I want to return to the concept of time today, if you have the time to read it of course. That is not just my attempt at a small joke but also an entry point into the concept of relativity.
As human beings all of our experiences from the moment we began to lay down memories as a child tell us that time is absolute. That whatever in our existence may change time itself moves forward at the same predictable, constant rate.
However according to the theory of special relativity, if two clocks start together, then follow different paths with different speeds, and then meet up again, they’ll likely show different times. This is a basic fact that emerges from the equations of motion of fundamental particles. But it also means that everyone has a different notion of how much time has elapsed. This is true in practical terms too and it is something we all have experience of.
For example imagine you are a football fan and your team is winning one goal to nil in a very important match. The referee’s assistant has just indicated that there are to be 4 minutes of extra time. The momentum is with the opposition as they launch attack after attack on your team’s goal. That 4 minutes is only 4 minutes but it will seem to you like it is 4 hours as you will the clock to go faster.
Or perhaps you are with your girlfriend at the train station, she is going back to university and you will not see her for many months. You love her very much and will miss her terribly. The train is due in 20 minutes and that 20 minutes will fly by as you will time to move slower. Here the perception of time is entirely relative to our perspective.
Have you noticed that time seems to go much quicker as we age? Well again this is partly down to perception but also it is down to how our brain processes new information.
When we are younger we experience a lot more new experiences so are constantly taking on-board and processing new information. Sadly as we age new experiences are not so frequent so, if our brain doesn’t have to process lots of new information, time seems to move faster. This happens because you take in lots of information that’s familiar, because you’ve processed it before. Your brain doesn’t have to work very hard, so it processes time faster.
Ornaments Fish Tank
It is precisely for this reason that when I am relaxing, staring at my aquarium I do not just let my mind wander. I meditate but I also make sure I absorb every detail. Every movement of the fish is unique and new information. Why not make time spent with your own aquarium more interesting with some ornaments from my extensive range?