Brian Cox- Horizon- Do You Know What Time It Is?

BBC 2, 9pm, tonight.

Brian’s Horizon on Time tonight is brilliant. Honestly. I watched it a couple months ago and even though I knew what was in it, there was one point at which I actually got a kind of vertigo. Brian talks to mathematical physicist Neil Turok about the idea that the Universe has been around ‘forever’ and didn’t, in fact, start at the Big Bang. That’s what did it to me.

Now, this wasn’t the first time I’d heard about M-Theory or Brane Cosmology at all, but for some reason I had one of those rare moments when I actually attempted to visually imagine what it means. The idea of there being a “start” to the Universe is comforting and easy to deal with even if it was 13.7 billion years ago… the idea, however, that it’s been around forever- when I really REALLY think about what that means- makes me feel like I’m standing on the edge of an endless void. My heart starts racing, everything starts getting tingly, I get a bit dizzy and I can’t sit still – I need to get up and move away from where I am because I start to feel that I might just randomly decide to jump.

That’s what happened to me when watching Brian’s Horizon.

And for a TV science programme to do that to me, makes me very excited. I’m so proud of my lovely husband.

These photos are high speed photographs taken during filming.
Do You Know What Time It Is? December 2nd, 9pm, BBC 2

Do You Know What Time It Is? December 2nd, 9pm, BBC 2

The trailer again, in case you’ve not watched it yet.

There are loads of behind-the-scenes videos on the director Paul Olding’s YouTube channel.

Comments
47 Responses to “Brian Cox- Horizon- Do You Know What Time It Is?”
  1. Katie says:

    Have had to wait to watch it myself – am exceptionally excited. Being a wee learner-geek, I get the ‘edge of panic’ sensation when I try to visualise most physics in my mind.

    I love how Brian Cox always has a smile on his face whenever he is describing some of the most complex ideas in science…while most of us – including his wife it seems – are having psychological meltdown. :)

  2. Will says:

    Nice trailer – and if I’m not mistaken that incidental music is, appropriately, one of Murray Gold’s pieces from the third series of Doctor Who :)

  3. Peter Baxter says:

    Fantastic programme – Thanks.

  4. Me says:

    Saw this programme tonight, and I have to say it’s one of the best programmes I’ve seen in a long long time.

    I’m sure everyone at some point has thought up some of the questions and answers involved, so it’s something that can touch everyone, and done in such a simple, understandble way, describing something so complex.. man.. it was awesome.

  5. madge says:

    Watched it and LOVED it! As good if not better than the one he did on Gravity. He is a great communicator. Brilliant.

  6. bruce says:

    High speed video…. scary… not sure I would have done that.

    Great … and a rare example of Horizon returning to old form.

    My only minor grumble is the confound between psychological time and physical time. Brian often asked why we feel that time is going forward and so on. We feel all sorts of things that are illusory. We feel stationary.. when we are not.. we feel consciously aware when we are not and so on.. I understand why the audience has to connect with the big ideas but appealing to intuition and phenomenological experience is not really correct when it comes to these issues. Our minds are products of brains that have evolved to only process and experience relevant aspects of our environment. Psychologically, we have no special access to these physical realities. That’s why cosmology baffles most of us. It’s beyond our ken.

    Ok..typical bloody psychologist.

    Really enjoyed it.

    bruce

  7. John R Lavelle says:

    Great Horizon – I have to agree with Bruce in one respect – this is the type of Horizon prog that has been missing for a long time.
    I love Dr Brian Cox’s modesty – he treats everything like it’s a surprise to him.

    I have a couple of problems regarding the issues propounded in the programme….I’m probably just being stupid as I’m just an armchair wonderer.

    Firstly – the theory that time travels at the speed of light. As the speed of light is a compound of time and distance then the speed of time depends on the speed of time(?)…is there not a paradox here?

    Secondly – Does the ‘Shapiro Effect’ take into account the curving of light by the sun’s gravity? A curved line between two points is longer than a straight line between the same two points and therefore the time taken to travel this curve will be longer in both directions. Would this not make Mercury seem farther away as it’s orbit gets closer to the sun in relation to the earth when using light echo measurement?

    I see time as if it flows like water in a river – when it meets a rock (or when time meets a celestial body) the water (or time) will flow faster in proportion to the size (or with time, the mass) of the object and it’s proximity to it.
    Conversely a black hole with infinite mass and infinite gravity is analogous to a dam on the river which has infinite height and infinite width and so stops time (or the water completely).

    I know I’m probably talking crap here but I’m just an ‘O’ level physics person just looking for answers that I can get my few brain cells around.

    John.

