We have all heard the common phrase “Time” in our daily life, time is really important and no one wants to waste a second for anyone but what do we really know about time? Is time real or just an illusion? We all know that a river flows endlessly in a single direction, always forward and like a river time also flows in a single direction, always towards the future but studies and discoveries over the last century have shown us that it might not be right. Much of what we think that the time is, maybe just an illusion. Time may not flow at all, our past may not be gone and our future may already exist. It turns out that time itself can speed up and slow down. If time isn’t what we think it is, then what is time and how do we unlock a mystery as deep and elusive is time? One way to do it is to measure it using clocks of all different shapes, sizes and kinds. We have been measuring time with accuracy for thousands of years. But no matter how accurate clocks had become time remains a mystery for us. Clocks can tell us what time it is but they haven’t been able to tell us what time itself is.

Most people view time in a simple straightforward way, time ticks the same for everyone everywhere and it cannot be changed. This concept was established by the father of modern science, Issac Newton. He thought that time was an immutable property of the universe which cannot change its rate and it just goes along. He thought that there is nothing we can do about it. There comes Albert Einstien who realized that it was not right. He discovered that time can run at different rates for different individuals which means that time for me may not be the same as time for you or anyone in the universe. He said that time is not just a label on the whole universe, it is experienced individually. He made this shocking revelation by finding a hidden connection between space and time. He found that time itself is running more slowly for the person who is moving.

But why don’t we see this in our daily life? It’s because time is so tiny that we don’t even experience it in our daily life. This effect is real and can be measured by an atomic clock. In 1971 an experiment was carried out to see if this was true. Scientists flew an atomic clock around the world in a jet airplane and they compared the time on the atomic clock with one on the ground. The result showed that the time on both clocks was no longer the same. TimeĀ on both clocks was differed by only a few hundred billionths of a second but it was proof that motions effect on the passage of time. This was tested many times by the scientists but the result was the same. This experiment showed that Einstein’s theory was right which means that space and time are fused together and it is called space-time. This fusion of space and time would lead us to the mind-blowing realization that the past and future may only be an illusion.

In our daily life we experience time as a continuous flow but think time as a series of snapshots or moments and everything that happens can be thought as the folding of moments. If we picture all moments or snapshot lined up, we will be able to see every moment in the universe that has ever happened or will ever happen. We could see every location on space and each and every moment from the birth of the Universe at the Big Bang to the creation of galaxies, the creation of the earth, the time of the dinosaurs and to events happening on earth today like you reading my post. Thinking about spacetime like this Einstien has changed our everyday picture of past present and future. Scientists are still working on new experiments to understand Time. In the future, it may be possible that we fully unlock the mysteries of time and be able to travel to the past or future.

Categories: Theories

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