àTime:In simple words, time can beperceived as an ongoing progress of events that have occurred in the past, thatare occurring in the present, and that are yet to occur in the future.
Time issomething that everyone thinks they can comprehend. Looking at a clock and beingable to tell what time it is means that you understand everything about time,right? The real truth is that time isn’t just restricted to watches and clocks.It is much more complex and complicated. That is why I believe that the studyof time is extremely important. Over the years, study of time hashelped us greatly deepen our knowledge about time. For example, just ten yearsafter the term ‘time machine’ was originated, Albert Einstein wrote a paper onspecial relativity. This concept of special relativity has provided an insighton how time travel could be possible.
ØSpecialRelativityBefore Einstein came up with thisrevolutionary theory, scientists thought that the speed of light was differentfor different reference points. It was believed that there was a specificviewpoint in space, called ether, where light travels at its true velocity. However,according to Einstein, there is no such thing as ether.
He said that light hasa constant speed no matter what frame of reference you are measuring it from. Theevidence for this theory was provided by the Michelson–Morley experiment inwhich light always had a constant velocity independent of the reference point. Basedon the theory of relativity, the passing of time varies for different objectsdepending on the gravitational pull on the object as well as the speed that theobject is moving at. This is known as time dilation. àHow Special Relativity providesan insight to Time Travel:Everyone has been fascinated by theidea of travelling in time since the idea was first coined. Many shows such as ‘DoctorWho’ have also been made based on the notion of time travel.
However, the factis that time travel is already happening! An example of time travel in thefuture is the GPS system. Due to time dilation, time flows more slowly forus than it does for a satellite which is used for the Global Positioning System.Another example is time travel due to a black hole. The immense gravitationalpull within black hole intensifies the time dilation effect which leads tojumping forwards in time. Although there are many cases inwhich time travel in future could be made possible, there has not been an asingle working physics model for traveling back in time.
This is why I believethe study of time is important. Finding out more about time will help us pursueseemingly impossible challenges such as travelling in the past.àOther opportunities fromthe study of time:Furthermore, learning more about timecould help resolve ongoing debates and arguments about time. For example, it iscurrently argued by philosophers whether time is ‘flux’ (idea by Greekphilosopher Heraclitus) or fixed.
The idea that time is fixed ‘in a series ofevents, lined up one after the other’ was first brought up by Parmenides, anearly Greek philosopher. Other than Parmenides, scientists such as AlbertEinstein have also referred to time as a ‘stubbornly persistent illusion’. àHow the study of timecould be beneficial for my area of interest (Computer Science): There are many opportunities ofstudying time for the technological sector. The first breakthrough for computerswas made in 1946 when the first computer, ENIAC, was built. In only a matter of70 years, we have advanced so much in the technological sector that we haveproduced handheld compact computers (mobile phones) as well as supercomputers. However,even though supercomputers are very powerful, they are currently extremely vulnerableto failure. Therefore, if we could work out how to travel to a distant futurewithin seconds, it would be possible to bring ground-breaking concepts to the presentfrom the future.
For example, we would be able to use supercomputers in anefficient manner in order to solve complex problems, which appear in subjectssuch as natural science, engineering, etc. with huge amounts of freedom.