A black hole, a superdense body created when a massive star collapses of its own gravitational pull, has a gravity field so intense that not even light can escape its surface. There time would stand still.
"This shows us," says John Wheeler, the Princeton University physicist who gave black holes their name, "that time is a measuring tool, not an absolute flow or a substance."
Without an event, there is no time. This means, Wheeler believes, that time may be a secondary feature of nature, not a basic one. "But we're only talking about the physics of time here," he notes.
What is time? Boslough concludes: "I believe that Professor Wheeler's concept of time comes the closest to an actual explanation: that it is a dimension and, like any other dimension, only a secondary quality in nature."
But, he adds, humans have internalized it so powerfully that time has taken on a meaning all its own.
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