  8. Robert Barrey says:

    Generally an interesting programme on a difficult topic – with Brian Cox’s
    style of delivery that will appeal to younger audiences and lay-people.

    In my view an omission was any mentionof the arrow of time and its relation to second law ofthermodynamics – and the link to black hole entropy (cf Bekenstein). (Information/entropy/expansion of universe etc)

    Prof David Deutsch has interesting ideas on time (cf multi-universe) that could have been included – but these are minor criticisms

  9. John Moore says:

    ‘Time’ is just a word. It is an immeasurable ‘continuum’ . . Measuring devices like a ‘clock’ are a ‘convenience’ on which man depends to aid the routine discipline of living.

    Several years ago the radio ‘clock’ changed from six single pips to a longer sixth pip at the finish of which the measure of time was ‘more accurate’ . . . absolute nonsense. It is impossible to pinpoint the ‘drift’ of ‘time’.

    Likewise, ‘light’ is not an entity. It is the subjective experience of electro-magnetic energy perceived by the human eye-brain ‘sight’ function . . . another ‘convenience’. The ‘eye’ and vegetation are simply a ‘receivers’. The universe is in fact in total ‘darkness’ if devoid of all living matter.

    The Genesis command ‘Let there be Light’ is another nonsense. It might better have stated ‘Let there be electro-magnetic radiation’ . . if you are prepared to believe it at all.

    Now, since ‘infinite space’ is not ‘material’ . . . what is it ?

    Nite-nite !

  10. James says:

    I have video-taped episodes of Horizon back going back more than a decade. Without doubt the complexity of the subject matter presented is inversely proportional to the quality of presentation. The former is now far more complex whereas the padding is almost exponential. This Brian Cox bloke (of whom I’d never heard till about a year ago) could be very very good if only he would cram more fast-fire information in and stop finding everything so amusing. I don’t mean to be unkind, but they could pack in a whole lot more explanation if they cut out the fluffy isn’t-this-all-a-big-hoot approach. Why not show some of the maths behind these ideas, even though us ordinary folk are never likely to understand it!

  11. giagia says:

    James, let me guess: you don’t work in tv. Am I right? Am I right?

  12. Katie says:

    “Why not show some of the maths behind these ideas, even though us ordinary folk are never likely to understand it!”

    Bit disingenuous methinks, James – the reality that you’re certainly aware of, but discounting, is that audiences change and therefore may be (and are, I think) less receptive to a huge percentage of mindblowing ideas in tv programs. In my opinion, general excitement about science a decade ago was far less divided…science therefore far less defensive. Recent bouts of sensationalism by certain scientific personages (not to name any names, but Prof Bruce up there will know) have put laypersons like myself in very unwillingly combative positions.

    A decade ago a person like myself felt welcomed into the world of science with open arms, and the programming reflected the wealth of knowledge so openly shared in science programs. With the popular spotlight being so disproportionately focused on bickering and witch-hunting going on between science and spirituality, people like Brian find themselves having to play mediator as well as informer.

    I agree with you that I would rather Brian could absolutely let rip with the plenitude of ideas, concepts, and mathematics that is available – but as Gia says, telly needs must bow to the ‘how to convey’ of educating the public over and above the ‘what to convey’.

    After all, it doesn’t exactly hurt ordinary folk like you and I having to take up the responsibility of reinforcing those bridges of information between layperson and academic – rather than complaining about the programs we do get! :) Thanks to the Internet, anyone who doesn’t pursue their interests further after a program like this is simply too lazy to type ‘google’ – and that’s not a layperson like us, that’s just a dumbface.

    (That’s a longass way of saying pretty much the same thing as you, Gia – sorry!)

  13. Katie says:

    Oh, and loved the program!

  14. James says:

    I detected a resonant ‘to be continued..’ note at the end of Prof Cox’s programme. I hope he’ll be back with an explanation of ‘block time’ and ‘quantum indeterminacy’ very soon.

  15. Adam says:

    Just watched the show on Iplayer (at work!!!) and loved it

    As a relative newbie to this stuff, I’m currently finishing The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene, I found the show very helpful

  16. giagia says:

    Katie- brilliantly said! I doubt many people understand just how difficult it is to get ‘challenging’ programming on tv these days.

    About 7 years ago, Brian and a ‘street magician/huckster’ friend of his pitched a skeptical programme to one of the terrestrial networks. The idea was to uncover the scams behind fortune telling, mediums, ghost hunters, etc etc.

    The commissioning editor really liked it, but they backed out of it when s/he insisted that each programme end with a ‘…but maybe ghosts/fortune telling/magic are actually *real*’ message. :roll:

    It’s getting a bit better because there seems to be smart people in charge of certain Science Depts now… but for years… well… have you ever wondered why the bulk of the science output are those ‘Freak Show Documentaries’? Yes, that, to many commissioning editors over the past several years was as far into “science” as they’d go.

