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Physicists Find That As Clocks Get More Precise, Time Gets More Fuzzy

Physicists “have combined two grand theories of physics to conclude not only is time not universally consistent, any clock we use to measure it will blur the flow of time in its surrounding space.” An anonymous reader quotes ScienceAlert:

A team of physicists from the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences have applied quantum mechanics and general relativity to argue that increasing the precision of measurements on clocks in the same space also increases their warping of time… [W]hile the theories are both supported by experiments, they usually don’t play well together, forcing physicists to consider a new theory that will allow them both to be correct at the same time…

In this case, the physicists hypothesized the act of measuring time in greater detail requires the possibility of increasing amounts of energy, in turn making measurements in the immediate neighborhood of any time-keeping devices less precise. “Our findings suggest that we need to re-examine our ideas about the nature of time when both quantum mechanics and general relativity are taken into account,” says researcher Esteban Castro. The article opens with the statement that “time is weird,” noting that despite our own human-centric expectations, “the Universe doesn’t have a master clock to run by.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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