A non-local hidden-variable (NLHV) design called the Cordus conjecture is applied to address the ontological question: What is time? This NLHV theory, which has been successfully applied to other phenomena, includes a specific design for the internal structure of particules and their externalised discrete fields. In this specific area it provides a novel multi-level concept for time, and proposes candidate solutions to the problem of what time is and how its arrow arises. According to this theory, time at the fundamental level consists of the frequency oscillations of matter particules, and thus time is locally generated and a property of matter. At the next level up, that of the assembly of matter particles via bonds and fields, the interconnectedness creates a patchwork of temporal cause-and-effect, and hence a coarser time. A phenomenon that occurs in one volume is communicated via photons, or massy particules, or fields, to other matter around it. Thus time is also universal and relative. According to this Cordus theory, entropy, classical mechanics, and our perception of time all arise at the boundary between coherence and decoherence, and the theory explains how. The arrow is applied to time where irreversibility arises, i.e. at the assembly level rather than the fundamental level. Time at the macroscopic level is therefore a series of delayed irreversible interactions (temporal ratchets) between sub-microscopic domains of matter, not a dimension that can be traversed in both directions. The theory extends to time at the level of organic life. It explains how the human-perception of time arises at the cognitive level, and why we perceive time as universal. This theory suggests that time is all of particle-based vs. spacetime, relative vs. absolute, local vs. universal, depending on the level of assembly being considered. However it is also none of those things individually. This paper shows that questions about time can be answered at the next deeper level of physics, and gives an example of what that physics might look like and its implications for time.
Comments: Pages. Published as: Pons, D.J., A. Pons, D., and A. Pons, J. (2013) Time: An emergent property of matter. Applied Physics Research 5, 23-47 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/apr.v5n6p23
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