  17. Tracy Weaver says:

    I caught the programme by fluke, it’s not something I would normally seek out but I have to say I really enjoyed it. I am a layman and not particularly interested in physics but I found it very interesting.

    I want to stick up for whole presentation, it wasn’t stuffy and although some of it went above my head it helped me understand alot. My other half is a genetic biologist and he did want more info on some points BUT isn’t that the point…it was educational to a wide spectrum of people? I am from a creative background – but I loved it.

    So all in all – thanks! ;)

  18. Tracy Weaver says:

    Oops – Sorry!

    I wanted to add that my other half is always on about he hates the way science is portrayed in the media (particularly on a genetic level) and the general public don’t understand results/what’s going on as its either sensationalised or techno-babble.

    I think this program was an excellent example of how to get things across in understandable way!

    Phew…done now!

  19. John R says:

    Gia

    I think you might have hit the nail on the head but for the wrong reasons.
    We live a finite life and have no conception of infinity. We also have an understandable problem with the concept of pure ‘nothingness’. I think that, due to our limited knowledge of the cosmos, infinity has the edge here. I know it’s hard to imagine but maybe we ARE only ” a fleeting moment between two eternities”.
    Beginning and end, start and finish, are only individual human experiences – with our current knowledge we cannot impose these concepts on everything else – whatever ‘everything else’ means!
    Maybe someday, before our time runs out, we will find the ultimate answer, but until that ‘Holy Grail Day’ we are bound to wander in the darkness with only theories to rub balm on our inexorable curiousity.

    ?

  20. S Jowett says:

    What Is Time?

    To understand time, it is necessary to understand its components.

    Time is energy, with the same energy density as solid mass. Time is a function of energy, and so identical to energy.

    Energy in three-dimensional space is understood as mass, energy in the fourth Minkowski axis, as time, this means:

    Each spatial dimension is held within the next, in this setting, the three ordinary dimensions of space are combined within a single dimension of time, to form a four-dimensional manifold, representing a space-time reality.

    So multiplying an amount of time (t) (in seconds) by the speed of light squared (c²) gives the decompressed spatial energy (E) of transduced (changing one energy pattern to a different energy pattern) time (t), in short E = tc².

    Mass is just a special form of energy. Mass is energy, however only time mass exists, so the concept of mass as perceived as existing independently of time as a physical object is false.

    Energy can move across the boundary of three-dimensional space, into the other spatial dimensions, referred to as an open system, in contrast to a closed system (not a single, closed energy system exists within our entire universe), which would isolate energy within three-dimensional space. So all energy circulations are facilitated through the fourth-dimensional manifold of time.

    Negentropy, states that the natural system is self-ordering (i.e., freely receiving energy from the active environment), while entropy, is a measure of disorder in a system (i.e., freely giving energy to the active environment) both these states work in balance.

    So accompanying entropy within three-dimensional space is the Negentropy of time energy, in the time envelope(which is virtual) of three-dimensional space.

    And accompanying Negentropy within three-dimensional space is the entropy of the time energy, in the time envelope(which is virtual) of three-dimensional space.

    The system functions through the broken symmetry of opposites, the poles of a magnet or a dipole, it’s the point of union that allows the energy of time(released from the virtual, into the physical) to pour out at the speed of light, expanding into infinity.

    The entire universe functions on the conversion of energy, that being the transformation of the frequency of the energy, time energy is virtual, meaning we cannot observe it as it is held within the manifold of the fourth dimension.

    The totality of photons(both virtual and observable) is the connection between all four dimensional planes, and so its interactions with mass creates that masses motion through time, this is why the photon is neither a wave nor a particle, it is within the two planes, both three dimensional space and the manifold of time.

    Charge is the continuously active entity, which performs the processes of energy transduction between the time manifold and three-dimensional space. An example:

    A Star is a vast dipole, which extracts transduced electromagnetic energy(virtual) from the time manifold and pours it out in all directions at the speed of light, without ceasing, this means a star pours out time-polarised electromagnetic waves, this applies an electric charge to the gas (ionising the hydrogen), generating a vast plasma ball emitting photons(observable light) and heat, the dipole continues in a circulation as the longitudinally polarised electromagnetic wave or photon discharges into three dimensional space.

    Plasmas vary according to temperature and density, and have characteristics that scale over many orders of magnitude, this means to create a star the density of the ionisation of the hydrogen would be enormous, above 10³³ charged particles per metered cubed. This range of ionisation density explains why for example Jupiter remains as a gas ball, as opposed to a plasma ball.

