Mystery of Time

We are all familiar with time. We use time everywhere every time. Time is absolutely central to every endeavor of humankind yet we don't understand time enough. Time is important to Physics, Biology, Medicine, Neuroscience and the Human Sciences, such as History and Politics.

Penetrating the Mysteries of Time
We think about and use it every day but what is time, is still a big mystery. As Saint Augustine wrote, "What is time? If no one ask me, I know. But If I wish to explain it to someone who asks, I know not." Mysterious as it seems it can be understood. To understand time, we need to let go of our everyday understanding and usage of time and point our head towards the stars because that's where the answer lies specifically in the creation of the universe.

Telling Time
We have time-measuring devices (clocks, phones, computers and so on) that we use every day. At a basic level, a clock is something that repeats itself in a predictable way. Both elements of that definition are important: repeatability and predictability. The classic idea of a clock is the Sun moving across the sky, rising in the east in the morning and setting in the west in the evening. That's the simplest possible timekeeper we have, all other clocks are based on the same principle.

Time within Ourselves
A clock measures the passage of time and we can also feel this within ourselves because it exists within us, such as our breathing and the beating of our hearts. But they are not reliable because heart beats may slow down or increase and it will not be accurate.

Moving through Time
Time passes but what that really means? Are we moving through time or time is passing through us? The passage of time is not a story of complete re-arrangement of reality; it's more like an uncut movie reel. We see moments in the history of the universe one after another.

Arrow of Time
The fundamental distinction between time and space is the division of time into past, present, and future. The progression of time from the past, to the present, to the future only happens in one way, and as it happens, things occur always in the same sense. Memory, for example, is something we have about the past; we don’t have a memory of the future. When we age, we always are born young, we grow older, and then we die; that’s how time works. This is the arrow of time; the arrow points from the past, into the present, and toward the future. Time is absolutely, fundamentally directed in that way.

Entropy is a way of talking about the disorderliness of “stuff” in the universe. An egg is very orderly, but if we break the egg, it becomes disorderly; if we scramble the egg, it becomes even more disorderly. A scientist would say that the entropy of the egg is increasing. There are many ways in which the arrow of time manifests itself, but there’s one underlying feature that explains all those different manifestations: In a system left to itself, entropy increases. This is so important that it’s literally a law of nature: the second law of thermodynamics.

Is Time an Illusion?
As per some physicists, the concept of time is an illusion made up of human memories, everything that has ever been and ever will be is happening now.

Time and Laws of Physics
Laws of Physics doesn't have an arrow of time. They do not differentiate past, present and the future. For them, it doesn't matter whether time moves forward or backward, if time ran in reverse, all the laws of physics would work the same.


Anis Ghani:

I think, in reality time does not exist. The life cycle of universe, animals or plants goes on indifinitely. The clocks, past, present and future are man made concepts for measuring and comparing his day to day feats. Can't do that without Earth and Sun.

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