What is an event?

event_horizon_by_darknightoftroy-d39vkowimage credit

In an earlier post titled No space, no time, just events I reported that Kevin H. Knuth and Newshaw Bahrenyi  have published a paper titled A Derivation of Special Relativity from Causal Sets. In that paper they are essentially replacing the concepts of “space” and “time” with the concepts “events” and the “ordering of events.” Here’s what they wrote:

“We consider a picture of the universe as being described by a set of events. We do not need to specify precisely what these events refer to, although we visualize them as representing some degree of distinguishability along a chain, which can be used to represent a physical object. Most importantly, these events do not happen in a space-time. Instead, the events themselves are considered to be fundamental. Put simply, events happen. We assume only minimal additional structure, and assert that some events have the potential to be influenced by other events. However, this potential is not reciprocal. That is, if an event A can be influenced by event B, then it is not possible that event B can be influenced by event A. The result is that events can be partially ordered. We stress that we make no assumptions about positions of events in space or time, no assumptions about velocities or angles; we merely assert that some events can be ordered and others cannot.”

I would like to remind you that the conceptual problems do not really go away. The first question that comes to mind is: what is an event? They have to explain what an “event” is.

I have seen the definition “an occurrence that is sharply localized at a single point in space and instant of time.” That’s fine but the definition of an “event” in physics should be broader. In my opinion, an “event” may have some of the following characteristics:

  • release of new information
  • private information becoming public information
  • transition to a different phase
  • transition to a different state
  • conversion of internal space dimensions into external space dimensions
  • exteriorization
  • externalization
  • extroversion
  • manifestation of angle
  • manifestation of phase
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About Suresh Emre

I have worked as a physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory. I am a volunteer for the Renaissance Universal movement. My main goal is to inspire the reader to engage in Self-discovery and expansion of consciousness.
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