    The visible Universe is 99.999% plasma. The Sun is about 100% plasma, as are all stars. Plasma makes up nearly 100% of the interplanetary, interstellar and intergalactic medium.

    Electro luminescence of the plasma, by emitting photons(observable), both illuminates the universe and connects three-dimensional space to the time manifold, manifesting relativistic time.

    Three dimensional space is a reality generated from the time manifold itself, the manner in the generation of this physical space means it will constantly expand this three dimensional universe at an ever accelerating rate. As every event, no matter how insignificant, is permanently stored within the electromagnetic field of the time manifold as quantum bits of information, these quibits of energy form braid like structures possessing length and width which twist together within the time manifold and expand the volume of the physical universe. This means the older the universe the greater its volume, being an ever greater amount of stored time events, as space expands it has more space to create events in time, this generates the acceleration.

    The mass of the universe works in a similar way; this is quibits of energy (information) within three-dimensional space, which twist together to form particles, clockwise or anti-clockwise along their length to produce positive or negative charge.

    So the time manifold is a natural quantum computer that uses inconceivable amounts of information to generate physical reality.

    The emitted light energy in turn is absorbed by the nearby positive charge of mass, say, the planet earth for example, and retransduced into time-energy, and re-emitted back to the time manifold. This ongoing energy circulation is an example of a scalar potential, both being and doing, at every spatial point of itself, inducing vacuum polarisation (an example of polarisation would be opposite poles of a magnetic field).

    There exist continual communication between particles which takes place in the time manifold, which holds this three dimensional universe, which holds all the particles of this physical reality.

    Matter depend on knowledge, it needs a cosmological clock provided by the frequency of the electron waves, the waves also perform the role of communicating in addition to time, length and mass.

    Every particle communicates its wave state with all other matter, so that energy exchange and the laws of physics are properties of the entire matter ensemble. The behaviour within matter arises from the fixed knowledge, from the source consciousness. Every element of this existence are interdependent, just as each cell of the human body is interdependent on every other cell, just as each element of an eco system is interdependent on every other element, a recurring pattern of nature.

    There are two real and coexistent realities participating in the physical behaviour of matter. We see one reality as our familiar 3D environment, governed by the natural laws. The second reality is composed of energy so densely compressed it boggles the mind, this energy mass of unseen quantum waves which form the structure of the fundamental particles: electrons, protons, and neutrons, and also, all three dimensional space, and action, in truth, everything, emanates from the time manifold.

    We cannot observe these waves of energy, although they fill the apparently empty space around us. We only know of their existence when two particles change their quantized wave states (energy patterns) in concert. For example, one particle in a star and the other in the retina of our eye. This exchange we call ‘light’.

    The energy of existence in all its many patterns and forms is of a single source, a conscious and infinite fountain of knowledge and imagination, without limit or constraint, as the understanding you have read expresses, only this conscious energy exists, nothing else, it guides and controls its energies, seemingly without effort.

    This conscious energy is the concept and reality of Allah without reservation, beyond the manifold of time exists an additional seven dimensional realities, each a magnitude of infinities, existing outside of the time manifold, beyond that more exists as the energy created all this of itself, but Allah exists as infinite, limitless and unbounded, the adventure of existence is just beginning.

    By Abdun Nur or S Jowett as you prefer.

  21. Kevin says:

    …and relax!

    Thank you, S Jowett – I’m sure I said that.

  22. Conor says:

    Gia,
    This was a fantastic and illuminating programme on the physics of space time. The complex was communicated so well that I finally ‘got it’.
    I stumbled on the programme and only caught the last 30mins.

    I want to watch it again with my 2 kids (11, 14yrs) but because I live outside the UK can’t access it through iPlayer. Can the program be bought on DVD or do you know when it will be broadcast again -either BBC or satellite channels, web?

    Keep the programmmes comming
    Brilliant
    Conor

  23. John R says:

    ABDUN

    You state your whole hypothesis as if all of it’s contents is a matter of fact.
    Even if our mathematics and physics proves something to be true it is only true in relation to our position in the Cosmos (and even these ‘truths’ are debatable!). Theory propounds that mathematics and physics are not universal constants ergo we cannot really claim that anything is a true constant.
    I hate to be a downer on this but I believe, with extreme frustration, that we can only ever skim the surface of what is and what is not.
    But, who knows? Some day, if our race survives long enough, we may find the answer to Douglas Adams’ question – “What is life, the universe and everything?” (Einstein’s ‘universal constant'(?)).
    I would hate to be around if that happens as our inate urge to push the boundaries of our knowledge will have snapped back like a rubber band to our own little world.

    What is life without questions?

    ??

