Does Time Really Exist | Teen Ink

Does Time Really Exist

January 23, 2018
By Anonymous

Humans are under the impression that time exists in their everyday life.  We’ve all heard the cliche saying: “time speeds up when you’re having fun” but we’ve never stopped to consider how this is actually a real thing. They are under the illusion of what time really is, which leads to the question of; What is time? Time is not relevant in a human's everyday life as we think it is. Many experiments and theories go to prove this.
One specific experiment that proves time is irrelevant is the “Twin Paradox” procedure.  NASA conducted this experiment in April 2014 to analyze the effects of time spent in space.  It involves two identical twins, Scott and Mark Kelly. NASA researchers state: “While Scott, the test subject, spends one year circling Earth at 17,000 mph, Mark will remain behind as a control” (J. Kitchener). When the two brothers were reunited after one year they were shocked to find out they were not identical anymore. This is because Mark (the brother staying on Earth) was not traveling as fast as his brother Scott who was traveling at 17,000 mph. Since Scott was in motion, time slowed down for him, therefore he appeared younger than his brother when he returned home. This experiment is going to prove that time is not constant with motion. It can slow down and speed up depending on how fast someone is  traveling. This experiment proves that time is not relevant when it comes to motion.

In 2002, a group of scientists carried out an experiment with twin particles.  “The particles knew what the researcher would do before it happened, as if there were no space or time between them. More recently (Science 2007), scientists shot particles into an apparatus, and showed they could retroactively change something that had already happened. The particles had to decide what to do when they passed a fork in the apparatus. Later on the experimenter could flip a switch. It turns out what the observer decided at that point, determined what the particle did at the fork in the past. The knowledge in observer's mind is the only thing that determines how they behave”  (Robert Lanza M.D).  The particles were able to react as if there was no time which shows that it is not impossible to not have time in all situations. This experiment further proves how time is irrelevant.

Albert Einstein had many theories about the irrelevance of time. One specific theory he came up with is gravity is acceleration. He believed that the farther a human is away from Earth, time speeds up. “gravity is acceleration: From this simple concept came the idea that the stronger the gravitational pull on a clock, whether it is from a planet or another massive object, the slower time itself would run. It would mean, he predicted, that time would run faster and people would age more quickly the higher they were from the ground” (Steve Conor). Einstein demonstrates that on Earth someone who lived in the mountains would age slightly faster than someone closer to sea level because of their positioning on the Earth. In this case gravity is affecting time because of its acceleration. Since time can be affected by gravity, this further proves the point of time is not relevant.

Clocks are not synced up all around the world. As people travel to different places they notice that time is not the same. Since no clock is exactly synced up time is not constant. An example that proves this is the positioning of satellites in space.  “Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites are positioned about 12,550 miles above Earth’s surface and therefore are not as close to Earth’s gravitational field.  The clocks on these satellites tick faster than the clocks on Earth’s surface so scientists have put a correction into the satellite programs to ensure that the GPS data sent back to Earth’s surface have matching times.  Without this correction, GPS satellites would not be the useful tool that we know them to be” (Joanne Kennell). Einstein further tested his theory of time not being constant,  by putting one clock on a plane and keeping one on the ground. As the plane went up in elevation it appeared that the clocks were no longer synced up. Clocks are a huge way that people tell time. Humans rely on them for everything, but since clocks are not connected it further proves how time is not constant.

The irrelevance of past, present and future was explored in Albert Einstein's Space-Time Continuum theory.  It seeks to prove the past, present and future are all just an illusion. Relativity on Earth and in space is a major reason time does not exist.  The video (TIME is an ILLUSION according to EINSTEIN - (the space-time continuum)) provides an example with a loaf of bread explaining relativity. Picture a loaf of bread being cut into slices. If an alien and a human were not in motion but they were very very far away they would be on the same time “slice” If the alien decided to ride his bicycle directly away from the human, he would change the angle of the “slice” and be in the past of the human’s lifetime. If the alien rode directly toward the human, the angle of the “slice” would change again and be in the future of the human’s life. This goes to prove that the past present and future do not exist, it is all just now.

As one can see from these experiments and theories, time is not as it seems. Time seems real to a human in their everyday lives.  They live their days mindlessly following a clock that controls their life.  Their experiences, movement and interaction with gravity make it feel that time is constant in the universe. 

However, time is just an illusion that humans have constructed.  In reality, the past, present and future do not exist separately from each other.  It is all happening at the same time.

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