Five Classic Attempts to Explain Time

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Theories Explaining the Nature of Time

Nature of Time

Time is one of the most intriguing concepts for scientists and philosophers. We can measure it using clocks and calendars, but it gets mysterious when we think about the past, present, and future. You may have wondered how sometimes it passes quickly, and at moments it goes slowly. Well, there are plenty of theories that attempt to explain what time is and why its nature is so strange. Here our team of Australian assignment help experts has enlisted a few of them:

  1. St. Augustine’s Theory Of Mind-Time
  2. The Topology Of Time
  3. The Specious Present
  4. Shorter People Experience ‘Now’ Sooner
  5. Time is Slowing Down—And We Can See It

Now let’s understand them one by one:

1. St. Augustine’s Theory Of Mind-Time

This Christian philosopher said that time was not infinite. According to him, it had been created by God. He also believed that it was not a realistic object or happening, rather it actually exists only in our mind. We may say that how something happened in the past, but as per St. Augustine, there is no way to quantify it as it no longer exists. Apart from this, he also proposed that the future doesn’t exist, so that can’t have any measurable qualities too.

2. The Topology Of Time

When it comes to depicting time, people either represent it by a straight line that goes forever or by a round the clock, circling back on itself every time. But Aristotle discarded all such ideas and said that time could not have a definite start or ending point. He also said that there could neither be one line of time showing everything traveling together, nor multiple ones that alternately intersect or run parallel to each other.

3. The Specious Present

It’s still a matter of discussion that how long the present exists. Well, usually we say that whatever is happening now is “present.” But again that is too confusing as for some it can be as long as a day or a month, and for others, it can even be as small as a fraction of second. E.R. Clay and William James described this as the specious present. They said that the better a person’s short-term memory is, the longer the present is.

4. Shorter People Experience ‘Now’ Sooner

This theory was proposed by the neuroscientist David Eagleman, but it seems weird in the present context. It was basically based on the ideas that we experience everything in packets of information that are processed by our neurons. The brain is responsible for our thoughts, the interpretation of our external environment, and control of our body movements. It processes information from our eyes (sight), tongue (taste), nose (smell), ears (sound),  skin (touch), as well as from internal organs, like the stomach(hunger). David said that separate parts of the body take different time spans to transfer the information to the brain. Suppose one hits the head and the toe at the same time, but the information collected from your head injury will get to your brain faster than that of the toe. This is why a shorter person can have more prompt senses, and they can experience things faster.

5. Time is Slowing Down—And We Can See It

A team of professors working from the University of Salamanca explained the slowing down of time in the context of the dark matter. They illustrated this by taking the example of the red shift, i.e., stars that have a light wavelength are accelerating. It also stated that light takes a good amount of time to reach us, making it look like everything in the sky is accelerating away. Moreover, it also said that, gradually, time would continue to slow until it just stops completely. At that point, the universe will freeze, and there will be no movement.

Well, all these theories seem illogical as there is no way to prove them but they have helped scientists to generate many alternate time theories, such as infinite cylinder, black holes, cosmic strings, time machines, and grandfather paradox. They expect that in the near future these theories can help them invent advanced space crafts that will easily travel to other galaxies.

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