  24. John R says:

    Just a llittle addendum – the speed of light depends on the medium through which it is travelling and so can only be theorised as a true constant when it travels through a pure vacuum. We can measure light speed in an artificially created vacuum but we cannot rely on this. Even a pure vacuum could contain sub-atomic particles, the existence and effect of which we have no knowledge. The, relatively recent, discovery of neutrinos is a case in point. I don’t think there such a thing as a ‘pure’ vacuum.

    ???

  25. James says:

    Just watched the whole programme again. I have to admit it is excellent. The narrative is constant even during the illustrative graphics which are themselves fully relevant. And the narrative is fully informative. This is as good as the original Horizons & I hope we get more of this. I knew things would get better again one day!

  26. bruce says:

    Ouch very nasty review of the prog in the Observer today… Someone doesn’t like Brian’s youthful looks… talk about ad hominem criticism! Jeeze, I mean, take issue with the content and style of the programme if you feel you need to, but not the messenger. They say there are not enough scientists willing to do public engagement of science… is it any wonder?

  27. Abdun Nur says:

    Salaam John,

    quote: ‘You state your whole hypothesis as if all of it’s contents is a matter of fact.’

    It is, it is the explanation presented from the physical evidence, unlike Einsteinian or conventional physics, which has to invent fantastic notions such as black hole, dark matter, pulsars, gravity, endless invention to help make their contrived and unproved theories fit the physical evidence, and even then they fail.

    Quote: ‘Even if our mathematics and physics proves something to be true it is only true in relation to our position in the Cosmos (and even these ‘truths’ are debatable!). Theory propounds that mathematics and physics are not universal constants ergo we cannot really claim that anything is a true constant.’

    To me this is a statement of true confusion, if indeed mathematics, and even physics, is for some strange and unknown reason, different in other regions of the universe, firstly why would it effect us, secondly how would we ever know, or care if it did or was, as we exist within a reality of which we seek to understand its function, not a reality we have absolutely no knowledge of, thirdly a constant within our universal reality is all anyone could understand, as this is the only reality we can investigate the physical properties of, if these laws of reality are different else where what has that to do with our understanding, we can not work in these regions, if indeed they exist.

    If you believe a law stated as a constant was proved to be a variant, then it would no long be viewed as a constant, as it would have been misrepresented in the first instance.

    Quote: ‘But, who knows? Some day, if our race survives long enough, we may find the answer to Douglas Adams’ question – “What is life, the universe and everything?” (Einstein’s ‘universal constant’(?)).’

    I would not hold Einstein with such high regard, he was almost entirely wrong, he has been propagated within the universities in defiance of reason for almost 80 years, and the result is utter confusion and contrived knowledge, as they are using a foundation of lies to build upon.

    I have written an explanation of the origins of the universe and structure of its nature, the way to understand this reality is to reject disproved evidence, such as Einsteinian physics and Newtonian physics and only accept the physical evidence presented through experimentation, and from this a picture of reality builds. Nothing is carved in stone I am open to new ideas if the evidence so points . I have updated my article” Time Explained” on my website:
    http://www.servantofthelight.com

    Abdun Nur

  28. COSMOS WITHOUT GRAITATION

    “I have long held an opinion, almost amounting to conviction, in common I believe with many other lovers of natural knowledge, that the various forms under which the forces of matter are made manifest have one common origin; or, in other words, are so directly related and mutually dependent, that they are convertible, as it were, one into another, and possess equivalents of power in their action. In modern times the proofs of their convertibility have been accumulated to a very considerable extent, and a commencement made of the determination of their equivalent forces.” — Michael Faraday, physicist, 1845

    “The long and constant persuasion that all the forces of nature are mutually dependent, having one common origin, or rather being different manifestations of one fundamental power, has often made me think on the possibility of establishing, by experiment, a connection between gravity and electricity …no terms could exaggerate the value of the relation they would establish.” — Michael Faraday, physicist, 1865

    “What we call mass would seem to be nothing but an appearance, and all inertia to be of electromagnetic origin.” — Henri Poincaré, physicist, 1908

    “Gravitation is an electromagnetic phenomenon.” — Immanuel Velikovsky, cosmologist, 1946

  29. Canon Alberic says:

    I thought the Observer review was pathetic and like all ad hominem attacks told you more about the anxieties of the attacker: he’s obviously got a problem, someone should recommend he read Billy Budd.

    Having said all that, there was a bit too much personality and location footage without a strong unifying narrative in my view; and before you say it again ALL of us are involved with television and god forbid that you have to “work” in the medium (which I do) to have valid criticisms of a programme.

