The mysteries of time are one step closer to being unraveled by scientists

By TechThop Team

Posted on: 23 Aug, 2022

It's true that we travel through time every second we're alive. The 'flow of time' is perceived by people as moving from the past to the present to the future.

The CUNY Graduate Center Initiative for Theoretical Sciences says this phenomenon results from microscopic interactions between particles and cells, but how this occurs remains uncertain. The new study aims to unravel this mystery and explain how we perceive time.

The concept of the 'arrow of time' comes from the second law of thermodynamics. As time progresses, microscopic arrangements of physical systems will become increasingly random.

The arrow of time becomes stronger as disorder increases, making it increasingly difficult to return to an ordered state. As a result of the universe's natural tendency towards chaos, humans perceive time to flow constantly.

The researchers were trying to figure out how a signal emerges from the micro scale, where cells and neurons interact, up to the whole system.

If we were to examine a particular system, could we quantify its arrow of time? “In a media release, first author Christopher Lynn, a postdoctoral fellow with the ITS program, explains. 

The researchers analyzed time's arrow by observing microscopic interactions within a single system. A team of researchers examined the neurons within the retina of an eye in detail.

A study of one moment in time revealed that it could be broken down into pieces produced by parts working individually, in pairs, in triplets, or in more complex configurations.

In both movies, the arrow of time was discovered as a result of simple interactions between pairs of neurons - not from larger or more complicated groups of neurons.

In contrast to a single object moving around in a simple nature scene, the retina displayed a stronger arrow of time during the complex nature scene.

In Lynn's opinion, this raises questions about how our internal perception of time aligns with reality.

The results of this study may be of particular interest to neuroscience researchers, Lynn concludes. The answers could, for instance, reveal how neuroatypical brains handle the arrow of time.'

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