Why Time Is Not A Real Dimension
Scientists often refer to Time as the fourth dimension. It almost sort of makes sense as long as you don't think about it too much. But don't get me wrong, I wish Time was a fourth dimension. That would be so much more interesting. Because if Time really were a dimension then we should be able to (at least in theory) use leverage to manipulate things in the fourth dimension, just like picking up an object and putting it down again in a different place. We should be able to do the same thing with Time. So, why can't we?
It might seem like a complicated topic because when we talk about Time we're actually referring to at least two different things: There's the thing we call the Time Dimension, and then there's our movement through that so-called dimension.
But if Time were a dimension then why doesn't a glass of water leak into the nearest future where some of the water has already evaporated? And why don't fireworks send sparks into the past just like how they send sparks in ever other direction? There are countless examples like those which indicate that time is not a dimension. But the real proof is in the law of physics called the Conservation Of Mass.
The underlying facts and equations about Conservation Of Mass are a bit beyond the scope of this article. But to summarize it from Wikipedia:
The law of conservation of mass or principle of mass conservation states that for any system closed to all transfers of matter and energy, the mass of the system must remain constant over time, as system's mass cannot change, so quantity can neither be added nor be removed. Hence, the quantity of mass is conserved over time.
Basically, if anything ever tried to move out-of-step with the momentum of the present then it would have the entire weight of the Universe pushing it back into the present moment. But a dimension is the measurable potential of an extent. Length, Width, and Height are dimensions, you can measure their potential and they extend perpendicularly from each other.
However, that thing about Time that we assumed was a dimension doesn't actually allow for any freedom of movement like a real dimension should. Time's depth seems to be more like a singularity than a dimension. But the Present Moment isn't a point in time, it's a condition of time. Measurements of time are arbitrary with no external point of reference. Because it can't just be a point moving along a single dimension at a constant rate if it's actually a system state of the Universe.
I think scientists may have gotten it wrong when they tried to link the progression of time with the Universe's law of entropy. Trying to compare dimensions like Length, Width, and Height to something like Time is a little bit like trying to compare the price of a Stock Market asset to all the thousands of pages of legislation and policy that go into determining and enforcing the price of that asset on the market. One thing is a single measurement, while the other is a set of multiple predetermined conditions.
Some scientists may try to explain-away these notions by saying that Time isn't the fourth dimension of Space, but rather the first (and only) dimension of something else. But one might argue that if something other than Space can have a dimension then why not consider anything to have dimensions? The dimensions of Mass: Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma... The dimensions of electricity: Volts, Amps, Watts, Ohms... and so on. Why not say they're all dimensions? But what we label something is more of a semantics issue, it's qualitative not quantitative.
So, what makes people say that Time is the Fourth Dimension? Can Time even exist without Space? What is it about Space and Time that makes so many people want to think of them together as the same thing? And why not consider more things as dimensions? Should there be a Periodic Table Of Dimensions? Just some food for thought. Please feel free to comment.