Granular time?

Physicists say that matter is granular. Made up of tiny bits. Digital not analogue or seamless. Or so it seems? Though they seem to smash matter into smaller and smaller digital pieces and describe the smallest pieces now with equations imputed from shadows of reactions in tiny amounts of time. There is a unit measure of space – named after Max Planck – below which as Heisenberg has proved – we cannot see or measure. I wonder whether matter might be a little bit slipperier than physicists would have it? Is it possible, just maybe, that it is their search for certainty that is trying to fit it into bits?

And time? What about time. Is there then a granular unit of time. After all – as Alfred North Whitehead showed – Reality is a Process. Time is involved, within, each bubble of reality. Where materiality and spirituality are time in different directions applied to the reality-moment – now. But think about it – reality is, as Whitehead has it in the moment NOW. He points out that quantum mechanics implies that matter is a wave and that waves can only exist with time within them. So that he connects reality through time. Through moments of NOW.  But how long is NOW? Is there a reality quotient, a kind of atom of time that defines what is NOW rather than future potential and past material? I have no sense of Whitehead’s kind of maths or philosophy. Indeed I only have a tenuous grasp of his thesis – and most of that through Rupert Sheldrake’s synopsis in his excellent – The Science Delusion.

But even considering the widely read Buddhist inspired book – The Power of Now – leads you to consider surely – How Long Exactly is NOW. Is there a unit of time that is Now?

Just a thought.


9 thoughts on “Granular time?

  1. Quantum physics demonstrates that matter has both granular and continuous aspects, well demonstrated by experimental results for the past century. It’s how your computer works. Please don’t make it mystical.


        or just search for “double slit experiment”

        Quantum physics is one of the hardest subjects to grasp because we have so many preconceptions about how the world behaves at the human scale. At very small and very large scales, and at speeds approaching the speed of light, our everyday experience of reality becomes a barrier to understanding.

        It is not physicists’ search for certainty that makes them believe in particles. The evidence shows that matter at the smallest length scales behaves in complex ways, sometimes like particles, sometimes like continuous “waves”. There is evidence for faster-than-light action at a distance and all kinds of exotic behaviour. This is, of course, an area of vigorous research and many questions remain unanswered.

      • Ok thanks Steve. I think I’m up to speed with all the double slit experiments and their implications. What would be helpful is any reference to the most recent ones that show reverse causality – that support Whitehead’s “pretension” logic from Process and Reality …

      • OK, sorry if I am telling you things you already know. It’s just that many people blog about quantum physics with no clue what they are saying. I’ve not read Whitehead in any detail, so can’t offer anything new on that.

      • Steve – I don’t fully grasp Whitehead.. Really difficult. Thank you for you thoughts and comments. Truly welcome. I don’t even know what I don’t know. It feels sometimes like standing on a tint island of knowledge which is shifting sand and looking out at the ocean of unknown. But aren’t the implications of quantum physics amazing!? As a scientist, at least by training and interest, what does truly worry me are those who cite science as some kind of “proof” for their views. So am with you entirely with your first comment! Have you read “the science delusion” by Rupert Sheldrake? I found this stimulating – opening up at it does with questions arising from current scientific knowledge …

  2. I can’t claim any scientific knowledge as you know G. However I am interested and I know what makes sense to me and I try to keep an open mind on all the topics that you discuss.

    Steve – if what I say makes you squirm, I apologise in advance. Feel free to laugh at any point! I do know that computers work because there are little men in them with calculators and coloured torches.

    Matter – a universe made up of particles floating around in absolute nothingness, mysteriously acting at a distance on each other, really doesn’t add up. Quantum theory clearly challenges this view, but seems to fall short of answering all the questions. The only theory that, to me, makes sense is a wave theory of matter. That is that all matter is made up of standing three dimensional waves in a continuous field, or aether as it was once coined I believe by descartes (but not his soup of tiny particles, a continuous field). I particularly (no pun intended) like Milo Wolff’s description of the electron. It includes a hypothesis as to how individual electrons “communicate” with the whole universe. The outward waves extend out to the universe, and the inward waves are generated by the entire universe. This helps explain how forces act at a distance and potentially begins to explain how the universe learns (as with the example Sheldrake uses of how new structure crystals are easier to produce the second time they are produced and easier still the third time, regardless of physical location). It is a difficult concept to grasp, and I am struggling to fully understand, but to me it helps answer many questions, and of course generates many questions. There is a growing body of work by many individuals looking at wave theories of matter and I firmly believe that there will be a shift toward this thinking in the coming years. I don’t think that smashing things together is going to deliver the evidence hoped for either. There are no certainties coming out of CERN only press releases to keep the funders digging deeper in the pocket. I am sure that real insights will come from subtle approaches that will take smarter people than me to figure out.

    Wolff’s electron

    I have also just got but not started reading Steven Rado’s Aethro-kinematics which is again another take on wave theory of matter.

    Bring back the aether!

    Now – If time is linear, with the future in front and the past behind, the two must join at a point we consider as now. I guess it depends how thick your pencil is as to how much space it takes up. Maybe now is so fleeting, such an infinitesimally small amount of time that it is imperceivable. So maybe now has no power. Maybe the past and future overlap and “now” is a confusion of memories and anticipations and doesn’t actually exist.

    Sheldrake – I watched his supposedly banned TED talk and I like his question everything approach. It does seem that science has become a religion with dogma and unquestionable beliefs. If that is untrue, why are we still teaching standard model without teaching that it shouldn’t be taken too seriously. A rigid standard model doesn’t help in genuine leaps forward. But how do we break out of this position when all of the funding fed into universities etc goes to individuals that don’t challenge the status quo and don’t want their careers work questioning.

    • Love it Tim..not drowning but waving! I must say I’ve been at a bit of a loss as to how to interact with some quite aggressively narrow minded and unscientific respondents.. Your and Steve’s open minded approaches are refreshing. How right you are about the materialist scientific dogmas and establishment .. What the Catholic Church became in the sixteenth century .. May out memories in potentials overlap in a now moment in a hostelry soon ! A propos I’m going to be London 3 Dpw for six months ?

  3. Pingback: All in a spin? | gigglinginthegutter

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