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January 03, 2008

Is Time Literally Slowing Down and Disappearing From the Universe?

Shutterstock_4158625_2_2 Remember a little thing called the space-time continuum? Well what if the time part of the equation was literally running out? New evidence is suggesting that time is slowly disappearing from our universe, and will one day vanish completely. This radical new theory may explain a cosmological mystery that has baffled scientists for years.

Scientists previously have measured the light from distant exploding stars to show that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. They assumed that these supernovae are spreading apart faster as the universe ages. Physicists also assumed that a kind of anti-gravitational force must be driving the galaxies apart, and started to call this unidentified force "dark energy".

However, to this day no one actually knows what dark energy is, or where it comes from. Professor Jose Senovilla, and his colleagues at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao, Spain, have proposed a mind-bending alternative. They propose that there is no such thing as dark energy at all, and we’re looking at things backwards. Senovilla proposes that we have been fooled into thinking the expansion of the universe is accelerating, when in reality, time itself is slowing down. At an everyday level, the change would not be perceptible. However, it would be obvious from cosmic scale measurements tracking the course of the universe over billions of years. The change would be infinitesimally slow from a human perspective, but in terms of the vast perspective of cosmology, the study of ancient light from suns that shone billions of years ago, it could easily be measured

The team's proposal, which will be published in the journal Physical Review D, dismisses dark energy as fiction. Instead, Prof Senovilla says, the appearance of acceleration is caused by time itself gradually slowing down, like a clock with a run-down battery.

“We do not say that the expansion of the universe itself is an illusion," he explains. "What we say it may be an illusion is the acceleration of this expansion - that is, the possibility that the expansion is, and has been, increasing its rate."

If time gradually slows "but we naively kept using our equations to derive the changes of the expansion with respect of 'a standard flow of time', then the simple models that we have constructed in our paper show that an "effective accelerated rate of the expansion" takes place."

Currently, astronomers are able to discern the expansion speed of the universe using the so-called "red shift" technique. This technique relies on the understanding that stars moving away appear redder in color than ones moving towards us. Scientists look for supernovae of certain types that provide a sort of benchmark. However, the accuracy of these measurements depends on time remaining invariable throughout the universe. If time is slowing down, according to this new theory, our solitary time dimension is slowly turning into a new space dimension. Therefore the far-distant, ancient stars seen by cosmologists would from our perspective, look as though they were accelerating.

"Our calculations show that we would think that the expansion of the universe is accelerating," says Prof Senovilla. The theory bases it’s idea on one particular variant of superstring theory, in which our universe is confined to the surface of a membrane, or brane, floating in a higher-dimensional space, known as the "bulk". In billions of years, time would cease to be time altogether.

"Then everything will be frozen, like a snapshot of one instant, forever," Senovilla told New Scientist magazine. "Our planet will be long gone by then."

Though radical and in many way unprecedented, these ideas are not without support. Gary Gibbons, a cosmologist at Cambridge University, say the concept has merit. "We believe that time emerged during the Big Bang, and if time can emerge, it can also disappear - that's just the reverse effect."

Posted by Rebecca Sato

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Why are some scientests so negituve? (no offence)

I am personally more of a fan of multi dimensions, a la string theory, in a wierd and complex way this seems to somehow fit better than gaps in elegant solutions.

An intriguing idea, but how does it explain the measurable gravitational effects of dark matter? The rate at which our galaxy is rotating, for example, tells us in no uncertain terms that there IS mass there - and a lot of it.

I agree that we are running out of time in a very literal sense: when the universe is out of energy and there is no movement or heat then there will no longer be any measurable time.

This is just sophistry. The speed of light is the only yardstick we have. Whether red shift it due to velocity or simply due to photons getting tired is irrelevant - a photon leaving a distant galaxy now will take longer to reach us than one which left when it was younger. You can't devise an experiment to tell which "explanation" is the correct one, and in fact there's no difference between them, apart from the form of words

That's why I proposed "tired photons" as an explanation for red shift in a joke email .sig file around 1992 or 1993. If I'd known people would take it seriously I wouldn't have bothered....

I will wait for the results from Cern. It's an interesting theory. I presume that as objects near the speed of light, for example, as entering the event horizon of a black hole it will seem to an outside observer that time has stopped. But has it? All things are relative.

