Time is a strange thing. We used to count the hours, but the Universe is not some main clocks and dials, so we can experience time differently, depending on how we move or how we are affected by gravity. Physicists have tried to unite the two great theories physicists to conclude that time is not only not agreed upon a universal, and any clock that we use to measure it, erode over time in the surrounding space.
First, this does not mean that your wall clock will help you to quickly aging. We're talking hours in high-precision experiments, for example, about the atomic clock. A group of physicists from the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences have learned from quantum mechanics and General relativity to state: increase of measurement accuracy on the watch in the same space also increases the distortion of time.
Let's for a moment stop and try to Express in simple words what physicists know at the moment.
Quantum mechanics very accurately describes the Universe at the smallest scales, where everything goes into the realm of subatomic particles and the forces acting on the shortest distances. For all its precision and usefulness, quantum mechanics allows us to make predictions that contradict our everyday experience.
One of these predictions is the uncertainty principle of Heisenberg, according to which, when you know one parameter with high precision, the measurement of the second parameter becomes less accurate. For example, the more you clarify the position of the object in time and space, the less you can be sure of its momentum.
And it's not that someone smarter or someone have better equipment — the universe in its base works, it is fundamental. Electrons don't crash into protons, due to the balance of uncertainty of position and momentum.
You can look from the other side: to determine the position of the object with higher accuracy, we need to reckon with an unimaginable amount of energy. Applied to our hypothetical clock, split second to share our hours leads to the fact that we know less about the energy hours. And here comes the General theory of relativity — another proven theory in physics, only in her more used to explain how massive objects affect each other at a distance.
Thanks to the work of Einstein, we understand that there is equivalence between mass and energy expressed by the formula E = mc2. Energy equals mass multiplied by the square of the speed of light. We also know that time and space are linked, and that space-time is not just an empty box — the mass, and thus energy can bend space-time.
Therefore, we observe interesting effects like gravitational lensing, when a massive objects like stars and black holes gravity bend the path of light. And it also means that the mass can lead to gravitational time dilation, when time passes the closer, the closer to the gravity source.
Unfortunately, although these theories are well supported by experiments, they hardly get along. So physicists are trying to create a new theory that fit both the theory and be correct. While we continue to investigate how these theories describe the same phenomena like time. How, in fact, in this article.
Physicists have suggested that the act of measuring time with high accuracy requires increasing energy cost, which automatically reduces the accuracy of measurements in the immediate region any time tracking device.
"Our findings say that we need to reconsider our ideas about the nature of time, when attention is directed to General relativity, and quantum mechanics," says researcher Esteban Castro.
The impact this has on us on a daily level? As is often the case with theoretical physics, especially no.
Although technically quantum mechanics applies to "big" things, don't worry if your stopwatch is counting fractions of a second; on your wrist, will not open a black hole. These lessons will have value only for hours in highly accurate experiments are much more sophisticated than those being developed at present.
But the better we understand how working hours and time in particular, at least in theory, the better we understand the Universe around us. One day, perhaps, we will understand the nature of time itself. The work of scientists was published in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
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