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Thread: Is the unit of time, the second, non-arbitrary?

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    Default Is the unit of time, the second, non-arbitrary?

    Hello,

    First, let me thank you for taking the time to consider my question. Second, (no pun intended) let me say that I am well aware of, and certainly appreciate the conventional belief that the second is an arbitrary measurement. In this regard, as most anyone would tell you, the second is based on an arbitrary subdivision of the orbital (or rotational?) period of our planet, our planet which on a cosmic scope is "insignificant" as in the metaphor: a grain of sand in all the beaches of the world. The atomic second, based on the radiation periods of caesium-133, is only non-arbitrary in the sense that it was adopted to essentially match, yet add an unprecedented level of precision to the already arbitrary unit.

    Without delving deep into the composite hypotheses, theories, and precise details that form the basis of my curiosity, and definitely without trying to argue one way or the other, I am posing this question with the hope that those who are already familiar with the compostie theories (harmonic theory, for example) could elaborate generally or supply specific data points (to which we may engage in further discussion and analysis). I apologize if I have drawn you in with the generality of my question in the title, but I would ask that you please adhere to the specificity that I have laid out here. If there are no answers, then so be it. Thank you so very much.

    Regards,
    Maat

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    Moderator grapes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the unit of time, the second, non-arbitrary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maat View Post
    First, let me thank you for taking the time to consider my question. Second, (no pun intended) let me say that I am well aware of, and certainly appreciate the conventional belief that the second is an arbitrary measurement. In this regard, as most anyone would tell you, the second is based on an arbitrary subdivision of the orbital (or rotational?) period of our planet, our planet which on a cosmic scope is "insignificant" as in the metaphor: a grain of sand in all the beaches of the world. The atomic second, based on the radiation periods of caesium-133, is only non-arbitrary in the sense that it was adopted to essentially match, yet add an unprecedented level of precision to the already arbitrary unit.
    Yes. But it appears you've answered your own question, no?

    Although it certainly started as a fraction of the rotational period, this wiki says it became a fraction of the orbital period in 1960 (for the "arbitrary" year 1900), then was calibrated and defined with atomic vibrations by 1980. I personally can't vouch for those dates, but the general idea seems correct.

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    Default Re: Is the unit of time, the second, non-arbitrary?

    It's interesting what one picks up in celestial navigation classes...

    Historically, the number twelve was quite significant, most notably due to Christianity. For example, Jesus had twelve apostles. The numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, were also significant, as we have five fingers on each hand, and five toes on each foot. The number 2 was significant as well, for we have two eyes, two arms, two... Well, you get the picture.

    1*2=2 We have two eyes, two arms..

    2*3=6 The basis of the sextant

    3*4=12 Twelve hours in a day (daytime day)

    4*5=20 ?

    That's the direct series. Let's mix things up a bit (find the remaining combinations)

    2*4=8 The basis of the octant (another device used for celestial navigation)

    2*5=10 Decimal System

    3*5=15 ?

    4*5=20 ?

    And let's factor in more terms:

    2*3*4=24 Twenty four hours in a day

    3*4*5=60 Seconds in an minute; minutes in an hour; nautical miles in 1 deg of latitude

    2*3*5=30 ? Triple it, though, and you have 90 deg in a quadrant.

    2*4*5=40 It rained for forty days and forty nights; Jesus was in the desert for 40 days...

    And, last but not least:

    2*3*4*5=120 Not significant in itself, but 3 was considered especially holy (Trinity; three points of balance for a table to stand...)

    So:

    120*3=360 The degrees in a circle.

    My point is that the ancients were fascinated with both their faith, as well as basic numerology. As a result, yes, most aspects of time are indeed arbitrary:

    24 Hours in a day
    60 Minutes in an hour
    60 Seconds in a minute
    1 Nautical miles in a degree of longitude
    90 deg from the equator to the North Pole

    Thus, I wouldn't say the selection of various numbers was purely arbitrary, as they did hold significant meaning in both their religion and numerology.
    My oath of office never expires. "God, who gave us life, gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?" - Thomas Jefferson. "I have far too long suffered fools. No longer will I tolerate the insufferable. Enjoy the vacuum." - Mugs

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    Senior Member RayTomes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the unit of time, the second, non-arbitrary?

