Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Existence of Time
Name: Unknown
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Around 1993


Question:
How do we know that time exists? I know that clocks tell what time it currently is, and that we age as this so called "time" passes. But what factual reason is there that explains HOW time exists, and if it truly does? But what scientific reasons are there for its actual existence?



Replies:
Well, how do we know that anything exists? We look around ourselves, observe the world, and come to some conclusions about it. Time seems to be a very useful concept in making the world make sense. Human observations of the world about us are perfectly acceptable scientific reasons for stating that time exists. Science is incapable of proving anything, and although some people seem to think that some scientific theories are infallible, and therefore can be relied on to prove things about the world, such notions are really not compatible with true science - science rests on observation, NOT on theory. Theory simply helps make sense of the observations. The first thing in a scientific approach to anything is measurement. Can we measure time? Yes! To fractions of a picosecond, these days. But, if you want to hold out and claim that time does not exist, that it is all a figment of our imaginations, that in fact there is only one time ever, which is the present, and all the past never existed, well, that is up to you.

A. Smith



Click here to return to the Physics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory