Here’s an intriguing idea. What if you were informed that everything in your life was pre-planned? Even crazier, what if your history, present, and future are all taking place right now?
An incredible new theory established as the “block universe” theory asserts that time does not actually “flow like a river”; rather, everything is ever-present.
Dr. Bradford Skow, a philosophy professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, proposes that if we “look down” on the cosmos as if it were a piece of paper, we would see time stretched out in all directions, just as we perceive space at any given time.
Is it possible that we only see time as essentially linear because that is what our human brains are capable of comprehending?
Let’s delve a bit more into this interesting new theory and what it could signify for our existence. Dr. Skow is not the first scientist to question how humans perceive time.
Einstein proposed a theory of unified space and time in 1915. He suggests in his general theory of relativity that space-time adopts a manifold or continuous structure. When seen together, they form a four-dimensional vector space. This vector is referred to as the “block theory.”
“The distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
Einstein’s theory is widely regarded as the most accurate explanation of what the cosmos means in a cosmic sense. As a result, it is not unreasonable to consider the existence of a block universe.
Dr. Skow wholeheartedly endorses this viewpoint. Instead of believing that time and events pass us by and then vanish, perhaps we might believe that they continue to exist and coexist in different portions of space-time. It’s simply that we can’t get anywhere outside of this block.
When you try to wrap your brain around this hypothesis, you’ll see that it has the potential to transform the way we think about time travel.
If this theory is correct, we cannot just go across time and modify it. It would be impossible to construct “grandfather paradoxes” if everything was happening at the same time — your history, present, and future all set out in space.
You wouldn’t be implementing any drastic modifications. Instead, you will only travel through time, experiencing it as it is and always has been. Dr. Skow’s new idea was recently followed by another, equally contentious theory.
Dr. Julian Barbour, a physicist in the United Kingdom, and other scientists think that when the Big Bang occurred, the cosmos generated a mirror universe.
And, get this, time reverses in this mirror realm. In this parallel reality, individuals awaken from death, live out their old age, and wait until they are old enough to start a profession and then go to school. Doesn’t it sound strange?
However, if this theory is correct, it might provide a solution to some of the most difficult physics challenges we now face.
As an example: What happened to all of the antimatter after the Big Bang? And why does time go in only one direction? This may seem paradoxical to the block universe idea, but it does provide answers to some of our most perplexing fundamental physics problems.
Entropy is what we all think about when we think of time. Entropy is the degree of chaos in a system that will ultimately cause it to collapse. It is present in everything, including our bodies, computers, and motors. And when entropy rises exponentially, as it always does, it will eat its system.
Sean Carroll, a Caltech professor, and Jennifer Chen, a graduate student, decided to look at time in a new way. They considered it in terms of gravity.
By examining 1,000 particles and applying Newtonian physics, they discovered evidence that the mirror universe may exist.
All of these new radical theories are interesting to think about and discuss. But if one of them is correct, it raises even more problems.
Is there a chance for evolution in the way we know it if time is ever-present? So, what is the purpose and meaning of life if we exist as we are, with no possibility of change?
In this sense, temporal debates will always exist. And it’s unclear if we’ll ever be able to uncover any of the answers, let alone properly grasp them.
Perhaps the magic isn’t in having the solution, but in the quest to find it. It might be our method of comprehending our existence.
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