The Ends of Time, in Art and Science
In Gallery 919, in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, there is a giant breathing machine. Its creator, William Kentridge, calls it “the elephant,” after Charles Dickens’s description of factory machines that move “monotonously up and down, like the head of an elephant in a state of melancholy madness.” On the walls surrounding the elephant […]
Here’s Our Cutting-Edge, Crowdsourced Imaginary Time Capsule
Humans have long had a desire to capture the now—to freeze the current moment to look back on after it has left us. We painted, wrote things down, developed photography and storage systems, and built vast libraries of books and images. In 1939, during the New York World’s Fair, Westinghouse introduced the first-ever “time capsule” […]
Where Did Time Come From, and Why Does It Seem to Flow?
ASU Paul Davies has a lot on his mind—or perhaps more accurate to say in his mind. A physicist at Arizona State University, he does research on a wide range of topics, from the abstract fields of theoretical physics and cosmology to the more concrete realm of astrobiology, the study of life in places beyond […]
Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness, But Time Just Might Do It
While on vacation in distant locales, people often find that time moves quite differently than in the places they’re used to. In the tropics, we settle into the grooves of “island time” and relax thanks to a more leisurely rhythm. A trip to a big city can leave us exhilarated but also drained by the […]
Imagine a World With One Universal Time Zone…
A warped photo of Big Ben. Alan Cleaver via Flickr Earlier this month, the chief minister of the Indian state of Assam, Tarun Gogoi, started something of a brouhaha with a bold pronouncement on the generally sleepy topic of time zones. “We need a local time for Assam and the other northeastern states which will […]
What Would You Put in a Science Time Capsule?
It’s 2014: Sixty-one years since the discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA. Four hundred seventy one years since Copernicus published the heliocentric model of the universe. And one year since the Higgs Boson was discovered. In 100 years, how will we look back on today’s science? We’re building a scientific time capsule—a collection of […]
Life is a Braid in Spacetime
How to see yourself in a world where only math is real.
In Search of Time’s Origin
What happened before the Big Bang?
The Pasta Theory of Memory & Your Personal Beginning of Time
“[mother’s day memories]”kyle post via Flickr under Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0) license In the beginning, my mother is carrying me in her arms as she closes a screen door. I remember her humming as she walks along, and then she sits down on a bench that is surrounded by greenery. That’s all that is […]
The Time-Honored Quest to Find the Rules of Time Travel
It’s 2077 in the city of Vancouver, now part of the North American Union, run by a “Corporate Congress.” Technically, everyone is still free and enjoys the fruits of a highly technologically advanced society—except they spend their lives paying down the massive debt owed to the corporations, and are subject to high surveillance in what […]