And remember boys and girls that in the instant that time freezes the one with the most toilet paper, crown royal whiskey, pepper, salt and weapons WINS.

Time in a way is disappearing. The explanation for this is the Schumann Resonance. The earth's vibration. For a long time it was at about 7.4, but now it has gone up to 12.0 so that means that out of a 24 hour day you are really ending up with the amount of time equaling about 16 hours. The resonance - the earth's vibration- has gone up, so that means that time has condensed, or shortened. The old adage of feeling like there used to be more hours in a day is actually true.

I have always thought that time has never been constant. Think about this "The Universe is like a Lava Lamp..... Big Bang, never happened, just folding and stretching, over and over again.

hi there
a fantastic universe
what about human conciousness
and God???
ligth from hannah

scott maxwell
There is not just one frequency known as the Schumann Resonance. The lowest frequency, and also the one with the highest amplitude is 7.83hz, with subsequent modes occurring about every 6.5hz. They are constantly in flux, and cannot be used to measure time slowing down or speeding up. If these frequencies were changing, there would be a lot of sick people around...NASA had to install resonance generators to produce the Schumann Resonance on board space vehicles, because lack of constant exposure to these frequencies was causing astronauts to become ill after about three days in space.

sorry, thats for lisatown, not scott maxwell

In fact, the article itself confirmed itself. If a person left earth at light speed and returned within one year, he would have aged much less than the people he returned too. The same applies here, but on a larger scale. And indeed, eventually our time line will split into two seperate dimensions, one of a lower vibration and one of a higher vibration. How will this occur? I guess we will all find out at the end of 2012.

I don't know if time is disappearing or not, but I do know, from real-world tests, that time is not constant across the universe. time is actually very rarely constant.

Velocity has a measurable effect on time. Put atomic clocks on two aircraft, one flying east, the other west around the equator, and compare to a stationary clock. The clocks will come out of sync by specific, measurable amounts. Tiny fractions of a second, to be sure, but definitely measurable.

We will not experience the "end of time". We are like a near-sighted cork, floating on the ocean. We can't see far enough to recognize the waves, all we can see is that we are at the surface. We can't tell if the surface is mirror-smooth, or with 30-foot swells - we're floating on the surface and that's all we know.

As time "slows down", our experience of it will also slow down.

the world of physics is infantile in its understanding of time. The layperson is even less knowledgeable. The "linear" nature of time is practically written into our DNA - it directs our entire understanding of reality. EVERY equation that relates to time is incomplete, just as Newtonian physics is incomplete compared to relative and quantum physics.

Unified theories will not be developed until the field of Temporal Physics is perfected.

Hey Hannah: Sorry to 'insult' you but the notion of god in a thread like this is incredibly juvenile I have a hard time putting words to it.

God is a man-creation used to put fear into people in order to control them. ("If you do that, god will punish you after you die and you'll burn in the fires of hell forever! Do this instead! " Please. You live, you die, that's all there is to life. There is absolutely no evidence of any 'god,' to think so would be contrary to all the laws of physics we have discovered to this day.)

Time is not slowing down it is in fact speeding up..!

This is due to dark energy which is speeding up the separation of the Galaxies and the expanse of space and space/time..

The amazing thing is that as these billions of galaxies get farther apart they are also accelerating thus space/time is accelerating and time is speeding up..

As it speeds up simultaneously there may also be less of it this is a classic Quantum paradox..

Finally the "professional physicis are starting to come arround. I have been saying that time is slowing for over a decade. Soon they may come arround to accept my view that mass does not produce gravity, but the universe is filled with gravity wells. Gravity wells fill up with energy and produce matter. Superblack holes are just large gravity wells that haven't been filled. (No need for dark matter, no need for dark energy to explain why there is more gravity than expected).

Hi. If time is slowing down in one fasion or another...does that have anything to do with the polarization of the planet? If it does what will happen when 2012 comes and the planets line up and the pole shift? Is there documentation of that ever happening?

This is just an old idea made new. Some say the universe will expand forever, others claim it'll shrink again. And then there's those that believe time will stop (and perhaps reverse). It sounds interesting, but I remain sceptical. I think the most naive thing to do, would be to claim you've got it right. Perhaps time is slowing down, and that's why the universe's expansion appears to be accelerating. Or maybe there really is some kind of anti-gravitational force. Or maybe it's something different all together. Just keep catching up with the last intel.

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