    The last really brilliant and very popular TV Science really was the wonderful if erratic James Burke. Those programmes went round the world, are still a cult in the USA and have aged remarkably well. Even though you never saw a scientist, and he was an expert in Medieval Manuscripts. What is needed is more time. I know this is a big issue but thats no reason to succumb to the pessimism of Discovery Chanel science programming.

    PS I listened to Desert Island Discs yesterday – Brian was robbed….

  30. John R says:

    ABDUN

    Quote – “To me this is a statement of true confusion, if indeed mathematics, and even physics, is for some strange and unknown reason, different in other regions of the universe, firstly why would it effect us, secondly how would we ever know, or care if it did or was, as we exist within a reality of which we seek to understand its function, not a reality we have absolutely no knowledge of, thirdly a constant within our universal reality is all anyone could understand, as this is the only reality we can investigate the physical properties of, if these laws of reality are different else where what has that to do with our understanding, we can not work in these regions, if indeed they exist.”

    Why should we care? Why should we question? If it it doesn’t affect us then it doesn’t matter(?). If that was the case then why delve into the earliest moments of the universe – it’s all in the past so has no revelance to our present (?). Why probe the mysteries of quantum physics? Why ask ‘Why’?

    I think your comment “how would we ever know” is an indictment of your lack of imagination and your belief in the human spirit!

    We are very ‘new kids on the block’ according to our estimation of the life of the universe, and as our solar system travels through our galaxy and as our galaxy travels through the cosmos we cannot say how those ‘unknowns’ may affect us.
    You seem to put a limit on our need to acquire knowledge whether it affects us or not. If we ever lose that drive to understand then that will be when we suffer intellectual stagnation and become automatons.

    I hope and truly believe that, if we, as a species can continue our logarithmic progress of the last 100 years then who is to say what we will understand in the next 100, 1000 or 1000000 years.
    Maybe that currently unused portion of our brains will eventually ‘kick in’ and help us in our quest.

    Insularity is not an option!

    J.

    PS…ABDUN – I think you mean ‘affect’ and not ‘effect’.

  31. Robin says:

    Very Interesting but I am still wondering is the concept of time actually necessary. Cant space time just be space ie all the things regarded as facets of space time just be topological issues. Sure, if I have a watch and another guy has a watch flying past me arent we just two guys with watches. The medium in which we make our comparison might be light but so what!
    Cant everything ultimately be described as geometry and the effects mass has on the space the geometry is acting.??

    As you can tell I dont know anything about physics but I would be interested in your reply if you have time.(pun not intentional) (Better still a booklist!!!)

  32. Navid says:

    The best part of the presentation came in the last three or four minutes of the programme when the lady described Time as tiny grains of sand (or quantum bits of information). The question arises where does this “information” emanates from–the quantum or from other spatial dimension. The whole programme can focus on this aspect of the puzzle. I thought on the whole programme was very well presented — tried to identify the problem associated with describing Time but only hinted at the solution at the end.

    I like the quotes from Faraday seem to match up with what S Jowett has written.

  33. John R says:

    John Moore

    So, John, you believe that if a tree falls in a forest and there is no one to here it it does not make a sound. Physicallity only exists because we are here to experience it?. If that is the case then the universe is only as old as our basic perception of it. Roughly four million years(?).

    Nite nite John.

    PS – don’t forget to switch of your electro-magnetic radiation device. Then again if you are asleep and can’t see it maybe it’s not radiating.
    You may have a good case for a reduction in your electron agitation bill!!

    Not in the dark.

  34. Chris says:

    Fantastic programme. I only touched on the concept of time comparatively lightly in the philosophy part of my MA. However the subject matter has fascinated me for most of my adult life – and may ultimately be behind my passion for collecting wristwatches. Thanks for adding fuel to my mental fire ;-)

  35. John R says:

    Hi Chris
    You share my passion – wristwatches. Do you ever wonder what it is that drives it? My excuse is that I’m an engineer and so have a natural affinity to those little ‘engines’ – that’s my excuse. Maybe it is an inate fascination of time – who know’s(?)

    By the way Chris…’What Time Is It?’.

  36. SJowett says:

    Einstein presents gravity as all powerful, sighting it as the force that distorts time, so they contend, the mass of the Sun is the reason time is slowed as any object or energy passes close to its surface, when the reason has nothing to do with mass or gravity at all. Time is the energetic medium of energy interaction, the more energy that is extracted from the virtual energy manifold, or time field, into the physical or observable universe, the less energy exists in the local area of time, from which the extraction has taken place, the Sun extracts vast, vast amounts of time energy, this slows time within this interactive environment, and so slows light as it passes through this localised time drain.

