I have analyzed the Twin Paradox of Special Relativity for 50 years and am very familiar with all of its aspects. This led me to create a 30+ video series on “Time in Physics”. “Time” seemed too vague a construct for physics, I did NOT have the goal of showing that “Time” did not exist or even that it did not have its own separate dimension. I referred to “Time” as a philosophical (or psychological) construct that philosophers had discussed for literally thousands of years with no visible progress. So when I started my video series on time in physics, I simply thought, “Forget about philosophical ‘Time’, but instead focus on the excellent physics construct of ‘proper time’.”
However, without thinking about “Time” at all, while creating my videos on “Time in Physics”, it became clear that “proper time” was all that was needed to address the short comings of how time was treated in physics – especially in relativity.
I have no idea how I went from “Proper time is all that is needed in physics” to “Time as a dimension or even a physical construct does NOT exist”. There was a gap between those two lines of thought/realization and I have no recollection of how the gap between the two was bridged. Having thought about the former in depth, the latter just seemed to appear spontaneously.
Many think of “Eureka” as the jubilant cry during the gold rush era when a miner, after a long period of searching fruitlessly, finally strikes gold. However, in this case, I was NOT searching for how to eliminate “Time” or show that it didn’t exist physically. It was just a natural outcome of 50 years of thinking about time in physics and then doing some very intensive thinking about “time in physics” as I created a series of videos – it was a long journey but I was NOT searching for what I found.
On the one hand there was a “Eureka moment”, because if, for example, I had died at any time during that above referenced “gap”, which was some months long, there would have been no revelation. However, since it was a long intensive journey, maybe it was really a “Eureka process”.
Newton had many Eureka moments and Newton was unusual in how he would become totally absorbed in thinking about a topic for long periods of time with almost no other interest or real contact with others. So maybe Eureka moments emerge due to total emersion and intense focus on one topic for a long time – maybe that’s the “Eureka process” which ultimately culminates in a “Eureka moment”.
For more detail on the physics of this idea, go to the section on Special Relativity and select the article Critical Thinking About Time in Special Relativity and Physics in General – Part 6.