T Nation

Is Time Really Moving Faster?


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I’m looking forward to other chiming in. Heck, I might even start reading Einstein’s General and Special Theories of Relativity and other space-time info.

Thanks for starting this thread, @Polar-Bear!

Through the years I have given this much thought. I have settled within myself why time seems to move faster every year.

When you turn 2 years old, the last year of your life was 50% of your life.
When you turn 10 years old, the last year of your life was 10% of your life.
When you turn 20 years old, the last year of your life was 5% of your life.
And so on, and so on…
When you turn 50 years old, the last year of your life was 2% of your life.

We gauge time in our mind based on our memories and the time the events took and the time between events, etc., etc…

As a result it seems time is passing by more rapidly every year. Remember when you were a child? It seemed “forever” between Christmasses. They come much closer together now. Don’t they? The wait between Christmasses is a shorter percentage of our life than when we were 8 years old.


I really don’t want to discuss anything political here.

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This makes a lot of sense to me.

But speed is relative too. And also finite. So if two trains going the speed of light in opposite directions pass each other, then one interpretation is they are moving away from each other at twice the speed of light, but another is that this is not possible - so they are instead moving away from each other at light speed, but the time-space continuum has to flex to enable this.

Similarly, time passing relatively faster is not the same as time passing absolutely faster. Unless time is finite…

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This is impossible occurrence as the formula for relative mass at the speed of light requires dividing by zero. To exceed the speed of light, the denominator becomes an imaginary number.

Better stated the trains should be considered going in the neighborhood of 0.99c.
But at this point our knowledge of physics assumes the speed of light is constant. All the equations derived/or used by Einstein assume the speed of light is constant.

But I suppose all that I just said is a bit too much nit-picking.

So if the speed of light us not constant maybe they have broken/ caused a ripple in the space time continuum.

Shouldn’t confuse how we feel time is passing with actual time moving faster. Time passes almost identically for me and my five year old even though I am much older and my time may seem to go faster.

I’d wager time seemed to move slowly for my grandmother once she hit her 80s as well.

It would also be a worry if this was happening in a perceivable way in half a human lifetime.

Anyway, I think for this to occur rather than just be a feeling and with all other things being equal then speed of light would need to be changing (@carlbm ?) in a way that is not observable for us. Which is possible but we don’t have any models that could explain that in any way.

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I’m not a physicist, but it seems like a really simple explanation. Time flies when you’re having fun, so clearly everyone must be having a lot more fun.


The speed of light is fixed. The reason a moving clock goes slower is the distance increases. Or more accurately space time curves.
Speed = Time/Distance
If speed can stay fixed so long as the Time and Distance increase at the same proportion.

It is an oddity that in all reality - what we see a straight line is not straight. And that curved lines can be straight. For instance - the moon is circling the earth in a straight line through space time. I know - I “kinda” understand it. Sort of. But yeah - the universe does not like to keep it simple.

As for why we eperiance

100% possible - but to you it would feel like the time passed normally. There 2 ways to do this. Travel as close to the speed of light as possible OR - expose yourself to massive gravity fields. As an FYI the book “tomorrow war” deals with the former and the film “interstellar” the second.

The idea that time moves slowly for those in VERY high gravity is well known. But here is a brain killer.
If I were to jump into a back hole - you would not see me die. My time would slow to the point where I would appear to freeze to you. And you would die long before I would. As my saw me move at billionth of a millimetre a year. Me on the other hand - I’d see you die. And then as I sank deeper it is 100% possible I’d see the galaxy die. And the even the universe. As the amount of time dilation is not known.



Ant Saddle geometry.

This truth will never die.

Totally agree!

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That’s an EXCELLENT metaphor, and it clarifies my understanding of black holes. Thank you!

Frozen alive in crushing gravity, watching while everything happens without you/whatever’s in the black hole, completely incapable of doing anything but be crushed.

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Since we are talking physics here, I will point out (at risk of being a technical a-hole) that speed isn’t relative, but velocity is. speed is a magnitude only, where velocity is magnitude and direction. And velocity is only relative to the position of the observer (gets into frames of references and relativity) i.e. if the observer and obeserv-ee are both moving the velocity of the observee with respect to the observer changes based on changes in the observer’s speed and/or direction but the observ-ee’s speed is constant (given he is not accelerating).
Time does move slower on relative objects, for example - the clocks in long term geosynchronous (high orbit) satellites have to occasionally be corrected to match the time here on the surface of earth.

theoretically if a large enough object would enter our solar system between us and the sun, it could warp the earth’s orbit enough that our arbitrary timing of a day/year gets significantly warped.

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Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this a concise explanation of how time is relative? The same reasoning applies to space - a meter is a couple steps for me but the journey of a lifetime for a baby learning to crawl.

Except I believe a key points of relativity is that space-time isn’t fixed - it’s literally relative to the object being compared. As RT explained, a year for you is much less than a year for your kids. The way we feel about time accurately measures our relationship with time - it’s literally relative.

However, if the speed of light is a constant/fixed, then time also has objective characteristics, especially in relation to creatures.

But then, what about black holes and gravity? Doesn’t a black hole bend light, sometimes sucking it in? That indicates the speed of light isn’t entirely fixed.


How’s this for a twist? We speculate that time changes (and have seen) that time is influenced by gravity, then extrapolate it to the current ideas about black holes.

But what If Everything changes? Our resilience and particle cohesion, everything?

Like instead of being in a giant and ever expanding universe outside of the black hole, you enter a microverse that has all of the conditions of the exterior universe, just inversely proportioned and relative to that pocket, and simply continue to exist within that?

Yes time is relative, but it is only relative to me and my “feeling” about the length of time.

Time hasn’t changed, at least to a practical measurable point. (I say that if the rotation of the earth is really speeding up. It isn’t measurable in our individual lifetimes that has any consequence at all.)

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