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What is Time?

What is Time?

Time is absolute, unchangeable, constant and flows independently of everything according to Galileo and Newton, considered the greatest masters of classical physics. However, Albert Einstein, who worked at a patent office in Bern during student times, could say “sorry, that is not the case” to dozens of scientists who have changed history. We are talking about a man who was trying to write theories all of things before a few hours to his died. We will return to Albert Einstein but lets rotate to our subject ” Time ” firstly. 

To understand and explain the time, it is necessary to go where everything started. The time fact was studied firstly in 16 th century. Starting with Galileo in the age of enlightenment the time concept, has been completed with Isaac Barrow and Newton. 

Everything Changes With Albert Einstein

According to these scientists, the time is absolute and universal. This absolute time was the same for all and progressing at a constant speed everywhere. This point reached in the concept of time has been used for centuries. According to Newton, even if everything disappeared, time would survive on its own. The only thing that hasn’t changed for him was time. He also kept it steady in the gravitational and motion laws. Until Albert Einstein said that everything was wrong.

With Newton’s law, everything could be calculated from the fall of the apple and even to the orbit of the world. However, only Mercury denied all these laws due to the deviation in its orbit. For this problem that he could not solve during his lifetime, Newton said his famous saying, “God has a job, and we cannot understand it.”


The Concept of Time is Renewed with the General Theory of Relativity

To understand to time, firstly all the known things should be forgotten. It should be remembered how time passes and time is the same for everyone. Because the scientists who worked on the concept of time in all that enlightenment had done wrong. Albert Einstein had written his name in golden letters with the great inventions he started since 1905 and the general theory of relativity.

Other scientists’ wrong calculations have been adjusted by Albert Einstein. He was sure only that there was a constant concept as named light speed not time. No matter where to stand and where to look. Because light speed moved at the same speed. So, there should be changed in Newton Law. 


According to the famous Energy = mass x square of light square formula, Albert Einstein was equal to energy and mass. So everything was actually an energy. Albert Einstein says that with this equation; “As an object increases rapidly, its energy and thus its mass increase. As it approaches the speed of light, it needs an infinite energy and an infinite mass. That is why it is impossible to exceed the speed of light. ”


According to the physics we know, speed is x time = distance. But if we put the speed of light into this equation, that physics rule we know doesn’t work. Since the speed of light is constant, there should be differences in time and distance. One of the twin sisters in their 30s who are astronauts stay in the world and the other is on a journey that will last for 1 year with a space shuttle that can approach the speed of light. When the two brothers meet, they will be 31 years old, and 81 years old waiting in the world. Time will slow down too much for someone moving at the speed of light.

Experiment of Hafele Keating 

This theory was proved by a real experiment in 1971. Two of the 3 atomic clocks synchronized with the Hafele Keating experiment are taken on the plane in opposite directions, going east and west. Other  stayed at airport. When the planes land, their hours are checked. All 3 atomic clocks are no longer in sync. The clock going eastward is 59 billionths of a second compared to the airport. The clock going westward is 273 billionth of a second.


What is time

We have pointed to a small part of a huge and deep concept. Theories, examples, all of them are big enough for us to drown in that vast sea of ​​science. As we think deeper, it becomes so hard for us to perceive that we want to stop thinking. But then we find ourselves in the universe, the energy, that everyone is made up of energy, that time is an illusion. So we find ourselves in physics.

Author : Öztürk Hançerli

Translator: Aysel GÖZEY

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