This is one question that never leaves my mind; day in and day out, it keeps revolving. I read some, I thought some, I have even told about it to a number of people; but still there is no actual answer to it.
Last weekend I bought a load of DC and Marvel comics. Didn’t get enough time to read them during the weekend, so the reading continued during the week. Most of them was on the Zero hour and the legion of superheroes trying to reestablish the fabric of time and existence. May be this thing triggered the thoughts again. Though it was something I have been really immersed in since couple of months, somehow I was moving away. But the comics were able to turn the mood back, even after having one of the most rubbish nonsense dialogue with my Bro… I guess I will put that entry up sometime too! I guess Prof. Hawkins also had its role, putting those fantastic physicist’s and philosophical ideas into my mind…
So what is time? A scientific definition will look something like: “Time is a human perception defined as the length of an interval separating two points on a non-spatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future.” The important words here are “human perception” and “apparently irreversible”. It is also perceived as the fourth dimension. Now, now, a new angle – time is also a dimension, like length breadth and height. So it must also have a co-ordinate to show a particular object or events location in space. Whoa, another important word – so time is related to “space”.
Yes, it is more or less accepted now that time is a dimension and part of the space. But if it is a dimension, if it has a co-ordinate, then shouldn’t it also have a negative value? Or at least cant we move across the time just like we move from one point to another on a three dimensional plane? Wait, wait – aren’t we moving too fast? Even if we don’t, time is. So is it a constant flow as we measure with our watches? Same for every one? Again a fascinating fact – time is not constant, it is affected by gravitational force. Means the time for us is faster than a person sitting on top of a mountain. If we accept “black holes” exists, then if we from here look at a person on the event horizon (black hole’s perimeter), to us it will seem like taking eternally long time to move, whereas for the person on the event horizon its an infinitesimally small time. And then? Inside the black hole (Gravity pull infinite) time and space merges – meaning the time does not exist at all!
Too much isn’t it? We see time as linear, physics tells it is curved! But effectively what physics accepts that in principle it can be reversed. On the other hand, there is a the "Big Bang" theory. The universe was born from a single point with the biggest bang possible and since then its scattering. The time of the big bang – is known as Time Zero – the beginning of time. But how can something keep on expanding without creating a void (space is not void – by the way). So it is believed that after a particular time the void being created at the center will start pulling everything back. So the nights will start becoming brighter and brighter – until we reach back to that single point – Time Zero – the next big bang and it will continue. Isn’t there a fallacy? How can we have multiple Time Zero? Either its not time zero or its time zero no. “something”. Ok accepted! But this means – the entire universe has born and collapsed again and again? Solar system –earth – life – you – me – all created and then destroyed! Again and again? Does this mean I have written this piece and will be writing this again and again? "Cycles of Time"? Some Physicists accepts this one too! Even going further – all these cycles coexists in a pool of n’th dimension, with small variations in each cycle.
“Determinism” tells that whatever is going to happen is already decided, but some philosophers and physicists say whatever action by us is possible exists in some time cycle, and we move from one to another by the actions we chose to take. Only if we knew whats is going to be the future like in that different time cycles, then we could have made the decisions to move from one to another depending upon our free will. Amazingly, isn’t there something common between this line of thought and theology? Isn’t this the same that all religious books say? A cycle of time – the judgment day (end of time?), a new beginning (time Zero?), rebirths (existence on different time cycle?).
I know we all think about these stuff, and we know so little. Even the topmost scientist know so little. They know some things about space and time, and something about the particles that make this space (quark), but still not able to merge them together. I guess its still some distance to go before we are able to unravel the mystery of time. But – most of the physicist and theories had their womb in philosophy. First we need to think, dream and then only we can apply some math and observations to prove it. So for now all we can do is to think and dream – what is it? What is time? Can it be reversed? Can we move across it? What will happen if we move across and change it? Is everything pre-configured? Or can we change it? If we change something – wont it effect the rest of the world? Wont it create to much chaos? Will it destroy the fabric of time and space?