Bart, why does time feel so illusionary? Is probably one of the questions my readers e-mail me the most, so I guess I will answer it here.
Just kidding, I hope you didn’t fall for that! Despite that, I would still like to add a little note about this interesting subject on my website.
The only reason time feels illusionary is because we made it up. It’s just a way of relating the speed of which events happen to eachother. We call the time the sun takes to rotate around the earth “24 hours” for example, but there would be no such thing as an “hour” without an event to relate it to (the sun). Even the most accurate ways we use to measure time, for example atomic clocks, are related to the oscillations of atoms (an event we relate it to). But the truth is that these events happen at relative speeds too, compared to the way they are moving through space.
Time is actually a concept of spatial origin. Did you know that the faster you move through space, the slower you move through time? This is known as time dilation. If you were to move at a very high speed, say close to the speed of light, what would feel like one second for your may be months of years to the people who are standing still in one point in space. For example, did you know that astronauts that orbit the earth age slower than people on earth? The effect is so small however, it comes down to milliseconds. But this effect becomes greater the faster you move – around lightspeed the effect is incredible. The reason for this is because they are the same thing; Einstein called it “spacetime”. The faster you move throughspace the slower you move through time and the slower you move through time the faster you move through space; thus the higher your velocity, the slower you will move through time – compared to your environment. They are related to eachother this way because they are the SAME thing! Think of it as going north or west; the more you move one way, the less you move the other way! Or you can move through both at the same rate if you go northwest, but if you change your angle or direct, you will either move more northward and less westwards or vice versa.
This also explains gravitational time dilation; not only is time dilated depending on your velocity, but a strong field of gravity will also cause time to move slower. This tells you something about the nature of gravity: it is a distortion of SPACE (and thus time!). In heavy gravitational fields, space is “compressed”, thus you will move through space faster if you travel through a gravitational field, because there is simply more space in a smaller area – and thus, it effects the inverse relation it has on the passage of time, aka the relative speed at which events happen. And I’d argue there is no such thing as the “past”, though there IS something such as a future. Interestingly, possible events that could happen in the future affect the physics that happen in the present, as observed in quantum physics. While events that happened in the past seem to have no effect on the present. But I could be wrong.
Dear reader – thank you very much for visiting! Your readership is appreciated. Are you perhaps…..
- Not done browsing yet? Then click here to return to the homepage.
- Looking for a specific species? Then click here to see the full species list.
- Looking for general (breeding)guides and information? Then click here to see the general information.
- Interested in a certain family? Then click here to see all featured Lepidoptera families.
Was this information helpful to you? Then please consider contributing here (click!) to keep this information free and support the future of this website. This website is completely free to use, and crowdfunded. Contributions can be made via paypal, patreon, and several other ways.