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T IS FOR TIME

IT'S TIME

Time’s weird, isn’t it?  It’s sort of…there, we’re always kind of aware that it’s ticking away, and yet we can’t see it, we can’t touch it, we can’t sense it in any normal way.  And even scientists don’t really understand it.

FOURTH DIMENSION: A ‘dimension’ is like a direction.  Something one-dimensional is just a straight line – you can go forwards or backwards, but no other way.  Adding a second dimension will give you a flat surface – you can go sideways as well.  In three dimensions, which is the number of spatial dimensions our Universe has, you can also go up and down.  When Einstein introduced the concept of space-time, a bit more than a hundred years ago, people started calling time the fourth dimension, but this is a bit inaccurate; it would be truer to call it the “last dimension”, because in a ten-dimensional Universe, time would be the eleventh.
PEERLESS TIME SCIENTIST: This verse is a true story.  The scientist I asked is called Dr Marina Cortês, who works at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh.  She has won a top science prize for figuring out some ways of proving that time only flows forwards (although even she isn’t sure that’s true).  These are her three ways:
QUANTUM MECHANICS: See under ‘Q’ for more information about what this means.  The way that quantum mechanics can prove the existence of an arrow of time is that wave functions only collapse in one direction.  You remember we twisted and untwisted our arms in that dance?  Well, in physics, fundamental particles only go from the ‘twisted’ state to the ‘untwisted’ state, never the other way round.
THERMODYNAMICS: The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that heat can’t flow from a colder body into a hotter body, only the other way round.  One consequence of this law is the concept of entropy, which I talked a bit about under ‘E’ – entropy is the evening-out, or becoming-more-boring-ness, of the Universe over time.  And if it’s true that the Universe has to become more boring over time, then there has to be such a thing as time.
ELECTROMAGNETIC POTENTIALS: You know batteries have a little plus at one end and a little minus at the other end?  Well, electrons always start at the minus, go through the torch or whatever it is, and end up at the plus.  They only go in that direction, and when they do, they’re following the electromagnetic potential.  And the fact that they only go one way is a clue that time exists, because it means that the ‘future’ is always going to be different from the ‘past’.

The genre of this song is techno, with a little bit of trance thrown in for good measure.  Techno music started in the American city of Detroit in the 1980s, and has a very repetitive beat that goes boom boom boom boom.  Trance music started in Germany in the 1990s, and is similar to techno but often has a more uplifting, euphoric feel.

Here are the lyrics.

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