Sunday, February 6, 2011


What exactly is time? Is time merely the method with which we measure the rate of entropy? Or does time actually have a physical effect on this universe and its inhabitants? Time is the sequential measurement of events and provides us with the terms past, present, and future. Past refers to events that have already occurred, present refers to events happening currently, and future refers to events that have not happened yet, but will eventually. So how does time apply to the time/space continuum if time is merely a sequential measurement? This term is deemed spacetime and refers to the geometrical grid that space is made up of; time being the fourth dimensional variable, and thus helping in explaining gravity and its effects. With larger and larger bodies out in space, the more spacetime is distorted and bent around the celestial body, thus the greater gravity. But, the phenomenon known as the black hole is basically a complete breach of this geometrical grid. The gravity of this object is so great that once you've passed the event horizon, it is impossible to escape. And once inside the hole, you are "spaghetti'd" and all of your atoms are separated slowly. But since it's a rift in the spaceTIME, there is no time to speak of, and thus you are infinitely being pulled apart. At least, that's the theory. We'll never actually know what a black hole is exactly because one has never been observed, and even if we found one, it would be too far away for us to get to. And yet there are physical effects that happen with time. An experiment was conducted where two atomic clocks were synchronized. One was left on the ground, and the other was put in a high speed fighter jet. The jet went up, reached its peak velocity, and came back down. But when they compared the two clocks, the one from the plane was a couple of seconds behind the clock on the ground. How could this be? Well, the theory of relativity states that time passes much more slowly when going at extremely high speeds. So does that mean that time is physical? Who knows? No one has ever fully understood time. But, time also has one redeeming quality. Healing. Time heals the broken heart, the shattered soul, the mourning man. But, time never really passes at the rate we want it to. Sometimes, it passes in a flash, and other times it is tenaciously drawn out. But why is it time that heals us? Is it actually the things that we do in that space of "time" that ends up helping us to heal? Or is it really just us waiting for the wound to heal on its own? Nobody really knows.


  1. I wonder if somehow this phenomenon of time can explain the difference of Heavenly Father's time and ours. If things that seem like a long time to us are a small moment to Him, do you think somehow we are traveling more quickly than He is?

    When you think of time as a sequential measurement, and a painful event is plotted along that line, the pain lessens the farther you get from that point. Maybe the distance is what makes the difference.

  2. @Rachel—I actually did a post about time dilation and God's time (see here). It might be more technical than you'd like, though.

    @Nathan—Time isn't really the fourth dimension. It's just a property of space. If you think about it, time would exist in a one-dimensional world (a line) or a two-dimensional world (a plane). The only place it can't exist is in a zero-dimensional world. And that's what the singularity of a black hole is: a zero-dimensional world.

    Also of interest: I had a roommate who got a Master's Degree in Computer Science by creating computer models of two-dimensional time. (How weird is that to think about?) He told me that time passes more quickly at smaller scales. In other words, time goes faster for an ant than it does for human beings. I haven't really wrapped my head around that idea, either.