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The Dimensionality of Time

Scientists for many years have expressed the remoteness of celestial objects in light-years; more recently those concerned with radar-ranging have found themselves thinking directly in microseconds or less when dealing with local objects. It occurred to the author, who was working in this field, that time might well be the true unit of extension of the Universe. Space, on such a view, would be a derived concept, arrived at by processing the original, time-structured, data.

After forty years of almost total scepticism from the scientific community, the time has perhaps arrived to re-advance the proposition. Firstly, such a scheme needs only three time-dimensions, txtytz roughly the same as conventional space. Our personal life is then a line in such a continuum, and does not need an extra dimension. Living organisms have so far failed to find a biological way of measuring the sub-microseconds we need to be aware of for day-to-day living. They can detect bands of electro-magnetic frequencies in the visual range, and must accept the raw data as angle, spectrum, and intensity. In humans this is processed and then displayed as space, colour, and brightness. Those who have thought about colour would mostly now accept that for those of us not colour-blind the reds blues and greens are not inherent in the received signal, but are a figment of the human brain, painted-on, so to speak as a visual aid. It is here suggested that space is also an artifact of the human brain, derived from original time-structured data; but presented as a three-dimensional space which continues to exist -- hence time as humans have it presented to them.

In this alternative way of looking at the data, time is all round us as well as ahead and behind on our personal unique track. Thus the future and the past both lie on concentric spheres around us, containing momentarily elements which are our future, and elements which are our past. Those which are lapsing towards us are our future, these lapsing away from us are our past. Those which are more or less stationary are displayed to us as objects , in space. Anything lapsing towards or away from us in this way is displayed to us as e1ectro-magnetic radiation travelling towards or away from us with velocity "c". Our display system chooses to treat the same phenomenon differently depending on whether it is along our personal track, or orthogonal to it. Along our track it presents as the lapse of time, orthogonal to our track it presents as the velocity "c".

Bernard Newsam
23 July 1988 Great Yarmouth England.