    I personally do not believe, time, travels at the speed of light, as the speed of light can be slowed through transparent mediums, or when travelling through localised areas, where the conversion of time energy is transduced into electromagnetic energy, at these locations light passes through these localised areas of transduction, and is slowed due to the reduction of available time energy, this means two things, firstly light is not a constant, and secondly, light does not create the motion through time of mass, it can however complete the circle, sending its information back into the record within the active time field.

    So charge is the continuously active entity, and charge would be far more suited to the task of time circulation, charge performs the processes of energy transduction between the time manifold and three-dimensional space.

    Charge changes time, not light, charge is the active, energetic entity, not light, light is passive, charge is practical, charge gives power and life to the universe, light simply illuminates its actions, while simultaneously light is being, itself, generated from the active charge.

    Charge is the underlying sustaining and activating physical source, upon manifestation, of every plasma, and as the universe is 99.999% plasma, charge is the real connection to the function and passage of time.

    So the real force of time is the electromagnetic charge, this holds the memory of creation, therefore this has to hold the time motion of mass, it is the record keeper, it is the outpouring force driving this form of manifest creation, it is the force of life itself, it is the force within every atom, it is the key to understanding the energy circulation of the open time, to manifold, mutual exchange, within this open energy system of our physical universe.

    The form of time is an ocean, the understanding of this ocean can be seen through the idea of the Dirac sea.

    The origins of the Dirac sea lie in the energy spectrum of the Dirac equation, extension of the Schrodinger equation, that Dirac had formulated in 1928.

    For each quantum state possessing a positive energy E, there is a corresponding state with energy -E.(negative E)

    A positive-energy electron would be able to shed energy by continuously emitting photons, a process that could continue without limit as the electron descends into lower and lower energy states, this has been demonstrated experimentally to be true, further demonstrating the open energy exchange of the manifold.

    The existence of the Dirac sea holds an infinite negative electric charge filling every Quibit of three dimensional space, the perceived ‘bare vacuum’ must have an infinite positive charge density which is exactly cancelled by the Dirac sea. Since the absolute energy density is unobservable, only the changes in the energy density can be observed, further a sea of infinite extent can accept new particles even if it is filled. This sea of infinite negative electric charge is the time ocean, to master the understanding of the dirac sea free of Einsteinian confusion, will lay bare the form and function of time.

    An example:

    A Star is a vast dipole, which extracts transduced electromagnetic energy from the time manifold (virtual into observable), and pours it out in all directions at the speed of light, without ceasing, this means a star pours out time-polarised electromagnetic waves looping into the Sun from the outside, and travelling inward, this applies an electromagnetic charge to the gas (ionising the hydrogen), generating a vast plasma ball emitting photons (light spectrum) and heat, and radiations, the dipole continues in a circulation as the longitudinally polarised electromagnetic wave, or photon, discharges into three dimensional space.
    Plasmas vary according to temperature and density, and have characteristics that scale over many orders of magnitude, this means to create a star, the density of the ionisation of the hydrogen would be enormous, above 10³³ charged particles per metered cubed. This range of ionisation density explains why for example Jupiter remains as a gas ball, as opposed to a blinding plasma ball of electroluminescence.

    The visible Universe is 99.999% plasma. The Sun is almost 100% plasma, as are all stars. Plasma makes up nearly 100% of the interplanetary, interstellar and intergalactic medium.

    Electroluminescence of the plasma, by emitting photons, both illuminates the universe, and in addition to the underlying ionised galaxy bubble, connects three-dimensional space to the time manifold, manifesting relativistic time, recorded within the virtual electromagnetic information field within the manifold, making this creation a time path based reality, a multi layered active vacuum information circulation, between the manifold and physical reality.

    This means each atom of creation is independently held within time, each moment of time is a multiple connection, it is the manifestation of all dimensional planes working in harmony, as all realities are manifest instant by instant; without this constant materialization of reality, nothing would exist.

    Maxwell’s electrodynamics in their original quaternion form must be re-established in full, within the science of physics, abandoning any revisions, which constrain and restrict the true understanding of electrodynamics, perpetrated, so violating our perception of the truth, by reprehensible individuals.

    Maxwell’s electrodynamics, when applied to moving bodies, a state apparent for all mass, leads to asymmetries (a relation between two things in which the first has a relation to the second, but the second cannot have the same relation to the first).

    This is clearly shown with the function of a dynamo.

    Consider first, if the magnet is in motion and the conductor at rest, the magnet transduces the electromagnetic field it emits, into an electric field, with a certain definite energy, producing a current at the places where parts of the conductor are situated.

    But if you reverse the situation and the magnet is stationary, and the conductor in motion, no electric field is generated, so demonstrating asymmetry.

