When you’re having fun, time flies. Waiting in a traffic jam, not really. His birthday was last month, and your mortgage payment is due within a few days.
The fact that we perceive time is certainly no illusion. But is it really there, or is something we’ve invented?
At the beginning of human history, we decided to start measuring the days and weeks, and finally, hours, minutes and seconds. The weather was helpful in organizing society, planting crops and preparing for dates. Things worked fine until scientists began Exit all.
In the 17th century, English scientist Isaac Newton was pretty sure that the time was a universal constant. But in 1908, Hermann Minkowski, the expansion in one of Einstein’s ideas about the relationship between space and time, suggests a space-time continuum. This theory held that space and time are closely mixed, with all events occurring along the same timeline. Einstein presented his theory of general relativity, not long after this, and suggested that time is an illusion.
Almost at the same time (if you believe that in time, that is), the field of quantum mechanics arose from an effort to explain the relationship between matter and energy. This presents a small problem for scientists trying to create a unified theory to explain the universe and its components. Quantum mechanics requires the existence of time to work. General relativity is not so. List of all episodes here: through the hole.