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Time and getting older

  1. Aug 4, 2009 #1
    Why does time start going by faster as people get older?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 4, 2009 #2
    Relative to what? Their perception of time may appear to change for themselves but certainly it does not actually increase or decrease in speed. Perhaps because they are aware that their time left is dwindling it seems that their last day is approaching faster. Are you implying this happens to all older people? Does time appear to them to speed up linearly with age?
  4. Aug 4, 2009 #3


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  5. Aug 5, 2009 #4


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    When you are 1 year old a week is 1/52 of the time you have experienced. When you are 52yrs old 1 year is 1/52 of the time you have experienced. So relatively speaking a week to a year old is like a year to 52yr old. We must compare each day or year to what we have already experienced, time indeed passes faster as we age. I am nearly 60, years now seem to fly by, a decade means little to me now.
  6. Aug 5, 2009 #5
  7. Aug 5, 2009 #6
    When you get older your environment begins to become too familiar. We tend to think of time in a sense of what we enjoy and interact with. When our routine environment becomes old hat we kind of go on auto-pilot until we get to those things we still enjoy and aren't routine. But those experiences become farther apart and shorter in duration. And then we ask where all the time went. That's my take, anyway.
  8. Aug 5, 2009 #7
    Because time is really experienced on the basis of percentage of remaining time. Each second, heartbeat, breath, etc., while occurring at a constant external rate consumes an increasing fraction of the time remaining, thus the internal rate increases. :frown:
  9. Aug 5, 2009 #8
    The reason that time seems to go faster as you get older is ... Oh! look at the time, I've got to go right now. I have to go pick up my daughter from her tennis lesson and then do the marketing for tonight's dinner. I'll dash home and get the groceries to my wife just in time so that as she is getting home from picking up my son from summer school she can cook it. We're eating a little early tonight so we can go to a concert that my nephew is playing in. I'll finish my thought when I get home tonight if I'm not too tired from all that running around.
  10. Aug 5, 2009 #9


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    Are we having a schism today?

    From another thread, you JUST posted:

  11. Aug 5, 2009 #10
    I think it has to do a lot with how you get more comfortable and your environment becomes more known to you.
    It's harder to make an impact emotionally and thus you forget more of what you experienced.
    While as a kid you remember a lot more.

    I think it has mostly to do with how much we remember.
  12. Aug 5, 2009 #11


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    It's also perception.

    Time seems to go faster when you are busy, or enjoying something. At work, if I am busy, it's time to go home before I notice. If it's slow, it seems the day will never end.

    If you have 5 minutes left to live (facing execution) that five minutes is gone in a second.

    If you are waiting 5 minutes to find out if it was your loved one that survived a car crash, that 5 minutes takes forever.
  13. Aug 5, 2009 #12
    Can you not tell the difference between humor and seriousness?
  14. Aug 5, 2009 #13
    I suspect it has to do with processing rate slowing down effectively giving the perception of faster passage of time.
  15. Aug 5, 2009 #14


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    Only when it's funny.
  16. Aug 6, 2009 #15
    Sorry, hould have said whimsical, mildly amusing, thurberesque. That's what this thread was about. Too bad you miss the distinction.

    The other thread should have been taken for what it was -- simple bear-baiting. You're surprised that ill-informed, polarized views based on baseless biases emerged?
  17. Aug 6, 2009 #16


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    Im not getting older because i no longer acknowledge my birthday ( DECEMBER 16), i do except presents though.
  18. Aug 6, 2009 #17
    If you define a dimensionless quantity [tex]d\tau[/tex] which represents the fraction of your life that is currently being passed, then,

    [tex]d\tau = \dfrac{dt}{t}[/tex],

    [tex]dt = td\tau [/tex].

    So as you get older, time in your reference frame will pass more quickly...it would seem linearly with your age.
  19. Aug 6, 2009 #18
    I get what the OP is saying -

    It took me ages to get to 20 and now the last 4 years seemed like it passed overnight.
  20. Aug 6, 2009 #19
    Damn...I have a long time left to live, but I never considered that time passes exponentially! Ahhh
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