Sunday, April 19, 2020

Einstein was right.

Einstein was right. Covid-19 proves it.

In his theory of special relativity, he looked at “space-time.” That’s where the three dimensions of space are linked with the dimension of time in the space-time continuum. So, we don’t just live in a place and we don’t just live in a certain time; we occupy “space-time.” Then, in his theory of general relativity, he realized that gravity could cause distortion in space-time, that it would warp space-time. Think of it as the weight of something pressing down like a marble on a blanket of space-time.

I study Time. I read physics books about it, science fiction about it, watch movies about it. But on some level, it’s non-intuitive. You just can’t wrap your head around it.

Until Covid-19.

My days used to begin, proceed, and end in a very linear path. (That’s called the Arrow of Time.) I woke up, did things, and ultimately went to bed. Many times, with my always-disrupted sleep cycle, things re-started somewhere around 11 p.m., but they still moved. Linearly. One minute after another.

Until Covid-19.

I still wake up (thank goodness!), and I still walk downstairs to my computer. Somewhere around the ninth or tenth news story – or maybe it’s the fourth or fifth review of the peak Covid-19 projections by state or the map of cases around the world or does the size of the dose of the virus make a difference and what about serum antibodies – time starts to leak. Or warp.

For a while, when I was researching the best prototype of face mask to sew – elastic or fabric ties or T-shirt ropes? with or without a pocket for a filter? pleated or form-fitting? – time actually disrupted. Ruptured, the physicists call it, and it’s what a black hole does.

When two black holes collide, they send gravitational waves rippling through space-time. I think the black hole of Covid-19 news updates collides with the black hole of Facebook and distorts my space-time. You probably know this scientific phenomenon as a “time sink.”

Because next thing I know, when I go upstairs – when I move my gravity-weighted body upstairs – it’s like a whole different day. I’m not quite sure where the day went.

Because I’ve bent space-time.

So maybe I’ll do something noteworthy, like go skiing. That used to be one thing in a day of many things. Now, I’ll come back from skiing, take a shower, and the whole day is gone!

That’s what happens when there’s an actual event – skiing. Many days, I’ll come upstairs and … the whole day disappears! I have so warped time that it just … folded in on itself. I am living in a Star Trek wormhole.

I’ve tried looking at the clock to see if it’s still moving at a regular pace (which is sort of pointless because Einstein said it was all relative anyway), but when I look away; whole hours pass.

In fact, some days Thursday happens before I’ve ever had Tuesday and Wednesday!

I’ve been narrowing it down a little. If I have a Zoom conversation at 10 a.m., Time holds steady for a while: Zoom keeps track and does a 40-minute countdown. But around 11 a.m., it suddenly becomes 3 p.m. The wormhole must be in there somewhere.
There’s external evidence, too. Before Covid-19, we ran the dishwasher maybe once a week. Now, we eat the same number of meals – even re-use mugs and dishes – and the dishwasher needs running every other day. Having soup each night just adds a few soup bowls; that shouldn’t explain it. Time is warping.

Passover was eight days. I don’t think so. I’ve never finished eight days with leftover chocolate macaroons, but there they are. I even loaded up and had three yesterday. (Was that yesterday?)

I can induce a total time warp. I can actually cause a black hole collision and a total rupture of time by simply pulling out a jigsaw puzzle. Time stops for jigsaw puzzles … but then it suddenly accelerates when you look up at the clock.
I wonder if Einstein did jigsaw puzzles.


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  2. Fantastic analysis of this phenomenon. All I've said is, "How come time is going so fast when it is going so slow? How come it's always Friday?" I used to say, It's just Friday, Friday, Friday, and then you die. That's kind of scaring me now. Stay safe and keep us posted on that leak in the sink. Who do you call? A plumber, a physicist, Ghostbusters?

  3. I don't know whom to call! I lost yesterday entirely. Just vaporized!


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