Ok, this idea sounds meshugah to one of the physicists I spoke with at the end of a salon entitled “Refining Einstein.” It was part of the World Science Festival, 2013. I volunteer every year and get to hear smart people talk about Einstein and quantum physics. This year the salon participants decided to avoid the quantum physics part and devoted their attention to defining and refining the geometry of time. Which is ok if you didn’t know that they were supposed to relate time to both the macro and micro, to Einsteinian spacetime and to quantum mechanics.
One of the questions from the audience wondered whether or not the absolute zero of time wouldn’t be the big bang at its inception when time did not yet exist. In other words, time originated with space. That makes sense since time and space are so intimately related that the geometer of space absolutely defines time and time cannot be separated from space. Gravity is the great force here as mass and energy warp spacetime, slowing and accelerating time itself. In fact, gravity became the 800 pound gorilla in the room of the salon and time and space were inseparably linked with the effect mass and energy have on spacetime.
But what happens to gravity in the quantum world where mass/energy does not have much effect on subatomic particles? Gravity is comparatively weak in spacetime; in quantum levels there is no valid theory of gravity. Quantum loop gravity theory is one effort to define gravity on the quantum level but is as yet less than authoritative. The distances are so short and the energy so high that compared to the weak force, the strong force, and random events gravity is still enigmatic.
Time and gravity are structural elements but neither have clear roles when the issues of singularity or entanglement come up. The numbers in the mathematical equations reach for infinity at the center of a black hole—a singularity—relative to time, space, and are thus undefined. If your equation results in infinity, the result is invalid. This is not the way to go about working this out.
My insight: entanglement, defined as two particles so involved with each other that action or measurement of one changes the other instantaneously no matter how far apart they are states that no time is spent communicating through spacetime. This “spooky action at a distance” (Einstein) has a real claim on reality. Just don’t ask me what reality is. Entanglement reflects a state of no-time. The absolute zero of time which I choose to ascribe to the state at the period of origin, named by Fred Hoyle as the big bang, is also timeless. My question: at both the singularity, and in entanglement, time n’existe pas. Therefore is there not some relationship?
The physicist I spoke with adamantly denied a relationship between singularity no-time and entanglement no-time. He did not want to go into it. Nonetheless, I can’t stop thinking about it.
My thinking spread out, like an electron wave. What if photons and other massless particles that travel at light-speed and therefore do not “experience” time are aspects of this phenomenon of entanglement and singularity? Really, the way I understand it, gravity slows down time, and at the singularity time stops. There might be a connection. Some would say that all particles are entangled because all energy and mass emerged from the singularity of the big bang. I am not about to say we are all one, though that would explain a lot, such as the existence of the mind and our ability to communicate with others instantaneously, experiences anecdotally verified but not yet experimentally validated. We could branch out into the concept of synchronicity, a bildung co-created by analyst Carl G. Jung and physicist Wolfgang Pauli. No, I want to correlate the science of quantum mechanics with the science of spacetime. I do not believe my question is without meaning, order, or even relativity.
Time for me is special. I love time. As a musician I consider time to be the skeleton upon which the flesh of music is hung. I know that the brain sets up sympathetic vibrations of action potential among a group of listeners to music that captures and unites a crowd. Time for me is the essence of music, and even when musicians say they are ignoring time when they play freely, without time, I think time is implied. You can hear time in the energy. Time slows down at lower energy levels of expression and speeds up at higher levels of energy. Playing sometimes feels like I’m riding a wave that moves faster than the speed of thought. I surf the wave of time as notes pop out of the quantum foam of superposition of notes. I am very familiar with time as both a construct of creativity and as a value in physics. I am fascinated with time. And no time.
The physicist asked me why I asked the absurd question: is there a correlation between the absolute zero of time and quantum entanglement? I could not believe I had to explain: there must be an overarching construct relating the non-existence of time with both the singularity and with entanglement. Isn’t it obvious?
Now that I think about it, might there not be some form of equivalence between the speed of light and no-time? Time n’existe pas at the speed of light. Photons do not age. And photons, once emitted from quantum interactions, do not accelerate. They are always going at the maximum speed allowed. I have always been fascinated by that fact. A photon is emitted, and no time exists, and it travels at 386K miles per hour. It is as miraculous and ridiculous as quantum entanglement. The double slit experiment with its interference waves of particles is just as mysterious. How can there not be some kind of equivalence?
Now, you might think that I am just blowing smoke because I do not refer to mathematical constructs. You are correct. Smoke is ineffable, exhibits a chaotic lack of form, and appears at the higher end of entropy. That is, smoke has no form because it is the end product of other interactions. It has high entropy. It has low meaning content. And I am out there blowing smoke, making meaningless statements born of pure intuition. I do not wish to resort to the obvious—tell me why it can’t be true?—argument. Who cares? It’s just that I trust my intuition. This question comes from a deep understanding of time and what you can do in space with time. All I need is Einstein’s brain to construct a true gedankenexperiment. Yes, I know I am Einstein’s distant cousin, but I don’t have his mind. I do, however, have a small bit if his attitude and focus, though at an exponentially dimmer wattage. “What if?” the absolute zero of time and entanglement mean something bigger? I’d like to know.