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No. 103: Jan-Feb 1996

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A Brief History Of Quantized Time

The poet Stephen Spender once observed that time is "larger than our purpose." Perhaps he should have written "times", for the various portions of the universe we can see through our telescopes may be moving along different "time lines" -- on different schedules, so to speak. According to W.G. Tifft, we may have to replace our concept of one-dimensional time with three-dimensional time if we are to explain some pressing cosmological anomalies.

Redshift differences of double galaxies
Redshift differences of double galaxies. The horizontal axis is the redshift difference in kilometers/second. The vertical axis is the number of pairs having a given redshift difference.
It all began about 1970 OTL (Our Time Line!), when Tifft showed that the redshifts of galaxies are quantized. To illustrate, the diagram indicates that the redshifts of binary galaxies tend strongly to cluster at 72 and 72/3 kilometers/ second. One would certainly not expect ponderous galaxies to orbit one another in a quantized fashion. It is almost as if binary galaxies emulate those dumbbell-shaped molecules that can spin around only at specific frequencies! Can the mechanics of the very large (galaxies) be quantized like the very small (atoms and molecules)? Tifft obviously thinks so:

"Quantization, it seems, is a basic cosmological phenomenon. It must reflect some master plan."

The Finnish physicist, A. Lehto, has proposed such a plan.

"The new cosmology pictures the uni-verse as a set of timelines splaying outwards from a common origin in three-dimensional time. The "time" that we measure is related to our own line. Time along distinct lines is quantized and can even run at different rates."

If you feel as if you are walking on a conceptual quicksand, you are not alone. (Beware, the quicksand may be quantized, too!)

Tifft believes that this new sort of cosmology can explain: (1) the observed quantized redshifts; (2) the "missing mass" of the universe; (3) "discordant" redshifts (where objects apparently at the same distance from us have grossly different redshifts); and (4) the dichotomy between quantum physics and conventional dynamics.

(Tifft, William G.; "A Brief History of Quantized Time," Mercury, 24:13, September-October 1995)

Comment. While the quantization of time is speculative, the quantization of red-shifts has considerable observational support. (SF#84) For other types of quantization on a cosmological scale, see SF#32.

Redshift quantization is also cataloged in AWF8 in our catalog Stars, Galaxies, Cosmos. Described here.

From Science Frontiers #103, JAN-FEB 1996. 1996-2000 William R. Corliss