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Tuesday, November 20, 2012


            The term time was first recorded in German written sources as referring to time of year or opportune time. Old Icelandtic first made the connection between time, season, weather, and prosperity. Its origin is disputed, but it is often identified with the same Indo-European base as the terms divide and day[1].

The term time can refer to multiple meanings. First, time can be defined as the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future. It is a measure of seconds, minutes, and hours past midnight or noon. Time may be referred to as something this is allotted, available, or used. It may also refer to something happening or being done. When plural, time can be used as an expression of multiplication. Finally, time can describe the rhythmic pattern of a piece of music as expressed by a time signature[1].

            When something is timed, it may be planned or arranged according to a specific schedule. In addition, it could refer to the action of measuring how long something takes to occur[1].

Time is the measure in which we define our lives. It the measure by which we create our days and the measure by which we count them. In an unpredictable world, it is a constant. It will only ever move forwards at the same speed, never faster or slower. Time is a strategy used to simplify our lives on a daily basis.

            Time is commonly thought to be the fourth dimension. It is the dimension in which events can be ordered from past through the present into the future. In this way, time becomes a point of reference in relation to the space in which we exist. The space around us is constantly changing and time is a measure by which we can acknowledge those changes.

            In Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity, space and time are combined into a single continuum. The Oxford English Dictionary defines space-time as “the concepts of time and three-dimensional space regarded as fused in four-dimensional continuum”. Space and time cannot be independent because the speed of light is constant for all observers. They are also both relative; they depend on the motion of the observer[2].

[1] “time, n., int., and conj.”. OED Online. September 2012. Oxford University Press.
http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/202100?rskey=8oc79k&result=1&isAdvanced=false (accessed November 18, 2012).

[2]  Miller, Arther I. “On Einstein’s Invention of Special Relativity.” PSA:
Proceedings of the Biennial Metting of the Philiosophy of Science Association 2 (2008): 377-402.

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