• Question: Is it possible that someone could stop time and 1 year can go by without us knowing?

    Asked by acooper to Katie on 21 Jun 2012.
    • Photo: Katie Skeffington

      Katie Skeffington answered on 21 Jun 2012:

      Good question! Time is interesting, because although it seems to us that we are all moving through time at the same rate, in reality this is not the case! In fact, time and space are part of the same thing, called ‘spacetime’, and Einstein’s theory of special relativity tells us that people move through spacetime at the same rate. This means that the faster you go through space, the slower you go through time! So an astronaut travelling close to the speed of light will move through time very slowly, and a year in space moving that fast corresponds to many years, even decades to the people on Earth who are moving very slowly through space and thus their time is going relatively very fast!

      So what I’m trying to say is that time is a tricky thing to get your head around – it doesn’t go at the same rate for everyone anyway, so the concept of time being stopped for everyone at once doesn’t really work!