to the concept that any frequency [f] is quantified as an oscillation count in some unit measure of time. While the Cordus model appears to make little reference to the idea of wavelength, it is a measure of spatial separation compounded by the relationship [λ=c/f], such that it is a function of frequency [f] and propagation velocity [c], where the latter may be a variable rather than a universal constant. As has been highlighted on several occasions through this review, the Cordus conjecture appears to rest on the assumption that the particule model is a description of the most fundamental causal mechanism in the universe, which while possibly highlighting a new line of thought does not seen to be anchored in empirical physical realism any more than quantum theory.

Second, time depends on the level of assembled matter anchored to fundamental time driven by the frequency of particule re-energisation. However, the nature of assembly time is subject to both coherent and decoherent assemblies of particules across many orders of scale, i.e. atomic, molecular and cellular, which ultimately underpin the structure of all macroscopic objects.

It is known that the heart-rate of mammals is often reflected in a lifespan, such that the length of this time might also be subjective. In this context, the human perception of time might also be subjective and correlated to our state of mind. However, the Cordus model is clearly making a more profound distinction about the nature of time, first driven by the frequency associated with each particule type and then in various scales of assembly. Of course, one of the important issues associated with time is its relative dilation in a given frame of reference subject to a relative velocity or gravitational field. However, whether the Cordus model really provides a substantive description of the causal mechanism at work has been questioned.

Third, Cordus provides an explanation of where and how irreversibility, entropy, and the arrow-of-time arise, which occur at the boundary between coherent and decoherent domains. In this respect, coherent domains are also a potential explanation of why time-symmetry is assumed possible at the quantum level.

The assumption of the reversibility of time within a coherent domain has been questioned as it was unclear what causal mechanisms were being forwarded to explain the reversal of a final state backwards towards some previous initial state. While this process might be perform by the mathematical operators describing quantum transitions, causal mechanisms are often far from obvious.

Fourth, an explanation is proposed by which time, as measured by atomic clocks, is scaled to the world at large. In this context, it is assumed that time, as perceived by human cognitive processes, is consistent with time measured by atomic clocks and other instruments. However, the frequency of the particule is still the root cause of time, although its rate might be modified by the scale of particule assembly and the scope of the coherent and decoherent domains.

To be honest, it is not clear how this ‘contribution’ adds much insight over what has also been stated in terms of assembly time and coherent and decoherent domains. The contribution that is possibly more important is a description of the actual causal mechanisms rather than a restatement of the assumptions surrounding the frequency of a conceptual particule.

Fifth, a seamless connection is provided between the various physical levels of time and the human perception of time. This solves another ontological problem concerning how our human perception of time connects to the physics of time. In the Cordus model, time starts out as a reversal property of the frequency of a particules, while at a macroscopic level, time becomes irreversible and compatible with the human perception of time and the concept of entropy.

Again, this contribution is possibly based more on the assumptions of the Cordus model. While the frequency associated with individual particules in coherent domains may be faster than the aggregate frequency associated with assembly time and decoherent domains, it is unclear that it actually quantifies time itself. Clearly, any process involving larger assemblies of particules will also involve many interactions across the space that separates them, i.e. signal delays defined by propagation time [ct]. In this context, the net rate within some larger assembly will involved many factors that are not directly related to the original particule frequency.

Sixth, contributes some answers to philosophical questions about how the perception of the NOW arises, whether time is a dimension, whether it is infinitely divisible, whether the many-worlds theory is necessary, and whether it is possible to conceive of an atemporal situation.

It might be debated that this statement is primarily based on speculative conjecture and, as such, it is not really forwarding any solid answers to the questions cited irrespective of whether they are philosophical or scientific in scope. The issue of the ‘ infinitely divisible’ nature of time is often answer by quantum mechanics in terms of Planck time, although this is predicated on the speed of light [c] as a universal constant and Planck length that is primarily derived from the universal constants [c,h,G] - see Planck Scale for more details. The Many-Worlds idea is not really a theory, but one of a number of quantum interpretations that seek to provide some rationale for what happens between the initial and final state of a quantum system. The issue of whether science can explain anything without reference to time, i.e. atemporal, is questionable.

Seventh, the Cordus model seeks a reconciliation of multiple different forms of time into one single coherent framework. This integrates the apparently conflicting nature of the different times suggested by quantum mechanics, electromagnetic theory, and relativity. This model argues that time is all of particle-based vs. spacetime, relative vs. absolute, local vs. universal, but not simultaneously as it depends on the level of assembly being considered.

There are indeed many different descriptions of time, see ‘The Idea of Time’ for details based on classical mechanics, classical thermodynamics, special relativity, quantum mechanics and later quantum field theory. However, whether time can be anchored to some fundamental frequency of a particule type has been questioned plus it is unclear how time might actually be aggregated within the concept of assembly time, i.e. is it a linear function of scale. Therefore, without further details of the causal mechanisms underpinning the various levels of time assumed by the Cordus model, it is possibly premature to suggest that it offers a ‘tangible reconciliation’ of the various ideas about time.

Eighth, there is a possibility that the Cordus model might provide a single framework with an ontologically meaningful explanation for a wide variety of problematic phenomena, e.g. wave-particle duality, entanglement, charge-parity (CP) violation, force unification, asymmetrical baryogenesis and time.

However, despite the possibilities suggested above, it is highlighted that the Cordus model is based on conjecture subject to no empirical verification. therefore, while the issues  suggested in the note above are also problems within mainstream science, it is unclear that the explanation forwarded by the Cordus model can be described as being based on physical realism, if they are not underpinned by causal mechanisms. So, while the Cordus conjecture asserts that it delivers a new theory for time, which may unify the different perspectives of QM, SR and GR within a deeper understanding of reality, this review has questioned this claim. However, this section of the review will give the last word to the authors of the Cordus model, which readers may judge for themselves.

The Cordus time theory addresses the ontology of time at the fundamental level and explains where and how the arrow-of-time arises and describes how time might operate at the cosmological level. The successes with the Cordus conjecture show that non-local hidden-variable solutions have merit, despite their rejection by orthodox physics. Specifically, the wider Cordus theory shows that it is possible to envisage and design a NLHV solution that circumvents the Bell-type inequalities and has high explanatory power across many physical phenomena. In particular, we have shown that questions about time can be answered at the next deeper level of physics and we have given an example of what that physics might look like and its implications for time.