What was Einstein’s meaning of time when he says time is only an illusion.


“The distinction between the past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

In: Physics

6 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Imagine you are watching a movie. You take a pause in the middle of the movie. You have the option of rewinding and re-watching something that happened earlier, or you can skip ahead and watch the ending. Humans like to imagine time as being similar to a river, or a roll of film. We imagine things that happened in the past as if they still exist. The ‘past’ is a place we could travel to if we could only get the DeLorean to 88 miles per hour.

This is not how the universe really works. There is no past. There is no future. Those are not places that exist. There is only the present. Even after things change, it is still the present. Even after many years, when we are all old and gray, we are still in the present, although the arrangement of things has changed around a bit.

One of the big discoveries to come out of Einstein’s work is that time is relative. We don’t experience it the same way, and a person near a large gravitational object or travelling at near light-speed will experience time very differently.

So let’s say we took a trip to the supermassive black hole in ‘Interstellar,’ where time moved slower. We return to Earth and find 20 years have passed. Does that mean we somehow skipped into the future? No. We were always living in the present and it was the same present as everyone else. It’s just that our rate of change was different so our *perception* of time is skewed.

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