Make your own free website on

Table of Contents:
    A Brief History
    A Brief History II
How We Define Time:
    Defining Time
    Arbitrary Time
> Relativity
How Time Defines Us:
    Our Origins
    Personal Roles


    Contact Me

Of Relativity

Elementary knowledge teaches us that time as constant, fluid, and linear. The metaphor of time as an arrow in flight concisely encapsulates the idea. On the other hand, personal reflection reveals that perception of time is irregular. The maxim, “time flies when you’re having fun” is a good example. After all, everybody has experienced the palpable deceleration of time during a monotonous lecture or its disappearance during a difficult test. Escher's Relativity To reconcile the difference, we correctly assume our perceptions are imperfect. But is our elementary knowledge correct in itself? Academically, the theory of special relativity posits that time is inconstant, determined by one's relative speed (Einstein). Empirical tests with atomic clocks have demonstrated that time passes slower in a frame of reference that is in motion as opposed to one that is stationary. We would like to assume that the world is the stationary point of for time’s reference, but clearly, that is not true. The Earth rotates around the sun at 100,000 km/h, which is in motion around the galaxy at 800,000 km/h, and so on (Hawking). When say the universe has existed for thirteen billion years since the big bang, are we justified in using an inconstant scale? The difficulty in finding an absolute measurement of time therefore lies in the problem of finding the one immutable and stationary point in the universe. Since all motion is relative, this task is impossible taking with it all hope of absolute time.

While this discussion of time is far from complete, it is sufficient in terms of the dialogue. It is now opportune to reverse question. Having seen how we define time, we can now ask how time defines us.

<< Prev Page     Home     Next Page >>

"Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away."
- Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Epiphany Entertainment © 2001