a weekend in physics

So I spent the weekend pondering how it’s possible for particles to tell the time. Specifically, subatomic particles called kaons, which seem to know the difference between past and future (I’m still trying to understand this). I also tried to get my head around the fact that time might somehow have evolved out of space (Stephen Hawking’s theory); had the idea put to me that maybe time isn’t continuous but runs together fast enough that we think it is; and wondered about all the parallel universes that there might be with time running forwards in some and backwards in others, and then the small minority with reversals in time part-way through. (The “quantum fuzziness” inherent in quantum physics seems to practically demand parallel universes.)

The book I was reading, Paul Davies’ About Time: Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution ends on questions about “block time”, my discovery of last Monday. If physics has abolished “the” past, “the” present, and “the” future as divisions of time, as opposed to just “past” and “future”, which are purely directions in time, what does that mean for us as human beings when we have a feeling of time flowing. Is that feeling an illusion? What time is “now”? It’s “now” as I type this but then it’s immediately in the past. We can’t pin down “now”. Clocks only measure duration between events, not time as such. So what does that all mean?

The problem here is the theory of relativity (which is proven) vs human experience of time (which is inescapable to us).

And time is a place? I guess that’s my own personal metaphor. And I’m still thinking about that one.

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