- Education and Science
The Enigma of Time, Decoded
For generations Time has eluded the greatest minds that've walked on this planet. That might change soon.
Ah, what a perpetual mystery time is. We live our lives by it, and yet we know only so little about it. There are days that feel like decades, and decades that pass by as if they were mere days. "It seems like yesterday-", "I bet you my watch is running slow", "If only I had more time", "It wasn't the right time to-" are things we hear almost every single day, and yet we fail to understand their clear implication. Time is the solution to almost every dilemma one might find themselves facing in their life. It is the only enemy that needs to be defeated, to be tamed, to be bent to our will.
The Wheeler-DeWitt Equation
General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are two branches of Physics that have perplexed physicists for decades. And the Wheeler-DeWitt Eqaution lives at the core of it, combining ideas from both branches into a tangible mathematical equation that might come to define the nature of reality itself. Funnily enough, the most important variable of all, time is not a part of this equation, thus leading to the infamous "Problem of Time". Time might not be more than just an illusion after all.
So what does this mean ?
There is a chain of thought in Physics, a theory yet to be supported by hard evidence, that time in itself doesn't really exist ! And yes, that might sound delusional but it actually does make sense. So how does this work then ? Where do moments go once we live through them ? Surely, if we're growing older by the second, and every second that passes us by is gone forever, this must mean that time really does exist. Not necessarily.
You see, the biggest drawback is the way in which we percieve time, sequentially, one day after another, one second after another, billions of moments stacked together to form what we call a life. But this actually might not be the case. Now here begins the part where you might feel a little skeptical, so bear with me. Instead of time being spread throughout different moments, there is a possibility that it is all actually just one single moment where everything is happening all at the same time. Every event, no matter how significant (The Big Bang) or inconsequential (Let's say a giraffe drinking water), that has happened in the past as we percieve it, or is happening right now, or is going to happen in the future, is actually happening all at once, simultaneously. And this might be why time doesn't exist, because we're not passing through moments, it's all the same moment and we just happen to live (or pass through) in different parts of it. Sounds chaotic, right ?
How is it possible ?
Now, the biggest question that arises is that if everything is happening simultaneously, why don't we percieve it so ? This can be explained through the most fundamental concept of Physics. Vector Algebra is a thing you might've come across atleast at some point in your life. If not, then think about 3-D geometry. Think about different faces of the same cube, or any polygon for that matter. Now for those of us acquainted with vectors, there are three basic axes, x,y and z-axis. And every axis has it's own plane. Any event that happens purely across one axis, or a particular plane, does not show any effects (or components) on the other axes. Now imagine there are billions of axes stacked together, and billions of individual planes that co-exist without directly affecting each other. That's what every moment is, an individual plane, co-existing with other individual planes (moments) simultaneously, without any sort of interaction between them. It's all taking place at the same time, and we just jump from one plane to another, giving us the illusion that every moment is taking place sequentially when in reality it's just us that keeps on moving, not time.
The Time-Travel Factor
Now that we've established that time might not exist in the universe, what does it mean for the possibility of Time Travel ? Well it uncomplicates it a bit. You see, if time does exist, then time travel would mean that we somehow must learn to go back and forth through moments, to bring something back that has already gone. And it's fairly difficult, if not impossible. But the theory that time is just an illusion relieves us from the burden of doing so. Because it then implies that everything that has ever happened or is going to happpen is actually accessible, and we just need to learn to cross into the planes (or dimensions) that we are not currently living in. Because everything is co-existing, we literally have to travel from one plane to another so that we can move through things that've already happened or the things that are going to happen at our own will. It's all about inter-dimensional travel.
Now to be fair, everything in this article is basically just speculation, without proof. But on the brighter side, we are closer than ever to cracking the enigma that time is, and who knows, maybe one day eternity won't just be a concept found in literature, after all.
So what did you think ?
Please leave your comments and share what you think of this article. Is it just a load of bullcrap, or does it actually make sense ? Keep the conversation alive and keep sharing !
© 2017 Devansh-Sharma