NASA says… ‘Black holes are made when the centre of a very big star falls in upon itself, or collapses’. Um, OK. Like how does a big star fall in upon itself? And they also said that ‘scientists think supermassive black holes were made at the same time as the galaxy they are in.’ Uh huh. Black holes occupy a space in my mind where negative gearing can be found. I know they exist but it is BAFFLING. Worm holes are much easier for my average performing brain to understand. ‘A wormhole is a theoretical passage through space-time that could create shortcuts for long journeys across the universe.’ (space.com) Very handy, like the transit lane in peak hour. Hans and Chewy made regular use of the space express lanes. But be warned, ‘wormholes bring with them the dangers of sudden collapse, high radiation and dangerous contact with exotic matter.’ Wait, exotic matter? Exciting! Definitely worth taking the short cut to find out what that is.
But why all the space and time talk? We just watched ‘A brief theory on everything’ and I have been thinking about my own brief history of time. I believe I may be dealing with some sort of time space-time continuum not yet chartered in the science books. Let me explain my area of study.
When you get older, time moves faster. FACT. There aren’t as many hours in the day, you need an extra day in the week to get your work done (even though you are gagging for a wine and slipping in another day will delay that further), it seems like yesterday you were holding a screaming newborn (unless you were) and you gasp when the woman at the bank says it’s nearly April. And quite shockingly, at some point, you look in the mirror and see an older person staring back at you, which is not an older relative but in fact, you. Wait, when did that happen? Was there some time slippage? YES THERE WAS. Time has sped up.
The questions I want to put to the scientific community are:
- What is the official biological age that time speeds up and what is the physics behind it?
- Or is it external factors that cause the acceleration, like having children?
- Does time slow again when you are old? If so, how does it work?
I won’t be offended if you explain it to me like I am five. In fact, I would appreciate it.
While I wait for the scientific community to jump at the chance to exam this new area, let’s look at some evidence to support my claim. For a young person time seems endless. It takes FOREVER to turn 7, half an hour to wait is an ETERNITY, and Christmas is always AGES AWAY. The days of fun stretch out to the horizon and the summer holidays seem to last a LIFETIME. Actually the summer holidays feel like a lifetime now I have a school age child. Let’s erase that last point from our field notes. Younger people clock watch eager to get on, to move forward. Middle-age people say ‘Holy shit, is that the time?!’ and start scrabbling around like a dog on lino, and old people? Old people seem very OK with sitting at bus stops for extended periods with retirement appearing like a very long time to fill and financially manage. New Year’s Eve 1999 feels like it was only a few years ago and the biggest case for these uneven accelerations of time is people saying ‘oh they grow up so fast’ when referring to your kids. And they really do! We think they are growing so fast but the kids think it’s taking forever to get big. See? It’s going slow for them but fast for us. Why is that? Because time speeds up for the older folk.
Please note, even though this new theory on time has a lot of cause for further examination there has been no professional research done into this exciting new field. And for now, our questions lay unanswered.
Speaking of the space-time continuum, I find it comforting that even if you are, as Einstein put it, ‘a non-accelerating observer’ time still moves on. If you feel stuck in a rut or having a rough patch, physics has proved that time will continue to march on in some dimension.
I like to think that time travel will one day be possible. Like negative gearing is today. Physics is well beyond my grasp but the world will see more incredible minds like Stephen’s or Einstein’s and the possibilities are endless.
However, I do like the idea of not knowing the theory on everything. It leaves a lot of room for magic and creativity, which as our passage of time lengthens the room for magic decreases. Wait, is that an equation? Did I do one? Here you go: Old = Time – magic. Ta dah!