    Maat, it is a more interesting question than most scientists would suspect. Even apart from the obvious fact that 2, 12 and 60 have lots of factors, the numbers of units in a day are quite close to the most harmonic relationships possible. We have 2 sets of 12 hours and 1440 minutes in a day. Have a look at the Harmonics theory highest peaks! 86400 is not an ultra strong harmonic, but not far behind (2.5 seconds is 1/34560 day which is super strong harmonic). See my web page on harmonics theory:
    LINK: Harmonics Theory Physics and Maths

    When it comes to distance, the apparently arbitrary measurements of ancient people turn out to be related to natural distances and cycles and extremely closely tied to natures units.

    When referring to the various waves within a human being, it comes to mind that teh Buddha referred to "this fathom long body". Well a fathom is 6 feet which is right for a tall man. The other divisions in imperial units also correspond to harmonics of the fathom which are related by ratios of 2 and 3 just as harmonics theory waves:

    72" = fathom
    36" = yard
    18" = cubit
    9" = span

    12" = foot
    6" = (no name) = our chakra spacings
    3" = palm

    4" = hand
    2" = (no name)
    1" = inch = our acupuncture level spacings

    1/3" = barleycorn
    1/6" = (I forget)
    1/12" = line

    There are no other imperial units in this range. Actually the harmonic connections continue up through rods/poles/perches and chains to furlongs and miles and the league. Ratios of 5 and 11 occur as well the many ratios of 2 and 3.

    For a discussion about many aspects of this type of relationship, see
    LINK: Harmonics, Music, Pythagoras and the Universe

    For these units and harmonics within the human body, chakras and acupuncture points:
    LINK: YouTube - ‪Human Harmonics - Chakras & Acupuncture points‬‏
    LINK: Thunderbolts Forum • View topic - Subtle Energy and Human Harmonics

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    Senior Member astromark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the unit of time, the second, non-arbitrary?

    I like for this discussion and agree that a pattern emerges of our reliance to things familiar. Ray makes a good point. I enjoyed the links...

    A type of harmonic is understood.. Now for a rare event. This does not happen often if ever... I have had a idea... and a want to share it...

    and that I am a fool. are all facts.. Just be tolerant and nod knowingly, is all I ask of you's...

    Why is time not metric. ?

    The current 24 hour period should be a 1000 unit Day. ;ie,

    The 6 am would become 250. Midday would read as 500. and 6 pm become 750. each unit could be further divided by the metric as we do... 0.00

    That I would name these units 'mets' is just a simple less complicated idea that I can hardly claim as original.. someone must have thought this before...

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    Default Re: Is the unit of time, the second, non-arbitrary?

    <Nodding knowingly>
    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    The current 24 hour period should be a 1000 unit Day. ;ie,

    The 6 am would become 250. Midday would read as 500. and 6 pm become 750. each unit could be further divided by the metric as we do... 0.00...
    Two things off the top of my head: (1) Can you imagine the size of the watch needed for those of us that wear glasses and (2) "excuse me but do you have the time?" "Why yes, it's 973."

    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    That I would name these units 'mets' is just a simple less complicated idea that I can hardly claim as original.. someone must have thought this before...

    No, Astromark, I think the credit for this is all yours...
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    Proud advocate of the ATM idea that 0.999... is NOT equal to one.

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    Senior Member RayTomes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the unit of time, the second, non-arbitrary?

    Star Trek had metric time.

    The problem with time is that years, months, weeks and days are already mostly irrational (in both senses?) so the hours, minutes and seconds look really sensible in comparison.

    Hundredths of a day are roughly 1/4 hour, so are excellent for meeting times etc.

    Yes, it has been thought of before.
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    Default Re: Is the unit of time, the second, non-arbitrary?

    Thank you, all, for your answers!

    There are many precise numeric relationships that can be found between units of time and distance, musical intervals, and various measurements of the "macroverse" and "microverse." After seeing so much data and so many calculations, it began to make an impression on me that the universe may be operating like a big clock, and that perhaps the ancients knew that, but their knowledge was lost, destroyed, or forgotten.

