The relentless passage of time can be a source of concern. Who sometimes did not want the opportunity to freeze in a happy moment or even prevent a loved one from slipping away.
From time to time, a science fiction book, movie, or TV show will include characters who can do what we all want: Stop time.
But is such a thing possible? The answer to this question requires a deep immersion in the most remote corners of physics, philosophy and human perception.
First, we need to determine the time. “It’s not that mysterious for physics,” Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology, told Live Science. “Time is just a label for different parts of the universe. It tells us when something happens.”
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Many physical equations make little difference between the past, present and future, Carol added. Time appears in one place Albert Einstein‘s theory of relativity. According to Einstein’s theory, time is measured with clocks. Because the parts of the clock have to move in space, time becomes entangled with space in a larger concept known as space time which is the basis of the universe.
It is known that relativity shows that time can become quite unstable depending on how fast an observer moves relative to another observer. If you send a man with a clock on a spaceship at close light speed, time seems to pass more slowly for him than for a motionless friend left on The Earth. And an astronaut falling into a black hole whose huge gravity it can distort time, it can seem to slow down compared to a distant observer.
But that’s not really a way to stop time, Carol said. Two clocks may disagree on relativity, but each will record the usual course of time within its own frame of reference.
If you are approaching Black hole“You wouldn’t notice anything different,” Carol said. “You would look at your wristwatch and it would go by one second per second.”
There is no point in talking about stopping time for him. We know that a car is moving because at different times it is in a different place in space, he said. “Movement is a change in time, so time itself cannot move.” In other words, if time stops, so will every movement.
While science fiction sometimes gives us protagonists who can interrupt everyone else’s time, such situations raise many questions. “Are you stopping the air?” Carol asked. – Because if so, then you are closed from the air.
A time-stopping character will also probably not be able to see anything, he added, as the light rays will no longer reach their eyeballs. “In fact, there is no consistent scenario in which time stops.”
So much for physics. But time is more than something read on a clock. This is the feeling we have in our heads and bodies, as well as the natural rhythms of the world. Yet in these cases, time can become something that is the subject of personal whims.
“Thinking about the subjective impression of time becomes interesting,” Craig Kalender, a philosopher and time specialist at the University of California, San Diego, told Live Science.
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He described a well-known psychological illusion, known as a “chronostasis,” in which a person puts a clock on the edge of his vision and then stares at something else for a moment. Looking back at the clock and focusing on the second hand will pause it. (This can be a strange way to have fun during the fifth grade of high school math.)
“A second hand definitely hangs there a bit,” Calander said. “You can make time look like it’s freezing.”
The illusion is associated with small eye movements called saccadesin which your eyeballs move quickly back and forth to absorb constantly in their environment. To prevent you from seeing chaotic blur, your brain actually edits what it sees in real time and gives the impression of a continuous field of vision, Kalender said.
Then the question arises, what is the relationship between our perceptions of time and the time that physicists talk about? Kalender has written a number of books that attempt to explore the relationship between the two, and there is still little consensus on the final answer.
In terms of the final flow of time, Calendar prefers a picture “where nothing flows, but the story itself flows.”
And what does he believe about the possibility of stopping time? “If we think about our subjective sense of time, then we can stop parts of it with a chronostasis,” Calander said. “But that’s probably the closest we can do.”
Originally posted on Live science.