Concept of Time

‘Yes!’ I exclaimed to myself suddenly as I was at the bus stop waiting for the bus that comes every 20 minutes and is supposed to translate me in the spatial dimension over to a locus that is deemed to be my house. I just realised that we have all been wrong about the concept of time – gravely wrong in fact.

My preoccupation with the idea of time began very much after watching the video on ‘The Elegant Universe’ 2 years back and I was struggling to imagine time as another dimension that exist in space. It would make it the 4th dimension or so we call. The problem with the existing imaginative model of time is that it exist as frames, as though a video documenting our lives, and therefore, we can rewind, review, pause, and even ‘overwrite’ events. This model is gravely wrong if we analyse time in the spatial dimension kind of way.

Let us assume that our spatial dimension is collectively a ball in some form of 3-dimensional space but only able to translate in a single dimension. This ball, is on a ramp and it rolls down as though there’s gravity pulling the ball on a ramp. It rolls in a straight line and it can only keep rolling, unable to cease without help of any external force or whatsoever. The ramp is infinitely long, or we can say it is as long as time can go. This ramp, is the dimension of time itself. The action of rolling down the ramp is an innate physical property of everything that exist on and within the ball, which is our spatial dimension.

At every moment, the rolling continues, we translate in time. When we translate in time, the time we have passed simply cease to exist. Thus, when you go back in time, it would mean you are jumping off this spatial dimension (the ball) and on to the dimension of time (the ramp, which is a single dimension), and the only experience I can postulate from this ‘jumping off’ action is simply ‘void’. You are said to be ‘erased from our time’ and you become stucked in this void. As everything has translated along the axis of time, it cannot possibly still be expected to exist on the same position so in no way can you go ‘back’ in time.

Similarly, trying to ‘jump off’ the ball, to be ahead of it, or to ‘travel’ to the future, would leave you in void, and if you are lucky enough, you can return to our spatial dimension when the ball catches you, if not, you’ll be as lost as those who ‘travelled back in time’. In this model for the concept of time, there’s entirely no room for time travel. For in the first place, you are unable to create this external force to change the movement of the ball on the ramp and more importantly, nothing ‘moves in time’ with you and even if ‘travelling in time’ is allowed, it is going to be pure gloom and nothing else. In fact, the rolling momentum can even destroy you entirely before you leave the spatial dimension – assuming there’s such a rolling motion.

In this sense, time is possibly the largest dimension, containing everything in it, including those dimensions within our spatial dimension. There are, as suggested by the string and M-theory, other dimensions so small we can’t translate into them. Though we can’t actually measure the ‘size of a dimension’, we can gauge that sort of property by thinking in such imaginable models. Unfortunately, this model I present focuses too much on the conventional idea of space that may not be applicable to time (which would mean I forcefully attached the idea to the concept), and disregard possible presence of more sophisticated systems in newer and unimaginable dimensions.


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One response to “Concept of Time”

  1. […] Time Travelers’ Wife‘ (by Audrey Niffenegger) and that got me talking about the Concept of Time I have formulated almost exactly a year ago. I thought it was a very simple illustration of time […]

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