The Science of TIME

By Rawdah J

I am one of those people who is a stickler for time. It means, I have my day planned out (with time, and buffer time for unexpected traffic) the night before so that I can wake up with a peace of mind. If someone cancels a plan on me, I would be uneasy until I can fill up that time slot (thank you, foot reflexology guy) as planned. I am not particularly at ease with latecoming. When a particularly draggy colleague asks for 10 mins of my time, I would set a timer. When I start the meeting, I would start it punctually.

To me, it is simple asset. Time is one of the few assets which is irreplaceable. If I were to delay 5 minutes, for a group of 10 people, for the sake of 2 people, are these 2 people going to replace the 5 x 10 minutes? And how? To me, respecting time is one of best qualities a person can have. It is reflective of discipline, self-respect and respect for others.

BUT! What IS time? Why the 60 seconds, 60 minutes, 24 hours, 365/6 days, daylight savings etc? Why did Doctor Who said “wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff”?

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Scientists have confirmed, time and time again ( <– see what I did there?) that the speed of time is not the same all the time. Time is both variable and malleable (McDougall, 2013). If you Google “impact of time on Science”, you’d see that the impact ranges from microscopic to galactic! The concept of time is important in big bang theory (in fact – 1 of the conflicts between religion and science for the big bang theory is the time factor), athletes’ performances being dependent on time of day, being a dependent/variable factor in experiments, a popular variable in mathematical equations and calculations, as well as daily decision-making.

So, if time is indeed “wibbly wobbly timey wimey”, perhaps we should ask ourselves if we are ready for a TARDIS?

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(Just give me back David Tennant!)

References:

  1. McDougall, J. (2013). A Quick Look into the Science of Time. [online] GOOD Magazine. Available at: https://www.good.is/articles/a-quick-look-into-the-science-of-time 
  2. A. Lombardi, M. (2007). Why is a minute divided into 60 seconds, an hour into 60 minutes, yet there are only 24 hours in a day?. [online] Scientific American. Available at: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/experts-time-division-days-hours-minutes/
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