# Time Is But a Stubborn Illusion - Sneak Peek | Genius

What is

## time

? A deceptively simple question, yet it is the key to understanding relativity. It is sort of the reason my hair is going gray. When we describe motion, we do so as a function of

## time

, 10 meters per second, 100 miles per hour. But the mathematical description of velocity is moot unless we can define

. Is

## time

universal? In other words, is there an audible tick-tock throughout the galaxy, a master clock, so to speak, forging ahead like Mozart's metronome? The answer my
friends is no.

## Time

is not absolute. In fact, for us, the living physicists, the distinction between the past, present, and future is but a

## stubborn

### illusion

. A lot to consider, I know. I know. But understanding

## time

is essential to understanding relativity. Now, I want you all to close your eyes. Not to worry, I don't bite. But I am on the lookout for a new pen. Go on close your eyes. To truly grasp the idea of

## time

, we must take a step back and ask, what is light? So journey with me to
the Sun. Light travels from the Sun to the Earth through space, yes. When I was your age, I wanted to know how can something, light, travel through nothing, space? Let us isolate a light beam and travel alongside it. But let us go faster. You're there with me. Faster. Faster! What is

## time

? PROFESSOR WEBER: Herr, Einstein, wake up! I wasn't sleeping, sir. I was thinking. Oh, really. About what exactly? The secrets of the cosmos, I suppose. I suggest you think about trigonometry instead,
with your eyes open. And sit up! Laws of sines and cosines? c squared equals a squared plus b squared, subtract 2 cosine b. PROFESSOR WEBER: The area of a triangle? STUDENTS: The area equals b squared

s a

s b over 2

## time

s c. PROFESSOR WEBER: What is the solution differential equation? Herr Einstein, are you still too busy contemplating the secrets of the cosmos to solve this equation? Oh, no sir. I've already solved it. PROFESSOR WEBER: Leave, now. On what offense? PROFESSOR WEBER:
Your mere presence spoils the respect of the class for me! That is not an objective reason. Out! The natural log of a constant multiplied by x equals the natural log of 1 plus v squared. And since v equals y over x, that gives us the final function, x squared plus y squared minus c x cubed equals 0. And speaking truthfully, sir, your mere presence spoils my respect for the future of Prussian mathematics. Out.