How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 1145

Is it possible that time is not just an abstraction but also a sort of resonant force that can be contained and manipulated within a controlled environment? — SK, Cape Town, South Africa
Time is a dimension, much like the three spatial dimensions. Objects and events are located in time, just as they are located in space. Because time is part of the framework in which objects and events exist, and not an object or an event, time can't be manipulated easily. So the short answer to your question is no, time can't be contained or manipulated. However, time and space are related and how we perceive the two depends on our velocity—the special theory of relativity. Moreover, time and space can be warped by the presence of mass/energy—the general theory of relativity. Still, the dream of playing with space-time like it was taffy that could be stretch, bent, and folded at will is just that, a dream. It takes an enormous concentration of mass/energy to cause even the most barely perceptible deformations of space-time and even the effects of celestial objects on space-time are limited. Finally, about the expression "resonant force": a resonance is a motion or action that spontaneously follows a repetitive cycle while a force is a push or a pull, an influence that causes something to accelerate. Thus, the expression "resonant force" is interesting sounding jargon but it doesn't have any meaning.

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