What is SPACETIME?
Did you know that gravity doesn’t pull anything? The earth doesn’t magically pull objects… like you… towards it. Rather, SPACE pushes you towards the ground.
This may be hard to wrap your head around at first, but it’s the fundamental observation that made Einstein the most famous scientist ever. And he called is SPACE-TIME.
What it means in a nut shell is that objects that are big, like planets and stars, are SO massive they warp the fabric of space itself, like a trampoline with a ball on its surface. So anything in the area will roll towards it. You can see the implications of this pretty quickly. So what’s that got to do with TIME?
Well, in essence, he also realized that because of that, Space and Time are kinda really the same thing. You can’t move through one without effecting the other in such a way, that they’re RELATIVE to each other… that word might have jogged your mind a bit. His Theory of Relativity explains that the three dimensions of space and one dimension of time are actually a four-dimensional continuum. You may need to take a break right about here… Don’t worry. It only gets more complicated… but can be fun once you get it.
You’ve had experiences in your life where time seemed to move slowly - when you’re bored out of your mind… and super fast - when you’re having a blast, right? In essence, this is where you might take the leap that time itself IS relative. What time you’re experiencing is just that… yours… and what time someone else is experiencing is actually theirs. Because they’re just in a different place in the four-dimensional continuum. Take that a step further, and this gets a bit unbelievable, but it’s true. It ACTUALLY moves faster or slower depending if you find yourself closer or further away from massive objects… like your planet. So… a clock on a satellite will slip out of sync with a clock on the ground.
Time quite literally moves at different speeds depending on where you are in the universe... the latest and best film to make this central to its story is Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.