There are some things about life we consider unavoidable truths. Like the fact that the sun will come up every day or that an apple will fall if you let go of it. However, one of these truths has been under a microscope recently - researchers are recently beginning to question whether time exists at all...
There's always been a great battle in physics between two conflicting theories: the standard model of physics vs. the quantum model of physics. Quantum physics studies the way tiny particles behave under close observation - and questions whether a particle can be in "two places at once." On the other hand, the standard model's theory of general relativity, which was introduced by Albert Einstein in the early 20th century, describes the gravitational relationship between objects. Although scientists aren't exactly able to pinpoint why, these two theories don't agree with one another. But we're beginning to interpret this conflict in a new way that may suggest that time doesn't even exist.
For decades, scientists have been trying - and failing - to merge the two concepts using string theories, suggesting that the universe consists of an infinite number of vibrating strings smaller than atoms. One of these theories is called "loop quantum gravity." According to Sam Baron, an associate professor at Australian Catholic University, tiny bits of matter form small loops. "One of the remarkable aspects of loop quantum gravity is that it appears to eliminate time entirely," Baron explained. "Suppose such a theory turns out to be correct. Would it follow that time does not exist?" A mind-boggling concept, for sure. But, it's easier to understand if we were to think of the theory as a figure that exists in a three dimensional space represented by coordinate planes x, y, and z. In this case, if z were to represent time, then the loop quantum gravity theory would simply eliminate that variable from the question, giving us a different type of math to do.
As long as researchers have proof this theory may be factual, the question of time being essential to our understanding of the universe remains on the table. That is to say, time may still exist - but it's not necessarily a factor in the complex theories we use to unlock the mysteries of the world. And although the existence of time is now unclear, one thing that's certain is we'll be staying tuned to find out more.