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Images of TimeMind, Science, Reality$
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George Jaroszkiewicz

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198718062

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198718062.001.0001

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The dimensions of time

The dimensions of time

Chapter:
(p.113) 12 The dimensions of time
Source:
Images of Time
Author(s):

George Jaroszkiewicz

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198718062.003.0012

This chapter discusses the mathematical reasons why time has one dimension rather than two or more dimensions. It examines the flow of information, through a spacetime with a given signature, in terms of partial differential equations. These are classified as elliptic, parabolic or hyperbolic. The role of boundary conditions in ruling out different temporal dimensions is explained. The chapter discusses the stability of solutions in spacetimes with various signatures and give a mathematical explanation for the observation that the world we live in has four spacetime dimensions best described by hyperbolic partial differential equations. The chapter ends with commentary on empirical studies in cosmology and biology that have used multi-component time concepts to fit their data.

Keywords:   temporal dimensions, partial differential equations, elliptic equations, parabolic equations, hyperbolic equations, spacetime signature, boundary conditions, stability of solutions, empirical studies

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