Originally posted by EmLasker
And what does time have to do with the speed of light?
i've asked myself this many times and think it's a really interesting question! i hope more people get involved in the discussion, but will put in my two cents now to maybe get the ball rolling?...
i think time is merely a metric by which we measure "change." the most obvious type of change would be the change in relative position of massive bodies in space, and the rate at which their relative positions are changing. similarly, it's the "yard-stick" for measuring change in an organism's development (which is based around movement and action on a microscopic or even subatomic level). and as such, all of the units of time (microseconds, seconds, minutes, years, eons, etc.) are just an arbitrary system by which we relate amounts of change to one another. these arbitrary units are generally based around seemingly periodic changes - specifically those concerning earth's revolution around the sun (and thus the periodicity of the seasons), and earth's rotation on its axis (the periodicity of day/night). this is probably because these periodic changes that we all experience are the easiest to relate to other human beings. and over time, subdivisions of those changes have been arbitrarily agreed upon for easier synchronization of events, and for better/more efficient output of things like agriculture, business, war, reproduction, etc. (also to allow for the differences in when days/seasons occur at different locations on the planet, as global communication/trade became possible/necessary)
that being said -- and i think many disagree with this viewpoint of time, and believe it is an absolute construct removed from the idea of motion -- i think that light, as well as other non-massive particles, are simply the best-equipped things in the universe for traversing distance. thus we think of c
as the limiting speed of the universe, and as such is irrevocably linked with time since it's rate of motion is the fastest reference frame with which to compare the motion of other things(?) this is where my ideas become rather unclear and it becomes more difficult to characterize what i think. in fact, i think the major implication of this view of time is the absence of a possibility for "backward time travel" since time is not external to the cause-and-effect motion of events. i.e. since time is just the way we measure continuous change, and not in itself a part of the causation of that change, the concept of "looping back" to events that have already happened is in itself contradictory?
what are your thoughts? cheers, and happy new year!