    This asymmetric principle is important within the physical universe, to allow the principle of a continuous self-creating cosmology, achieved through scalar fields (examples of scalar fields are, temperature distribution throughout space, or the air pressure of our atmosphere.)

    The set of all scalar fields on a manifold forms a commutative ring (all scalar field commutative rings are automatically two sided, demonstrating a circulation of information between the active manifold and the manifest physical universe, mass itself is a manifestation of energy (knowledge)). Complex scalar fields represent the variable interactive parameters of charged particles.

    Tensor fields (a field existing independently of latitude and longitude, beyond physical constraints), tensor fields defined over a manifold, which define a tensor at every point of the manifold independent of co-ordinates. Tensor fields allow none linear communication, between physical to physical, physical to virtual, virtual to physical, and presumably between virtual to virtual communications. So in combination scalar and tensor fields, generate continuous self creation, which is the expansion of knowledge, being the structure of all things, a single emanating source, the thought, and the memory of existence.

    To further understand the existence of the manifold, consider movement, the movement within every atom, a perpetual orbit of interaction, the endless charge pouring from every dipole in the universe, the constant flow of time independently conveying every atom into the next instant of existence, the organic nature of reality cooperating in a harmony of interactive, transmuting, dynamic truth.

    Consider what powers this movement, what generates these energies, what manifests this reality instant to instant, an open system of poetic elegance, open to what? Open to a underlying energy exchange, a manifold, the ‘A’ field, the ether, whatever you wish to call it.

  37. Mike Barnett@hotmail.co.uk says:

    This programme had me totally enchanted. I am a bank manager and power lifter but Brian makes complete sense (as in he simplifies it for me). I love physics but am very far behind as regards string theory and quantom physics.Excellent programme, I have though now come up with many new reasons when arriving late at work, although the boss looks baffled.

  38. David says:

    Love all of his films that he makes with the bbc so interesting and i learn a great deal.

    THANK YOU :D

  39. Guy M says:

    Unfortunately I missed Brian’s program on Time, which is a real shame as I find the subject fascinating. However, I did catch this weeks program on attaining nuclear fusion and his previous program about the LHC. Both were fascinating programs, presented with Brian’s unique charm and enthusiasm for the subject.

    He has an almost boyish love for what he does, that is infectious and endears the subject matter to the viewer. I’m looking forward to his next program…

    By the way, if anyone knows where I can still view “Do You Know What Time It Is”, please let me know.

  40. Andy H says:

    Guy M, the whole thing is available on youtube.

  41. Guy M says:

    Thanks Andy, I’ll look for it there.

  42. Deborah says:

    A few days ago I saw a commercial for the premiere of ‘What Time Is It?’ airing Sunday, March 1, 9pm/12am on the Science Channel (USA). I’ve seen two of Brian’s other programs aired previously on the Science Channel, and they are among my all-time favorites (permanently saved on my TiVo), so I was really excited when I saw the ad for the new show. I went to the website (science.discovery.com) to look for more info and didn’t find much except the guide listing, so I did further searching and found this site. My initial thought when viewing ‘What on Earth Is Wrong With Gravity’ was that they finally found a good looking scientist to do a show. Ultimately, however, I was most impressed by his charmingly charismatic style. I prefer him over Dr. Iain Stewart, another UK scientist on TV here (‘Hot Rocks’ and ‘Earth: The Biography’.) They are both excellent at presenting information, but Dr. Cox’s enthusiasm is intriguing and enjoyable, while Dr. Stewart’s enthusiasm is sometimes overdramatic and distracting. Of course one is physics and the other is geology, so maybe I shouldn’t compare them. When it comes to physics, Dr. Cox is right up there with Dr. Michio Kaku, in terms of worthwhile television. Quite fittingly, the Science Channel is promoting ‘What Time Is It?’ as a part of Dr. Kaku’s branded SciQ Sunday lineup. I’m looking forward to it…and we only had to wait three months from when it aired in Britain.

  43. James Wong says:

    If I mistake not, both Sagan and Hawking said they are comfortable with the idea of:
    1. An observable universe which is traceable 13.7 billion years back to it’s beginning – the Big Bang. And before and beyond the bang,
    2. An eternal and everlasting universe which was there, is there expanding and will be there one way or the other.
    I’d say what they said are both honest and self-sufficient, and very satisfying to me.

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  1. [...] BBC 2 had an episode of its Horizon series titled “Do You Know What Time It Is?”. (HT Gia’s Blog) In this episode, particle physicist (and TED speaker) Brian Cox asks, ‘What time is [...]

  2. [...] BBC 2 had an episode of its Horizon series titled “Do You Know What Time It Is?”. (HT Gia’s Blog) In this episode, particle physicist (and TED speaker) Brian Cox asks, ‘What time is [...]