It’s not what you think/Outside the box: Imaginary Time

We’re going to get a little scientific here. Almost everyone here has probably heard of Stephen Hawking, but how many of you have heard of the concept of imaginary time?

I certainly hadn’t, not until I saw this video of an interview with Stephen Hawking by John Oliver.


After hearing about it my curiosity was peaked and I tried to find out what it was. Now mind you I am not a scientist so reading a book that talks about quantum physics filled with mathematical equations would get me as close to understanding the concept as trying to use a shaken up coke bottle to get me to Mars. So I went on the internet to try to find a more layman explanation.

What I found was this wikipedia article titled, “Imaginary time,” and this is what I understood from it. You know how we have the land beneath our feet, if we were to fly up perpendicularly and look around we would see the different landscapes like a houses to our left and a hill to our right. Now imagine that the thing beneath your feet is time, you fly up perpendicularly and when you look around you see different periods in time, look to the left and you see the past (like medieval soldiers marching through a field), look to the right and you see the future (flying cars, robots, holographic billboards and the like).

To give a different example imagine watching a video on a player on your computer, push the slider left and you see the beginning parts of the video, push the slider to the right and you see the ending parts.

This is imaginary time as I understand it, I might be completely wrong and it actually might be much more complex than that and/or completely different. But the thing is that in this context it doesn’t matter, and before you start going of the rails let me explain myself.

The reason why I tried to learn about imaginary time is because I wanted to find a way to distract myself and what better way to do that than to try to learn about something that is almost completely unrelated to your everyday life.

I am not a scientist, science isn’t my day job and I have limited scientific knowledge over all; however I am interested in science and learning how certain things work. So I am trying to learn more about science not only because I like it but because it helps take my mind off of everything else. If I want to understand what imaginary time is, I’m going to need all my mental faculties, I can’t start thinking about other stuff, including stuff that stresses me out. Do you see where I am going with this?

When it comes down it its about distracting yourself from everything else, and it doesn’t have to be something like this, it can be anything as long as you are interested in it. Find something you like that has nothing to do with your everyday life and take it apart, figure out what makes it tick.

Well that’s about it for this post, I hope it wasn’t too boring, this is as much therapy for me as it is entertainment for you. Also if I got the concept of imaginary time completely wrong then please do let me know.

Have a nice day everyone.

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