Our experience of space and time

Friday, 24 January 2014
I found very interesting this reading about the discovery of the amplituhedron. It made me think about what we understand for time and space. 

Since the beginning of human curiosity we thought we knew what space and time is. We measured distances in rudimentary units such as cubits or stadiums, and the kept track of time with clepsydras or the sun's cycle. 

With these concepts Galileo started studying the relationship between space and time to represent movement. Descartes gave us a reference system, and Newton gave us laws for the movement of objects in these systems. Laws that apply both to celestial bodies and everyday objects. Our mind was prepared to accept three numbers for space and one for time. And then came Einstein's geometrical idea of curved space, and time and space were intrinsically connected. 

And then Quantum Mechanics makes us think that time is only an illusion, a derivation of the relationship between objects. 

The recent discovery of the amplituhedron for the calculation of the probabilities of outcomes of particle interactions changes our idea of time too. The change (time) arises from the change in the structure of this geometrical construct, not from the change in the object itself. 

We can see how the different geometrical descriptions of the natural laws change our interpretation of what is reality. Our everyday experience clashes against our mathematical representation of it. It does not mean that our experience is not valid. It only underlines the difficulties of describing Nature from the mathematical point of view. 

As our calculation power improves, we feel detached from reality. But, if we can measure reality in a better way, does not it mean that we understand it better?

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