In case you needed an extra thing to stress about, some scientists believe that time is gradually slowing down and may eventually stop altogether. NBD!
The majority of physicists believe that the universe is expanding at an ever-accelerating rate. This theory explains a lot, but it doesn’t explain everything, and a team of physicists at the University of Basque Country in Spain came up with an alternative idea. They believe it’s not the expansion of the universe that’s changing rate, but time itself.
To understand why, first you have to understand the Doppler effect. This is what happens when an ambulance passes you on the street and, as it gets further away, the siren drops lower and lower in pitch. The sound waves stretch as the ambulance drives away, so they reach you at a slower rate and a lower frequency, which changes the sound.
A similar effect happens with light. Galaxies further away from us have a greater redshift (they look more red) than galaxies closer to us, because the light reaches us at a lower frequency because of the Doppler effect. This is how we “know” that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate.
But, as the Spanish physicists assert, it could be that the drop in frequency is actually caused by time slowing down.
This theory also solves one of the biggest mysteries of physics by making the matter of “dark energy” a moot point.
The researchers believe that our universe could be slowly turning into a realm with no time dimension at all. Thankfully, this won’t happen for billions of years…
And in the meantime, time will just continue slo-o-o-owing down more and more.