Why does time stretch?

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I have a question. I know that events don't happen simultaneously but rather they are ordered chronologically by time, but why? What is time and how does it stretch events and why does it have the rhythm/flow that it currently has?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Nugatory
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"Time stretching" is a very unhelpful way of thinking about it, and anything that you've read that talks about time stretching has probably been badly oversimplified. If you're serious about understanding relativity, you could start with the relativity of simultaneity (Google is your friend here) or a textbook at the level of Taylor and Wheeler's "Spacetime Physics".

The best answer to your other question - "what is time?" - comes from Einstein: Time is what a clock measures. It's worth Googlng that phrase just to see what he was getting at.
 
  • #3
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I have a question. I know that events don't happen simultaneously but rather they are ordered chronologically by time, but why? What is time and how does it stretch events and why does it have the rhythm/flow that it currently has?
What do you mean by "stretch events?" Do you mean to ask why it is that not all observers agree on the time that occurs between two events?

As for "why does time seem to flow," that's either a philosophical/psychological/neurological question, or its asking a question that has no answer other than "because that's how the universe is," I'd wager.

It could be that time doesn't actually flow, but our brains just take input and interpret it that way. Who knows? Someone here with an advanced degree in physics would be better positioned to answer that one, but based on what little I know I'm not sure if that's really a physics question.
 
  • #5
FactChecker
Science Advisor
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One could possibly give an anthropic explanation that if there was no time and therefore no motion, we would not be able to ask that question. So the fact that we are here discussing this has pre-selected the condition of a universe with a time dimension.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle
 
  • #6
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events don't happen simultaneously
We would be in deep doo doo if they did.
I feel like that would be a "big bang" :smile:
 

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