Tag Archives: Time Interval

What is Time?

Time has always been a mystery in the mind of man.  When our lives are going well, time seems to fly by.  When we are having challenges, time seems to stop or at least slowdown. There is a reason for this odd perception of time.

•        Time is metaphysical – an idea in our minds.
•        You cannot extract it from the universe.  It does not exist as a measurable entity.
•        Time, as kept by humankind is not time; it is time-interval: the accumulation of time intervals from some origin.  For example, the number of years A.D.; the number of days in a year; the number of hours in a day starting at midnight; the number of days in your life-time, etc.

Time Interval

The Official Definition of “time-interval,” is the length of the second.
In my lifetime the accuracy of “time-interval” has improved a billion-fold.  The earth speeds up or slows down every day by about 0.0001 of a second in the 86400 seconds that transpire in a day. That is about nine digits of accuracy.  Now the best atomic clocks have eighteen digits of accuracy.  That is like a second in the age ofa the universe as currently science believes it to be.  When scientists realized they could extract much more accurate “time-interval” from atomic clocks than could be obtained from any astronomical measurement, the second was redefined.

This new definition states: “The second is the duration of 9 192 631 770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the cesium-133 atom.” (13th CGPM (1967), Resolution 1)

Since most of my readers are not from a scientific background, you may not have understood the “new definition”. You are probably wondering how all this relates to you. The bottom line is, in the grand scheme of things, our personal “Time Interval” is very short. We all face the experience of death, some sooner than others.  Our big personal question is how well have we used our time-interval here on earth?

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