Contemplating the mysteries of the fourth dimension is time well spent

From what it is and why it only goes one way to how we perceive its passage and whether we could live without it, a journey exploring the many outstanding questions about time is always worth taking

Physics | Leader 15 June 2022

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THERE is nothing quite so simultaneously familiar and enigmatic as time, the focus of this week’s issue. Which is perhaps what always makes it such a joy to indulge in our unique ability to explore the many ongoing mysteries of time – and to chase a better understanding of the most puzzling dimension of all.

We can’t even agree on what time is, though many people suspect answers could lie in the mismatch between how it manifests in general relativity – Einstein’s theory of gravity – and quantum mechanics, which describes the behaviour of subatomic particles and forces. Figuring that out could finally lead us to a …

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