Light from the short-lived star warms Yahweh’s insides as he reflects on what has happened. In just a few hours, they have created a new universe in another dimension, then created matter from nothing. To top it all off, the new universe seems to obey the same laws of physics that enabled them to turn on the first light there. “This is good,” Yahweh tells the others.
The scientists replay the first events on the holoviewer many times over. Their faces glow bright as they witness again and again what happened before, during, and after the big bang that created this new universe.
As Yahweh watches the holographic replay, he frowns, “Something’s not right. Think about it. Here we see the formation of atoms and then the birth and death of that protostar—all in just a few moments. It took billions of years for our own universe to do the same thing.”
He focuses on the time comparison chart that appears on the holoviewer. Then it hits him. “It’s time! Time in this new universe flows faster than time in our universe!”
Now how did that happen? Well, time is relative. As the theoretical physicist and string theorist Brian Greene wrote in his book The Fabric of the Cosmos, “time for you need not be the same as time for me.” Depending on where we are and how fast we are going, time as we personally experience or observe it, can be very different, relative to someone else who is in a different place and speed.
Einstein’s theory of relativity tells us that time can be compressed or stretched and is subject to the whims of velocity and gravity. Of course, these whims will have to be extreme to measure the difference.
The first whim is called Relative Velocity Time Dilation. The faster you go, relative to someone else, the slower time will flow, but just for you and you won’t feel a thing. A great (and small) example can be observed by astronauts who hurtle around in Earth orbit at about 17,000 miles per hour. Relative to us slow pokes on Earth, the rocket men and women’s clocks tick slower and they would age slower. How much slower? Not much—about .007sec for every six months. But suppose you were traveling at 99.999% of the speed of light? One year traveling at that speed for you would be measured as 224 years for someone who was not traveling as fast. By the way, click here or on the image to play with a time Relativity Calculator based on Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity equation used to arrive at these numbers.
Another way to diddle with time is to immerse yourself in an extreme gravity field—like the one generated by a black hole. That’s called Gravitational Time Dilation. The greater the gravity field around you (relative to someone else) the slower your clock will appear to tick, relative to that person’s clock. The same holds true in reverse. Time for a person in a small gravity field will appear to tick faster as measured by a person in a larger gravity field. For example, suppose you climbed 29,000 feet to the top of Mt Everest where Earth’s gravity field is slightly weaker. Not only will you probably freeze to death or die from lack of oxygen on the summit but time for you up there will be seen as passing (just like your life) slightly faster as measured by someone who is warm, comfortable and sipping piña coladas at sea level on the beach. In reality, the time difference will be unnoticeable. The beachcomber needs to be in a much stronger gravitational field (like a black hole) to see a fast forward version of your demise.
Gravitational Time Dilation makes for a great literary tool that science fiction writers use to create a much safer reader experience with extreme situations. For example, the Sci-Fi book Neutron Star by Larry Niven describes a space traveler as he orbits in the strong gravity field of a neutron star. The spaceman reports his observation of distant blue white stars outside of the neutron star’s gravity well. To the spaceman, time on those distant stars appear to run fast compared to clocks on his spaceship that’s immersed in the strong gravity field of the neutron star.
In Heaven’s Ant Farm, Gravitational Time Dilation also provides a valid explanation to Professor Yahweh Tabbris’ observation of the newly discovered parallel universe. Time in that new universe, where he will discover Earth, flows much faster than time in Heaven’s universe. That’s because the gravity field that surrounds the new universe is so much smaller than the gravity field that surrounds Heaven’s universe. Why is that? Dark energy I suspect. But that’s another blog post. Bottom line here is that because of Gravitational Time Dilation and the QUEST hyperdrive, Yahweh and his archrival Lucifer will affect the happenings on Earth all during and beyond the time period documented in the Bible. What’s a QUEST hyperdrive? That’s for another blog post. Meanwhile, you can get a hint by reading the blog entry on QUEST.
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