    Looking at the sun, for example, note that one common estimate for its diameter is 864,000 miles, and the number of seconds in a day is 86,400. Interesting, but then consider the data obtained from the field of helioseismology, which has measured various oscillations of the sun. Many of these oscillations have periods very close to the minute, including a 160 minute oscillation that has been measured to the precision of 159.967 to 160.016 minutes (note that 160 minutes is 1/9th of a day). There are other periods of oscillation that seem to closely conform to the minute, including 5 minute and 7 minute oscillations (although there is usually more variation here that is due to measurement difficulties).

    Then there's the Constant of Nineveh, which was recorded on ancient Sumerian clay tablets. This number was expressed as 70 multiplied by 60 seven times, which equates to 1.959552 x 10^14. It has been theorized that this number is a constant expressed in seconds, which would equate to 2,268 million days. Considering that the orbital periods of the planets change over time, it is interesting to note how the Constant of Nineveh corresponds to these orbital periods if slight alterations are made. For instance, if you divide the Nineveh Constant (NC, in days) by 25,000, you get a good approximation for the orbital period of the dwarf planet Pluto: 90,720 days. Similarly, if the orbital periods of Mercury, Venus, and Earth are rounded off to more harmonic orbital periods of (respectively) 90, 225, and 360 days, this corresponds to cycles within the NC of 25,200,000, 10,080,000, and 630,000. If you divide the NC by 8,640, relating to the number of seconds in a day, you arrive at 25,873, which is very close to the precessional cycle generally given as 25,920 years. If you multiply the NC by 36 (consider 3,600 seconds per hour), you get 223.5 million years, which is very close to the estimate of 225 million years for the galactic rotation period of the Milky Way. I would also like to note the the NC divided by the unifying harmonic ratio of 34,560 that Ray discovered (thank you Ray) is exactly 5,670,000,000.

    It has been theorized that the oscillations of the sun, which propagate as waveforms throughout space, create nodal points that correspond to the locations where the planets formed. The distance of the planets from the sun is a determining factor for their orbital velocity, and thus their orbital period (year). Could oscillations originating from the center of our galaxy be effecting our sun? Furthermore, recent observations have been made that suggest that all of the galaxies of the universe are on an ecliptic plane, and that "walls" of galaxies are separated by huge distances. Could the entire universe be a spiral of galaxies, with the underlying shape of a counter-rotating torus? Perhaps there is a "grand central sun" at the center of this "galaxy of galaxies" that is oscillation at certain frequencies that has a profound effect on everything else in the universe, thus causing so much of what appears to be "clockwork" around us.

    Of course, much of this is just speculation, but it is remarkable to think, isn't it? There is a lot of data that informs this speculation though, and I will continue to pursue this curiosity of mine. Consider that everything is essentially vibration, and it's not difficult to imagine that there might be a fundamental--in musical terms--UNISON that holds it all together.

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    Default Re: Is the unit of time, the second, non-arbitrary?

    To reply directly to 'Maat' and the question.. Harmonics and time keeping.
    No I do not see the universe falling into line with any time keeping concept that us humans have leaned towards.,
    or come to use..and rely on.
    Yes I can recognise a pattern of natural time keeping and notice that all sorts of life forms have a time scale that they seem to follow reliably.
    Flocks of birds migrate, My Turtle sleeps.. these are time keeping concepts.
    The Northern hemisphere celebrates Easter as some sort of medieval past. A time to indicate the coming new crops and life cycles..
    Down here in 'the colonies'(NZ) Matariki is this same celebration of the New Year..
    The point I am eluding to is that all sorts of time keeping and cycles can be seen as real.
    If Humanity was living any place else things would be different.
    We use atomic clocks to establish great accuracy or the oscillation of some crystal with minute electrical charge..
    but do not change our scale standards.. accordingly..
    If the planet was bigger, smaller, spinning at a different rate, orbiting faster, slower. Tidal locked. Had a binary star, or just another moon...
    can you see time is relative to us, here, The Universe does not care for humanity or our watches and clocks...
    ... or you are talking of something else and I missed the point completely... sorry. its Friday.
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    Default Re: Is the unit of time, the second, non-arbitrary?

    Thanks for at the least tolerating my whimsical time concept.. Hmm.., 973 is getting to be a late night... and as a 'trek' fan.. they never made a issue of that metric time. I remember the term 'Star-date.... whatever'. It never meant anything to me.

    My family do not understand me now.. using my own time scale could get me institutionalized....;-/... I might just see....If I am not back soon, you know why...

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