December 19, 2007
Is Time Slowing Down? Will Time Stop Some Day?

Weird wild stuff.

The idea that time itself could cease to be in billions of years - and everything will grind to a halt - has been set out by Professor José Senovilla, Marc Mars and Raül Vera of the University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, and Univerisity of Salamanca, Spain.

These scientists propose this theory as an explanation for a known phenomenon: distant stars seem to be moving faster. Since images from distant stars come from further back in time these scientists suggest that in the past time ran more rapidly. So things moved more rapidly.

A decade ago, astronomers noticed that distant supernovae - exploding stars on the very fringes of the universe - seemed to be moving faster than those nearer to the centre, suggesting that they were accelerating as they shot through space.

They think their idea makes more sense than hidden dark matter that is at the center of an alternative explanation for how the distant stars appear in telescopes.

My guess is that we are not in the only universe. We need to find a way travel to other universes so we can escape each universe as time in it slows down or all the matter converts to diffuse energy or the universe otherwise gets used up.

Of course, first we need to development rejuvenation treatments that will reverse aging. Once once we accomplish that goal can we have the luxury of worrying about our slowing down or running down universe.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2007 December 19 10:42 PM  Dangers Natural General

David Weisman said at December 20, 2007 4:34 AM:

Well, physics has many counterintuitive ideas. Conventionally, speed is distance moved per unit time. Of course time doesn't move in a physical dimension so they don't mean that. They must mean less duration per unit time - no wait, less time per unit time, no wait, that makes no sense. Whatever they are speculating, I'm not sure translating it into every day English as time slowing down means anything, unless there is some other time outside our universe we can measure to use as a yardstick. If there is, not mentioning it sucks all the content out. My intuition is to blame the reporter, although I may have misunderstood.

How about time stopping? I suppose one can coherently say time will end at a certain time - denoting the endpoint of a timeline. Our mental image of the universe frozen into place may be flawed, it seems to imply some outside time as well.

rabbithumin_kiss_kiss1492 said at December 20, 2007 6:46 AM:

i dont think that you guys understand that time is fragil i mean time is the epitimy of this demonstration you know the remedy ya feelin me so why you hatin on my anatomy yea its bird like girl im the king which means i'm flyyyy

Fly said at December 20, 2007 8:18 AM:

"My guess is that we are not in the only universe."

Fermi's Paradox...

Given the size and age of the universe, the likelihood that life has arisen many times, the evidence that life evolves intelligence at an exponential rate, and the recent indications that technological advances will allow colonization of distant stars an important question is "Where are the missing aliens?"

Perhaps when a civilization is capable of colonizing another star system it is also capable of leaving this universe. We live in a shabby, backwards universe from which civilizations escape as soon as technology permits. The missing aliens have all moved to the big city.

Fly said at December 20, 2007 8:32 AM:

"there is some other time outside our universe we can measure to use as a yardstick"

Time can also be measured locally based on radioactive decay rates. Imagine that you compare the time it takes Earth to orbit the sun to the time it takes an element to decay and find your "clocks" are diverging.

David Govett said at December 20, 2007 10:07 AM:

If distant galaxies seem to have moved more rapidly in the distant past, would time have been slower, not faster, so that they would cover a unit distance in less time?

Dave said at December 20, 2007 9:27 PM:

Could this also explain how 'inflation' happened within what appears to be an implausibly small about of time compared to the speed things happen since then.

rsilvetz said at December 20, 2007 9:30 PM:

Yeah, Fermi's Paradox is a real thorn in statistical certainty that life has to exist elsewhere.

So, perhaps Ascension to other planes of existence (universes) may be the real route to immortality beyond biologic immortality. And it would explain Fermi's Paradox.

As to time slowing I wonder if we are not seeing a f(t) effect in the universes laws. Ie. perhaps G (gravitational constant) is really G(t) where t is the age of the universe. This would definitely impact star velocity etc. Same for the other constants perhaps...

fishbane said at December 21, 2007 3:09 PM:

Could this also explain how 'inflation' happened within what appears to be an implausibly small about of time compared to the speed things happen since then.

Alan Greenspan would like to note that it didn't happen on his watch.

John S Bolton said at December 23, 2007 12:21 AM:

More likely materials are all getting smaller or more compact here,so that our measuring sticks are a little smaller than they were some years ago. No cosmic expansion, no need for hyper-mystified physics.

Bode Bliss said at December 30, 2007 6:30 AM:

I quote this theory:

Age is relative too

The age of the universe also depends on where you're standing, as Wiltshire discovered in calculations published in the New Journal of Physics.

The universe is 14.7 billion years old, a billion years older than the currently accepted age, from our galactic observation point.

But it is more than 18 billion years old from an average location in a void.

In a third paper, published this week in Astrophysical Journal Letters, Wiltshire and colleagues examine independent observational tests that confirm these ages.

Although the research completely changes our view of the universe, it doesn't alter standard physics.

"Einstein's revolution is still continuing," says Wiltshire. "This is a radically conservative solution to how the universe works."

As stated more fully here:

This theory would mean the universe is really 18 billion years old and there was no rapid expansion in the early universe

William Bond said at February 24, 2008 1:59 AM:

Seems to me that everyone is missing the point including the scientists that it is not time that is slowing down; time is just mans way of putting things in order of sequence or a when factor, time is man made to tell others when something happened. No what we are seeing through telescopes is distant light moving faster the further out it is since at the very beginning of our universe entropy was not a factor and so the speed of light could have been much faster than 186,000 miles per second, the speed of the the atoms vibrations was much faster and age was relative. But over time speed like everything else slows down through entropy, which means our measurements of the universe are way off, it means we cannot count on the measurements of our atomic clocks because they are a product of entropy at the same rate light is and therefore cannot be used to help measure the speed of light, and so the slower the speed becomes the older the universe seems including the earth and all things on it called apparent age. At the beginning when age, speed, and atoms where created we could say they equaled 1, but over time speed of light, and rate of vibrations became slower, making age seem older over time, an inverse reaction to entropy. Since speed of light and rate of vibration of atoms are relative to one another then it would make sense that measuring vibrations of atoms for time would stay at the rate relative to speed of light therefor not giving us the ability to see either speed of light slowing down nor the rate of vibration slowing down since we use a set number of vibrations to equal one second. So back to the point of time, because the speed of the universe is slowing down the rate of time becomes longer as an inverse to rate of speed.

Joe Lee said at December 9, 2008 8:20 PM:

Why mustn't the universe be younger than it's contents? If having learnt how to reverse entropy the former universe's residue ( The last question, Asimov) would call into existence our universe and might upon this occasion invite another universe's residue to come and watch? What would they see. If the new universe were to expand at the speed of light or faster, would their time be equal to the time inside of the new universe? Doubtful. This gallery of gathered omnipresent digital sentience (gods for short) may perceive but a short time compared with the slowing matter within the universe. If, having keen sight to see into this expanding universe, things might appear to be happening quite fast. The forming of galaxies, solar systems and even the introduction of life might seem to them as some short years where as inside billions of relative years pass. Maybe to them 10000 of our years are but a day to them. They may while away the time grilling some dark matter burgers and quaffing some quantum foam as just a million of their years pass see us scratching the boundaries of space as we expand out with our civilizations to repeat this again this infinitely repetitive process. I am just sayin'. Why mustn't it be?

jlb said at June 21, 2009 5:00 PM: (speed of light and atomic clock time differences)you should read it.
If the data is sound, and it seems to be so; then light and time itself are indeed slowing down progressively throughout this reality, macro-cosmic and micro-cosmic: or at least, slowing down in our corner of it which we can see and measure.
Very weird. It is more Quantum Mechanics weirdness in the real world.
Projecting forward and backward gives some very disturbing images and implications.
Time past approached much faster and arrived much sooner than it would seem possible in our timeframe reality, and time future expires much faster and runs out much sooner than we would think possible in this timeframe reality.
The only way I can picture it, is like someone being in a moving river of changing speeds. Your speed relative to the water you are in is seemingly constant but your speed relative to your surroundings is a very different thing.
It seems to describe a scenario where time will essentially and for all practical purposes eventually flatline and end. Who knew that the hourglass really looked a bit like reality?

It gives new meaning the the phrase, the time is short.

MKhan said at August 17, 2009 4:23 AM:

Time is presence of motion and forces. If time is caused by expansion of space it will slow where expansion is slower as around large masses like sun earth black holes etc. We do see time slower where expansion is slow. If amount of motion and forces given to a mass by expanding space is a constant then as the (external) motion of a body increases the internal motion (time) will slow down. For details go to

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